Welcome back! To me!
As some of you may have noticed, I took five weeks away from Earth by Anna whist I was overseas recently to spend some time with Sids (who I hadn’t seen for FOUR months) and to enjoy some time travelling around Europe. I had an a-mazing time, went to the most beautiful wedding in Spain and of course, ate my way around every city I went too.
Depending on who you ask, Melbourne is the vegan capital of the world and travelling for me is always a wonderful reminder of how lucky we are to have such an incredible range of cafes and restaurants at our doorstep. On every corner, you can often find somewhere fantastic to eat and it is such a big part of the Melbourne lifestyle going out on a weekend and having breakfast or brunch.
Anyone who knows me, knows that food is a big part of my life. I’m obsessed with it and in all fairness should probably be about seven times bigger than what I am (after Europe i’m probably two times bigger). Eating great food, in my opinion, is one of the great pleasures in life. I am not talking about the crappy stuff that comes in a greasy brown paper bag that would still look the same three weeks later, I’m talking about the food which resembles every colour of the rainbow, fills you up without feeling sluggish and provides so much joy and satisfaction at no expense of any living being.
Over the years, and in some cases only over the recent months, i’ve discovered some of my favourite breakfast haunts all over Melbourne. If I love somewhere and I love the food they dish up, I often find myself going back time and time again. So, putting together a list of only 10 of my favourite places to eat breakfast in Melbourne is like giving me a box of vegan donuts and asking me to only try one. Virtually impossible.
We are so lucky to be surrounded by incredible food everywhere we turn in Melbourne and for those who believe it’s “too hard” to eat out and be social as a vegan, really need to get out more… a lot more! This breakfast hit list only scratches the surface of what is available to us so get out there, explore your neighbourhood and let me know what you find on your travels by using the hashtag #EarthByAnna.
Without further ado, here are 10 of my favourite places to chow down on a big, nutritious and delicious breakfast in Melbourne.
Everything in Serotonin screams healthy and fresh. The decor, the food, the staff, the coffee, everything. Located in Burnley, Serotonin is an entirely vegetarian eatery, although most of their menu items are vegan. They focus on healthy, colourful and nutritious food and provide service that is as upbeat as the whole Serotonin experience. Sit on the swings (yes, swings) in their sun-filled courtyard, sip on one of their incredible chai lattes and chow down on some of their pumpkin bruschetta (one of my favourites), all while enjoying Serotonin’s beautiful and unique decor. A must visit.
52 Madden Grove
Less than a year old, Urban Projuice has been a fantastic and welcomed addition to the Albert Park area. Serving predominately vegan meals, Urban Projuice is a wonderful spot for those wanting healthy, delicious and nutritious plant-based meals at reasonable prices. Tegan, one of the main girls at Urban Projuice is a nutrition guru so you can be sure that the food you’re getting is nutritionally diverse and great for your mind and body.
Tickle your tastebuds with the chai pancakes, a cacao bowl or even the vegan big breakfast. Perhaps you would prefer a peanut butter smoothie, a green juice or a strong coffee? Whatever your fancy, Urban Projuice has something for every palette.
315 Montague St
Albert Park 3206
Smith & Deli
Where do I start with this one? Hmmmm donuts, cinnamon scrolls, vanilla slice, cheesy-mite scrolls, cake, toasties, the list goes on and on and on – and it’s ALL vegan (fist pump).
Smith & Deli is a New York style eatery created by the incredible team behind Smith & Daughters. Stocking everything from ham, cheese and tomato toasties, out-of-this-world sandwiches, juices, delicious desserts and your everyday vegan groceries, Smith & Deli has enough mock meats and vegan cheese to satisfy even the most naive carnivore (tried and tested, I’ve fooled a few). It’s not the healthiest of all the places on this list to visit, but it is a place you definitely need to experience.
There is no seating at Smith & Deli so all the food is takeaway which is a great excuse to pack a brunch picnic, load up with some Smith & Deli goods and get out and enjoy the sunshine.
Smith & Deli
111 Moor St
Monk Bodhi Dharma
A tiny little hole in the wall down a graffitied alley way in Balaclava, Monk Bodhi Dharma is a place only the locals would know about. With a very laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff, Monk is a fantastic choice for an early morning brunch with friends. Serving fresh and healthy vegetarian and vegan food and coffee that is some of the best Melbourne has to offer, Monk Bodhi Dharma is a must visit south of the river. Try the smashed avo on toast and the banana pancakes. Both will leave you weak at the knees.
Monk Bodhi Dharma is small so be prepared to wait for a table. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Monk Bodhi Dharma
202 Carlisle St
Evolved Fair Food Store
Based in Belgrave, Evolved Fair Food Store is the perfect refueling station after working your toosh up the 1000 steps. It is not an entirely vegetarian or vegan restaurant, but a good majority of their menu items are plant-based and can be changed to suit your requirements. The passion Evolved has for sourcing local and organic produce creates not only a loving and homely environment, but fantastic mouth-watering meals. Their big breakfast is to-die-for and their vegan cakes and raw vegan treats are next level amazing. A must visit if you’re out near the Dandenongs or fancy a Sunday drive.
Evolved Fair Food Store
64-68 Monbulk Road
Formerly known as A Caterpillar’s Dream, V Series is a vegetarian cafe right in the heart of Kew. Serving above average cafe food with a twist, V Series has turned it up a notch since rebranding and have recently expanded their menu which is now predominately vegan.
Breakfast is served until 3pm, so if you’re feeling a bit seedy the day after, you’ve got plenty of time to haul ass and get down there for a delicious meal. The tofu benedict is a must-try, as are their large selection of vegan cupcakes. Some of the best I have had.
4/26 Princess St
Sister of Soul
I never feel disappointed when I eat at Sister of Soul for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The menu is huge, there is plenty of seating and the service is always fantastic. I’ve always found the food fresh and flavourful and it’s a joy to have another plant-based restaurant south of the river.
Try the avo on toast and the quinoa porridge, washed down with one of their delicious freshly made juices. I’m not a coffee drinker, but from all the reports, the coffee is top-notch too.
The smoothies here are a-mazing and the other food options, like acai bowls and raw granola, are pretty damn good too. I will admit – I had some time away from this place for a few months because I had a few occasions where the service was terrible and the staff incredibly rude. However, I went recently and thought it had improved immensely which is a relief because not much comes between me and a good feed. Worth a visit just to stare at the beautifully presented food but be prepared to wait for a table as seating is limited.
140 Ormond Rd
Image: Collective Hub
The sister of Monk Bodhi Dharma and perhaps even more delicious than its south of the river sibling. Based in Abbotsford, Admiral Cheng-Ho is a haven for specialty coffee and a seasonal changing wholefood menu using organic locally sourced produce. The menu is entirely vegetarian and every menu item can be made vegan. With dishes like Northside French Toast and Avoca Ho, this above-par breakfast and lunch cafe is not to be missed.
325 Johnston St
Holy Bowly Superfood Bar
Located on Hampton St in Hampton, Holy Bowly Superfood Bar is a great pit-stop for quick, healthy, clean and organic food. With juices, raw food, acai bowls, granolas and more, Holy Bowly has a menu item for everyone. Their food is served in a very fun and insta-worthy way (did I just say that?) and always tastes fresh. Holy Bowly’s focus is on providing super healthy and nutritious food that makes healthy living easy for everyone.