The Good Hearted - Vegan Food in Melbourne

Brunch

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?

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

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

Aum Shanti Vegetarian Cafe & Art Gallery (Closed - Replaced by The Dharma Hub)

Cafe, Gluten Free, Mornington Peninsula, Vegan Groceries, Frankston, Raw, South, All VegetarianThe Good Hearted1 Comment

Aum Shanti Vegetarian Cafe & Art Gallery
439 Nepean Hwy
Frankston, VIC 3199
03 9783 2899

facebook


Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 7:30 am - 5:30 pm
Sat: 10 am - 4 pm
Sun: Closed

Cash Only.


A trip to Frankston to meet a brand new baby boy was the perfect opportunity to also check out the 'much loved by locals' vegetarian cafe Aum Shanti. 

Aum Shanti Vegetarian Cafe & Art Gallery has such an earthy, homely feel that you'd be forgiven for thinking you were in the main street of Daylesford as opposed to seaside 'Franga'. There is a lovely array of homemade meals and salads to choose from in the glass cabinet, or you can order funky pies ($5.50), wraps ($8), sandwiches ($8-8.50), soup of the day ($9 and always vegan) or a lentil and chickpea burger ($9) off the menu. Sourdough toast is the main vegan breakfast option so you'd be better off making your visit to Aum Shanti a lunch date.

I had a 'Lentil & mushroom shepherds pie' with a scoop of quinoa salad ($12, GF) and it was a truly comforting homemade meal. The quinoa salad had a great crunch thanks to the addition of toasted seeds. A non vegan friend also partook in this dish and was as equally impressed.

There are plenty of vegan sweets on offer including lemon melting moments ($2), Mr Nice Guy cupcakes ($4.50), an assortment of chocolates, and some raw desserts by Naked Treaties. We gave the raw choc mint slice ($7) a whirl and it was reminiscent of the peppermint and chocolate layer cake at Shoku Iku - very rich so ideal to share. The Nickers Bar ($4) - a raw, vegan, sugar free 'snickers', was an ideal accompaniment to my soy latte ($4 - includes 50c soycharge). If soy milk isn't your thing, you can also have your coffee made with organic rice or almond milk, which will also attract an extra 50 cents - as does organic coffee.

Along with being a great lunch place, Aum Shanti stocks a few vegan products which you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else on the peninsula.

Notzarella, Castlemaine dips, Sweet Freedom 'vegan honey', Plamil organic chocolate spread, vegan jelly crystals and vegan condensed milk are among the loot. This cafe is a shining light in Frankston, and we're sure it will continue to be for many years to come.

 

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?

Novel Kitchen

Takeaway, Cafe, West, Williamstown, Gluten Free, OrganicThe Good HeartedComment

Novel Kitchen
80 Ferguson Street
Williamstown VIC 3016
03 9399 8437

website


Opening Hours:
Tue-Fri: 7:30am-5:30pm
Sat-Sun: 8am-4pm

Cash Only


With all three Sea Shepherd ships docked at Williamstown at the moment, we found ourselves touring the Steve Irwin and learning about the crew's last campaign, which saw 932 whales saved thanks to their direct action in the Southern Ocean. The Sea Shepherd crew don't contradict their values by protecting some animals while eating others; they are in fact all vegan, which is truly honourable! Speaking of eating, we got hungry after our tour so a mad google search led us to the Novel Kitchen nearby.

Williamstown is anything but a hub for vegan eating so we thought it a great discovery to find Novel Kitchen which has plenty of clearly labelled vegan options throughout the all-day breakfast and lunch menu. A few of the items such as the 'Tofubake' ($14 GF) and 'Silverbeet, potato and chickpea burger' ($15) were sold out so we delved deeper into the menu to discover a vegan 'Kashmiri vegetable pie' ($14), which was a healthy mix of lightly spiced organic vegies in a pastry base, topped with seeds. It had a good mix of spices and was accompanied by a salad which was reminiscent of the side salad from TOFWD* with grated fresh beetroot and carrot.

We also tried the homemade baked beans which were seriously good and had plenty of flavour. Too often, homemade baked beans at cafes are either tarnished with ham hock, or are a bland let down - but not this time! I had a side of avocado, tomato and coriander salsa which was an odd choice on my part to accompany beans, but it was fresh and tasty nonetheless. Other vegan options on the menu that we didn't try included 'Lightly spiced lentil and pumpkin patties served on quinoa and almond salad' ($13.50 GF) and a vegan 'Lentil bake, topped with a pumpkin mash' ($14) - a bit like a shepherds pie.

