The Good Hearted - Vegan Food in Melbourne

Lunch

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

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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

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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

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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

 

Union Kiosk

7 days, All Vegan, Bonsoy, Lunch, Melbourne CBD, Outdoor Seating, Takeaway, Gluten FreeThe Good HeartedComment

Union Kiosk
Shop 2,
Causeway Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000

0413 402 331

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menu

Union Kiosk Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Union Kiosk is a hole in wall found in Causeway Lane which churns out delicious and creative vegan toasties. We tried the 'Veg Bolognese, mozzarella + garlic butter' ($7) and 'Mushroom, basil, spinach + mozzarella' ($7) and they are were top notch. They have indeed perfected the essential melty cheese and golden crust.

Sweet toasties are also a thing, including one consisting of 'Melted hazelnut vego bar'– yikes, dangerous! Vegan cookies and slices are baked daily, and coffee, turmeric lattes, matcha, chai etc are available in a variety of plant milks. Cows milk is still available for now, but will be phased out soon. 

Note: Union Kiosk can be under the pump post any animal rallies held in the CBD, but cruelty-free toasties are worth the wait.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8am-4pm Sat-Sun: 9am-4pm

 

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

 

Smith & Deli

All Vegan, Baked Goods, Bakery, Bonsoy, Breakfast/Brunch, Gluten Free, Inner North, Lunch, Shop, Takeaway, Vegan Groceries, FitzroyThe Good Hearted2 Comments

Smith & Deli
111 Moor Street,
Fitzroy VIC 3065
(03) 9042 4117

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sandwich menu


Opening Hours:
Tue to Sat 8am–7pm


Smith & Deli is an all vegan, New York style deli bought to life by our friends from Smith & Daughters. This is the place to stop by for bread, pastries, coffee, cheeses, meats (all vegan remember!), salads, soups, pies, meals to go and an incredible array of over 25 sandwiches.

Sandwiches are king at Smith & Deli and the menu may stun you with the sheer amount of options of available, so check it out before you go. The 'Rubenstein' ($15) is a good pick with pastrami, sauerkraut, pickles and Russian dressing on rye; or go for a 'Buffalo the Vampire Slayer' ($12) with buffalo tofu, ranch, shredded iceberg, carrot, onion and celery in a roll. Next time I think I'll channel Kevin and try the 'Home Alone' ($15) made up of turkey, roasted brussel sprouts, cranberry sauce, mashed potato & gravy, all on a roll. Gluten free bread is available for all sandwiches for an extra $2.

Some lighter options that are more in the breakfast camp are also on offer, including a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches ($8-$12), croissants, and chef Shannon Martinez's take on a popular fast food breakfast item with the 'Egg McMartinez' ($7) including egg, bacon and cheddar on an English muffin with your choice of sauce.

Meals to go, such as pizza ('pepperoni' $16), lasagne, pies (four different flavours everyday, in both single and family sizes), sausages, schnitzels, tofu and tempeh are all available.

The cabinets are full of sweet treats too, where (with options rotating daily) you might find 'Maple Bacon Donuts' ($5), 'Vanilla Slice ($6), 'Apple Pie Bars' ($5), 'Lemon Tarts' ($7) and much more.

Black coffee is $3.50 or $4 with non-dairy milk – or add an extra $2 for Smith & Deli's own fresh nut milk. The chai soy latte sweetened with agave nectar ($4) is great.

As their slogan goes: Thank you for being a friend, Smith & Deli!

 

Chew Burgers

Burgers, Dinner, Gluten Free, Lunch, North, PrestonThe Good Hearted2 Comments

Chew Burger
147 Plenty Road
Preston VIC 3072
(03) 9484 9720

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facebook


Opening Hours:
Tue-Thur: 12-9pm
Fri: 12-9.30pm
Sat-Sun: 12-9pm


Chew Burger popped up next to the The Racoon Club in early 2014 to bring burgers and fries to an otherwise quiet little strip in Preston. With the tip-off that they catered for vegans, we checked them out on a Friday night when they were bursting with takeaway orders and busy servicing the drinkers next door.

