Melbourne is a city I’ve long been mesmerised by. I was born there and moved interstate as a toddler so I’ve always had a fascination with exploring and getting to know this city. Some of the things I love are the super friendly people, creativity and art everywhere (even along the freeways). Vegetarian Melbourne is alive and well, with a bounty of choices for scoring a great vegetarian meal.
On my short visit this week (a few days is never enough), I got to tick off a few awesome vegetarian eateries from my wish list.
If you’re ever in Melbourne and looking for a vegetarian feed, these places are absolutely worth a visit.
Fitzroy seems to be the area where all the good veg eats are. It’s a funky area and one I would be spending lots of time in if I lived down there.
Dinner Transformer in Fitzroy was one I had highly anticipated. The restaurant lives in an old factory that transformer factory, hence the name. Inside there are lush green plants growing on vines, skylights that bring in natural light and spotlights hanging over the tables.
The trick with being vegetarian is you usually only have a couple of dishes to choose from. When you’re at a veg joint, the whole menu is available, and that can make it hard to decide! Transformer have you sorted with a generous ‘feed me’ option to save you from struggling with which sharing plates to order.
The wait staff were a tad hasty in explaining the dishes so we didn’t quite catch all that we had. It was however, quite tasty and I particularly liked the meaty mushroom dish, the light broccolini dish and the epic chocolate brownie.
Shakahari is a vegetarian restaurant that has been serving Melburnians since the 70s and due to popular demand, they opened a second restaurant in South Melbourne called Shakahari too. The food is a mix of Asian cuisines, with a focus on fresh ingredients as well as not using artificial ingredients or colourants.
I had the Satay Shakahari which was a nourishing plate with deep-fried skewers of tofu, seitan and vegies with a peanut sauce, turmeric rice, vegies and pickles. I would love to be able to go through the whole menu.
The last time I was in Fitzroy I walked past Neko Neko and saw their cutesy sign for vegan ramen. Since then, it was a place I’d been longing to try. Neko is Japanese for cat so I’ll be honest, that’s another reason I wanted to go!
Most ramen or noodle dishes aren’t an option to order out as the stock is usually beef or chicken. Neko Neko has a hearty and flavoursome mushroom broth and then loads it with ramen, vegetables and a little mock meat. It went perfectly with a homemade yuzu mint soda. This was so good! I’d love to go back and eat my way through the menu.
Impressive Smith & Deli in Fitzroy is a great spot to grab a bite for lunch as well as that veg ingredient for cooking dinner at home. Think of your favourite shop or health food store that you buy specialty veg goodies from, then imagine it totally pimped to include a friendly deli with freshly made salads, sandwiches, pastries and sweets. This is the kind of place I wish I lived near as I’d be there on the regular to stock up my pantry and freezer.
As I went a few hours before flying back to Sydney, I took home a lush Bounty pie with decadent coconut and chocolate and a Hot Toddy donut.
Here are some other vegetarian eateries still on my wish list:
- Vegie Bar, Fitzroy
- Smith & Daughters, Fitzroy
- Tofu Shop International, Richmond
- Matcha Mylkbar, St Kilda
- Yong Green Food, Fitzroy
- Supercharger, Melbourne
- Sister of Soul, St Kilda
- Girls & Boys, Fitzroy
- Merry Cupcakes, Fitzroy
What are your favourite Melbourne eateries for a good vegetarian feed?
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