Vegie Bar —

The OG vegetarian restaurant that’s still serving delicious dishes

The OG vegetarian restaurant that’s still serving delicious dishes
This Fitzroy staple has been keeping plant-based food affordable. Read more on their story below.
Jun 17, 2024 — 2 min read
The OG vegetarian restaurant that’s still serving delicious dishes

About this business

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Fitzroy, VIC
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They come and they go, but this one has stayed. From what started as a small takeaway shop in 1988 has grown into a Melbourne institution, and they’re still proud to be serving the Fitzroy community 36 years later. Vegie Bar was one of the first vegetarian restaurants in Melbourne (and its longest standing), and in its time has seen some big names come through their modest warehouse-converted space (including one of the Kardashians).

A place of many memories

Started by your classic husband-and-wife team Laki and Marion Papadopoulos, and now co-owned by Mark Price, they’ve grown into a little family. Staff are attracted by its values, and stay for the good vibes, and the owners and managers are like their proud parents. “We’re proud to have provided a welcoming work environment and a home away from home for the many staff who have worked here over the years,” says Mark and Laki.

Vegie Bar, much like Melbourne, is an inclusive venue that attracts a broad clientele from all walks of life. We have a wide range of customers, people that came here as children that now bring their children, people that came here on their first date that now come back on their anniversaries, people that came here during uni or with colleagues from a new job, now have regular catch ups with these long-standing friends. Some of our regulars have been coming here for over 30 years.”

Mark and Laki Owners

Renewing their offerings

Their menu is constantly evolving, but there are some long-standing staples. “The Mostly Greens stir fry with seasonal greens & organic tempeh has been on the menu since the beginning, as has the Mee Goreng. At the moment people are also loving our Vegan Chicken Bao – it’s probably the most popular item on the menu right now, along with our Laksa, a favourite for the colder months.”

Thankfully the team can update their menu on their phone, a computer or even their Square Stand in-store, with changes pushed instantly to their point of sale and their Square Online site for online orders. “Having customers access our Square Site to view pictures of our dishes has been a great way to showcase our menu in a different way. The integration capabilities with Square and our other platforms such as delivery applications are second to none.”

The team also uses a digital bump screen, Square KDS, to keep track of orders and to reduce printed dockets. “The KDS is wonderful, it’s made communication between the FOH and BOH seamless, as tickets are easily organised in order of priority, making service a lot smoother.”

Expanding plant-based products

Over the years the team has continued to innovate and expand. In 2015 they opened up their wine bar & eatery Transformer (now Transformer Next Door), and in 2016 they launched their plant based gelato shop Girls & Boys. And despite wading through the challenges of COVID lockdowns, the team is still committed to providing good food to their community. 

“One of Vegie Bar’s main core values is serving healthy, wholesome food at affordable prices. This coupled with friendly service in a unique warehouse setting has attracted people from the world over for decades.”

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