Hardcore vegans, committed vegetarians, and those who simply enjoy a predominately plant-based diet, recognise that Melbourne has a burgeoning vegetarian dining scene.
The city’s best vegetarian restaurants provide you with top tier service, wonderfully flavoursome food and a no-compromise attitude to fresh and innovative cuisine.
The stereotype that vegetarian or vegan food is often rather ‘boring’ couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s time to demolish this myth and embrace the remarkable quality of vegetarian food that Melbourne has to offer.
The following vegan and vegetarian restaurants will provide you with wholesome, healthy, cruelty-free dishes. Melbourne’s plant-based dining scene does not disappoint.
Our Comforting Vegan Potato Bake Recipe is perfect for a chilly evening
Location: 72A Acland St, St Kilda, Melbourne
This cafe focuses on all things ‘healthy’. The bright green matcha lattes and vast selection of drool-inspiring smoothies go perfectly with a variety of options on a vegan menu.
A soy chicken burger, a poached ‘egg’, creamy gnocchi, and other tantalising alternatives make this venue an interesting choice. If you’re looking for the best vegetarian restaurants in Melbourne, you can’t go past this one.
The food looks great on the plate, is healthy, fresh and flavoursome, and is very reasonably-priced.
Matcha Mylkbar has a typically cool St Kilda vibe, but is also unpretentious and welcoming. It’s the perfect opener for our look at the best vegetarian restaurants in Melbourne.
If you’ve just adopted a plant-based diet and are fretting about your first family get together see our post: Recently Gone Vegan? – Tips To Surviving Social Gatherings
Location: 83A Smith St, Fitzroy, Melbourne
Neko Neko is a rare find: a small, friendly, vegan (and pescatarian) Japanese restaurant in the heart of trendy Fitzroy.
The go-to dish a Neko Neko is their enigmatically infused spiced vegan ramen that is just perfect when you need winter warming. With a legendary 20-ingredient vegetable stock as it’s base, it’s plant-based wizardry in a bowl.
There are numerous vegetarian and vegan options available and Neko Neko (which stands for ‘Cat Cat’) also boasts a wonderful selection of soups packed with mushrooms and egg-free noodles.
The vegan Okonomiyaki is also worth a try, as it cleverly trades the traditional eggs for the cream of cashews.
A personal favourite is the vegan Smoked Katsu Burger with vegan Thai basil and Chips with vegan Curry Mayo. It’s true comfort food, and as decadent as it sounds!
Neko Neko is an innovative and highly recommended Japanese restaurant. Give it a try.
And if you find yourself seeking Japanese food in Bendigo, check out the Harpoon Social Club. It does an excellent vegetarian Spicy Miso Ramen with Shitake Broth. You can read all about it here.
Location 1: 268 Victoria St, Richmond VIC 3121 / Tel: (03) 9428 6765 & Location 2: 339 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065 / Tel: (03) 9415 6765
Just as Neko Neko has put vegan Japanese food on the map in Melbourne, Fina’s Vegan Restaurants have done the same for authentic vegan Vietnamese cuisine.
Established in 2011 by Steven and Christine Nguyen, the two restaurants have plenty of fans for their flavoursome and nutritious Vietnamese food. Both eateries are great assets to Melbourne’s plant-based dining scene.
You can expect delicious crispy tofu, vegan crispy duck and vegan grilled pork Banh Mi and Rice Paper Rolls, and a wide selection of vegan Hot Pots, Laksas and Soups in winter (including the signature Bamboo Noodle Soup).
The Salt and Pepper Crispy Tofu is delightfully tangy and goes brilliantly with Fina’s Sour Soup (with silken tofu, okra, mushrooms, herbs, bean sprouts, pineapple and tomato).
Order another guaranteed winner with the awesome Vegan Grilled Soy Beef with Betel Leaf Salad, and you’ll thank me later.
In Sydney and interested in vegan and vegetarian Vietnamese cuisine? Check out Vina Vegan Restaurant in Newtown. It’s highly recommended.
Location: 380 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, Melbourne
The Vegie Bar has served vegetarian and vegan treats to the City of Melbourne for over two decades. It is a well established favourite amongst locals and visitors alike.
The variety and excellence of it’s plant-based foods keep diners loyally returning for years. There’s also a regularly changing specials board to keep things fresh and exciting.