Take home meals are available at cheaper prices and there are some vegan cakes and biscuits on offer too, including an organic vegan chocolate mud cake ($3.30 GF), which would tempt any sweet tooth. Novel Kitchen uses Espresso Syndicate coffee (which is organic, rainforest alliance and fair trade) and has no soycharge for Vitasoy. The Good Hearted would love to see an end to the mother-flippin' soycharge in Melbourne so we give huge props to any establishment that bucks the trend and doesn't discriminate against compassionate consumers.

If you want to visit the Sea Shepherd crew for a tour (and perhaps to deliver a vegan food donation?!), you can do so until May 26th, 2013 at Seaworks, 82 Nelson Place, Williamstown (entry via Ann Street) - 12-4:30 pm on weekend days.

 
Novel Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

St Ali - South / Passion Foods

Bonsoy, South, South Melbourne, Organic, Shop, Vegan GroceriesThe Good HeartedComment

St Ali - South
12-18 Yarra Pl,
South Melbourne VIC 3205
(03) 9686 2990

website
menu

Opening Hours:
Open 7 days, 7am-6pm


Passion Foods
219 Ferrars St,
South Melbourne VIC 3205
Phone: 03 9690 9339

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri 8am - 7.30pm
Sat 8am - 7pm
Sun 9am - 6pm


After checking out the Rainbow Warrior which was docked at Port Melbourne on the weekend, we went off in search of breakfast in the unfamiliar territory of South Melbourne. After scanning the menus of a few cafes near the South Melbourne market, we ended up off the main drag at the very busy, but large, St Ali - South (there is also a St Ali - North in Carlton).

After scanning the menu, I noticed a vegan option right away that I had to try - the 'Wholefoods gluten free sandwich' ($16) which is a braised kale sandwich on gluten free bread with saffron chickpeas, sumac onion, vegan mayo and green salad. This sandwich deserves a much more exciting name as it's absolutely sensational! The kale is deliciously crispy and seasoned, the saffron chickpea is in a soft pattie that is amazing with the red cabbage and creamy vegan mayo and if you're accustomed to gluten free bread, then you'll especially appreciate how good this bread is!

My sidekick was set on a more traditional breakfast, so he opted for a DIY option of some extras  including field mushrooms ($4.50), roasted tomatoes ($4.50) and fresh avocado ($4.50) on sourdough ($2). Whilst this made for a simple breakfast, every element was cooked to perfection - he was especially impressed with the roasted tomatoes, which 'rival' the confit tomatoes at Wide Open Road. A point to note if ordering extras is that the bean ragout isn't vegetarian, let alone vegan (what's up with cafes ruining perfectly good beans with ham hock and the like?!).

St Ali roast their own coffee beans which are also for sale, so needless to say their coffee was great - and good ol' Bonsoy is used at no extra charge which seals the deal nicely.

If you pay a visit to St Ali - South, be sure to also swing by the nearby Passion Foods to stock up on a variety of vegan groceries including vegan yoghurts (CO-YO!), ice creams, cheeses (Vegusto!), snack bars and more. There's also a good array of take home organic vegan salads that may take your fancy.

 
St Ali Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Milkwood

Bonsoy, East Brunswick, Gluten Free, Inner North, CafeThe Good HeartedComment

Milkwood
120 Nicholson St
Brunswick East VIC 3057

(03) 9380 4062


Mon-Fri: 7.30am-4.30pm (Closed Tuesday)
Sat-Sun: 7.30am-4pm


After a Saturday morning trip to the CERES organic market for some fruit and veg, a visit to Milkwood cafe for a vegan breakie was in order -  SoyMilkwood would have been a better name though!

The cafe with it's cathedral ceiling and fresh flowers has a lovely warm atmosphere. There is also an overflow room for Milkwood which is accessible from Nicholson street, but as it's not connected to the main cafe it feels a bit weird and shut-off from the action.

