Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Veg Eats in Red Hill

As the prophet is not recognised in his (or her, I imagine) hometown, so too is it easy to look past the suburbs when thinking of dining options. Admittedly, that's usually for a good reason: suburb restaurants as they've largely been known in Australia tend to be of somewhat questionable quality, opening and closing seemingly at random, and appearing and disappearing almost as erratically.

Thankfully, the last few years have seen a big turn around in this, and Brisbanites are finally enjoying a boon of good suburban restaurants, and hopefully (re)discovering some that have been around for years.

Admittedly, this probably isn't the case in every suburb, but I'm lucky enough near Red Hill which, while always having a range of good food (NoNo's has been there for at least 20 years), has, in the last four or five years, seen an explosion of new food places. And, even more luckily, most of them have stood the test of time (despite this being a particularly tough year for hospitality) and remain firm favourites of mine.

On a good day when I can actually get organised (ha), I like to order pizzas from Colle Rosso, run across to Craft and grab a bottle of wine or a few beers, head down to Botanica for some salad, then go back across to Colle Rosso to grab my pizzas and head home for a delicious meal, and probably Stargate. And all in about 15 minutes!

Colle Rosso, Botanica and Craft in the one photo!

If you're heading to Red Hill by public transport, you can catch the 380 or 381 bus from the city. If coming from further afield, catch a train or bus to Roma St station then walk across the road (outside the police station/courthouse) and catch the 380 or 381 from there.

Shop 9/1 Enoggera Terrace, Red Hill
07 3367 3334 | | facebook | @botanicafood

Note that their hours have changed since we first posted about them:
Tues-Fri: 9am-6pm
Sat/Sun: 9am-5pm | Closed Mondays
Limited onstreet parking nearby; you may have to find the closest park you can and walk. Doorway is quite narrow and there is a small step off the street which may impede accessibility. Food is ordered and paid for at a low counter but salad fridge is quite high.
Menu is entirely vegetarian, with many vegan items. Staff will be able to tell you which items are vegan. Menu changes daily. EFTPOS available.

We first encountered Botanica when it opened in 2013. Since then, it has become a firm favourite of locals and those further afield. I personally hate making salad so Botanica is great when I want a lunch that's light enough but also satisfying: their giant cous cous salad is probably my favourite salad and something I would never in a million years make at home.

As well as their ever-changing array of salads, they also have baked goods (some of which are vegan, though I'm not sure if there are vegan selections every day) and a drinks fridge stocked with locally made almond milk (either chocolate or coffee) and Emma & Tom's drinks. Their hours mean it's convenient to grab a salad on the way home from work or on the way to a gathering on the weekend, either for yourself ($10 for a small box), a small group ($15) or a larger one ($20).

Colle Rosso
191 Musgrave Road, Red Hill
07 3369 7417 | | facebook | @collerosso
Tues - Sun: 5pm - 10pm | Closed Mondays (they will also open for lunch any day for groups of 10 or more or for private functions)
Some street parking directly out the front, otherwise there is more parking underneath (turn down Storie St and then into the first driveway on the left). Lower carpark is only accessible by stairs but the restaurant is accessible directly off the street (through two glass doors). Toilets are near the lower carpark, so accessed only from stairs. Table service, but meals are paid for at a high counter. EFTPOS available. If you book online through Qantas, you can also earn Qantas points.
Menu is a mix of omnivorous and vegetarian. Dairy-free, vegetarian, and gluten-free items are clearly indicated on the menu. There are no vegan items except for a couple of the sides, but all pizzas can be made dairy free and vegetarian if you ask staff when ordering. Pasta (gluten-free and regular) and the gluten-free pizzas are made with egg.

My love for Collo Rosso is already pretty apparently in the post I wrote about them last year, but we're talking about Red Hill so... I love Colle Rosso (And I'm not joking when I say they're in my favourites on my phone). If I could only eat one place for the rest of my life, I wouldn't even think twice; I'd already have grabbed a table at Colle Rosso. In addition to the suggestions in my post, I'd also like to add that the green beans in lemon, olive oil and almonds are so simple and absolutely delicious.

Couverture & Co.
19A Enoggera Terrace, Red Hill
07 3367 3000 | | facebook | @couvertureandco
Tues-Fri: 10am - 6pm | Sat-Sun: 10am-2pm | Closed Mondays
See parking and accessibility information for Botanica above.