Much-loved, the Vegie Bar is definitely one of the top vegetarian restaurants in Melbourne.
Location: 99 Rose St, Fitzroy, Melbourne
This is the sister bar to Vegie Bar. It is older but its also bigger in size. The menu is entirely vegetarian and uses classic ingredients like roasted cauliflower. That said, our go to is the grilled oyster mushrooms which are also to die for!
There are vegan options too but most of the items on the vegetarian menu can be adapted to suit your needs. A friendly, warm, and reputable restaurant with delicious food.
Location: 73 Acland St, St Kilda, Melbourne
This vegetarian/vegan eatery is tucked away in the bayside area of St Kilda. It offers an all-day breakfast as well as a wide selection of lunch and dinner options.
The tempeh massaman curry packs some serious full flavour and their vegan breakfast is also a local favourite. Don’t forget to try the deep-fried eggplant too for those who are less health conscious!
Alternatively, satisfy your sweet tooth by trying their vegan version of ‘rocky road’ with homemade marshmallows.
For a tasty veggie feed with a side order of sea air, this is one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Melbourne.
Love the gooey stretch of melted cheese, but want it to be plant-based? See our article on Vegan Cheese.
Yong Green Food
Location: 421 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, Melbourne
Another local favourite comes in the form of Yong Green Food. This humble inner-city restaurant specialises in crafting mostly raw, organic dishes from across the globe.
They are also able to cater to any dietary needs including those who are gluten intolerant. The raw nachos, nutty burger and the infamously innovative ‘rawsagne’ are a ‘must’ try.
This is an eatery that understands the value of great cake and dessert. Often underappreciated, particularly those catering to plant-based, gluten-free and dairy-free dietary restrictions, sweet delicacies can finish off a meal perfectly or entice you in for a post-lunch coffee and cake.
We’ve sampled YGF’s delicious desserts: the pecan pie, cheesecake and carrot cake, and can fully vouch for their yumminess.
Editor’s Note: We have recently been informed that Yong Green Food has sadly now closed. This is a great shame as YGF was a wonderful little vegetarian eatery. As this is the case, why not try this great venue instead…?
Location: 15 Hardware Ln, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9663 9890 & 307 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, VIC 3065 Ph: (03) 9486 0066
An Asian fusion restaurant that’s serving Mexican-themed food for Melbourne’s 2023 Food and Wine Festival? It sounds mad, but sign us up!
Apart from the fact that almost anything goes, as long as it tastes good, the other important thing to know about Rice Paper Scissors is that it isn’t solely a plant-based eatery. However, it’s made the cut of our top vegetarian restaurants in Melbourne as it does the pretty incredible Endless Vega-Station.
Save time and make your meals visually appealing with an easy to use vegetable Mandoline Slicer. You can crinkle cut, spiralise, chop and so much more with ease. Click here for more information.
This unmissable event is a fully vegan degustation menu for $69 pp. For this bargain price, you get at least 10 courses of delicious plant-based fare. Even better, this gourmet dining experience takes place takes place away from the regular Rice Paper Scissors venues (where meat is prepared) at Aunty Kim’s House in Collingwood.
Check the Rice Paper Scissors website for deets on upcoming Endless Vega-Station dates and how to book.
Location: 52 Madden Grove, Burnley, Melbourne
Burnley tends to be over-shadowed by it’s neighbouring suburbs of Richmond and Hawthorn when it comes to dining. However, it does boast one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Melbourne.
This vegetarian eatery is sure to boost your serotonin levels! It offers a vast array of sweet and savoury dishes. The staff are incredibly friendly and will cater to any dietary requirements that you may have.
The Raw Green Protein Bowl and Smiling Smashed Avo are wonderfully uplifting and you can warm your insides further with a ginger or peanut butter latte too.
This is a favourite cafe of mine. This part of the city is a well-kept secret, finding parking for the car is not difficult, and there’s a delightful park opposite to sit outside with your post-lunch coffee. And vibrant, eclectic Swan Street in Richmond is also an easy 5 min walk away.
As well as being largely gluten-free, many of the dishes at La Cabra Mexican are either vegetarian or vegan. Or they can be adapted so that they are.
