Vegetarian Dining in Melbourne, Australia

Spoilt for choice eating out in Melbourne – but what if your clients are vegetarian?Green Fettucine

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.

Go off the Beaten Track Mutter Paneer

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.

SMelbourne cake shopt 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!

Pure Veggie

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.

Breakfast Works BestVegetarian Breakfast iStock_000055584586_Small

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.

Author: Carol Sadler PhD
Carol is a Nutrition Consultant. She counsels in diet and lifestyle change at Surrey Cardiovascular Clinic where clients have been referred by the clinic cardiologists. Prior to this Carol worked in private practice in Dubai for nine years, where she had various media engagements including Emirates Radio 2 Lifestyle Show monthly ‘phone-in’ on nutrition topics; Gulf News Friday Magazine (weekend supplement) monthly nutrition letter answered; City7 TV appearances on Breakfast Television and Lifestyle Show commenting on nutrition topics. Contributions to local magazines, and organizations, eg Rheumatoid Arthritis Group, Grazia Magazine, Living in the Gulf magazine. She continues to write nutrition articles and blogs, recently writing for Reader’s Digest, and HASTE Academy heart health charity and provides talks on diet issues. Carol is a member of The Nutrition Society, a Registered Nutritionist at the Association for Nutrition, Registration No. 912 and a member of SENSE (self employed consultant Nutritionists group for professional development).

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