Healthy country food - Victoria

 

Once only ‘hippy cafes’ served plant-based fare . Now, while cities tend to lead the way when it comes to food trends and innovation in dining, regional Victoria is home to a growing number of eateries choosing to offer inventive vegetable-centric menus with dishes that go beyond the typical vegetarian mainstays. Further to that, restaurants and cafes that serve meat are also coming to the party by offering speciality vegetarian menus and even themed vegan degustation nights.

Dedicated vegan/vegetarian restaurants and cafes:

The Murray: â€¨Opening in late 2016, The Sweet Meadow (above) is Echuca’s newest (not to mention prettiest) vegan eatery. Open Thursday to Monday for breakfast and lunch, this plant-based health bar is filled with vases of flowers, potted plants and a range of cruelty-free foods that have got locals and visitors talking. From refined sugar-free sweets to raw desserts, vegan donuts and big, meat-free breakfasts packed with nutritious ingredients, The Sweet Meadow is one to watch. 640 High Street, Echuca, +61 3 5482 4099.

Daylesford and Macedon Ranges: â€¨Found right in the heart of the rural foodie enclave Kyneton, Hamster (above) is a light-filled vegetarian café owned and run by a passionate, local cook. Featuring a diverse range of dishes infused with global flavours, Hamster may be located in regional Victoria but it has international sensibilities. Interesting dishes like Thai sticky black rice pudding, Japanese cabbage pancakes and Hungarian vegetable bake bring the flavours of the world to Kyneton in a relaxed setting. 5 High Street, Kyneton.

In the wine-growing area of Coldstreamezard (above) provides five- and eight-course vegetarian degustation menus matched with premium wines.

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In QueenscliffPomegranate (above) has a sharp focus on vegetarian food with dahl, kidney bean curries and falafel wraps giving meat-free diners plenty of choice. 

Places that champion vegie dishes

Having meat items on the menu doesn’t stop these eateries from providing seriously good vegan and vegetarian options to the people of regional Victoria.

 

The owner of Anglesea’s Diggers Vegie Kitchen (above) is on a mission to enlighten people about the pleasures of following a plant-based diet. Offering dishes like beetroot burgers, raw Buddha bowls and dairy-free desserts, this humble café also offers themed vegan dinners and the odd spot of live music too. 5 Diggers Parade, Anglesea, +61 3 5263 3535.

 
 

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