The Vegan Shack
Location: 264 Swan Street, Richmond, VIC 3121 / Mon-Fri 7.30am – 3pm, Weekends 8.00am – 3.30pm
This lovely cafe, in Swan Street, Richmond, is only a five minute walk from Serotonin, .
The Vegan Shack evolved from the much-loved food truck, Rawbeet, that delighted many a plant-based diner at festivals and events around Melbourne.
The Vegan Shack eatery has been an instant hit with Richmond locals, with its ‘plants with attitude‘ vibe and organic, healthy and delicious food.
Expect awesome rainbow sandwiches, blends, specialty coffee and naughty little treats that are scrumptious for you and good for the environment. The Vegan Shack caters for all allergies and dietary restrictions: vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, fructose friendly, refined sugar-free, grain free.
You can choose to dine in the humble cafe or take something pre-made home with you.
100% Cruelty free business with the passion and drive to change the way humans eat and breathe on planet earth.
Editor’s Note: The Vegan Shack has been reported as temporarily closed.
Location: 234 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, Melbourne
Trippy Taco are entirely vegetarian with delicious vegan options available for each item on the menu. The Mexican food available doesn’t lose any of its flavouring by not containing meat.
The scrambled tofu and soy cheese burritos are packed full of punchy spice and enigmatic essence. The cheesy quesadillas and vegan tacos are equally as stunning! Give them a try and see if Trippy Taco gets your thumbs up as one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Melbourne.
Location: 406 Smith St, Collingwood, Melbourne
Red Sparrow Pizza is a vegan-friendly Pizzeria that crafts beautiful wood-oven pizzas. They are abundantly cheesy and the authentic, wood-oven taste is unmatched.
These days, there are some fantastic home Pizza Ovens on the market. Whether you want a fully-blown wood-fired oven in your garden or a simple electric one that you can sit on your kitchen work top, we’ve got something for you. Click here for more information and prices.
Their vast range of wholly vegan-friendly pizzas rivals any meat-based pizza restaurant in Melbourne and the positive reviews reinforce this.
Of course, you could always make your own with our Paleo Vegan Pizza Recipes
Location: 28 Degraves St, Melbourne 3000 / Tel: (03) 9654 5157
The Organic Food and Wine Deli (TOWD) has been a Melbourne CBD institution for vegans and vegetarians more than two decades.
The Organic Food and Wine Deli offers take home meals for people on the run, as well as a delicious range of wheat-free and gluten-free pies, salads, sandwiches, curries, soups, nori, vegan burgers, wraps and cakes. The deli products you see on the shelves are are the same ingredients that the chefs cook with.
TOFWD also likes to keep it seasonal.
This combination of wine shop, deli and casual eatery is a winning combination. Two of our favourite recent finds, Harvest Food & Wine in Bendigo and Winespeake in Daylesford, work to a similar format (though they are not vegetarian eateries).
TOFWD is a favourite lunch time haunt for CBD workers, who can choose from a wide range of healthy, organic fresh produce to take back to their desks, or sit outside munching and people watching.
The display cabinet is a smorgasbord of savoury pies, baked goods and cakes, prepared salads and other daily specials. All are fresh, reasonably priced and the majority are vegan-friendly.
TOFWD caters to the following dietary requirements: wheat free (WF), sugar free (SF), dairy free (DF), gluten free (GF), vegan (VG) and vegetarian (VEG). If a product is noted vegan, it is automatically dairy free.
The coffee is of a good standard, and the Organic Food and Wine Deli uses Melbourne-based, Clark St Coffee Roasters, as their preferred coffee roaster.
Clark St Coffee Roasters has a commitment to ensuring social, environmental and economic sustainability. This includes compostable packaging, transparent direct sourcing strategy and building strong relationships with growers at origin.
Editors Note: Unfortunately, we have recently heard that TOFWD is now closed.
Location: 201-203 Faraday St, Carlton, Melbourne
Shakhari is considered a candidate for the most uniquely innovative restaurant in Melbourne. It has been catering to vegan-diners since 1972 and has firmly cemented itself as a warrior in the vegetarian/vegan scene.
Shakahari incorporates Indian and Japanese cuisine, offering a wide range of flavoursome food. The laksa curry and mouth watering avocado wedges are incredible and the delicious dumplings contain sweet corn, pumpkin, mushroom and walnuts.
