I realise that I am about to spark a bit of outrage here by my Sydney dwelling friends, and I must preface this by saying that I was not born or have ever lived in Melbourne. But when I started blogging I realised that the truth must be told and here it goes….. Melbourne takes the win for a plant based foodie’s paradise. Sorry Sydney folk.
Living in the warmer climate just south of Sydney people think I am absolutely crazy when every year with much anticipation and boundless enthusiasm I fly to Melbourne in winter. What is strange to anyone that knows me, is that I actually hate the cold…..but as the head knows there is nothing logical about a love affair and the flutter that you feel when your heart is filled with the passion of true love.
I love food and I take my food very seriously. To me great food is a balance between making your taste buds light up like a firework display, whilst still providing you with nourishment and vitality. Food is not about restriction and counting numbers but rather finding options that blend great taste with nutrient density.
For all these reasons I brave the temperamental Melbourne weather and pack my down jacket for a long weekend of delicious food and soul nourishing time out.
It is time that I stop keeping secrets and share my adventures for the betterment of everyone’s tastebuds.
So here it is…. my top Melbourne Plant Based Foodie picks that will have you booking your next trip to Melbourne no matter what the weather forecast is.
If you are like me and always wake up with an appetite for breakfast I can’t pick between these two amazing cafes. To chose a favourite would be like getting a mother to pick her favourite child. Serotonin Eatery and Urban Projuice are both incredible.
Serotonin Eatery is a plant based cafe providing foods that they claim “regulate neurotransmitters and hormone activity within our bodies, keeping our mood and gut happy”. I can definitely say that every time I am there I am one very happy little herbivore. Their menu boasts everything from specialty lattes like the ‘Peanut Butter Latte’….. let me pause here to let you drool. With menu items like ‘Positive Pancakes’ and the ‘Nutrition Bomb’ you know that you are walking out the door with a smile and plans to return as soon as possible.
The Nutrition Bomb.
This really was like a flavour bomb going off in my mouth. It left me feeling so content with healthy wholegrains like brown rice and quinoa, broccoli, kale, housemade hummus, warm roasted vegies topped with nuts/seeds and pickled vegetables….Holy wow, I experienced a miracle!
Urban Projuice is a gorgeous little wholefood cafe and juice bar in Albert Park. The taste sensations that they create here must be from the produce that is locally grown, seasonal, fair-trade and organic where possible. They have created a lovely menu with lots of options to make options that are: vegan, gluten free and even raw. Everything is presented with the most gorgeous fresh ingredients and my ‘Breakfast Salad’ was absolutely incredible….who knew salads are a breakfast food. I will be eating breakfast salads more often now! Urban Projuice has a comprehensive drinks menu and the house made almond milk was fantastic in my morning caffeine hit.
Best Juices and Snacks:
If you find yourself in Melbourne and are staying in or near the CBD you really cannot beat the deliciously fresh and vitamin bursting juices at Green Press.
I found this lovely little juice bar a few years ago. A Melbourne adventure is never complete without a visit and bag full of goodies to take with me. I really can’t describe it better than the team at Green Press….. “the eatery caters to all and every intolerance, showing Australia that you don’t need dairy for protein, nor sugar for sweetness or comfort”. These guys have such a refreshing approach to health providing “Real food. Real flavour. No bullshit.”
Their sense of humour and passion is so obvious in their clever fruit and vegie puns with juices like: Kaling Me Softly and the spicy Cayenne West. What is not to love when your juice comes with a side of smiles?
It really KALES me to see people with juices filled with added sugar and fruit juice concentrate because LETTUCE be honest you can’t BEET Green Press for nourishing juices and snacks.
Without a doubt my first love is great food. However, in the spirit of full disclosure I am also a bit of an athleisure wear junkie, a trip to Melbourne cannot be avoided without a spot of shopping. To make sure that I am fully fuelled for shopping express style (which can be quite the cardio workout)….to stop Mr Powered by Vegies getting bored and noticing that my credit card gets more hits than a Youtube video full of cats. I have found the perfect CBD lunch stop:
Laneway Greens is a little gem.
This place has nourishing salads with interesting flavour combinations. They are definitely not the usual handful of leaves and sprinkle of vegies kind of salad. The people at Laneway Greens serve hearty and delicious options for plant based eaters that want a filling and healthy lunch option.
I chose the incredible roasted pumpkin salad with house made hummus & hazelnut dukkah, served with warm flatbread. To illustrate how good it was Mr Powered by Vegies although a plant based foodie like myself, usually steers clear of salads as he is always left wanting more. He polished off his salad and was thoroughly impressed by the serving size and wonderful flavours. Laneway Greens also have incredible smoothies and nutrient bowls like the Macadamia and Buckini Granola Bowl. They are super friendly and accommodating to different dietary needs, with the added bonus of being in close range of some of the best shopping and CBD experiences.
Do yourself a favour and don’t bypass Laneway Greens next time you are near Flinders Lane and require a pit stop for some quick fresh food that doesn’t compromise on taste.
The new kid on the block……
I couldn’t wait to try out Matcha Mylk Bar which is the newest and most hyped café opening on social media.
My verdict…. Matcha Mylkbar definitely lives up to the hype! I absolutely loved the whole concept. These guys are advocates for a more balanced, less meat-heavy diet. They have a super exciting menu with everything from breakfast bowls to a rainbow of different coloured lattes. My personal favourite where the Longevity Bowls, the concept comes from the 5 cities on earth considered to have the highest percentage of people that live to 100. The common factor among these “Blue Zones”is a plant based diet. Each bowl contains foods and flavours from places like Okinawa Japan, Sardinia Italy, Loma Linda California, Ikaria Greece and The Nicoya Peninsula Costa Rica.
Both Mr Powered by Vegies and I enjoyed a fresh and super healthy longevity bowl. The Loma Linda bowl and Sardinia bowls were fantastic. We savoured every mouthful of pure deliciousness. This is a must stop for anyone who thinks plant based eating is boring.
My go to places for a great feed with incredible flavours and loads of yummy options is Sister of Soul and the infamous Vegie Bar. No trip is complete without Sister of Soul’s Green Sister Stir-fry with lashings of tahini sauce or Vegie Bar’s Raw Pad Thai.
As I board my plane back to Sydney with a tear in my eye I know that my next trip back to my favourite Australian city is never too far away. Farewell Melbourne and all the delicious and health promoting wholefood options it won’t be long till I am back again soon.