When I first went here, there was only one vegan item on the menu (though all but a handful of items are gluten free), but even the fruit-hating Matt loved the candied orange-filled date coated in dark chocolate that I got. Thankfully, I have since contacted Couverture & Co and they have informed me that they also have two other vegan chocolates in their range: the Cassis (dark chocolate ganache with blackcurrant purée) and the cherry coconut bar (dark chocolate cherry ganache topped with a layer of tart cherries and coconut). Their plain dark chocolate bars are also vegan. I look forward to trying these out next time I'm there, and hopefully as demand increases they will add even more vegan selections to their menu (I'm just going to say: chocolate coated cashew cream truffles).

La Vosh Patisserie
154 Musgrave Road, Red Hill
07 3369 4461 | | facebook
Mon: 6.15am - 4pm
Tues-Sat: 6.15am - 4.30pm | Closed Sundays
If you're lucky, you can get parking directly in front of the shop but there's only three or four street parks so I usually go down Zigzag St (the first right after ITP) to find a park then walk up. La Vosh and NoNo's aren't part of the shopping centre that includes the 7Eleven so you may be towed if you park there! The shop itself is accessible though the doorway is quite narrow, but parking situation might make access difficult. No toilet facilities that I'm aware of. All meals are paid for at a low counter. EFTPOS available.
Menu omnivorious but many vegetarian options (it is a patisserie afterall!). No vegan items on the menu, but you can do a "build your own" bagel or sandwich. Some gluten free options available.

We went to La Vosh a few years ago to eat one of their bagels. Oddly, even though we loved it, we didn't go back until a few months ago when, famished one day, I got a hankering for a bagel. I tried another cafe (which will remain nameless) nearby but was horrified to find that the only vaguely vegetarian option would require me to remove half the toppings and still be charged $14 for the privilege; no thank you! So I went to La Vosh, got their veggie bagel (no cheese, add guacamole; $8.95) and began an absolute obsession. Honestly, every time I come here, I get one bagel and by the time I get back to the car, it's already gone and I'm wishing I'd bought another.

La Vosh make everything in their (tiny!) shop daily; they have a range of bagels, which are made the "traditional" New York Way, and none of which are egg-washed (hurrah!), as well as a selection of other baked goods (sadly none vegan). If you're ever in need of a quick and delicious lunch, seriously stop here. Or just grab a few bagels and make toppings yourself at home.

Mamm's Thai Noodles 'N' Rice
Shop 5, 160 Musgrave Road, Red Hill (they also do online ordering)
Sat-Thurs: 3.30pm - 9pm | Fri: 3.30pm - 9.15pm | Deliveries are conducted from 6pm til 30 minutes before closing
See parking and accessibility information for La Vosh Patisserie above.

Menu is omnivorous with vegetarian items interspersed. Last time I went, I was told that any meat dish can be made with tofu on request, but it's best to double check that there are no other animal ingredients in the sauce. They will happily leave fish sauce out of dishes on request.

While there is nothing particularly individual about the menu here, the food is delicious (though I've heard from others that it's a bit hit and miss) and, the few times I've been, they asked if I wanted no fish sauce when I ordered vegetarian food, which is incredibly refreshing (and a relief, to be honest). Staff seem pretty knowledgeable so should be able to help you with what's vegan on the menu. Though I haven't tried it, they also offer coconut ice cream (dairy free) on their dessert menu, so your sweet tooth won't be left wanting!

158 Musgrave Road, Red Hill
07 3369 5691 |
7 Days: 10.30am - 8.30pm
See parking and accessibility info for La Vosh Patisserie above.

Fair warning: they are still cash only, so come prepared, otherwise there is an ATM at the 7Eleven.
Menu is mix of vegetarian and omnivorous, but most vegetarian items are also vegan. Most items are gluten free so be sure to ask if you need to check anything.

NoNo's has been a fixture in Red Hill for many years; it's incredible how many people from all over Brisbane know about it (even if not for the name, "Oh, that Lebanese place in Red Hill!"). And believe me, what it lacks in ambiance, it makes up for in delicious.

The obvious choice is the falafel kebab (probably the best in Brisbane; $8), but don't look past the salads! That delicious, creamy potato salad or those garlicky chickpeas? All vegan! Ah, tahini, you are beautiful... The menu proudly proclaims that everything is dairy free, just in case you do get worried! You can get various container sizes for the different salads and dips ($6/$8/$10), so I'd recommend getting a mix of them. Sadly, only the halva is vegan of their dessert selection (I've never been a fan), but after you've eaten a kebab and a box of salads, you'll be lucky if you can find room!