There are two decent choices for a vegan breakfast at Milkwood, Warm cannellini bean, lemon & rosemary mash with sliced avocado on sourdough toast ($14.50) is vegan and a real winner. It's a bit like the Henry's white beans of Wide Open Road and A Minor Place, but not as saucy and with a much bigger rosemary hit. The other choice of Lemon thyme mushrooms with avocado on sourdough toast ($14.50) is veganised as it replaces ricotta with avocado. I tried it on the house gluten free toast which was great (trust me, there is some baaad gluten free bread out there), and the mushrooms were rich and full of flavour.

Milkwood make a delicious soy latte ($4) and you guessed it, they use Bonsoy.

 
Milkwood Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Little Deer Tracks

All Vegetarian, Cafe, Desserts, Gluten Free, Inner North, Licensed, CoburgThe Good HeartedComment

Little Deer Tracks
44 O'Hea St
Coburg VIC 3058
(03) 9354 3449

facebook


Mon to Fri:
7:30am - 4:30pm
Sat to Sun:
8am - 4:30pm


If Little Deer Tracks isn't the best choice for breakfast or lunch north of Bell Street, then I'm not sure where is! Ever since this all vegetarian cafe opened back in 2011, it's been one of our favourite breakfast/brunch/lunch haunts.

My 'usual' breakfast is the avocado on house sourdough toast ($8.50) with a house hash brown ($3), sauteed mushrooms ($3.50) and grilled asparagus ($3.50). It's always delicious, but I must say that it's not until right now that I am actually realising that it's also quite an expensive breakfast at $18.50... I also had gluten free bread ($2.50) last time which would have made my 'usual' $21. Oh well, as I said, it's always delicious! 

Due to a late night, my last breakfast visit turned into a lunch sojourn, so I tried the handmade organic potato and spelt gnocchi with fresh tomato, basil, garlic and olive oil sauce ($18.50). The sauce is freshly made with beautiful chunks of ripe tomato and the gnocchi really were the 'light fluffy pillows' that we're told all good gnocchi should be!

My sidekick had his usual of penne puttanesca with capers, olives, chili and oregano ($12.50) which sees him well satisfied until dinner. The lunch menu starts at 11am so we're often heading to "Little Deery" late morning so sidekick can have his pasta breakfast!

There are some dishes that are so close to being vegan but aren't, such as the almond crusted eggplant cutlet with hummus & salad ($18.50). It sounds so vegan but unfortunately an egg wash is getting in the way of this food fantasy. Booo!

There is usually a vegan cake to look out for in the cake cabinet ($6.50 per slice) and the vegan lemon bomb biscuits are pretty good. Little Deer Tracks also make a very fine coffee ($3.30) with Bonsoy (.50c).

 
Little Deer Tracks Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Breakfast Club

Bonsoy, Cafe, Inner North, Northcote, OrganicThe Good Hearted2 Comments

The Breakfast Club
206 St Georges Road
Northcote VIC 3070
0450 126 836


Opening Hours:
Tue to Fri 7:30am-3pm
Sat to Sun 9am-3pm

Cash Only.

The Breakfast Club is a sweet little cafe on St Georges Road that catches me eye every time I  pass it. After hearing that they have some vegan food on offer we thought we'd pop in for a late breakfast.

On checking out the menu, we see that eggs make a huge appearance and that we aren't flooded with vegan options - the couple of vegan options available are well labelled though which is great.

I tried the the 'Narna Date' ($9) which was toasted organic vegan banana and date bread with tofutti cream cheese. It wasn't a typical breakfast choice for me but I'm glad I had it as it was deeeelicious. Who would have thought that banana bread and cream cheese would be such a winning combination?!

My sidekick went for the 'Cuatro' toasted sandwich ($9) which had the option of an onion jam accompaniment instead of feta to make it vegan. With homemade mexican baked beans, coriander, baby spinach and onion jam on toasted Crumbs organic sourdough there wasn't much that could go wrong. The onion jam was a highlight of this toastie, but unlike the banana bread it was nothing to write home about.

There was also a chickpea salad with toast on the specials menu which could have had a vegan makeover, minus the feta ($12).

The Breakfast Club use Bonsoy and make a top notch coffee which are $3.50 and a not too steep 30c extra for soy. The majority of the seating is outside but well sheltered, with a couple of tables inside too. It's a really nice little place to visit so let's hope that more vegan options will pop up here in the future.

 
The Breakfast Club Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato