Melbourne has been at the forefront of vegan cuisine for years now. Trying to figure out how to navigate the city and its seemingly boundless vegan offerings is a tremendous task, so we’ve put together a little list of places we adore.

Smith & Deli
Fitzroy

The home of perhaps the greatest vegan sandwich selections in Australia. Smith & Deli is the crème de la crème of cruelty-free deli’s. Their sambos are, without a hint of hyperbole, orgasmic. Every time I touch down in Melbourne my first order of business is to hotfoot it to Smith & Deli to indulge in a Godfather 2. If you fancy a full dining experience their sister restaurant Smith & Daughters is right around the corner.

The Cornish Arms
Brunswick

The Cornish Arms boasts probably the most extensive vegan-friendly pub grub in Melbourne. The menu has vegan iterations of a number classic pub favourites; think schnitty’s, fish & chips, gluttonous burgers and souvlaki. There’s also a number of excellent vegan wines on offer. If you’ve got friends in your life that won’t be conned into eating meat-free, there’s an ample selection of carnivorous options for their noshing pleasure.

Gong De Lin
Preston, CBD

One of the finest vegan Chinese restaurants Melbourne has to offer. Gong De Lin has 2 restaurants, one in the CBD and another in Box Hill. The menu is comprised of the usual suspects you’d expect from a traditional Chinese restaurant. They also make their mock meat out of “beans”, which is a saving grace for those who are cursed with gluten intolerance, or just feel bogged down after indulging in wheat-based mock meat. We recommend indulging in The Spicy Tofu Hot Pot, next level deliciousness.

New Day Rising
Brunswick East

This hole-in-the-wall cafe is home to quite possibly my favourite bagels in the country. Grab yourself a fine schmear and a Five Senses coffee. Whilst not strictly vegan, there’s a bunch of excellent bagels and other delicious breakfast offerings that’ll cater to your desires. The coconut bacon is something I will think about until the day I die.

Kevabs Brunswick
Brunswick

I don’t need to do much in the way of convincing when it comes to Kevabs; A vegan kebab joint is a faultless mission statement, nothing hits better. In addition to kebabs there are vegan boreks, and a plant-based version of the hallowed halal snack pack. Wash it down with a punch Turkish coffee and baklava.

Shoku Iku
Northcote

The perfect place to head if you crave something a little decadent sans the guilt. Shoku Iku specialises in raw, organic foods. Think sumptuous banana pancakes with activated Nutella and vegan-friendly cream. If you head there for brunch you’ll find a delicate kelp noodle dishes, vegan tacos and salads galore.

Red Sparrow Pizza
Collingwood

Melbourne’s first dedicated vegan pizzeria. This Collingwood institution offers wood-fired za’s that are charred to perfection. I’m of the belief that the best pizza’s in life are those without a shred of cheese, just a perfect base, sumptuous tomato sauce and fine olive oil. Though if you’ve got a taste for more elaborate pizza’s they’ve got you covered too.