Recently, the owner has been on a bit of a health-kick journey so they have added a range of health food products, from coconut sugar/flour/oil to goji berries, to their small selection of traditional Middle Eastern groceries.

Plum Tucker
5 Enogerra Terrace, Red Hill (corner Musgrave Rd)
07 3369 0610 |
Sun-Thurs: 6am - 2pm | Fri-Sat: 6am - 9pm

Limited onstreet parking nearby; you may have to find the closest park you can and walk. Inside and outside seating area are quite cramped which may impede mobility; toilets are up a steep flight of stairs (I'm unsure if they have accessible toilets). Table service. Food is paid for at a low counter. Menu is omnivorous, with vegetarian, vegan, paleo, dairy free, and gluten free items (or options) clearly marked. Staff seem knowledgeable with any questions regarding dietary requirements.

Positioned on the end of the row of shops that also includes Botanica, Plum has a the same problems that plague many places in Red Hill: great visibility, low accessibility. You drive past and it's right there but unless you're somehow in early enough to grab one of the few nearby street parks, you'll need to find a street park further afield.

Thankfully, it is mostly worth the walk. For breakfast, Plum have a few set menu items ("breakfast our way", from $5.5-19) and then a "build your own" breakfast (all elements are $2-5), which I found most appealing. While they do have a tofu scramble on the menu (which was why I initially wanted to try here), I would pass on that for one of the more flavourful breakfast options (the baked black beans are quite tasty). There are a couple of items marked as having a "vegan option"; thankfully the waitstaff understand what vegan is, so if you have any questions they can help you out.

Inside are some couches but a majority of the seating is outside in their courtyard. It, if a little crowded, quite pleasant, especially with the water feature drowning out most of the sound from Musgrave Road. In future, I will have to try one of their set menu items, though it's hard to pass up all the options of the build your own! And there's also the appeal of being open 7 days.

For lunch, you can either have the all-day breakfast or try their vegan burger (helpfully called the Vegan Burger). I found it quite spicy, so chilliphobes beware! (Also I believe it was the patty itself that was spicy so I'm not sure if they could reduce the chilli on request if you're chilliphobic). The veganaise is delicious, though, and all in all I really enjoyed the burger.

I'm yet to try here for dinner (though the dinner menu just seems to repurpose lunch and breakfast items for vegans) so that's my next task!

196 Musgrave Road
07 3367 1383
Sun-Mon: 10am - 8pm | Tues-Wed, Sat: 10am - 9pm | Thurs-Fri: 10am - 10pm

Limited onstreet parking; you may have to find the closest park you can and walk (there are often street parks on the street directly after Craft, though it is a very steep street). Some parts of the shop are pokey which could impede mobility. Items are paid for at a low counter.

A beacon of hope for wine, beer and cider lovers, Craft is one of the few truly independent bottle shops in a sea of re-branded and re-packaged liquor stores. The staff can answer pretty much any question you have, providing very helpful recommendations (rather than just suggestion the most expensive thing) if you're at a loss with the sheer selection available in their relatively small shop. And, best of all, it's all quite reasonably priced. They also have a fridge of more standard bottle shop fare (Cruisers and the like) placed in the fridge near the door, in case you should come with someone who is looking for something along those lines. Beers and ciders (both local and imported, some from tiny breweries, others from larger) take up the fridges and shelves on the left side of the shop, with wines taking up every other inch of spare space, save behind the counter which is taken up with a dizzying array of spirits.

Because I trust the taste of the owners, I take every visit as an opportunity to try something new, and I'm rarely disappointed; I highly recommend doing the same.

And there you have it! It's always exciting to see new food coming to a suburb, and it's been wonderful to watch the scene in Red Hill slowly unfold over the last couple of years.

As always, please let us know if we've missed anywhere out so we can update this post! And let us know what you think if you've been to any of these places and have tips or recommendations that could help.


  1. I have passed Couverture on many a trip to Botanica and have always meant to stop in and ask if they had any vegan options, but now I can just go in and ask for the vegan option.
    I want to go to there! And I will soon.
    I love Nonos and the bagels up there, so close to work. But good to find out about a couple of other options as well.

    1. Yes I really do need to go back! It's a really great area and I'm very fortunate it's so close. And it's so close to your work too.

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