The Good Hearted - Vegan Food in Melbourne

7 days

CERES Cafe (currently closed for renovation)

Inner North, East Brunswick, Cafe, Gluten Free, OrganicThe Good Hearted2 Comments

CERES Cafe (located in CERES Community Environment Park)
Cnr Roberts and Stewart Streets,
Brunswick East, VIC 3057

Phone: 03 9389 0155

website


Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9am - 4pm
Sat-Sun: 9am - 5pm

Licensed.


CERES Cafe is located in Brunswick East's popular Community Environment Park - where much of the produce used by the cafe is organically grown on the grounds and 90% of the menu uses certified organic goods. The vegan options at CERES cafe have become plentiful lately so we thought it deserved a fresh visit.

The 'Dukkah Eggs' ($15 GFO, VO) with tofu instead of eggs is fabulous. Fried tofu, homemade hummus, pumpkin sourdough, raw spinach and spicy tomato kassundi is a winning combination; however there is only so much undressed raw spinach that one will feel inclined to eat, and there was a little too much for my palate.

'Hot Indonesian Eggs' ($15.60 GF, VO) is an old menu item that is now offered with smoked tofu instead of eggs - hallelujah! Fried smoked tofu on brown rice served with chilli sambal, spring onions, mint, coriander, salad greens, roasted peanuts and a fragrant tamari dressing combine to make a fiery and filling breakfast. The chilli sambal can pack a punch, so beware if you can't handle the heat!

Another vegan option is the 'Green Eggs' ($15 GFO, VO), which also comes with tofu in lieu of eggs along with creamy rosemary white beans (perhaps inspired by A Minor Place) on toasted pumpkin bread, a macadamia parsley gremolata and raw spinach.

There are also some traditional 'Slow Cooked Beans' ($12.50 GFO) on offer, and a 'Quinoa and Roast Beetroot Salad' ($15 GF) which are available as vegan. The 'Tomato, roast vegetable and red lentil' soup of the day ($9.50) was also vegan on our visit.

Coffee is organic and fairtrade, with no soycharge for a soy latte ($3.80) using Nature's Soy.

The CERES cafe composts all organic waste, recycles plastic, paper and waste water and uses solar electricity and tank water. All profits earned from the cafe go towards supporting other CERES projects and programs.

 
Ceres Café on Urbanspoon

Also visited by: where's the beef?

Veggie Villa (Closed Down)

Inner North, Organic, Flemington, Raw, Gluten Free, West, All VegetarianThe Good Hearted3 Comments

Veggie Villa
331 Racehorse Road,
Flemington VIC 3031


Opening Hours:
7 days: 11am-10pm

Takeaway and home delivery available (min $30).

facebook


Veggie Villa has closed down.

Veggie Villa has recently opened in Flemington and is hopefully set to breathe new life into the vegan friendly dining scene in the area.

With the stark interior of the restaurant and dangerously long menu of raw, Indian, Mexican, Asian, salads, burgers and wraps, smoothies and desserts, we didn't hold high expectations for Veggie Villa; our fears were indeed allayed however when our food arrived.

I tried the 'Macro gold veggie bowl' (GF $13.50) with green salad, steamed vegetables, biodynamic brown rice, sprouts, tempeh and wakame - with miso gravy and satay sauce on the side. It was pretty good, and almost comparable to the 'Macro Dragon Bowl' at Yong Green Food.

We also had the 'Mexican red chilli bean' (GF $14) with spicy red chilli beans, biodynamic brown rice, salad, guacamole and cashew cheese which was a healthy and hearty feed. There are dozens more dishes on offer which we'll be back to try including, 'Raw pizza' ($10), 'Raw lasagne' ($12), 'Stir fry mock chicken' ($14), 'Smoked eggplant curry' ($14) and a vegan 'Pho' ($12).

For dessert there are a variety of raw vegan cheesecakes ($7), including chocolate, blueberry and white chocolate. A 'Raw pecan tart' ($7) and 'Raw brownie' ($6) is also on offer, and all desserts are organic, vegan and gluten free. We took a 'Raw chocolate cheesecake' to go and it was deliciously rich, whilst being not too sweet.

 

Also visited by Vegawesome!

Gelato Messina

Fitzroy, Inner North, IcecreamThe Good Hearted2 Comments

Gelato Messina
237 Smith St,
Fitzroy Vic 3065

NSW Stores
website


Opening Hours:
Sun-Thur: 12pm-11pm
Fri-Sat: 12pm-11.30pm


Gelato Messina make all of their gelatos and sorbets from scratch using raw and natural ingredients and have had queues out the door since opening up on Smith Street in Fitzroy. All of the current sorbet flavours (in the first cabinet) are vegan and the ones we tried were sensational.

We sampled the 'Salted coconut and mango salsa' flavour, which is reminiscent of salted caramel and unsurprisingly, incredibly delicious. The 'mango' flavour was also top notch and surprise, surprise tasted of unadulterated mango! Just be careful about visiting on a hot day... you'll be in for a daunting wait out the door and down the street.

