Sick of not being able to finish off the enormous pile of avocado that accompanied your eggs on toast? Watching as the waiter scoops the remainders into the bin of the local café kitchen. Food waste strikes again. Cue the guilt.
Believe it or not, there are some hospo-superstars that feel the frustration as well. The eateries below are proving that it doesn’t take much to make a difference in the community and positively impact the environment. They are paving the way for environmental and social justice engagement, and taking responsibility for their contribution to the issues, one avocado at a time.
Curtin House, Level 6/252 Swanston St, Melbourne
Mesa Verde is fighting for sustainability one straw at a time. This Mexican haven are choosing metal straws instead of the common, every day, plastic straw. This is in effort to minimize waste and tackle the dire issue of pollution to the environment, in hope that a simple swap will make a huge difference. They are also home to some wriggly worms to make use of the wasted food that piles up each day, which contributes to their efforts to reduce waste, and provide fertilizer for their home-grown herbs, and reduce food miles!
Be part of the sustainable movement and stick a metal straw into one of their house margaritas, and indulge in a few tacos while you’re there as well, it would be rude not to.
650 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
Higher Ground, a café by day and restaurant by night, have also implemented worm farms with 100,000 tenants taking up residency at their eatery. Each helping to reduce food waste and create fertilizer that they then use to feed their rooftop garden, further helping our planet.
Once you can take a minute from admiring the beautiful space at the venue, check out that menu! Be sure to try the modernized-classic, confit lamb sausage roll, or the sophisticated char-grilled salmon belly and pair it with a refreshing red grape spritz cocktail.
673 Bourke St, Melbourne
Kinfolk Café is doing their part by redirecting their funds to those who need it. The volunteer employees at Kinfolk Café work to create change for not-for-profit organisations, including Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and the Cathy Freeman Foundation. On top of that, they enable opportunity by providing a training program for those facing marginalisation, including people with mental health illnesses and physical disabilities.
Knowing that your coin is going to someone in need is motivation enough to order a few items from the menu. Be sure to give the Swiss Gruyere tart a go, or try out the pappardelle pasta.
7-9 Hosier Ln, Melbourne
The coffee shop Good 2 Go is helping out the youth of Melbourne by offering employment to young adults. This initiative allows for growth and skill enhancement, to aid them in finding work in the future, as well as directing profits towards funding services that support the homeless.
To top their awesome efforts off, Good 2 Go encourage customers to ‘Pay It Forward’ by purchasing a snack or coffee for a homeless person. Although, it may be hard to not order an extra something for yourself as they have taken the humble toastie up a notch, with a three cheese melt and a sweet tooth jaffle with raspberries, ricotta and white chocolate. Need I say more?
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Rialto Towers, 525 Collins St, Melbourne
The team at Vue De Monde, the luxe restaurant located 55 levels above Melbourne, focus on supporting the little guys with their consideration towards local suppliers. They take pride in their shared values with their suppliers, on the importance of origin.
Vue De Monde foster direct relationships with the farmers that supply their seafood and meat, as well as fresh produce that they additionally grow and harvest on site. This is shown through the constantly changing menu due to their commitment to seasonality. You can expect dishes such as cured kingfish and mud crab with native pesto, and the fish is so fresh you’ll feel like you’re dining seaside.
1 Frith St, Brunswick
Keep your eyes peeled for the newest eatery set to make strides in tackling social issues, 4 Pines Welcome to Brunswick. From the team behind Welcome to Thornbury, the new food truck precinct will be powered by solar panels and be made purely from recycled materials. Their aim is to reduce waste, which they will attempt to do so by additionally composting all food waste. This eco-friendly precinct is set to open November 2019.
Melbourne eateries are certainly realising their responsibility in the hospo-industry and are making their contributions where they can. Whether it’s supporting local farmers, reducing food waste or helping disadvantaged groups, these eateries are kicking social issues in the backside and also influencing patrons to be more socially and environmentally aware.
By Lauren Riccardi