This view is solely my own (limited to the restaurants that I have been lucky so far to visit), but I can’t help but think that if you were to decide on the best vegan restaurant in Melbourne, and perhaps in Australia, it would be Smith and Daughters, as well as its associated shop (which is aways down the road and around the corner), Smith and Deli.
Finding delicious restaurants, both vegan and vegan-friendly, in the age of Google is very easy, so rather than cover the many amazing eateries in Melbourne I will take this opportunity to say what I think Smith and Daughters and Deli are doing absolutely right.
Number one, given what everyone expects, the food is incredible—fresh and colourful, healthy and vibrant but not overdone, and tasty and varied and uncomplicated all at once. The food is complemented by the surroundings, which are both stylish and understated, verging on the rustic.
If you were looking for a purely five-star-looking and -feeling restaurant, there might be one that is less homely and welcoming and more elite-feeling. That has its place, but stylishly casual in my view tends to be better. The menu items are from all around the world—as Australian cuisine is often obliged to incorporate—with vegetable-championing meals and other meat-like, exploratory dishes.
If you are in Melbourne, you won’t need to think twice about visiting Smith and Daughters—and likely more than once—and you will want to get both savoury and dessert baked items as well from the sister shop, Smith and Deli, both as stated above located near each other in Fitzroy. It is heartwarming to know, too, in Melbourne as in most cities today, that these venues, like the increasingly vegan-friendly menus of non-vegan restaurants (brought about by the ever-increasing demand for these items), are just the beginning.