Transitioning to a plant-based diet can be a difficult process, especially with delicious meaty, cheesy temptation lurking around every corner. Luckily, Melbourne has a myriad of restaurants that are revolutionising the concept of vegan food, making it easier than ever to have your (vegan) cake and eat it too. Here are some of our ‘vegan dupes’ for your favourite non-vegan meals.
- OG: Rueben Sandwich. Dupe: Smith & Deli’s Rubenstein
The glorious tangy krauty-ness of a classic Rueben sandwich is something none should ever have to give up, and thanks to plant-based cafe Smith & Deli, you’ll never have to. Smith & Deli’s signature ‘Rubenstein’ sandwich features vegan pastrami, sauerkraut, pickles and russian dressing on rye. Offering over 30 unique sandwich options, Smith & Deli’s sangas are fully loaded with vegan meats, cheeses and sauces that push the boundaries of typical plant-based cuisine. If you like the Rubenstein, you may also like to check out their ‘Parmageddon’, ‘Little Havana’ and ‘Foghorn Legless’.
- OG: Massaman Curry. Dupe: Madame K’s Beef Massaman Curry
Madame K’s Vegetarian is just one of the many Melbourne restaurants veganising typically meat-based cuisine– and Massa-man it’s good. Their ‘beef’ massaman curry is creamy, fragrant and as traditional as they come, simply substituting beef for plant-based alternatives that are, essentially, indistinguishable from the real thing. A cosy, vegan asian-fusion restaurant located in the heart of Fitzroy, Madame K’s exclusively vegan menu also features lamb madras curry, stir-fried lemongrass duck and crispy prawn salad.
- OG: Garlic Pepper Prawns. Dupe: Smith & Daughters’ Garlic Prawns
Located on trendy Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, Smith & Daughters is basically the poster child for innovative vegan food. Winning Time Out’s People’s Choice Award for Best Restaurant, Smith & Daughters has impressed both vegans and non-vegans alike with their cruelty free creations. Their amazingly realistic garlic pepper prawns, created by Smith & Daughters’ co-founder, non-vegan chef and food scientist Shannon Martinez, will pull the wool over even the most committed seafood-lover’s eyes. Smith and Daughters’ menu features exclusively vegan authentic Spanish fare, and also includes salt cod fritters, seafood stew and blood sausage empanadas.
- OG: Chilli Dog. Dupe: Mister Nice Guy’s coney island chilli dog
Mr. Nice Guys’ Bakery boasts a broad range of vegan baked goods, including cup cakes, donuts croissants, muffins, cheesecake – you name it. But perhaps their most impressive creation is their vegan Coney Island Chilli Dog. Featuring a home-made vegan brioche bun and a giant smokey hot dog, covered in mozzarella and their famous chilli, it’s filling, it’s cruelty-free, and hot dawg! it’s good.