Skip to content

Opinion 10 must-try Melbourne restaurants for incredible plant-based food

Lifestyle
amy

Author: Amy Published: November 4, 2022

There’s no question: Melbourne does great vegan food –- and lots of it! Here are 10 restaurants that all plant-based foodies need to try.

I’ve lived in Melbourne for almost a decade now, and I’m still floored by the amount of vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants. And that number keeps growing! If it’s hard for a Melburnian to keep up, it must be overwhelming for those visiting from interstate. So, whether you’ve lived in Melbourne all your life, or you’re just visiting for a few days, here’s my shortlist for the very best of Melbourne’s plant-based food.

Sable

Sable

Cremorne, Thornbury

Sable only opened their doors in 2020, but they’ve quickly established a reputation amongst Melbourne vegans. They started out in Cremorne, with a cosy back-alley style cafe and a menu of out-of-this-world bagel fillings. Some highlights include the Philly cheesesteak, chicken Caesar and the egg and bacon ‘Hangover Cure’ bagels. Yes, it’s all 100% plant-based. I can also personally confirm that they have the best vegan cookies I have ever eaten.

They’ve since opened up a very suave restaurant and bar in a great location in Thornbury. As well as the daytime menu of bagels, cookies, and shakes, this venue also has an exciting evening menu. You can start with lemon pepper calamari or lasagne croquettes, and move on to baked ziti, prawn tagliatelle, or wild mushroom pizza! Their drinks menu has you covered for all those fancy cocktails and craft beers that locals (and Melbourne’s visitors) love. It’s got just the right atmosphere for a date, dinner with the in-laws, or a night out with the pals.

Across the two stores, they’re serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. See opening hours.

Check out Sable on Instagram

Funghi e Tartufo

Funghi e Tartufo

Melbourne

In the heart of Melbourne on Hardware Lane, this entirely plant-based Italian restaurant has garnered quite a bit of media attention since it opened in early 2022. It proves without a doubt that you can eat great Italian food without any meat or dairy.

The laneway restaurant combines the best of Melbourne and Italian chic, with white tablecloths, exposed brickwork, and an extensive (entirely vegan) wine list. The menu is a feast for the eyes (as well as the stomach). With two types of arancini, spaghetti carbonara, pasta puttanesca, and even grilled swordfish to choose from, you’ll have some hard decisions to make. Or, order the chef’s selection and let the chef choose for you! But whatever you do, make sure you try the pappardelle Funghi e Tartufo – fresh pappardelle with truffle and mushroom sauce. Everyone I know who has eaten here agrees that this dish is a 10/10.

Funghi e Tartufo is open Wed-Sat from 5pm. See opening hours.

Check out Funghi e Tartufo on Instagram

Tyranny of Distance

Tyranny of Distance

Windsor

This former petrol station turned spacious restaurant and bar has an entirely plant-based menu. Choose from eggplant parma, duck roti rolls, mushroom pork tacos, massaman curry, Korean fried chicken burger and more. The colourful restaurant has a casual vibe with good food and great cocktails.

Tyranny of Distance is serving food from 5pm to 10pm everyday. See opening hours.

Check out Tyranny of Distance on Instagram

Future Sushi

Future Sushi / Future Izakaya

Collingwood

Future Sushi graced us with 100% plant-based sushi in 2020 – arguably one of the better things to have come out of that year. The menu includes Peking duck rolls, salmon and avocado rolls, tuna and cucumber rolls, California rolls, bakuchiku (panko-crumbed chicken) rolls, and more. For the full Melbourne experience, enjoy your sushi rolls picnic-style in one of the great nearby parks. Future Sushi has also launched what they describe as an ‘intimate dine-in adventure’ – Future Izakaya – offering all their delicious plant-based sushi as well as an ever-changing menu of Japanese and American-inspired cuisine.

Check out Future Sushi on Instagram

Gojé

Gojé

Yarraville

Imagine an entirely plant-based frozen yoghurt store … Or, don’t imagine it – go there. Goje has 6 plant-based frozen yoghurts on tap, with flavours changing daily. I can’t go past the peanut butter and the passionfruit. And then the real fun comes with picking your toppings. There are all the chopped fruits, berries, and nuts that we love with frozen yoghurt, plus exciting sprinkle-ins like carrot cake, vegan ‘aero,’ homemade ‘tim tam’ bites, and salted caramel sauce. But what they’re most famous for is their homemade chocolate, peanut butter, and date rolls. They’re so good they’ve had to put a two-per-customer limit on them to give everyone a chance!

