Each month, Vegan Life Magazine gives me loads of inspiration to cook delicious meals at home. The magazine also inspires my wanderlust so I can head out and find those new places around Melbourne. After reading their review of a lovely, little organic eatery in the UK (complete with dining courtyard), it was clear that my Vegan Day Out on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy had to be planned around copious amounts of eating and outdoors!
Vegan Day Out has now grown into an annual affair where some of Brunswick Street’s businesses participate in a day filled with an array of vegan treats and wares to share. Vegans all over Melbourne come to the eclectic and artistic inner city suburb of Fitzroy for the event. Some long-staying vegetarian establishments feature their vegan menu items on the day, though it’s the vendors who don’t normally stock vegan diet options that bring cheers all round from me. There are some spots on Brunswick Street that I used to frequent before my diet change, so it’s lovely to revisit these haunts and enjoy them yet again.
10.00am: Brunch at Transformer Fitzroy
After parking the car and gathering our Vegan Day Out map from The Cruelty Free Shop, we’re led to the vegetarian destination Transformer Fitzroy. This old transformer warehouse-come-eating venue is tucked just off the main strip in Rose Street and serves up gorgeous breakfast items including the un-passable Indian Crumpets. These floaty rounds are topped with cherry tomatoes, avocado, sprouted greens, plant-based yoghurt and rich chutney that result in a different, and delicious, breakfast choice. These aren’t your stock-standard English style crumpets. Think fluffy pikelets with an Indian-inspired twist that can only be expected in a suburb that loves to break the rules. Even my apple cider vinegar mocktail, freshly chilled by ice and a fan of sliced apple, goes with my breakfast choice. I sip my glass while basking in Transformer Fitzroy’s serene courtyard. With my welcomed Vegan Day Out discount at the end of the meal, my bill is a little lighter too. Another highlight of the day – discounts and specials are aplenty.
11.30am to 12 noon: Lazy wanders along Brunswick Street
With any eat-a-thon, an urban traveller needs to walk off the previous meal. What better way than to peruse Brunswick Street’s sights and shops. Along the strip, pedestrians striding in the mid-morning sun admire street art murals, the local garden nursery and inviting mosaic public seats. In between there’s The Cruelty Free Shop to provide ample shopping and food tastings for vegans wanting to stock up with plant-based, cruelty-free grocery items like cheeses and chocolate. A new find, TOMS imajine sells ethically-sound footwear for socially and environmentally conscious customers (some styles are vegan). What’s wonderful about this business is that every sale helps to supply one pair of shoes being given to someone in need in over 70 countries. Water giving initiatives, safe birthing and restoring sight are more ways through which TOMS gives back to communities less fortunate.
12 noon: A Lunch Date at Naked For Satan
While I enjoyed this nightspot as a non-vegan years ago, Naked For Satan's lazier lunch session meant I could return to try their vegan choices. What I love about Naked For Satan is its Basque bar digs – cast-iron candelabra, centrefold-inspired wallpapers, antique alcohol memorabilia and its sprawling bar filled with infused vodkas. Along the bar, hungry patrons can pile a plate of the Spanish specialty pintxos – snacks of crusty bread piled with toppings and all spiked together with a toothpick. There’s a vast choice of vegan pintxos to purchase today, all topped with roasted vegetables, olives, black-eyed peas and vegan-friendly pestos. At $1 each, I succumb to trying them all.
1.30pm: Sweet Treats at Rue de Creperie
The beauty of Naked For Satan’s pintxos is that they’ll leave you full, but not too bursting. This is when the sweet tooth calls for a post-meal treat. Rue de Creperie is a little French crepe café, offering freshly-made savoury or sweet crepes with a long list of topping choices and its own vegan crepe menu. Patrons can watch the crepes being made from the counter, then pull up a wooden stool to enjoy their choices hot from the griddle. My choice is my ever-favourite Pear Belle, a spiced and chilled poached pear sitting on top a delicately folded crepe and drizzled in chocolate, almond flakes and a scoop of soy icecream. I choose a soothing pot of pomegranate tea to make the day complete, and I scored a vegan's 10% discount.
Have you had your own day out filled with so much incredible food as this? You can still grab a copy of Issue 9 of Vegan Life Magazine if you need more inspiration for mapping out your own journey. Subscription and subscription packages can be purchased too.
Disclaimer: I was supplied with a free digital copy of Issue 9 of Vegan Life Magazine.