While the Brunswick area isn’t known for its fine dining experiences, a night out on the town all but guarantees good food, good people, and a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere.
What’s more, in the last few years chefs have started to pay attention. Restaurants from all over Melbourne have taken the initiative to incorporate fresh, high-quality vegan dishes into their menus – brimming with flavour and creativity.
The suburb that it is, it’s only natural that Brunswick has hit the ground running with this ‘vegan’ trend and turned it into something truly spectacular. So go ahead, peruse our top favourite vegan restaurants to visit, and let us know what you think;
Brunswick Mess Hall
We find it hard to stay quiet about this place – it’s just so good.
Housed in an old masonic hall, this industrial warehouse space has been transformed into a plant-filled atrium that overlooks beloved Sydney Road.
In the past, a night out to dinner for a vegan can often mean you have one or two choices – the garden salad or a bowl of chips. These days, however, plant-based restaurants have started to pop up all over Melbourne, including Brunswick Mess Hall.
In fact, Every Thursday at Brunswick Mess Hall is devoted to vegans, and that doesn’t just mean a few tapas-style dishes added to the mix. We’re talking about a full-on vegan takeover, and it’s not just the food. There’s vegan beer, wine, and even vegan-themed music to indulge in and overload your senses.
Thursday nights at Brunswick Mess Hall sell out fast, so we suggest you book before you miss out.
The entire menu at Kevabs is VEGAN! The first and only plant-based kebab shop in Melbourne is right here on Sydney Road, Brunswick.
The shop’s signature style ‘Kevab’ is free from gluten, soy, meat, dairy, and nuts, without compromising on flavour. Their meat substitute is made out of pea protein, with dips and salads you can include on the side.
Owner, Angie Yaka felt inspired to start her business when her daughter made the choice to lead a plant-based lifestyle. This change meant that Angie’s cooking had to follow suit, which led to the revelation of just how easy it could be to adapt and to a ‘meat-free lifestyle. These skills are now used to create fresh, vegan-style kebabs for the public to enjoy, as well as Turkish-inspired salads, baklava, pastries, and more.
“We’re now coming into a time where we are more in tune with our bodies and our needs. Plant-based diets evidently give us more energy and well-being. We’ve had customers from all over Australia and the world which has been such a delight for us.”
Chef Thu Nguyen is the owner and chef of Vietnamese restaurant, Hanoi Rose located on Sydney Road Brunswick. Nguyen quit his corporate career over three years ago to pursue his childhood dream of running and owning his very own restaurant. Hanoi Rose is now into its 3rd consecutive year of operation and is showing no signs of slowing down. Nguyen is passionate about bringing the very best flavours of Southeast Asia to the foodie community of Melbourne. Their extensive menu features over 50 different types of dishes, each using fresh, high-quality ingredients with no MSG added in their cooking. Just to make things better, Hanoi has even implemented a vegan list on their menu, filled with tantalising dishes such as their Spicy Eggplant, Tofu & Fresh Herbs hotpot.
The restaurant is fully licensed, with ample parking nearby and a cozy, pleasant atmosphere perfect for date nights and group bookings (big or small).
The Cornish Arms
It’s not often that you go to a bar that can provide more vegan options than a bowl of fries and some salad. Thankfully, The Cornish Arms does things differently! Recently they’ve gone above and beyond to cater for a meat-free, dairy-free lifestyle, that even allows vegans to try out the beloved Aussie parma vegan style, using crumbed mock chicken and “cheez.”
Among the other house favourites is The Mac Daddy, a house smokey vegan beef pattie with cheez, facon, pickles, special sauce, and ketchup served in a soft potato bun.
Friendly table service combined with rooftop views and a well-sized rooftop bar provides a warm, family-friendly atmosphere that’s hard to turn away from.
Have we inspired a yearning for burgers? We’re discovered and reviewed the best burgers in Brunswick, and their delicious ‘meat-free’ options, so why not take a look?
Popular restaurant chain, Okami is an all-you-can-eat Japanese restaurant that has opened thirty-one outlets across Melbourne and Sydney in just eight short years. Their secret to success? Creating a menu that’s not only astonishingly cheap – $34.80 for a two-hour sitting to work your way through more than 30 dishes – but it doesn’t compromise on quality.
The food is fresh, healthy, and more delicious with every bite. Okami believes in delivering a fine dining experience at a price everyone can afford, and at a quality, no one can beat.
In addition to their all-you-can-eat dining experience, Okami offers an a la carte menu with extended tapas and appetizer options – hard to believe we know. Allowing you to load up on classic favourites such as gyoza, miso soup, sushi/sashimi platters, and even their traditional green tea ice cream.
For those wondering about the meat-free, soy-free, dairy-free menu items, you’ll be pleased to know that Okami offers a separate vegan menu. Featuring beloved classics including, Agedashi Tofu, Vegetable Gyoza, Vegetable Spring Rolls, and more – so that you can enjoy traditional Japanese cuisine without compromising on flavour.
It’s no secret that Brunswick is home to several of the finest restaurants in Melbourne, each harbouring its very own team of talented chefs. Now that we’ve sorted the hard part out for you, why not take a peek at the best bars in Brunswick and make it a night to remember.