Fitzroy: The Vegan Heartland of Melbourne
If you’re a vegan traveller, you want to explore a new destination and eat in confidence. Food is a huge part of this confidence and it’s important that there are enough food places to try. Local food delivers a sense of place and culture, and culture can still be experienced from a vegan perspective.
Recently, travel website Globehunters decided to find out which cities around the world are the most vegan-friendly. After surveying 70 of the most visited cities around the world, Globehunters was able to rank each city. In the Top 10, as reported by Travel Weekly, Melbourne in Australia was ranked the third most vegan-friendly city.
Melbourne is one of Australia’s most vegan-friendly cities, thanks to the inner-city suburb of Fitzroy. Fitzroy is a brooding and bustling vegan hub filled with restaurants, cafes, bars and live music venues. You can experience Melbourne’s vegan food culture by visiting Fitzroy while satisfying your vegan hunger.
What is great about Fitzroy is that most venues are open early until late. You can start your day with a vegan brunch at Transformer Fitzroy, a warehouse space that’s been transformed into an eco-friendly eating space. Seasonal produce features across the vegan-friendly menu, and the venue prides itself on buying produce from small-scale growers.
What accentuates Melbourne’s food scene is its multicultural scope. You can find almost any cuisine in Melbourne, and Fitzroy showcases Melbourne’s favourites. Fina’s Vegetarian Café will offer you healthy vegan options for lunch, and authentic Vietnamese flavours in vegan dishes.
Radhey Kitchen and Chai Bar serves “soul-conscious” vegetarian and vegan food and specialises in house-made chai and teas. Burgers, wraps, subs and toasties all have an Indian flair to them.
If you’re seeking a raw food option, then Yong Green Food is your go-to. Yong Green Food specialises in contemporary Asian cuisine in raw form, from Thai, Japanese and Korean meals.
Euro Kitchen Vegan Restaurant is an all-vegan European-inspired restaurant that serves an array of home-style meals with European roots. All dishes represent a number of countries and regions in Europe, that are full taste, flavour and traditional character.
At Smith & Daughters, award winning chef Shannon Martinez is committed to creating delicious food and breaking stereotypes that vegan food is dull. This all-vegan establishment is housed in a bluestone building that was once Fitzroy’s oldest pub. Smith & Daughters are currently serving Italian fare.
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If you’re eager to try some Israeli food, Tahina is a modern vegetarian Israeli restaurant with many vegan options. Israeli food has loads of vegetarian dishes that are easily veganised. You can find wholesome, plant based foods here.
Do you need a non-refined sugar hit? Then Girls & Boys can serve you plant-based ice-creams, desserts and smoothies. Girls & Boys specialises vegan gelato and sorbet, an appropriate nod to Melbourne’s historic Italian history.
ON THE GO
If you want to eat and go, then check out the vegan burgers, fries, hot dogs and shakes at Lord of the Fries. This revolutionary fast food outlet started in Melbourne, and has incorporated vegan options in its ethical menu.
Smith & Daughters has extended their commitment to delicious vegan food by establishing Smith & Deli, a deli-style takeaway spot serving massive sandwiches, cakes, pastries, hot and cold drinks. The plethora of handmade mock-meat choices for your sandwiches is overwhelming. Once you receive your order, enjoy it as a picnic in the sun at Menzies Place (only a quick walk away).
Mexican street food with a Southern Californian flare can be found at Trippy Taco. There is a staggering amount of vegan options here, from tacos, quesadillas to burritos and tamales. You can also grab a beer, cocktail or mocktail (even sangria and tequila) to go with your quick meal.
If you’re staying local and dining in, you can buy your vegan food supplies from The Cruelty Free Shop, as well as toiletries, books, homewares, clothing and gifts to take back home. If you’re in town in October, you can join its Vegan Day Out. Vegan Day Out is hosted by The Cruelty Free Shop and runs over two days. You can experience lots of eats, freebies and sales at many of Fitzroy’s vegan-friendly shops and eateries. There are meal deals, two for ones, free coffees, food samplings, discounted vegan groceries and wine tastings.