The full vegan sorbet list is as follows:

  • Salted Coconut and Mango Salsa
  • Blood Orange
  • Cherry
  • Chocolate Sorbet
  • Lemon
  • Mango
  • Pandan & Coconut (pandan is a green asian leaf used in asian cooking)
  • Passionfruit
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry

Prices: 1 scoop ($4), 2 scoops ($6), 3 scoops ($7)

 
Gelato Messina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

Spring Street Grocer

Gluten Free, Vegan Groceries, Organic, Melbourne CBD, IcecreamThe Good Hearted3 Comments

Spring Street Grocer
157 Spring St,
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9639 0335

website


Opening Hours:
Grocer:
Mon-Fri: 8am-10pm
Sat-Sun: 9am-10pm

Rolls/Burgers available Weekdays Only: 11am-3pm

Gelateria:
Mon-Fri: 7am-12am
Sat-Sun: 9am-12am
(Gelateria Cash Only)

The Spring Street Grocer is an organic grocery store, come takeaway lunch spot, come gelateria. The vegan options for lunch are quite good, as are the bountiful vegan sorbet and gelato options.

For lunch, you can't go past the 'Tofu and corn fritter w/ curried cashews, cucumber & coriander' ($9.50) complete with a side of salted potato chips. An 'Open vegan salad sandwich' ($8.50) is also available. There is also a 'Tempeh Burger', which disappointingly contains fish sauce.

If a burger doesn't take your fancy, you could try one of the daily 'organic, non dairy, wholefood salads' ($8 small, $12 large) or a takeaway vegan soup. The catch with these delicious lunches is that they are available only on weekdays (11am-3pm) so will be of benefit mainly to those lucky office workers nearby. There is very limited seating inside, so takeaway is a good option.

The grocery store is jam-packed with an assortment of organic goodies, many of which are vegan. The cold pressed juices (made on site) are highly recommended and you can also stock up on vegan yoghurts (coyo and babushka), as well as many vegan chocolate varieties.

The gelato/sorbet bar has 8-9 vegan flavours that change daily. All of the sorbets are vegan, and the vegan gelati varieties have a base of almond, oat, rice or coconut milk in lieu of dairy. The sorbet flavours are quite exotic and include 'pear & cinnamon', strawberry & mint' and 'white nectarine & basil' - they are divine. Vegan gelato flavours include 'chocolate & orange' and 'zesty coconut'.

Coffee is $3.30 (plus 40c soycharge for Pureharvest Nature's Soy). Espresso is $2

 
Spring Street Grocer Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Spot Burger (previously Il Gobbo) - CLOSED

All Vegan, Gluten Free, Takeaway, Restaurant, Essendon, West, BurgersThe Good Hearted4 Comments

Spot Burger
305 Keilor Road,
Essendon, VIC 3040
03 9379 9540

facebook


Opening Hours:
Monday: Closed
Tues-Thurs: 5-9pm
Friday: 2-9pm
Saturday: 12-9pm
Sunday: 12-8pm

Cash Only

Spot Burger (previously Il Gobbo) is an all vegan burger and hotdog joint (with some Mexican and Italian dishes too) in Essendon. It's opened up in front of Down to Earth Tattoos, who've also made the compassionate stance of using only vegan inks.

Everything is vegan, although the menu doesn't state it as such - so hopefully a few corpse eaters will dine here and be none the wiser. There are five burgers to choose from and I couldn't go past 'The Sailor Jerry' ($10) - a nori wrapped vegan fish patty with a tofutti cheese slice, lettuce, pickles, onion and herbed mayo. It was a delicious choice, especially thanks to that lovely herbed mayo.

My sidekick loves a chilli hit, so went for a 'Volcano Burger' ($10) which had an Il Gobbo patty (a bit like a LOTF patty), tofutti cheese slice, chilli sauce and jalapenos. He thoroughly enjoyed it, but being particularly hungry, wished it was a bit bigger. Perhaps he should have had 'The Spot Burger' ($14) which has a double Il Gobo patty, vegan cheese, vegan bacon, pickles, onion, ketchup and mayo. The 'Bogan Burger' ($10) also caught my eye to try next time, with vegan chicken, herbed mayo, lettuce, beetroot, cheese and pineapple ($10).

No burger is complete without a bowl of fries ($7 GF), and the Il Gobbo variety were well seasoned and hit the spot nicely. If you also fancy a soft drink (Papasito, Lemon Squash or Creaming Soda) then the 'meal deal special' of a burger/hotdog with fries and a can of soft drink for $15.95 is the most economical option.