Location: 10/242 Victoria St, Richmond, Melbourne
This restaurant may be more recognisable to the eager traveller as it boasts 200+ franchises across the world. It is therefore not too over-priced and you are guaranteed some familiarity with the delicious vegan bites that are on offer.
It’s pan-Asian range of mock meats are deliciously packed with flavour and the ‘ham’ sushi and southern-fried ‘chicken’ will warm your stomach on a hangover!
This food is packed full of heart and sustenance and the restaurant also contains a grocery section where you can buy it’s one-of-a-kind vegan and vegetarian food.
Recommended reading: The 15 Best Vegetarian Restaurants In Sydney
Location: 175 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, Melbourne
This restaurant is Melbourne’s first all-vegan Latino restaurant and was opened around two years ago. It’s beautifully crafted food and flavoursome dishes have enabled it to quickly become an overnight success.
Owner/chef Shannon Martinez is passionate about changing people’s perceptions around vegan food and is set on putting them right, one tasty dish at a time.
This restaurant serves some of the realest tasting imitation meat in the whole city and the chipotle chicken burger and the garlic prawns are as good as, if not better, than the real thing.
Location: Ovolo South Yarra, 234 Toorak Rd, South Yarra, VIC 3141 Ph: (03) 9116 2000
Funky sister establishment to the aforementioned Smith And Daughters, Lona Misa sits proudly within South Yarra’s swish Ovolo Hotel. And if that isn’t a sign that plant-based dining hasn’t broken into mainstream dining, we don’t know what is.
The effervescent Shannon Martinez is once again leading the kitchen with a vibrant take on Latin-inspired ‘root to stem’ dishes. And pleasingly, the flavours of the menu re as bold as the decor of the dining room.
Open all day, you could do worse than pop in for the Queso Con Chorizo ($22) starring spicy Bloom Providore Chorizo. Although, if you’ve got and appetite, we recommend the Tacu Tacu Eggplant with Queso Fresco & Herbs ($32).
Alternatively, just nip in for a drink and a nibble. But be warned – the Picante Cocktail ($22) featuring Spicy Blanco, Agave, Ancho Chilli & Lime is seriously addictive!
There are a number of Ramen joints across town that do amazing bowls of vegan-friendly soupy noodles. For more information, see our piece on the Best Places for Ramen in Melbourne.
New Location: 47-51 Boundary Rd, North Melbourne, VIC 3051
It may have moved on from Fitzroy, but this fabulous place is definitely one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Melbourne. After all, everything is made on the premises.
Moroccan Soup Bar boasts a distinctively cool and original menu that takes the form of a spoken menu. There is no set menu and the options change on a daily basis.
This guarantees the diner a fresh experimental experience and although you can only order what is available for that day, there is still an extensive variety of options available.
These soups often also include dips and curried veggies plus a gorgeous stack of homemade warm pitta bread.
Middle Eastern and North African cuisines have many dishes that are vegetarian and vegan-friendly. The dishes are perfect for sharing and are fresh, zesty and healthy.
Billy And Lucy Botanic
Location: 350 Nicholson St, Fitzroy, Melbourne
This restaurant is relatively new on Melbourne’s vegetarian scene, however, it has already had a considerable impact. All of the food sold here is organic and hand crafted from scratch, including the vegan-friendly butter.
The potato gnocchi and buckwheat crepes will be sure to have you salivating. The savoury gnocchi is served with a gorgeous cauliflower puree and the crepes come with a moreish praline sauce.
Location: 10/161 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands, Melbourne
Last but not least, Mama Rumaan boasts luxurious Middle Eastern cuisine. The food contains all of the enigmatic essence of Middle Eastern food, and the herbs and spices are infused with immaculate precision.
One recommended dish is Mama’s Old Spice Rice which contains slivered almonds, sultanas, potatoes and peas. The Roast Pumpkin Bourani is also notably delicious and comes served with mint and yoghurt dressing.
The restaurants hightlighted above are just some of the many vegetarian eateries in Melbourne. Their quality food, inventive dishes and warm customer service makes them stand out in a crowded market.
Make a booking and indulge your hunger without guilt. You will be helping support Melbourne’s finest, plant-based establishments.