Spoilt for choice eating out in Melbourne – but what if your clients are vegetarian?
Melbourne is famous for classy cafes and sophisticated dining.
The number of excellent restaurants is overwhelming with fabulous food from every cuisine. Recommendations I received from locals included Cumulus Inc. Movida Next Door, The European, Baccaro, CODA to name a few, and I loved the food in those I was able to try.
However, with the exception of breakfast, the menus offered little or no choice for my vegetarian colleagues.
Always Check Food Preferences
Before dining with clients, it is essential to ask if they have any special food requirements. A bit of research on Melbourne restaurants produced a host of menus with meat and fish dishes, but often only one token vegetarian dish.
To find restaurants with menus featuring a decent selection tasty vegetarian dishes, it was necessary to travel beyond the central business district. Melbourne is simple to navigate, the city centre layout is a grid, and the trams are easy to use, with payment by the local MyKi travel card.
Pizza and Pasta
Lygon Street, the little Italy of inner Northern Melbourne is a great place to seek out authentic Italian cuisine. Pizza, pasta and risotto are perfect for providing vegetarian options in a setting created for the omnivores. The food was excellent and the bustle and ambience vibrant, and yet so many dishes contained a bit of bacon or anchovy, the choice for the vegetarians was still limited.
St Kilda was another recommendation for Italian cuisine, and cakes! The tram is the best way to travel, and the sea side suburb is a jostle of cafes and bars. The Italian restaurant on Acland St had warm lovely staff, and delicious, sometimes vegetarian salads and pastas.
The cake shops have a jaw dropping array of colourful delights, window shopping at its best!
Brunswick Street, Fitzroy is a treat to explore, lots of cafes and pretty vintage clothing stores and a choice of great vegetarian restaurants. The Vegie Bar is a huge buzzy restaurant with a large menu and fresh tasty dishes including choices for the vegans and ‘raw’ food fans.
Madame K’s Vegetarian Cafe just across the road has a delicious choice of Asian cuisine. I loved the food and loved the area, but while these restaurants are fabulous for the vegetarians, it’s the omnivores who have to compromise here.
Melbourne cafes excel at breakfast, for groovy atmosphere, great coffee and the best range of sweet and savoury options for most dietary preferences.
Lunch is safe with salads – plenty of choice and easy to adapt if necessary.
Dinner for the vegetarian is best outside the CBD, or check the menu first. Vegetarian dining tends to be full of healthy food, so a good choice for all of us, some of the time.