The Good Hearted - Vegan Food in Melbourne

Cafe

Vegan Food in St Kilda – with Melbourne Vegan Tours

Cafe, Gluten Free, Icecream, Licensed, Lunch, South, Vegan Tours, Vegan Tourism, St KildaThe Good HeartedComment

When Jess Ivers and Dan Pinne visited Paris and discovered that a vegan tour was on offer in the land of foie gras and buttery croissants, they thought, well, if you can have a vegan tour there, then you can definitely have one in vegan-friendly Melbourne. Soon after, in May 2018, Melbourne Vegan Tours was born.

We joined Jess on a vegan tour of St Kilda, meeting her at 2pm in front of iconic Luna Park. She’s down to earth and friendly, and as you’d expect on a vegan tour, the other attendees are the same. Our tour is a small group of four, and numbers don’t exceed ten people so that it can remain an intimate experience; this is much more of a walk and eat with friends vibe rather than the wrangling of a bunch of strangers in name tags.

An adult ticket for the St Kilda vegan tour will set you back $105 (or less if you book a group of 3 or more) and includes all of the food throughout the tour – and trust us – you won’t go hungry. We’d like to thank Jess and Melbourne Vegan Tours for the gift of hosting us on this tour. Check them out here: https://melbournevegantours.com

Here’s where we went:

Ground Yourself Cafe

download.png
goodhearted-stkilda2.jpg

Ground Yourself Cafe
Shop G8
Acland Court
183/189 Barkly St,
St Kilda VIC 3182

website
menu

First stop on our vegan tour of St Kilda is to Ground Yourself Cafe, which makes the cut thanks to it being voted as having the best coffee in Melbourne on BeanHunter.

We sample delicious delights from the Vegan Big Breakfast ($22.50) which includes fabulous scrambled tofu, fresh sauerkraut (this did not come from a tin!), a lovely mushroom jam and more. The house beans are rich and smokey, and a real stand out.

Other options on offer are a variety of cold bowls (all GF $17)), including an Acai Bowl and a Dragon Fruit Bowl (Superfood Pitaya (Dragon Fruit), Mango, Banana, and Passionfruit topped with Buckwheat Granola, Coconut Flakes and Fresh Fruit).

Most lunch items are also vegan and gluten-free, and include a Buddha Bowl ($17) and a Burrito Bowl ($19), although bacon from pigs, eggs, and dairy are also on the menu.

Melbourne Vegan Tour inclusion: Coffee or Prana chai, Breakfast board and smokey beans to share

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 7am–6pm | Sat-Sun: 8am - 6pm | Public holiday: 8am onwards

 

Empower Shop

goodhearted-stkilda3.jpg

Empower
3/112 Acland St
St Kilda VIC 3182

website

After getting caffeinated, we next stopped by the store Empower – a social enterprise helping girls and women from Asia whose lives have been impacted by HIV/AIDS, human trafficking, and abuse. These women make all goods in the store with profits going back to them. Through rescue, rehabilitation, medical care, and ongoing nurture and skill development, these people have been able to turn their lives around, giving them a brighter future.

Melbourne Vegan Tour inclusion: 10% off all items in the store. (You may, of course, want to let them keep the 10% as a much-deserved donation)

Note: Not all items in-store are vegan

 

Trippy Taco Southside

Trippy Taco
6 Acland St
St Kilda VIC 3182

website
menu

After a stroll down the leafiest part of Acland Street, our next stop is Trippy Taco's "southside" restaurant. It's a colourful space with more indoor seating (and perhaps more character) than it's "northside" sister restaurant, but the Mexican-style street food is just as good. 

We indulged in the crowd-pleasing vegan Tofu Asada Burrito ($13.50) with its seasoned chargrilled tofu, salad, salsa, guacamole, lime, and maybe the odd sultana thrown in for good measure (don't worry, it works). The vegan nachos (small $13) are made with those yummy corn tortilla chips (no Dorritos or CCs here) and include all the vegan trimmings, including sour cream. Just keep in mind that most items aren't straight-up vegan – always ask for the vegan version.

Melbourne Vegan Tour inclusion: Half a Tofu Asada Burrito each and Vegan Nachos to share.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Thur: 5pm–9pm | Fri-Sat: 12.30pm–9pm | Sun: 12.20pm–8.30pm

 

Good Love

Good Love
56 Acland St
St Kilda VIC 3182

website
menu

A refreshing walk along the foreshore brought us back into the heart of Acland Street and into Good Love, an all-vegan bar with food. It has a friendly and playful atmosphere (um, you can play Nintendo) and an exciting all vegan food menu – I'm talking a "Bacon and Egg Brioche" ($16) and banana blossom "Phish and Chips" ($23). YUM.