We discovered that there's actually only one vegan burger on the menu, aptly named 'Vegan' (GF $15). It has portobello mushroom, thyme, vegan mayo, guacamole, salsa and cos lettuce on a gluten free bun.

The burger's winning ingredient is the vegan mayo which they've really nailed, however it was let down a bit by the gluten free bun, which in the end dominated the flavours. Serving the vegan burger on a gluten free bun (substitute not allowed) led me to believe that perhaps this burger is intended as a 'cure all' for those pesky types who won't eat 'normal' food. Also, at $15 the price is really quite steep for a rather small burger.

We also tried a serve of 'Shoestring fries w/ roasted ghost chilli salt' and vegan mayo ($4.50). We're not sure if a mistake was made on the night, but the fries were sweet rather than salty. They looked as good as Trippy Taco's 'Trippy fries', but without any of the moreish salty goodness.

There's also an 'Apple, slaw, mint, pea salad' ($5) and a good array of Italian and Mexican soft drinks ($4.50-$4.50).

 
Chew Burgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Trippy Taco

7 days, All Vegetarian, Breakfast/Brunch, Fitzroy, Gluten Free, Inner North, Licensed, Lunch, TakeawayThe Good HeartedComment

Trippy Taco
234 Gertrude St
Fitzroy VIC 3065

(03) 9415 7711

website

menu


Opening Hours:
Mon-Tue: 11am-9pm
Wed-Sun: 11am-10pm

Phone orders taken up to 15 minutes before close.


Trippy Taco is a popular all vegetarian restaurant that has been churning out Mexican style fare to hungry Melburnians since 2006. By replacing dairy cheese with vegan cheese, and egg with tofu, almost all of the menu is on offer to vegans. 

The vegan 'Tofu Asada' burrito ($12.50) is a favourite choice, with spicy chargrilled tofu, salad, salsa, vegan cheese, fresh lime and if you're lucky you might even find a couple of sultanas hidden in there (trust me, it works!). Ask for your burrito to be 'Californian style' and they'll sneak some paprika-ry 'Trippy Fries' into the mix too. I should mention that some of the Trippy Taco burritos (while being delicious), do tend to be rather 'juicy' and can be messy to eat (don't say I didn't warn you).

Other menu items include a 'Breakfast Burrito' ($10.50) with scrambled tofu in lieu of egg, 'Vegan Nachos' ($11 regular, $17 large GF), Tacos (from $7.50 each GF), 'Quesadillas' with vegan cheese (from $9) and Taquitos ($12 GF). The 'Trippy Fries'  ($4.50 small, $6.50 regular) are an essential extra and have a delicious seasoning.

The vegan cheese of choice for Trippy used to be Cheezly, however they've now (controversially for some) changed over to using Daiya cheese. I'll confess to being a member of 'Team Cheezly', however the changeover is far from being a deal breaker.

Desserts can also be found, and include the 'Tamale Dessert' ($12), a sweet corn tamale with soy ice-cream, banana and maple syrup (ask for vegan version) or a veganised 'Nutella and Banana Melt' ($8) with vegan chocolate spread and banana melted in a flour tortilla.

Trippy Taco can get pretty busy and while there's a few tables, they do tend to fill up rather quickly. If you're after takeaway, it's good to phone your order in to avoid a wait. Also note that phone orders are taken up to 15 minutes before closing, however in my experience, staff may be too busy to answer the phone, so it's best to call as early as possible.

 

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.

