For the last 6 months, we have followed and watched (from afar) as Jess Sargeant of Unbeleafable Food has traveled around Melbourne, sampling the best in vegan eateries, cafes & venues.
She has documented countless meals and establishments, with her professionally styled posts and mouth-watering selections put on show via her Instagram account @unbeleafablefood
After getting over our jealousy of her fantastic vegan life, we thought it would be great to pick her brain on all things vegan in Melbourne and share it with you.
We chat with Jess to find out more…
So Jess, tell us a little about yourself & how you got started on your vegan journey?
Hi! I’m Jess, I’m 27 and I live in the beautiful vegan-friendly city of Melbourne! I am super excited to share a little bit about my vegan journey with you.
I went vegan in January 2018, after thinking about it seriously for a couple of months before that. I was already cooking vegan meals for myself in those months beforehand so I’d figured out what I liked and what worked! After watching the documentary Earthlings, something clicked in my brain and I decided to make the switch! My youngest sister had been vegan for about 5 years already, and my other sister became vegan about 6 months after me which was really cool!
Where would you like to see the ‘Unbeleafable Food’ brand in 3 – 5 years?
At the moment I am so grateful to be part of a community of foodies, plant-based people, and lovely Melburnians on Instagram. I love to share the incredible vegan options available in our city with vegans and non-vegans alike! Another rewarding part of my Unbeleafablefood Instagram page is working with brands, cafes, and restaurants to support their business and showcase their amazing products! I am currently doing all this while working full time! In the next 3 – 5 years I would love to develop and improve from where Unbeleafablefood is today. I would also love to offer more advice and help to those who might be starting their vegan journey.
You have started making videos for Youtube recently, any other new channels or projects in the works?
Yes, I have! I have wanted to make YouTube videos for years now, and I finally decided to start! I am learning and developing new techniques, such as video creating and editing, and so far it has been super fun!
I am also working with a couple of different companies to help compile information about the best vegan spots in Melbourne! I will share with you soon!
Ok, onto the food!
What are your top 3 Melbourne Vegan cafes?
There are so many fantastic venues in Melbourne with delicious vegan options! My top 3 would have to be:
1. Good Love in St. Kilda
I love love love everything about this place! Obviously, the food and menu are INSANE, I’d definitely recommend you try the KFC, the Mixed Chilli Mushrooms or a massive slice of their pizza hehe. Good Love has a strong focus on sustainability and local produce, almost everything is made from scratch in their kitchen. You can go for brunch, lunch, dinner or cocktails, it’s always going to be a good time! The team is awesome, inclusive and fun, and the décor is so cool – pink power!!
2. Tyranny of Distance in Windsor
This bar and restaurant has a unique look and feel! Much of the décor is recycled and it’s just super cool in there! The whole menu is 100% plant-based and the options are so varied and creative! I would definitely recommend the Eggplant Parma, Twisted Thai Ramen or the Duck Roti Rolls! Plus, they do some great vegan cocktails!
3. The Vegan Shack in Richmond
Love the vibes at The Vegan Shack! They have some incredibly beautifully presented breakfast and brunch dishes, delicious toasties and sandwiches, healthy bowls and sweet smoothies. Everything on their menu is healthy, fresh and tasty. You can’t go wrong!
What is your easy go-to at home vegan dinner?
It’s pretty simple really haha! I like quick and easy meals. I love a good tofu and veg stir fry. Lately, I have been using Pickld Seasonings to spruce up the flavour and they are super tasty!
Where is the best vegan dessert in Melbourne?
Oh, that’s a tough one! I would have to say Girls & Boys in Fitzoy! All their flavours are so delicious and creative, and you can dip your ice cream cone to make it a choc top! They also do decadent Sundaes and cookies and brownies, sooo good!
Where is the best dairy-free coffee in Melbourne?
I recently tried an Oat Mylk Flat White at Poolhouse Coffee in the CBD. It was so delicious! I feel that Oat Mylk can be hit and miss, however they use the yummy Oatly brand at Poolhouse, plus they roast their own beans there, it is the perfect combo!
8. If you could travel to anywhere in the world for a day of vegan eating it would be?
I have heard Portland, Oregon is super vegan-friendly! I have never been to this city before so would love to adventure and eat lots of food along the way!!
And finally, who should we interview next?
There are so many amazing plant-based people you could interview! How about lovely Megan, from @veganinmelb !
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Jess. We love your passion and enthusiasm for all things vegan food! We can certainly relate!
To read more Vegan Chat’s with other amazing Australian vegans Click Here.