Being a food-intolerant foodie is even worse than being an intolerable foodie (as the Katering Show has proven time and time again). Luckily for us, we have some serious culinary genius in Melbourne making gluten-free, sugar-free, low-FODMAP or vegan foodies a very happy bunch.
Here are the eight cafes you need to visit, whether you’ve got intolerances, allergies, or you’re just plain picky (get out).
Melbourne’s first all-vegan pizzeria has officially opened their doors to pizza-loving foodies. Armed with plant-based cheeses, faux meat and an almost entirely gluten-free menu, the boutique range of classically thin-crusted, light pizzas includes the Hummus with a hummus base, olives, artichokes, spinach, fresh mint, yoghurt and dukkah. Traditionalists can slice through classic margheritas, pepperoni and mushroom pizzas. You’d better book early—allergic afflicted foodies will be flocking here like sparrows.
If you’re graced with the superpower to eat unlimited garlic and onion without certain, ahem, not-so-airy consequences, I congratulate you. I really do. For the rest of us mere mortals and FODMAP intolerant humans, Foddies always has our foodie back. Everything on the menu from their chocolate-coated Franken-Cakes to the Southern-Fried Chicken Burger is low-FODMAP friendly and can be made gluten-free. Don’t question the magic, just (eat and) believe.
Market On Malvern
The ultimate pamper spot to book every weekend, newly-opened Market On Malvern is a wellness clinic and cafe rolled into one sleek, Scani-inspired venue. Textured cool grey chairs, rough exposed brick and a stunning sun-soaked outdoor area plays home to massages, healthcare and allergy-friendly brunch. Dishes range from gluten-free to FODMAP-friendly, paleo and nut-free — so you're bound to find something your tummy and tastebuds will love. Rice-paper rolls are a star dish, along with red rice served with miso eggplant, sesame greens and ginger pickled carrot and daikon with agave inulin. Four-legged puppies are welcome too, with doggy biscuits and puppy-friendly ice poles on offer.
Fox In The Box
Avoid the eye-rolling waiters and sighing waitress—ain’t nobody got time when there are so many allergy-friendly dishes at Fox In The Box. Like a bunny in a magic hat (only better, because it’s a fox, obviously), Fox In The Box works some culinary wizardry to create a huge selection of dishes which are gluten-free, dairy-free and FODMAP safe. The team take allergies seriously (expect a much-welcomed food quiz before you order), so the dish that hits the table is guaranteed to make you feel as good as it looks.
Seedling Café is entirely gluten and refined sugar-free, so they’re already a big hitter for intolerant foodies. Paleo, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan and nut-free dishes are also on offer. Between raspberry and coconut chia puddings, nourish bowls and Bullet Proof coffees (there’s added grass fed butter and organic coconut oil for extra morning fun), you’ll be spoilt for choice.
If you need a takeaway lunch that won’t have your stomach raging (why must you rage my dear?), TOFWD is your kind of stop. A rotating range of salads, sandwiches and specials are organic, with selected wheat-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan options. There is also a serious range of allergy-friendly treats, baked goods and most importantly, muffins.
Mister Nice Guy’s Bakeshop
Whether you’re treating yourself with an order of cupcakes piled high with frosting, or a cake for your favourite allergic-to-everything friend, Mister Nice Guy’s Bakeshop will bake you something very (very) nice. You’ll find all the information on allergies and ingredients on their website, along with a huge range of decadent treats. Think Peppermint Patty cupcakes (peppermint frosting on chocolate cake), Death by Chocolate (five chocolate-y things on one cupcake) or the Snickers (self-explanatory and delicious).
Admiral Cheng Ho
A garlic and onion-free menu, which can also be made vegan or gluten-free friendly, Admiral Cheng Ho’s carefully curated brunch menu will keep any foodie (allergies or not) full. The vegan banana load with butterscotch, coconut and cardamom ice cream is a bomb of flavour, while omelettes are taken up a level with miso mushrooms, kraut, sprouts and soft herbs on sourdough.
After a vegan or vegetarian hit but don't have allergies to worry about? Here are Melbourne's best vegan eats.
Image credit: Red Sparrow | Michelle Jarni