Vegan, raw, or vegetarian, alternative eating trends are without a doubt becoming increasingly popular – and the coastal city of Geelong is certainly happy to oblige.
Known for its chilled out vibes, Geelong, Victoria, prides itself on its’ cultural and fresh atmosphere. Growing and changing with the trends while retaining its original beach vibes, Geelong offers a fun, upbeat and all-round good time. With a booming alternative and healthy cafe scene, it is a foodie’s dream.
The Newsroom discovers what is on offer at these cafes by the coast.
Come for the coffee, stay for the vibes.
On Geelong’s beloved Pakington Street sits ‘King of the Castle’, which is certainly king of all things delicious and fresh. The smell of dark rich coffee filling the air is enough to give you a secondhand caffeine buzz the moment you walk through the door. The polite and friendly staff are quick to greet you with a smile, and if you are lucky enough to snag a table in this busy, open plan, industrial style cafe, you will not be disappointed.
Their extensive menu has a wide variety of healthy, vegetarian, and vegan options to keep even the fussiest eater happy.
A favourite of The Newsroom’s was the black rice and coconut pudding. Smooth subtle flavours with bouncy black rice cooked to perfection, and the tangy sweet blood orange create tiny moments of heaven with every mouthful.
King of the Castle not only have spectacular food and a great staff, they also make a mean chai latte. The use of real chai tea leaves, and a quirky ‘do it yourself’ style service, as well as the rich, sweet flavour earns this cafe an ‘A’ for originality and taste!
The only fault would be the wait time and lack of available seating. Simply adding a few more chairs and tables would allow more people to experience the wonderful King of the Castle.
Price: Mid-range – expensive.
Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 6:30am-3:30pm, Sun: 7:30am-2:30pm
Location: 24 Pakington Street, Geelong West, Victoria, Australia 3218
Quaint and quirky! A spot for joe is a spot for The Newsroom.
Nestled away in a CBD carpark is ‘A spot for joe’. A hidden treasure filled with vegan, dairy-free and raw delights. Upbeat vibes, friendly and quick staff, combined with food to die for equals a new favourite.
The smell of baking goods and coffee invites you through the door, intriguing the senses. The small cafe’s menu is not overly extensive, however, this is no issue. Most dishes are vegetarian or vegan and could also be made dairy or gluten free. Every item on the menu sounds as delicious as the next!
One to try would have to be the vegetarian Persian waffles. The sweet, sticky rosewater honey is complimented perfectly by the salty pistachios and yoghurt cream. Topped with fairy floss and scattered fresh blueberries, this dish is a must try for anyone with a sweet tooth. The waffles themselves are crunchy and crumble in the mouth, allowing the sweet ingredients to fall between the layers, combining the flavours to perfection.
Another plus: their coffee is strong enough to wake you up and keep you buzzing all day. Served in an adorable rustic mug, the soy milk mocha was chocolatey and caffeine filled with neither flavour overpowering the other.
One negative could be the share style seating arrangements. The use of bench seats and long tables means that there are only a few tables which allow for sitting privately. However, the seating style works well with the modern Scandinavian decor.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 7:30am-4pm, Sat: 8am-2pm
Location: 33 Little Ryrie Street (within the car park on the corner of Lawrence Place), Geelong, Victoria 3220.
Doing things differently.
If you love a good homestyle cafe, and really who doesn’t? Then The Sprout and the Bean is the place to go. The earthy decor and bubbly staff who can be heard laughing from the street, take you back to mum’s kitchen… If mum was a hardcore vegan, raw, health nut. Completely organic, bio-dynamic and GMO-free, The Sprout and the Bean offer the rawest cuisine around.
The smell of fresh coffee beans fills the dimly lit room as you are presented with an array of freshly baked homemade raw goodies and cakes. Adult colouring books and pencils are a welcomed source of entertainment while you wait for your food, though the wait is not long at all.
The menu was small and limiting, however, The Sprout and the Bean only use seasonal ingredients. As a result, their menu is ever changing. Favourites from The Sprout and the Bean is a toss up between a simple sourdough cheese toastie and the apple and almond muffin.
Tough on the outside and soft on the inside, you can taste the freshness bursting from the sweet apple pieces layered with crunchy almonds as the muffin crumbles in your mouth. Yet there is something comforting about a simple, classic toasted cheese sandwich, which sometimes you just crave. This sourdough toastie is comfort food and nostalgia wrapped in deliciousness, and is even served on homey plates.
The coffee is more chocolate flavoured than caffeine, which could be an issue for hardcore caffeine addicts. However, it still does the job and is full of flavour.
One let down of this otherwise enjoyable little cafe is that not all items on the menu are always available. The tofu burger and special hot meal of the day were both unavailable. However, The Newsroom understands that this can not always be helped.
Opening hours: Mon: 8am-3pm, Thurs: 8am-3pm, Fri: 8am-3pm, Sat-Sun: 9am-2pm.
Location: 163 Malop Street, Geelong, Victoria 3220
– Photos and story by Kaitlyn Wilson.