Finding a meat-free burger which isn’t a complete and utter waste of mushrooms (and calories) is a task worthy of James Bond. When it’s finally your turn to pick a lunch spot—or if you feel the pretence of being a healthy, responsible adult coming on—here are Melbourne’s best vegan and vegetarian-friendly burgers.
This is Melbourne’s latest clean eating café, and it isn’t your standard milk bar corner shop. Matcha Mylkbar is a completely vegan, matcha-powered haven with “vegan eggs”, mushroom lattes and a pun-tastic variety of smoothies. Needless to say, they know how to handle a vegan burger. The neon-green, Hulk-coloured matcha burger bun is layered with soy chicken, mushroom bacon (not actual bacon if you haven’t got the idea yet), avo, beetroot kraut, cashew sour cream and served with sweet potato fries.
Sister Of Soul
If you need to trick your meat-loving brunch crew into a vegetarian café, Sister Of Soul is a fine option. Expect sly meat-less dishes like the Om-Mazing Yellow Curry and buttery, rich pumpkin and sage ravioli. We promise they won’t miss the meat. The seriously sizeable Soul Burger with crumbled tempeh, a free-range egg, lettuce, tomato, pumpkin, Spanish onion, cheddar, beetroot and balsamic relish is served with a side of crispy chips.
Fit for vegetarian royalty, Royal Stack’s Queen Bee features a handmade chickpea patty, tomato, butter lettuce (nom), American cheddar, special burger sauce and pickles. Carnivore, vegetarian and halal-friendly options are all available at Royal Stacks’ recently opened Brunswick store—so you'll be like one big happy burger-filled family.
With two ultra tasty vegetarian burgers, YOMG Glen Waverley clearly takes their burger making seriously. The Hipster, aka garlic roasted pulled mushroom with Asian slaw and cashew nut mayo, is our pick—but the Vegapalooza with a vegetable fritter filling and beetroot bun comes in close second. Vegans don’t have miss out on froyo FROmance either, with YOMG offering a rotating calendar of flavours, some of which are totally vegan friendly! Think probiotic-packed banana soy cinnamon and creamy soy berry. Call your local YOMG to check out the flavours of the day.
Consistently one of Melbourne’s most popular vegetarian restaurants, Vegie Bar makes clean eating look easy. Boasting a completely vegetarian menu, Vegie Bar serves their vibrant, healthy dishes in a beautifully dilapidated interior with exposed brick and open concrete. The tofu and quinoa burger definitely doesn’t taste vegan—if that means anything these days—with rich spicy Sriracha mayo, fresh creamy avocado, a smoked tofu and red quinoa patty, and fresh veg.
Boasting no-frills Japanese takeaway ideal for easy desk eating, Purple Peanuts Japanese Café makes a fresh Gammodoki Tofu Burger that’s unlikely to break the bank. Served on fluffy Turkish bread with mixed salad and punchy teriyaki sauce, the house-made tofu patty consists of beans, carrot, sake (hello!), sesame, ginger and oats. Killin’ #cleaneating.
Amongst the smells of low ‘n slow American BBQed meat, The Gem’s smoked mushroom and grilled eggplant burger humbly awaits its delicious, dreadful destiny: your stomach. Complemented with creamy special sauce, tomato and butter lettuce on a pillow-soft brioche bun with a side of battered onion rings… anything vegetarian must be healthy. IT MUST BE.
Need more vegetarian/vegan options? Head to our directory and type in 'vegetarian' or 'vegan' for the best restaurants and cafes in Melbourne!
Image credit: Gareth Sobey at The Gem for The Urban List