We all tried a slice of New York Pizza ($8), including a "Calabrese" with salami, napoli, cheese sauce and chilli oil, and an "Anti Pasto" with napoli, cheese sauce, feta, parmesan crisp, olives and rice paper prosciutto. The pizza dough has a pink tinge thanks to a waste-free approach of utilising excess beetroot from the kitchen – and it's of a more homely style than traditional pizza.

Melbourne Vegan Tour Inclusions: Cocktail or Soft Drink and a Slice of New York Pizza.

Opening Hours:
Mon: Closed | Tue-Fri: 11am–11pm | Sat-Sun: 9am–11pm


Piccolina Gelataria

Piccolina Gelataria
137 Acland St
St Kilda VIC 3182

website

To top off our afternoon of eating, walking, and chatting to good people, we made our way to the traditional Italian gelateria, Piccolina. Everything is made from scratch here, and the fresh fruit vegan sorbet is hard to beat. There is dark chocolate, passionfruit, lemon, strawberry as well as the odd bonus flavour on offer.

Melbourne Vegan Tour Inclusions: 1 x vegan sorbet each.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Thu: 2–10pm | Fri-Sat: 2–10:30pm | Sun: 12–10pm

 

Ray Cafe

7 days, Breakfast/Brunch, Brunswick, Cafe, Desserts, Gluten Free, Lunch, Outdoor SeatingThe Good HeartedComment

Ray Cafe
332 Victoria Street
Brunswick VIC 3056

(03) 9380 8593
website
facebook
menu

Ray's Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ray is a super friendly cafe with a full vegan menu that will require a few visits to work your way through. One epic offering is the Black Maple Society (GFO $18), with spiced french toast, banana chocolate mousse, black tahini, maple, ginger miso ice cream sandwich, blueberries, walnut halva and carrot vinegar. Woah. There are plenty of savoury options too, with Pastadon ($16) – tagliatelle, greens, capers, almonds, miso cheese and garlic crumbs, being a fave.

Ray's is deceptively large, with plenty of seating both indoors and outdoors.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 7.30am-4pm Sat-Sun: 8.30am-4pm

 

East Elevation

Bonsoy, Brunswick, Cafe, Gluten Free, Inner North, Licensed, Lunch, 7 days, Breakfast/Brunch, East Brunswick, NorthThe Good Hearted4 Comments

East Elevation
351 Lygon st
Brunswick East
VIC 3057
03 9381 5575

website
menu


Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8am-4pm
Sat-Sun: 8.30am-5pm


East Elevation is a cafe in East Brunswick which resides in a delightful light filled space with an abundance of greenery.

The all day breakfast menu offers up a good old fashioned 'Full veggie' breakfast ($18), with a choice of chipotle tempeh or mushrooms along with spicy beans, oven dried tomato, avocado and sauteed spinach on sourdough. The chipotle tempeh is moist and cut thick, and while it's pretty awesome—I just don't find it as irresistible as thin, crispy tempacon

The 'King and swiss brown mushrooms' ($17.50) are grown on the cafe's rooftop and come with sauteed spinach, avocado and sourdough. The mushroom dish is good, but lacks a salty element to replace the feta (the avocado replaces feta). The pick of the "brunch bunch" is the 'Coconut & rhubarb tapioca' ($14 GF) w/ orange, strawberries and pistachios. It's accompanied with a jug of coconut milk to pour over and is the perfect light summery breakfast or snack.

There are options for lunch too and you won't need to 'veganise' the "Roast eggplant & tahini" ($17.50 GF) w/ pumpkin purée, green beans, moghrabieh (giant cous cous salad) & fresh pomegranate.

Coffee is $4 with a 50c soycharge for Bonsoy.

 

Pearl Oyster

Bonsoy, Cafe, North, Preston, Breakfast/Brunch, 7 days, Lunch, Scrambled TofuThe Good HeartedComment

Pearl Oyster
14 Miller St

Preston, VIC 3072
03 9480 2500

facebook


Opening Hours:
Mon: 8am-4:30pm
Closed Tuesdays
Wed-Sat: 8am-4:30pm
Sun: 9am-4pm


Pearl Oyster Cafe in Preston has always catered well to vegans since opening in 2008, and after undergoing a change of ownership in 2014 we were happy to discover that the menu remains largely the same.

