Melbourne and its fabulous inner-city suburbs offer lots of great places to find cheap and healthy vegetarian meals. For anywhere between $5.00 to $15.00 there are great, tasty vegetarian lunches or dinners to enjoy.
The Kebab Factory, Carlton
This neat and clean take-away features an appealing array of Turkish style vegetarian fare. The food is always freshly cooked and decidedly on the healthy side. There are dips, stuffed capsicums, tabbouleh, breads and vegetable boreks to enjoy.
A ten dollar note will buy a filling lunch that leaves an inner glow of contentment. Go with a friend and share one of their wonderful vegetarian platters.
Location: 95-97 Lygon Street, Carlton VIC 3053.
Phone: (03) 9349-5119
Hours: Mon – Sun, From Early until Late
Dinkum Pies, Melbourne
The legendary Dinkum Pies sits in the middle of Block Place, where it jostles for attention amongst all the hip and groovy eateries. It looks decidedly out of place with its 1950s retro style and vast menu of pies and tempting cakes. It all looks like something out of a country fair bake-off.
Best of all, they have some delicious vegetarian pies, pasties and rolls, all for under $5.00. For those with a sweet tooth, Dinkum Pies also has a tempting range of cakes.
Location: 29 Block Place, Melbourne 3000. (Just off Little Collins Street, between Elizabeth and Swanston Streets.)
Phone (03) 9654 6792
Hours: Mon-Thurs: 7.30am-4.30pm, Fri: 7.30am-5pm
Babka Bakery Cafe, Fitzroy
Babka Bakery is a wonderfully cozy cafe in the heart of groovy inner city Fitzroy. Breads and pastries are baked on the premises, giving off the aroma of freshly baked goods. There are two options when buying at Babka. Either rush in to pick up a fresh loaf and take-away pasty, or sit down for a bowl of soup or something from the hearty, home style menu.
For vegetarians on a budget, the best deal here is to order take-away the irresistible vegetarian pies and pasties. At $5.70 each, they make for a well priced lunch.
Babka offer a curried vegetable pasty, a spinach, cottage cheese and pine nut pie, and a pumpkin, basil and tomato pie. Eating a pie or pasty at Babka costs $12.00, and comes served with rocket, Babka’s in-house relish and some thick cut bread with butter.
Location: 358 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, 3065.
Phone (03) 9416 0091
Hours: 7am to 7pm, Tues – Sun
Gopals Vegetarian Restaurant, Melbourne
One of Melbourne’s oldest vegetarian restaurants, Gopals offers hearty and healthy meals with a strong Indian flavour. The meals have a perfect balance of spices that make this some of Melbourne’s most aromatic food.
The restaurant’s style is very laid back. Patrons line up at the bay marie and pick out whatever appeals most. Choose from curries, samosas, tofu steaks, kofta balls and salads. The range of sweets is especially irresistible, with fruit crumbles and trifle, just to name a few.
Ten dollars is enough here to buy a deliciously satisfying meal.
Location: 1st Floor, 139 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Phone: (03) 9650 1578
Hours: 11.30am – 8.30pm, Mon – Sat
Tabet’s Bakery, Brunswick
Located in Brunswick’s bustling Sydney Road shopping strip, Tabet’s Bakery offers freshly baked and super cheap Lebanese style pizzas and cheese filled pies. For under $5.00 there are olive and vegetarian pizzas with a light topping of fresh tomato and cheese. Or try their wonderful cheese and spinach pies. There is also an oregano pizza with salad topping that is also very satisfying.
The best thing about Tabet’s Bakery is the freshness of the pizza bases. They have a light and soft texture that goes down a treat.
Location: 607 Sydney Road, Brunswick
Phone: (03) 9387 3461
Hours: Mon-Fri, 7am – 10pm
Vic Market Dairy Produce Hall
A Melbourne institution, amongst the delis and bread shops there is a good range of take-away food stalls offering well priced vegetarian lunches. Here is a snapshot of some of the best.
Mezze Table, Shop 95/96
Phone: (03) 9328 5822
Better known as the borek stall. Wraps, vegetable boreks and other interesting Turkish snacks abound here. Five dollars will buy a decent lunch.
Colour of Earth, Shop 97/98
Phone: (03) 9329 5708
The sublime pizza stall. A great range of healthy vegetarian toppings. Some of the pizza bases are made with spelt, beetroot and pumpkin flour. Prices go up to around $10 a pizza, which feeds one person.
Ferguson Plarre, Shop 77/80
Phone: (03) 9329 6792
A traditional Aussie pie and cake shop. Vegetable pies and pasties will set the patron back around $5.00
Location: Corner Victoria and Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
Hours: Closed Monday and Wednesday. Open all other days.