Australian news broadcaster SBS recently reported that Australia is the third fastest growing vegan market in the world. And, according to the non-profit website Choose Veg, Melbourne is the second most vegan-friendly city in its ranking of the 12 most vegan-friendly cities globally. It’s no wonder that Melbourne is Australia’s paradise for vegan travellers, particularly during this current month of Veganuary.
So, what makes Melbourne so special for visitors who are vegan and choose to travel here? Read on to find what makes Melbourne so special for vegan travellers, including links to my own tried and tested research.
Melbourne is home to a vast multicultural vegan community
Melbourne is a melting pot of culture and you can find cuisine from almost every corner of the globe here. Italian cuisine is ever-so-popular and you can’t go past some of the best pizzas around town in their vegan versions. If you happen to be in Melbourne for Chinese New Year, then try some of the best vegan Chinese dishes on one of the most important (and festive) dates on the Chinese calendar. Argentinian food is on the rise in Melbourne, and you’re sure to find a restaurant that will have a few vegan options on their menu. Another crowd-pleaser in Melbourne is Vietnamese cuisine, packed with authentic flavours and vegan versions of your favourite Vietnamese dishes. If you’ve never experienced an English High Tea, then check out the vegan version at Street Organics. For a historic dinner, then you need to try Shakahari; Melbourne’s first vegetarian restaurant. Yes, the vegan options are abound here, too.
Vegan fine-dining is a thing in Melbourne
Vegan food has had its fair share of criticism over the years, with many lamenting that it’s all just chickpeas and tofu. However, it’s what you do with said chickpeas and tofu that can surprise you, and renowned chefs around Melbourne are embracing vegan cuisine as part of the fine-dining experience. Special vegan nights are popping up around town, from the inner fringes of Melbourne’s central business district to the outer edges including The Dandenongs or the wine-lovers’ region of the Yarra Valley. There are many ways you can experience vegan food over multiple breath-taking courses among stunning surrounds. Special occasions like Valentine’s Day needn’t be underwhelming.
There are a lot of vegan desserts to eat in Melbourne, particularly raw ones…
All your travelling around Melbourne can bring on some serious sweet cravings. There are numerous locales around town that will satisfy your sweet tooth, all within easy reach by car or public transport.
Then wash it down with good coffee
Melbourne is known the world over for its cafe and coffee culture, which stemmed from the wave of Italian immigration to the city decades ago. You’d be hard-pressed to find a city so dedicated to superior-quality coffee anywhere else in the world, outside of Italy. My suggestion is to order a soy latte – one shot of espresso with steamed soy milk poured over the top, creating a centimetre of soy crema to circumnavigate the rim of the latte glass. Add sugar as much as you wish, though I prefer to go without these days.
Discover the endless vegan daytrips and walking tours Melbourne has to offer
What better way to explore Melbourne and its vegan scene than with a daytrip to some of the most gorgeous spots around the city. Getting back to nature, or getting back to vegan food, can punctuate the perfect vegan daytrip after a little research and forward-planning. If you’re new to the city and want someone else to do the research for you, then book a walking tour with one of Melbourne’s vegan walking tour companies. For a sneak peek of some of the most sought-after vegan purveyors and creators in Melbourne, then head to one of Melbourne’s vegan markets. There is a scrolling number of dates every year, from monthly to annual markets.
Or why not throw in a vegan weekend, too…
Melbourne is also host to a series of food truck parks around town, and selected weekends feature on their calendars for vegetarian and vegan only food. This is another way to sample some of the best vegan food vendors Melbourne has to offer.
For the ultimate vegan day out, experience Vegan Day Out, a weekend hosted by The Cruelty Free Shop in Fitzroy. Fitzroy is a vegan paradise within a vegan paradise. Simply grab a map from the Shop and eat your way around neighbouring businesses offering vegan specials throughout the weekend. You can stock up on vegan supplies at the Shop, too. Vegan Day Out occurs a couple of times a year so it’s best to research the date ahead of time.
If you’d prefer to drive past the city limits, then choose one from the handful of vegan Bed & Breakfasts for a quick vegan getaway. From Forest Haven B&B, to The Beet Retreat, Hilltop Hooves or Bed & Broccoli, there’s a vegan B&B destination waiting for you.
So, have you explored Melbourne’s thriving vegan scene? If you have, be sure to share your tips in the comments below. If you haven’t experienced Melbourne yet, be sure to come and experience the city for yourself!
Resources and Extra Reading
Read more about Veganuary over at SBS and how you could go vegan for a month:
Visit the Veganuary website for further resources:
Learn more about the 12 most vegan-friendly cities around the world, according to Choose Veg:
Check out the Fire & Tea Aussie Vegan Directory and discover all the places you can visit around the country where you can eat vegan, including Melbourne (all tried and tested by me!):
Disclaimer: Justine de Jonge at Fire & Tea did not receive any payments or free products in exchange for the views expressed in this blog post.