There are a few tables inside and out the front to eat or enjoy your froyo while strolling and window-shopping at the cute homewares, gift, and book stores in Yarraville.

Check out Gojé on Instagram

Smith & Deli

Smith & Deli

Collingwood

Smith & Deli and its parent restaurant, Smith & Daughters, are institutions in Melbourne. I doubt you’ve looked at a list of great Melbourne vegan restaurants without their names popping up. But it’s for good reason. Smith & Deli have recently revamped and moved to a huge location in Collingwood. So, even if you’ve visited before, it’s time to go again.

They’ve still got the deli and grocery vibe in one half of the store, where you can purchase their deli meats and cheeses as well as sandwiches, pastries, and treats, and a whole range of packaged crisps, condiments, meals, chocolates, and more. On the other side of the store, is a very cool buffet-style restaurant, where you can build a plate from their selection of mains and sides. The menu changes every day. The last time I was there, the mains included a tandoori vegetable pie, fish curry, and chicken salad sandwich, and the sides included kale Caesar salad, roast veggies, and potato salad. The restaurant has a very cool industrial cafeteria vibe, with high ceilings and big windows.

They’re serving lunch 6 days and breakfast and dinner on select days. See opening hours.

Check out Smith & Deli on Instagram

Good Love

Good Love

St Kilda

Good Love is the vegan Queen of tapas and cocktails. With a unique decor featuring patterned umbrellas and pink neon lights, this place is as Melbourne as it gets. Menu highlights include jerk taters, chimichanga, mac and cheese, garlic prawn salad, Mongolian BBQ, and gyros kebab. Plus a huge list of creative cocktails. It’s the perfect spot to begin a night out with friends, or for a long lunch on the weekend, situated on St Kilda’s buzzing Acland St.

Good Love is open 3-11 pm Mon-Fri, and 11 am-12 am on weekends. See opening hours.

Check out Good Love on Instagram

Brother Bon

Brother Bon

Northcote

Brother Bon has an eclectic menu with a combination of Asian-inspired dishes and Aussie/American comfort foods. There is truly something for everyone. I’ve tried many, many items on Brother Bon’s menu and they’re all great. But I keep coming back to the sizzling duck in plum sauce and the chilli basil fried rice. The restaurant has ample seating with a casual atmosphere, right on High St in Northcote.

Brother Bon is open for lunch and dinner, Tues-Sun. See opening hours.

Check out Brother Bon on Instagram

Lona Misa

Lona Misa

South Yarra

Lona Misa is a joint venture by Melbourne chefs Shannon Martinez of Smith & Daughters and Ian Curley of French Saloon and Kirk’s Wine Bar. They’re serving Latin-inspired plant-based food in a moody wine-bar-esque atmosphere. The menu is designed to be shared, with plates of fried olives, croquetas, tortilla Española, peri peri chicken, patatas bravas, paella, moqueca (Brazilian seafood stew), and more. You might want to keep this place up your sleeve for a special occasion. Plates range from around $18-$35, and a tasting menu will cost $95 per person.

Lona Misa is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. See opening hours.

Check out Lona Misa on Instagram

Red Sparrow

Red Sparrow

Collingwood, Prahran

Red Sparrow is Melbourne’s first 100% vegan pizza place. They’ve got all the classics, like margherita, pepperoni, and Hawaiian, plus some creative topping combos like patatas bravas and the cheeseburger pizza, all cooked in a wood-fired pizza oven. They’ve also got a host of irresistible sides and desserts like plant-based buffalo wings, waffle fries and ‘notella’ pizza!

Red Sparrow is open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday. See opening hours.

Check out Red Sparrow on Instagram

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to plant-based food in Melbourne. Locals will have even more great recommendations, and there are endless listings on Google or HappyCow to explore.

Happy eating!

amy

Meet Amy!

Amy is a massive foodie, and her lentil Bolognese is renowned amongst family and friends. When not cooking, she loves walks in Victoria's beautiful bushland with her dog and a good audiobook.