Eating vegetables has never been more fashionable than it is right now.

With plant-based dining making its way onto almost every list of food trends across the globe.

Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges has long had a history of offering diners vegie-based alternatives, since the days when the idea of an Impossible Burger was, well, impossible.

Today the region dishes up plenty of options for diners who are vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, or flexitarian. Many of these dishes showcase the region’s delicious seasonal produce and sit proudly alongside their meatier counterparts.

The ever-stylish restaurant, bar and performance venue Palais Hepburn presents a show-stopping separate vegan menu, with two or three courses available. Perfect for soaking up one of their delicious cocktails.

In Daylesford, Sault offers a separate plant-based menu that makes seasonal, local produce the herbivorous hero. Their regular menu is also available with all dietary information listed, for those who might need to avoid certain ingredients, but don’t like to bother the waitstaff.

For more casual fare, vegan diners are spoilt for choice at Harvest Café, where they can also pick up groceries and fresh produce. Both Wombat Hill House and Pancho change their menus on a regular basis, but always have vegetarian and vegan options. And a vegan hidden gem is Lavandula, where they not only serve up luscious grazing platters to eat among the purple-hued blooms, but many of the lavender products sold in their store are also vegan.

And to continue feasting long after visitors have left the region, Himalaya Bakery has a full range of vegan pies, cakes and sausage rolls that many vegans stock up on before they head home, while both Blakes Family Grocers and Tonna’s Fruit and Vegetables also have lots of delicious vegan pantry items.

In Trentham, if the name isn’t enough to intrigue, Twinkle Town’s entirely plant-based menu or cutesy food truck atmosphere certainly will be. This newcomer has been winning hearts and tastebuds with vegans and meat eaters alike. Most visit for the felafel but their desserts (such as the pavlova made from aquafaba) are also delighting diners far and wide.

Over at Woodend, vegans are catered for alongside traditional pub fare at The Victoria Hotel and with modern Japanese delicacies such as sweetcorn or cauliflower tempura at Kuzu Izakaya, while the unassuming Sizzler Restobar has a menu of Indian favourites, where almost every dish can be veganised. And for daytime dining, both Fox in the Chamber and The Milko have vegan options.

Mr Macedon (located in both Macedon and Gisborne) always has a couple of vegan items on the menu, but the exceptional staff are also well versed in helping diners modify dishes to cater for their dietary preferences.

Finishing in Kyneton, Fook Shing features multiple vegan dishes on its menu, but diners would be foolish to pass by the five-course vegan banquet that’s as eye-catching as the kaleidoscopic décor. And the vegies don’t come much fresher than at Home Grown on Piper, as they’re grown by the owners on their mini-farm in Metcalfe.

About the author

Emma Watts
Emma Watts

Emma Watts may work and live in Melbourne, but the Daylesford Macedon region is where she feels most at home. She spent eight years working in tourism communications and marketing, finding and promoting the best placed in Victoria, and in 2020 she bought what she thinks is the cutest cottage in Hepburn @piccolo_daylesford and spends as much time in the region as she can, and exploring the nature and food and wine offerings with her two dogs and her husband.