VEGETARIAN eats aren’t just for those who have sworn off meat. Foodie Madeleine McCarty has five veggie eateries that are good enough to tempt even the committed carnivore.
380 Brunswick Street Fitzroy
A mecca for vegetarians, vegans and raw foodies alike, this Brunswick Street eatery is always busy. The food is so appetizing it’s gets more than it’s fair share of omnivores customers singing its praise. Vegie Bar serves the sorts of food you’d find in your typical restaurant with a delightful veggie twist. Highlights include nachos with all the trimmings, tasty risottos, and marinated mushrooms with quinoa. Vegie Bar is also famous for incorporating the “body, mind, and soul” in every dish!
Lentil As Anything
1-3 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford/ 233 Barkly Street, Footscray/41 Blessington Street, St Kilda
The fun doesn’t stop at the pun in this restaurant’s name! Lentil As Anything is the sort of place that doesn’t stop giving. The restaurant has a “pay as you feel” approach, which literally means you only pay as much as you think you meal is worth. The ever changing menu also caters for most dietary requirements including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free. With locations in Abbotsford, Footscray and St. Kilda there is no excuse to miss out on this enjoyable buffet-style experience!
Lord of the Fries
9a/26 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
The third, coincidentally also pun-y, eatery is not the healthiest of the bunch, but it’s sinfully delicious. Lord of the Fries is a Melbourne-based franchise that offers a burger and (you got it) fries experience with a difference! What makes it stand out from other burger joints, however, is that everything is vegetarian (and can be made vegan). I love taking my omnivore friends here and seeing the looks on their faces when they bite into their ‘beef’ burger only for me to tell them that it’s not actually meat. The other highlight of LOTF is the sauces, which come in a variety of different flavours inspired from the cuisines of the world.
139 Swanston Street
Gopals is a relatively new addition to my vegetarian repertoire. Located upstairs on Swanston Street in the CBD, it is a vegetarian sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the city below. The restaurant, which offers Indian-style cuisine, has a calm and soothing feel to it and is decorated with Hindu motifs and deities. The cheap cafeteria-style dining holds a certain homey appeal and offers a selection of curries, dahl, salads and deep fried delicacies.
Yong Green Food
421 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
This place is my most recent vegetarian experience. Yong Green is renowned for it’s raw food and my tastebuds are delighted every time I go there. On my most recent excursion, a friend and I tried the rawsagna and the nutty burger with the Mexican chili beans (non raw), followed by the raw blueberry cheesecake. The food was scrumptious as it incorporates raw, fresh flavours that hit you more intensely than typical cooked food in my opinion. If you’re really hungry though, you might have to order more as the portions we received weren’t that large. Overall, I was still satisfied.
Do you have any restaurants to add to the list? Share your suggestions below.