The Bear Cafe
439 Brunswick St
Fitzroy, VIC 3065
0414 507 635
Sun: 11am - 2:30pm,
5 - 9pm
Wed-Thur: 5 - 9pm
Fri-Sat: 5 - 10pm
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.