The Good Hearted - Vegan Food in Melbourne

Vegan cake

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

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

Invita Living Food / The Land of Soy & Honey

All Vegetarian, Melbourne CBD, North Melbourne, Inner North, Gluten Free, Cafe, Organic, Vegan Groceries, ShopThe Good HeartedComment

Invita Cafe
76 Therry Street,
Queen Victoria Market,
Melbourne, 3000

menu


Tue-Thu 7am-3pm
Fri 7am-6pm
Sat 6.30am-4pm
Sun 8.30am-5pm

Licensed


The Land of Soy and Honey
Shop 10-11 Queen Victoria Market
North Melbourne, VIC 3051

Tues & Thurs: 6am-2pm
Fri: 6am-5pm
Sat: 6am-3pm
Sun: 9am-4pm


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).

 
Invita 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

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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

Las Vegan Cafe (Closed)

All Vegan, Cafe, Burgers, Desserts, Inner North, CollingwoodThe Good HeartedComment

Las Vegan Cafe
22 Smith Street
Collingwood VIC 3066

website


Tues-Wed: 11am-3pm
Thurs-Fri: 11am-3pm / 5.30-9pm
Sat: 9.30am-3.30pm / 5.30pm-9pm
Sun: 9.30am-3.30pm

Las Vegan Cafe has closed.

So, here's an embarrassing confession - this is the first time we've eaten at Las Vegan Cafe. As one of the only all vegan cafe's in Melbourne, it's crazy that we haven't been here before, let alone regularly. On this particular morning we went for breakfast AND to pick up our amazing Tofurkey for Christmas Day.

The first thing that impressed us about Las Vegan Cafe were the prices. Tofu Scramble or homemade Baked Beans on homemade sourdough is $7 and extras (tomato, mushrooms,  tempacon, baked beans and avocado) range between $1-2. We went for the Big Breakfast ($15) which is the Tofu Scramble with all the extras on Olive & Rosemary Sourdough and it was gooood! The 'tempacon' was smokey, crispy tempeh and was the absolute highlight, I could have eaten a whole bowl of it - seriously.

Naturesoy is used for the coffee which I'm not a great fan of. The coffee was good, but just not as great as it could it been if it was made with Bonsoy.

We were handed our tofurkey after breakfast and were shocked by the size and weight of it - it was huge! We were instructed to cook it for a further hour before serving and to baste it with a special herb-laden concoction that was provided.

The ultimate proof was in the eating and we were so impressed. It had the most beautiful stuffing - complete with cranberries and walnuts - and the basting gave it a lovely golden crispy crust. I ordered the tofurkey a few days in advance and it was $60 (serves 16 or more).

 

Crumbs Organic Bakehouse - North Melbourne Closed

Bakery, Baked Goods, Bonsoy, Gluten Free, Inner North, North Melbourne, Organic, All VegetarianThe Good Hearted4 Comments

Crumbs Organic Bakehouse
16 Errol Street,
North Melbourne VIC 3051


Mon-Fri: 6.30am-6pm
Sat: 8.30am-3pm

Cash Only. 

Takeaway (limited bench seating inside)


I've worked in North Melbourne for quite a few years now, and I can honestly say that my work life has never being better since Crumbs Organic Bakehouse opened up in Errol Street earlier this year.

Crumbs has become my daily takeaway coffee haunt since it opened. Not only because the coffee (with Bonsoy) is excellent and the people there are lovely, but the bakehouse is also pretty much all vegan! All of the bread is vegan and all of the cakes, biscuits, sourdough donuts, sourdough pizza slices, pastries and croissants are ALL VEGAN!

The almond croissants and lemon curd sourdough donuts are a particular favourite of mine and the tomato, mushroom and olive pizza is also my pick of the bunch for a lunchtime fix.

Thank you for making life so good Crumbs!

Price: Reasonable. $5.50 for most bread. $3.50 for muffins. $4.40 for large soy latte.