There's still plenty for us to come back and sample at Il Gobbo, including 3 varieties of vegan hot dogs ($9.95), a vegan burrito ($12), vegan nachos ($12 GF), vegan lasagne ($13) and spaghetti ($13). There are no desserts on the menu (as yet anyway...) but you could opt for a chocolate, banana or raspberry 'Shake' ($6) if you needed a sugar fix.

 

Also visited by: vegawesome

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

The Bear Cafe (Closed)

Bonsoy, Cafe, Fitzroy, Organic, All VegetarianThe Good Hearted1 Comment

The Bear Cafe
439 Brunswick St
Fitzroy, VIC 3065
0414 507 635


Opening Hours:
Sun: 11am - 2:30pm,
5 - 9pm
Mon-Tue: Closed
Wed-Thur: 5 - 9pm
Fri-Sat: 5 - 10pm


The Bear Cafe has closed down.

Baskets of organic fruit and vegies adorn the footpath outside The Bear Cafe on Brunswick Street, and once inside we discover that the cafe is also home to "Animal Lovers by Neo Tokyo's" retail store (which Melbourne vegans know of largely due to those towels in the last World Vegan Day showbag!). The important bit to note though, is that The Bear Cafe has an all vegan food menu!

All day breakfast options are a feature and include 'Homemade museli' ($7) with fruit, nuts and coconut yogurt, 'Fruit toast' ($5.50), Avocado and chilli on toast ($7) and the big ticket item, 'The Big Bear breakfast' ($12.50). With baked beans, mushrooms, scrambled tofu and guacamole topped with dukkah, the Big Bear breakfast is a hearty winner and a fair price to boot.

Also on the menu are a selection of toasties which all list cheese as an ingredient, and luckily for us (and for the cows), it's vegan cheese! You can order a cheese and tomato version known as the 'The Classic' ($6), a 'Mitey' ($6.50) with cheese and vegemite or a J.P's garden' ($6.50) with cheese, mushroom, roasted peppers and caramelized onion. My sidekick went for the 'Double decker' ($10.50) which, with vegan cheese, baked beans, mushrooms, scrambled tofu and guacamole is basically the Big Bear breakfast condensed down into one mega sandwich - so needless to say, he loved it.

Some specials of 'Organic pumpkin and coconut soup' and 'Organic tomato and basil soup' served with bread of your choice (quinoa and pumpkin bread were two options I recall) ($8.50) also deserve a mention for a good wintery lunch option.

If your sweet tooth leaves you wanting more, you can grab a Mr Nice Guy ($4.50) or Merry ($3.60) cupcake, a Tinkernicks Cookie ($3.50) or some (incredibly amazing) raw Pana Chocolate ($7.60). Homemade muffins ($3.50) and homemade banana bread with nuttelex ($3.50) is also on the sweets menu.

I had a soy latte ($3.30 - 30c soycharge for Bonsoy) which was pretty good, albeit a little weak. Dairy makes an appearance for the hot drinks, hence the soycharge mention.

 

Code Black Coffee

Bonsoy, Brunswick, Cafe, Inner North, Gluten FreeThe Good HeartedComment

Code Black Coffee
15-17 Weston St
Brunswick, VIC 3056
Phone: 03 9381 2330

website
menu


Opening Hours:
Mon-Sun: 7am-5pm


What do you do if you have a day off during the work week? You follow your weekend routine and head straight out for a vegan brunch! This time we checked out new cafe and specialty coffee roastery joint Code Black Coffee.

The first thing that struck us about Code Black Coffee is that the interior/exterior designers seriously like black; almost every surface is painted black which makes the large warehouse space kind of dark. In saying that, it's certainly not gloomy and it's actually pretty swish.

The menu is really well labelled for vegan, vegetarian and gluten free meals, with two menu items being vegan. I chose the 'Baked Silken Tofu w/ parsley and lemon crumb, roasted cherry tomatoes, spinach, pine nuts w/ sourdough toast' ($17.90) and wasn't disappointed. The silken tofu itself was a bit liked cooked egg white and was quite plain - which worked well with the salty topping of parsley and lemon crumb. The cherry tomatoes were full of flavour and the spinach was ok. This meal is definitely getting up there in the price stakes, but it was the first baked silken tofu I've had - and it was really good, so I can justify the price this time.

My sidekick opted for the other vegan option of 'Breakfast couscous, steamed w/ fruit juice, roasted nuts, dried peaches & cranberries served w/ house made coconut yoghurt and berries' ($13.90). The berries came in a separate little jug so that you could participate in assembling the final masterpiece before tucking in (or could it have been for those wanting the sans berries option?). Regardless, it was a delightful dish, with the house made coconut yoghurt a particularly super creamy highlight.

The coffee was really good, although it comes at a price. I ordered a soy latte and it came in a small coffee cup with a 60 cent soycharge for Bonsoy. So... not only was it expensive, but it was smaller than the usual latte in a glass that I've come to expect in Melbourne. Sidekick also had a bottled fresh orange juice for $4.

 
Code Black Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Also visited by: wheres the beef?