76 Therry Street,
Queen Victoria Market,
The Land of Soy and Honey
Shop 10-11 Queen Victoria Market
North Melbourne, VIC 3051
Tues & Thurs: 6am-2pm
Invita Living Food is an all vegetarian cafe that has been feeding shoppers at the Queen Victoria Market for a good 10 years. To this day, Invita is still going strong by dishing up hearty vegan lunches and delicious vegan sweets.
Invita has a great range of ready made vegan salads, soups (the potato and leek is tops), pies and wraps (not all are vegan, but all ingredients are well labelled) to eat in or takeaway. A recent visit saw me choose a quinoa salad, along with a roast pumpkin and walnut salad ($6.50 each), which made for a very tasty lunch.
Also on offer, for those eating in, is a lentil shepherds pie, a tofu burger (tofu burger pattie - no bun) or rice balls - all of these options come with salad and are all gluten and wheat free to boot. Oh, and there's a scrambled tofu ($12.50) on the breakfast menu too.
When it comes to sweets, there are also plenty of vegan options. The berry cheesecake ($6.50 takeaway, gluten free) is highly recommended, and must surely be one of the first ever vegan cheesecakes available in Melbourne (I've been eating it for years!!). Other delights include some seriously good berry muffins (which manage to have a crispy outside and a dense but fluffy middle - $4), lemon poppy seed cake and vanilla bliss balls ($3, gluten free). There was a really impressive looking vegan chocolate cake (gluten free) in the window last time which I'm yet to try.
If you make it to Invita, be sure to pay a visit to The Land of Soy and Honey in the deli section of the Queen Vic Market for some grocery supplies. They stock some of the best tofu, tempeh and burger products around - all which can be difficult to find in supermarkets. I picked up a large organic smoked tofu ($7.30), some Tallyho Farm organic tempeh ($7.30 and proclaimed by me as the BEST tempeh), and some Blue Lotus tandoori marinated organic tofu ($4.90). They also usually have my favourite ever vegan burgers which are the Tallyho Farm Soy Burgers (around $7).