For something simple, Pearl Oyster offers up a 'Blueberry Bagel w/ tofutti cream cheese' ($8), 'Hommus, tomato & pepita zaatar on organic sourdough' ($8) or 'Avocado w/ dukkah or pickled jalapenos on organic sourdough' ($8). I decided to make my own rules on this occasion and opted for avocado w/ dukkah on a sesame bagel ($8) with a side of organic smoked tofu ($3). It's a lovely combo, however I found my bagel to be a bit dry (perhaps freshly baked bagels are harder to source over the Christmas break?) and I needed to ask for (an essential) wedge of lemon to squeeze on my avocado.

There is also a 'Thai style soft scrambled tofu' ($16) with shitake mushrooms, chilli, capsicum, fried shallots, crispy lettuce and bean shoots. It's a very tasty dish, especially for the chilli lovers, but doesn't come with any toast so you may want to order a side of organic sourdough ($6) too.

Other vegan options include 'Field mushrooms in sherry vinegar with lemon, chives & confit garlic on sourdough toast' ($14), the 'Tofu Burger' ($16) with organic tofu on a sesame seed bun with slaw, mayo, tomato, lettuce, hot sauce & pickles and the 'Tokyo rainbow salad' ($15) with avocado, picked ginger, baby spinach and red cabbage in a sesame-vinegar dressing with grilled organic smoked tofu.

I have fond memories of the coffee ($3.50 w/ 50c soycharge for Bonsoy) at Pearl Oyster, however I now find it too bitter for my taste. An extensive array of teas ($4.50) may also interest you. Props to the new owners for keeping the menu so wonderfully vegan friendly.

 
Pearl Oyster Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

True North

Bonsoy, Cafe, Coburg, Inner North, NorthThe Good HeartedComment

True North
2a Munro St,
Coburg VIC 3058

(03) 9917 2262

website
menu


Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 7am-4pm
Sat-Sun: 8am-4pm


True North is a cosy little cafe in Coburg churning out vegan sandwiches and excellent coffee.

All but one of True North's six sandwiches are available as vegan, including a 'BLT' ($12.50), 'Chicken' sandwich ($12), 'Chorizo' sandwich ($12.50) and a 'Summer Salad Sandwich' ($10). I recently tried the 'True North Reuben' ($12) with vegan pastrami, dijon mustard, vegan mayo, sauerkraut and vegan cheese on toasted white sourdough w/ dill pickles and crisps on the side. It was an indulgent delight, and with smotherings of vegan margarine on top, would probably fit in into the category of a 'sometimes' food.

The veganised 'True North Breakfast Roll' ($13) is a popular breakfast choice w/ vegan bacon, bubble n' squeak, avocado, rocket and house made spicy relish on a toasted Rustica roll.

For something sweet, a Crumbs Bakery organic vegan muffin will set you back $4.

Coffee is $3.80 plus a 50c soycharge for Bonsoy.

 

Smith & Daughters

Gluten Free, Inner North, Licensed, Nut Free Options, All Vegan, Bonsoy, Cafe, Restaurant, DessertsThe Good Hearted1 Comment

Smith & Daughters
175 Brunswick Street,
Fitzroy, VIC 3065

website


Opening Hours:

Tue-Fri: 6pm-1am
Sat: 10am-3pm (brunch menu)
6pm-1am
Sun: 10am-3pm (brunch menu)
6pm-11pm


You only need to walk past Smith & Daughters on a weeknight to see that they’re not only leading the way in all vegan dining, but dining in general. Vegans and omnivores alike are flocking here for awesome food, super friendly service and a damn good vibe.

The Spanish and Mexican inspired all vegan dinner menu is an ever-evolving pursuit of perfection. Say goodbye to main meals, and hello to a vast selection of mouth-watering small plates to make your own smorgasbord. Choose from such delicacies as 'White truffle, forest mushroom pâté w/ caper berries, cornichons & toasted bread' ($15 GFO), 'Tuna & green pea croquettas w/ caper aioli' ($5 each) and the amazing 'Tortilla w/ garlic aioli' ($7 per slice).

If you’re more in the mood for salad, the 'Tacos con enslada' (GFO NFO $16)—a crisp tortilla basket filled w/ black beans, vegan chorizo, grilled corn, pickled jalapenos, shredded lettuce, pickled red cabbage and coriander cashew cream is a popular choice.