 

Port Phillip Estate

Desserts, Gluten Free, Licensed, Lunch, Mornington Peninsula, Red Hill, Restaurant, Special OccasionThe Good HeartedComment

Port Phillip Estate
263 Red Hill Road,
Red Hill South VIC 3937

(03) 5989 4444

website


Opening Hours:
Lunch: Wed-Sun
and public holidays
Dinner: Fri-Sat

Bookings recommended


If you find yourself on the Mornington Peninsula and fancy an experience of 'the good life', head to the monumental 'rammed-earth' fortress of Port Philip Estate for some vegan fine dining while gazing out at the coastal views of Westernport Bay and Bass Strait.

While the Port Philip Estate dining room is far from being an all vegan establishment, they do cater for vegans and manage well with last minute bookings (we booked online only 3 hours in advance and made sure to advise them of our vegan ways).

For our first course, we were presented with a salad of heritage vegetables, including roasted beetroot, local heirloom carrots, baby radish, ancient grains, micro herbs, dijon vinaigrette and olive oil powder (we'd never heard of it either). To follow up, the chef prepared semolina crusted soy bean fillets (the word 'tofu' just doesn't cut it), tomato relish stuffed zucchini flowers, roasted local tomatoes, olive tapenade and herbs from the in-house kitchen garden. 

To accompany the main meal, we shared some 'roasted Hawke's potatoes (from Boneo) with parsley and confit garlic', along with 'wilted organic baby kale with espelette' (which I discovered is a type chilli cultivated in the French village of Espelette).

Dessert was a shared vegan 'Knickerbocker' - sorbet from local cherries and raspberries a top of fresh strawberries, raspberries, mulberries on a base of strawberry jelly (from agar), topped with crunchy almond praline.

Prices are $85 per person for three courses and $68 per person for two courses. The two shared accompaniments were no extra cost.

 
Port Phillip Estate Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

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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

The Cornish Arms

Brunswick, Burgers, Desserts, Inner North, Licensed, North, Pub, Lunch, Dinner, Gluten FreeThe Good HeartedComment

The Cornish Arms
163A Sydney Rd
Brunswick
VIC 3056
(03) 9380 8383 

website
menu


Kitchen Hours:
Lunch:
7 days: 12-3pm
Dinner: 
7 days: 6-9.30pm Sundays only:
Full menu 12-9:30pm


It was a long time between visits to The Cornish Arms Hotel, so we'll forgive ourselves for accidentally turning up on a Wednesday night, which is ironically the weekly (and very busy) "Cheap Steak Night". Nevertheless, the extensive menu of vegan pub food was still on offer, so we went ahead and dined amongst the corpse munchers.

There are well over a dozen vegan options on offer at The Cornish Arms, including four vegan pizzas ($11 + $3 GF), one of which is the aptly named 'Bbq meat loathers', which boasts all the faux meats. There are three vegan burgers (w/ chips) including a 'Vegan chicken burger' ($18) with a southern fried mock chicken fillet with 'facon', 'cheez', avocado, lettuce and tomato with chipotle aioli. 

Other vegan pub classics include a 'Vegan parma' ($18) and 'Vegan beer-battered fish & chips' ($19) with bean curd 'fish' pieces cooked in Coopers Pale Ale batter with chips, salad & vegan tartare. The tartare is fantastic and compliments the crispy fish pieces nicely, but I'm not a huge fan of the chips unfortunately - perhaps a bit more seasoning would make them better. The 'Vegan Double Down' ($20), otherwise known as the vegan KFC option, consists of 'cheez', 'facon' and tomato sandwiched between two southern fried mock chicken fillets, served with mash 'n' gravy and slaw. Those on a health kick need not apply.

Along with the pizzas, gluten free vegans can enjoy a 'Thai salad' ($18) with tempeh or a Spicy lentil burger' ($19).

There are a couple of vegan cheesecakes ($9) available, including 'Cookies & cream' and 'Peanut butter' flavours. I would have tried one, but the Cornish doesn't allow takeaways and there was no way I could tackle such a dessert so soon after the heavy 'fish and chips'. 

There are also a dozen or so vegan beers and ciders and around six vegan wines to choose from.

 
The Cornish Arms Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato