I’ve been living in Richmond for several months now and spend a lot of time eating out. Therefore, I felt pretty qualified to create this list of the absolute best vegan food the suburb has to offer. Enjoy!
The 100% Vegan Ones
Possibly my favourite restaurant in the whole of Melbourne, I’m so lucky that Sister of Soul is a five minute walk from my apartment in Richmond. Whilst the St Kilda menu is vegetarian, the Richmond branch is 100% vegan and I’ve tried nearly everything on the menu (can confirm it’s all delicious). A lot of my meat-eating friends love Sister of Soul because it’s all about fresh Asian flavours and it doesn’t try to emulate meat dishes. My favourite is the tempeh Massaman curry with roti but I also love the Nasi Goreng and the Sister’s Singapore noodles. Desserts veer away from Asian influences but are nevertheless incredible – a trip to Sister of Soul isn’t complete without ordering the best ever vegan tiramisu.
The Vegan Shack is all about making plants taste insane and they specialise in toasties, burgers & sandwiches. Don’t miss the toasted reuben sandwich on charcoal bread, the incredibly cheesy Plain Jane toastie or the ‘don’t avo go’ toast with cashew ranch and edible flowers.
Fina’s has put a vegan spin on traditional Vietnamese cuisine and their whole menu is plant-based. Picture noodle soup with vegan beef, crispy chick’n with rice, grilled pork rice paper rolls and battered prawns with dipping sauce & peanuts.
Widely considered the best vegan junk food in Australia, Lord of the Fries has conveniently opened a store right in the heart of Richmond and we’re so happy about it. If you haven’t heard of LOTF before, it’s essentially vegan fast food heaven, offering a huge range of dirty burgers, hot dogs, fried chicken & shakes. My all time faves are the biggie burger (like a big mac), the chicken and fries munch box (like kfc) and the deep fried mac & cheese balls – all smothered in the best ever Vietnamese chilli mayo.
Global chain Loving Hut has chosen Richmond as its home in Victoria and cooks up innovative East Asian dishes from its 100% vegan menu. My favourite is the sizzling Mongolian bbq plate with vegan chicken or the Royal Rendang with vegan beef.
One of Melbourne’s only 100% vegan bakeries is found right on our doorstep in Richmond. Tidbit creates custom cakes to order or you can pop in-store to buy freshly baked cupcakes, macarons, slices & cookies.
Veggie & Omnivore Restaurants
Appropriately named, The Tofu Shop is a veggie/vegan buffet-style cafe that lets you choose 5 different stews, curries & roasts to load your bowl with (and they make their own tofu in-store!). Dishes change every day but there’s always a delicious tofu dish on offer, lots of veggie-based options, spiced potato dishes & amazing spring rolls.
Vegan options at 3 Idiots street-style Indian restaurant include vegan bombay sliders, smokey eggplant curry, super popular pumpkin korma, ‘spuds & cauli’ gobi, yellow dhal and vegan garlic roti. The restaurant is small but always busy and their selection of craft beers gets a big yes from me.
Modern Vietnamese cuisine is paired with a wonderfully curated drinks menu at this popular diner on Swan St. I can confirm the food is epic and the atmosphere ain’t half bad either. The dishes are made for sharing – I would strongly recommend getting the hot and sour eggplant claypot with exotic mushroom and the aromatic yellow curry with sweet potato. The stuffed betel leaves & shredded papaya salad with chilli & crushed peanuts are great too.
Latin American bar Onda serves up some pretty unique dishes and offers tons of delicious vegan options like the smoked mushroom ceviche with grapefruit & pink peppercorn, the stuffed red cabbage roulade with black rice & herbs or the maple chipotle glazed eggplant tacos.
I usually go to this old heritage pub at the end of my street because there are always cute dogs seated at the outdoor tables, but then I realised they actually have some brilliant vegan dishes too. For starters try out the potato cakes with white balsamic or the puffed yellow lentil fritters with guac, sweet chilli & roast capsicum puree. Main courses include Mr Singh’s spicy mixed grain curry with aloo tikka, but the best thing on the menu is definitely the stout sticky toffee pudding with warm coconut butterscotch, coconut gelato & honeycomb.
I was very surprised that fish-and-chip-shop chain Hunky Dory had some excellent vegan choices on their menu. First up, their plant-based fishless fillets are hands-down the best I’ve tasted. Order them on their own drizzled with lemon or in a wrap, and enjoy alongside sweet potato fries and one of the epic vegan salads on offer.
Laffé is a middle eastern dream and their vegan options go so much further than falafel & hummus. As an appetizer go for the muhammara dip with red pepper, walnut & pomegranate and for starters try the mushrooms in pomegranate molasses with mustard seeds & fresh coriander. For your main course check out the harissa seasonal vegetables cooked in middle eastern spices with lentils & rice. A side of chilli potatoes with garlic, fresh coriander & lemon won’t go amiss either.
Concrete Boots specialises in craft beer and offers some good old fashioned ‘beer grub’ to accompany your beverages. You can’t go wrong with a big Beyond cheeseburger on a beetroot bun, vegan fried chicken & chips or pumpkin arancini balls with aioli. There are plenty of vegan drinks available too and the staff are more than happy to recommend their faves.
Mexican street food at Fonda doesn’t disappoint and plant-based options include sweet potato gem tacos with shredded cabbage & house-made guac, herbed mushroom quesadillas with charred corn, and broadbean and chickpea falafel burrito with pickles, coconut yoghurt & chilli. Also, pretty much everything is served with the most insane vegan chipotle aioli on request.
Wholefood expert Laneway Greens creates mega-nutritious bowls like the wilted greens & Res El Hanout bowl with spiced flatbread or the Chermoula eggplant bowl with togarashi & tahini dressing.
Fast, filling and plant-based friendly, this country-wide burger joint is the place to get your big, greasy, burger fix. Choose between the standard ‘beef’ style pattie, the Beyond pattie or the mushroom parma and add vegan cheese, vegan mayo and toppings to create your dream burger (the rosemary fries are pretty great too).
The majority of choices at this seasonal salad bar are plant-based including the soba noodle salad with lemongrass dressing, the green rice salad with carrot hummus and the snakebean curry with tofu & sweet potato.
There are only a couple of vegan options available at St James but their vegan pancakes definitely secure them a place on the list. Picture fluffy banana pancakes with raspberry sorbet, fresh strawberries, roasted almonds & organic maple syrup. The coffee here is to die for and they also do an excellent oat milk chai latte.