All I did in Melbourne was eat and drink. I slowly discovered while sipping on coffee at trendy cafes and drooling over cruelty free cupcakes, I loved everything that was hipster too. If you happen to be heading to Melbourne, check out my favorite spots.
This quirky little taco shop serves up both vegetarian and vegan fare and stocks their fridge full of Jarritos and the ridiculously tasty Bundaberg ginger beer. They make cocktails, offer Churros for dessert and have a vegan option for every dairy ingredient on the menu. They even have vegan cheese and sour cream for the loaded nachos which I happily ate in a matter of minutes.
The dining area was enormous, filled with groups of friends, a DJ who was extremely impressed with himself and a server staff that actually seemed to like their jobs. The menu isn’t vegan but I got a bucket of fries and their Lentil Dahl without yogurt. An added bonus, they offer beer classes so you can learn all about the process.
We headed to De Clieu because it was rated as having some of the best coffee in the city and we wouldn’t dare argue. I had the cold drip and Josh had a latte and they were tasty and strong enough that I couldn’t stop talking about my inspirations and life goals at a rapid speed about halfway through my cup. They offer soy milk in all of the coffee concoctions, have raw vegan desserts and a food menu that meat eaters and veg heads can both enjoy.
Since becoming vegan, walking into this establishment was the highlight of my entire life. I thought that living in Ubud, Bali where there were vegan restaurants on every corner was incredible, but Smith And Deli topped even that. As a vegan, I never thought that I would have the chance to eat a chicken salad sandwich, potato salad and Christmas cookies ever again. However, my lunch consisted of all of them and I would have eaten there for every meal.
It’s a little dark, full of mismatched decorations and hides its inner workings behind an old fashioned book shelf. The guys working behind the taps are passionate about their beers and will let you try them all before buying while giving a little lesson on how they were made. I had the Cucumber, Grapefruit IPA and it was lovely. Don’t worry, there is usually a pizza food truck outside that will bring a pie right to your table.
After having dinner and a beer elsewhere, Foresters Hall is a place to head to if you want to stay up into the wee hours of the morning drinking craft beer and dancing to 80s music. They have an overwhelming selection of craft beers from around the world, a pool table and live music every once and while. I got a cherry beer made in Australia as I can’t resist anything labeled as a Christmas specialty.
I think I may have squealed a little when I saw vegan queso dip listed on the menu but I contained my cravings for vegan junk food and went with the fabulous artichoke salad instead. There are loads of regular tables but also a large communal one that seemed to be a great place to socialize on the weekends.
I was drawn in by the perfectly swirled icing, gleaming at me from the display case. I didn’t see anywhere on the sign that the place was vegan but decided to ask if they had a dairy free option anyway. When my inquiry was answered with “They’re ALL vegan,” I stared at the girl behind the counter, mouth agape for way longer than she was comfortable with. I got a salted caramel cupcake, a flavor that I have been missing since taking the vegan plunge. I left there feeling very merry indeed.