No doubt, Melbourne has some of the best restaurants and cafes going round.
But if you’re looking to dine more on the sustainable side and minimise your environmental footprint whilst enjoying a good meal, you're going to need to do some research.
We’ve checked out some of the best sustainable-minded restaurants in Melbourne who are committed to using local and ethically sourced produce.
Located on the 6th floor of the iconic Curtain House, Mesa Verde boasts some of the best Mexican food in the city. The Mesa Verde team turn waste into compost with their rooftop worm garden, which they then use to harvest their vegetables. The food is sensational and full of flavour, and you know it’s pretty darn organic. Also, they have great tequila.
Mesa Verde is yet to reopen post lockdown. Keep an eye on their socials for when that's likely to happen.
South Of Johnston
South of Johnston really practice what they preach, with a strong emphasis on sustainable, delicious, well-priced food. The team at Sojo use a lot of smaller, local suppliers who sell free-range meats, wines, fruit, veg and much more.
Back, in 2015 the restaurant installed 40 solar panels on their roof, which generate more than 60% of the electricity for the space. Now, they're currently in the process of firing everything back up, with opening looking likely for Wednesday 2 December.
Head to South of Johnston's Instagram to find out more.
Taxi’s menu focuses on contemporary Australian cuisine, with an Asian influence, and is dedicated to highlighting seasonal, local and sustainable food.
Taxi strives to minimise its footprint, by implementing strategies like the BottleCycler glass crusher, which means crushed glass can be recycled into new containers. They also focus on educating their staff, with regular field trips to visit suppliers to learn about the produce they’re serving.
Combi has been serving us up nutrition-filled food since 2008, and they’re still going strong. Inside you’ll find fresh-pressed juices, nut mylk, organic super-food smoothies, super bowls, and just a whole heap of other wholesome, guilt-free, treats. The coffee is organic fair trade, and their herbal tea—100% organic and locally sourced.
Firstly, let’s acknowledge this interior, it is top-notch. You’d go to Higher Ground just to enjoy the space, but lucky for you, their menu is also excellent. Blurring the lines between café and restaurant, Higher Ground has you covered no matter the occasion; breakfast, lunch, dinner or a bev.
With sustainability sourced produce, the team at Higher Ground also implement more obvious sustainable practices, like their ban on polystyrene and plastic straws.
You’ve likely already heard of Transformer. This vegetarian restaurant was a real game-changer for the Fitzroy dining scene. With a fully vegetarian menu, vegan and gluten-free options, Transformer is a pretty great example of a restaurant nailing sustainability.
Alongside their delicious menu, these guys also serve up some excellent organic wines, and killer cocktails.
Attica is one of the world's best restaurants, and to make things even better, they’re also committed to a more sustainable future.
A pretty unique experience, Attica take fine dining to a new level. The menu uses sustainable seafood and strongly believes in the ethical treatment of animals and livestock. Head chef, Ben Shewry, often uses native leaves in his dishes, with the entire menu inspired by elements of the land and ocean. Limited bookings are available, find out more here.
Walk Don't Run
Walk Don't Run Armadale's breezy brunch spot put mindful eating first and foremost. Everything is 100% organic just as it is locally-sourced, and just as they look to take care of the environment, they take care of us via using superfood ingredients wherever possible—they also do a mean slow-braised brisket benedict.
This one's not open yet, but Bambi deserves an honourable mention in the list of most sustainable restaurants and cafes. It comes from the team behind Combi. so you can rest assured they'll follow a similar ethos alongside a focus on vegan and vegetarian fare. Keep an eye out for Bambi on St Kilda's Fitzroy Street in the coming months.
Live a more sustainable lifestyle over at our Sustainability section.
Image credit: Jenna Fahey White