What’s Trending in Melbourne: Eating Vegan
Article & Photography by Jessica Percy-Campbell
Gorgeous weather, high-end coffee culture and innovative culinary trends are just a few reasons why Melbourne has been named one of the world’s most livable cities. With an influx of veggie-friendly restaurants popping up everywhere you look, creative vegan cuisine is what’s hot in Melbourne right now. To prove it, Melbourne’s Big Vegan Market was a massive success this year, with over 10,000 guests and 150 vendors displaying a wide range of plant-based items including skincare products, organic clothing, home décor, speciality meals and desserts.
Melbourne Café Culture
One fabulous tourist destination is St. Kilda, and not only for its wild penguins, kite surfers, and sunset views along the pier, but also for brunch! Brunch is all the rage in Melbourne, and with so many locally owned cafes, each one brings something unique to the table. Matcha Mylk Bar offers plant-based poached “eggs” made from coconut, turmeric and sweet potato. They taste a little sweeter, but look just like the real thing, runny yellow yolk and all. For those who love to indulge, this café serves Mr. and Mrs. Banks cruffins, a hybrid between a croissant and a muffin stuffed with hazelnut chocolate filling.
Richmond’s Serotonin takes a holistic approach to healthy living and thematically revolves its menu around the concept of happiness itself. Melbourne takes coffee very seriously, but here, the cappuccinos are served with smiling faces drawn into the foam. Like every other dish on the menu, the frozen Galaxy Acai Bowl incorporates all colors of the rainbow. Sit in a swing by the window surrounded by greenery, or take a picnic basket out into the park across the road and enjoy the sunshine.
Fitzroy is for Foodies
At the heart of the vegan community is Fitzroy, a fashionable inner suburb not far from the Central Business District (CBD). An extremely popular take-away lunch spot is Smith and Deli. Picture the Aussie version of New York style sandwiches filled with a huge variety of deli “meats”, “cheeses”, and “eggs” on freshly baked sourdough. Around the corner is their sister location Smith and Daughters, a self-proclaimed “vegan bar and eatery with a rock and roll vibe” specializing in traditional Spanish dishes such as “sausage” empanadas and “seafood” stew.
Down the block there’s Vegie Bar for tacos, burritos, and gourmet pizza; and Girls & Boys for dessert, with dairy-free gelato, sorbet, soft-serve, doughnuts and pumpkin pie. All vegan and all without the use of refined sugar, this little sweet shop caters to nut allergies and gluten intolerance as well.
Taking the reigns as a world-class destination for Instagram-worthy cuisine, the sheer number of extraordinary choices is reason enough for anyone to visit Melbourne. For an optimal snowbird vacation, travel to Australia in their summer months of December – February and explore as many cafes as possible.
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For more vegan-friendly spots around the world: www.veganvacationista.com