Life’s too short for regrets, so don’t skimp on a Smith & Daughter’s dessert—do try the 'Tarta de Chocolate Azteca' ($14), served with the most incredible fresh avocado ice cream or share some ‘Warm Spanish Donuts’ ($12) with quince and spiced sugar.

Spanish or Mexican Baked Omelettes ($16 GFO), ‘Spanish French Toast' ($16) and a 'Breakfast Burrito' ($15) w/ scrambled tofu, crispy vegan chorizo, black beans, garlic kale and guacamole are on offer for brunch on weekends only.

Coffee with your choice of soy, oat, coconut or almond+coconut milk is $4 or $3.50 (black).

P.S Thursday nights from 10pm-1pm are dedicated to Morrissey/Smith's tunes, 'moza-ritas' and late night vegan eats. 'So, please, please, please, let me, let me, let me eat all the vegan treats this time...'

 

Green Refectory

Inner North, Brunswick, CafeThe Good HeartedComment

Green Refectory
115 Sydney Rd
Brunswick VIC 3056
Phone: 03 9387 1150


Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 7am - 8pm
Sun: 8am - 6pm

Cash Only


Green Refectory cafe has being a popular haunt on Sydney Road since it opened a decade ago, largely due to it's offerings of healthy, tasty food without the hefty price tag.

A visit to this cafe on a weekend can be challenging due to the fact that you need to secure your own table among the crowds and then order at the counter near the busy doorway after navigating the huge blackboard menu behind the counter to decide on what you want (read on, and you can arm yourself with what to order).

The standout vegan option at Green Refectory is the vegan 'Scrambled tofu w/ mountain bread and picked veg' ($10) which is such great value. The lightly spiced scrambled silken tofu with caramelised onion is among the best on offer in Melbourne, and surely must be cheapest. The pickled veg can include pickled beetroot, olives and a pickled cucumber/carrot combo.

Another savoury vegan offering is the 'Spicy sweet potato and pinenut parcel' with I opted to have with a couple of vegan salads ($8.75), including a tahini broccoli salad and a spicy lentil salad (which was the standout). Soup ($6.95) is another option for lunch and on our recent visit there was a vegan 'Pumpkin soup', along with a vegan 'Pumpkin, lentil and ginger soup' on offer.

For sweets, I spotted a vegan 'Apple & ginger loaf' ($3.50) among a crowd of cakes in the front glass cabinet. Coffee is $3.70 which includes a 70 cent soycharge for Nature's Soy.

 
Green Refectory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Also visited by:  where's the beef

McGain's Nursery, Cafe and Food Store

Anglesea, Bellarine Peninsula, Bonsoy, Vegan Groceries, Cafe, Gluten Free, Organic, ShopThe Good Hearted2 Comments

McGain's Nursery, Cafe and Food Store
1 Simmons Court,
Anglesea VIC 3230
(03) 5263 3841

info@mcgains.com.au
www.mcgains.com.au/


McGain's Nursery, Cafe and Food Store is a green and welcoming oasis hidden in the industrial centre of coastal Anglesea. Whether you're visiting Anglesea or just passing through, you must stop by McGains to stock up on vegan goodies from the store or to enjoy what could be the only decent soy latte (w/ Bonsoy) for miles.

The cafe is set in a light filled gazebo bursting with greenery, flowers and twisted tomato vines and is truly a relaxing place to sit and enjoy. While the cafe doesn't offer a huge vegan range, we were thoroughly satisfied with a delightful organic quinoa salad w/ fresh orange segments and pistachios, aside a cos salad w/ fresh dates, dried apricots and almonds ($15) - it really was something rather special. Another vegan option on offer for lunch was a falafel wrap ($12).

We sampled a couple of refreshing Wort organic drinks as we'd never seen them before and the unusual flavour of 'peppermint and ginger' caught my eye. A vegan muesli slice ($4.50) made in-house and full of nuts and seeds also hit the spot.

Great efforts have gone into stocking the best of everything at McGain's food store, including the freshest of fruit and vegetables. Tallyho Farm soy burgers, Earnest Bean Co organic smoked tofu and Primasoy three seeds tempeh (the one smothered in paprika and cumin) were available - which was impressive as these delicacies can be hard to find (in Melbourne, you can get these products at The Land of Soy & Honey).

