If someone invited me for dinner at a pub in Australia, I'd be like, "Yeah, no thanks." Pub food is your usual fried fare with no shortage of meat, cheese, and aioli. You'd be hard pressed to find a decent vegan option at a place that serves bar food. Luckily for vegans in the hipster-grunge-artsy mecca that is Melbourne, there's a neat little bar called The Cornish Arms, tucked away in Brunswick.
My friend recommended this spot to me and after browsing their Instagram, I was sold. It seemed like they had endless vegan options, including an entirely vegan-friendly beer and wine list. When we arrived on a Monday night, the joint was popping, and we were told there was an hour wait for tables and a forty five minute wait for food. Luckily for us, though, we found a big table in their seat-yoself area, and were able to guzzle down some ciders while we waited for our guests to arrive.
The vegan menu has tons of options, from burgers, to pizzas, to pastas. Of course, I went for a burger...a burger with fried "chicken," "bacon," "cheese," and a chipotle aioli. Holy YUM! Being the lightweight that I am, I was already buzzing a little bit by the time our food came, so you can imagine how excited I was when I bit into that giant ass burger.
The fried chicken burger at The Cornish Arms was by no means the best I've had. It pales in comparison to the ones I've had at Native Foods and Organix in California. But, I've found that the vegan options in Australia are never as good as the vegan options in the States, so it's unfair for me to judge them against each other. For Australia, this burger was good. The "chicken" tasted more like average seitan than a fake chicken product, but the fried batter was yummy and satisfied my tipsy tummy. The chipotle aioli had a nice kick, and the vegan bacon was almost too real. The bun was a typical hamburger bun with sesame seeds--it could've been better. The fries were reminiscent of Red Robin fries and kept begging me to eat them even after my stomach started to ache from being stuffed to the brim with burgers and beers.
The Cornish Arms is a super fun venue with an impressive selection of beers, wines, and vegan food. It was exciting to see such a busy venue cater so heavily to plant-based people. I'd certainly recommend this pub to visitors to Melbourne--not because the food is amazing, but because the vibe is cool, the drinks are good, and the eats will satisfy the pub-crawling vegans of Melbourne.
The Cornish Arms
163A Sydney Rd.
Brunswick, VIC 3056