If you are vegetarian, or just love a great value and wholesome meal, join the locals as they keep coming back to Melbourne’s greatest vegetarian institutions. Here are four of the best offering a range of prices and unique experiences.
Crossways – a seriously cheap lunch in the city
Look for a person dressed in Hare Krishna garb on Swanston Street, climb the stairs behind and you’ll find the best value lunch in the city.
Join the queue of lunching locals to get your big plate of hearty vegetarian food and a desert according to the day’s menu (i.e. Mondays may be chickpea curry, rice, and papadum with pineapple halava in custard). You can go back as much as you want – all for $6.50! Discounts apply for students and the elderly.
Sitting at the communal tables you might have some interesting conversation with some locals.
123 Swanston Street, Melbourne
(Upstairs on 1st Floor)
(03) 9650 2939
Monday – Saturday 11.30am – 2.30pm
Lentil as Anything – you decide what it is worth
Lentil as Anything offers a warming experience for your heart as well as your stomach. Come here for delicious vegetarian food sourced from local organic suppliers and served buffet style.
You pay, anonymously, what you feel the meal is worth. It is a unique opportunity to place human dignity above profit.
There are three locations throughout Melbourne: St Kilda, Footscray and at the Abbortsford Convent. The later is a particularly lovely experience to enjoy the music, markets, gardens, and galleries of the Convent over breakfast, lunch or dinner.
1 St. Heliers Street, Abbotsford
(03) 9419 6444
Everyday 9.00am – 9.00pm (except Monday, 12.00pm – 9.00pm)
41 Blessington Street, St Kilda
0430 388 984
Everyday 10.00am – 9.00pm
233 Barkly Street, Footscray
0424 081 652
Everyday 9.30am – 9.30pm
Tofu Shop International – the best tofu in Australia
This little eatery has been enticing the lunch time crowd for over 20 years with their well thought out kosher vegetarian food. Squeeze in and ask someone in the queue what is best combination of the current tasty choices on offer as the menu is always changing. But make sure you don’t miss out on the house brand of tofu – Five Seasons – as it is arguably the best in the continent. Expect to pay from $9 to $20 for your lunch.
78 Bridge Road, Richmond
(03) 9429 6204
Monday – Friday 12.00pm – 8.00pm
Saturday 12.00pm – 5.00pm
Shakahari – the original and still the best
When a visiting Indian colleague tells you eating at Shakahari was the best vegetarian meal he has ever had, you know you’re onto a good thing. Shakahari has been serving Melbournian’s for over 30 years and stay on top by continuously refining their carefully crafted, beautifully presented, light but satisfying vegetarian meals. Expect to pay around $15 for entrees and $20 for mains.
201-203 Faraday Street, Carlton
(03) 9347 3848
Monday – Saturday 12.00pm – 3.00pm
Sunday -Thursday 6.00pm – 9.30pm
Friday – Saturday 6.00pm – 10.00pm