If sweets are your thing, you can pick up anything from the Loving Earth or Cocoa Rhapsody chocolate ranges or settle instead for a SuperOrb, date and walnut ball, organic dried mango, or my favourite - organic dark chocolate almonds!

 
McGain's Nursery and Organic Food Store Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A Minor Place

Bonsoy, Brunswick, Inner North, CafeThe Good HeartedComment

A Minor Place
103 Albion St
Brunswick, VIC 3056

Phone: 03 9384 3131
website
menu


Mon-Sat: 8am - 5pm (kitchen closes at 4 pm)

Sun & Public Holidays: 8:30am - 5pm (kitchen closes at 4 pm)

Fully Licensed

Must Try: Henry's White Beans


As far as cafes go, A Minor Place is a bit of a faithful old friend. It's been around for ages, always has something tasty and vegan(isable) on offer, makes a decent soy latte and is reliably open on public holidays when everything else is shut.

'Henry's White Beans' ($13.50) is a trusty vegan favourite of creamy cannellini beans in garlic and rosemary with dukkah, rocket and toast. A more recent addition to their menu is the 'Scrambled Tofu' ($14.50) which is quite a rich combo of silken tofu and mushrooms in an asian sauce. It's usually piled in a generous heap on top of sourdough with rocket, although on our last visit it was presented in a little bowl on the side - which luckily was still enough to satisfy my hunger!

GH: The scrambled tofu is no longer on the menu - current menu here

You can almost always expect to find a vegan dahl or soup on offer on the specials board, which never fails to impress. We recently sampled the' Lentil & Spinach Dahl w/ Toasted Turkish Bread' ($10) which was a wholesome delight. Be sure to hold the yoghurt on this dish though.

The 'Quesadilla' ($13.50 GF) is another popular veganisable choice for lunch, with spicy paprika red kidney beans with mushrooms, avocado, lettuce and corn salsa. You can add your own lashings of Tabasco sauce if that takes your fancy too.

For something smaller, the 'New York Style Bagel' ($11.50) - a seeded bagel with avocado, dukkah and lemon can be veganised (just hold the cream cheese) or a vegan 'Berry and Almond Muffin' ($4.50) from Sugardough is the way to go.

Coffee is $3.80 with a 40c soycharge for Bonsoy.

 
A Minor Place Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mister Nice Guy's Bakeshop

Baked Goods, All Vegan, Bonsoy, Cafe, Desserts, Gluten Free, Ascot Vale, West, Fructose free, RawThe Good HeartedComment

Mister Nice Guy's Bakeshop
151 Union Rd
Melbourne VIC 3032
0424 422 878

website


Mon - Fri: 9am - 6pm
Sat - Sun: 9am - 5pm


Mister Nice Guy became known for their huge variety of vegan cupcakes when they first started getting their bake on back in 2010, however a visit to their bakeshop in Ascot Vale reveals that they have so much more to offer these days than cupcakes alone!

In addition to the cupcakes, the Ascot Vale bakeshop offers an array of dreamy all-vegan savoury options, with soy and gluten free options too. I'm a sucker for a bagel in any form, so was delighted to see a vegan 'BLT' ($8) on offer, as well as a vegan 'curried egg' bagel ($8). The BLT bagel was delicious with Cheatin' rashers and delicious mustardy mayo, along with the lettuce and tomato. The curried (tofu) egg bagel with homemade mayo, was also a delight, especially as I've never really tried a vegan curried egg alternative before. If you're after a gluten free bagel, (yes - they exist!) the cost is $9.

Other savoury options that have been popping up in the bakeshop are 'Dawgs in blankets' ($6.50) which are dough wrapped vegan hot dogs, 'Spinach cheezy scrolls' ($4.50) and the sensational cheezy garlic pockets ($5) which are doughy triangles filled with melty garlicky vegan cheese. Mm-mmm...

I can never go past a sweet treat at Mr Nice Guy and recently had my first 'Chocolate babka' ($4.50) which had swirls of chocolate through a lovely tender dough that easily pulled apart. The 'cheezecake' slices ($8) are also always tempting - especially if my favourite 'Peanut butter brownie' flavour is on offer.

Coffee is by Naked Espresso and you can choose from soy, almond, rice or hazelnut milk. The coffee is a little bitter for my taste, but the hot chocolate ($4.30) made with hazelnut milk is a decadent amazement. I'm also yet to try the homemade, self brewed chai-latte which I'm tipping to be a winner.