Casual vegan restaurant and wine bar. Menu includes small and large dishes as well as sides and dessert. Drinks include wine, beer and cocktails. A degustation option is available. NOTE: Closing time is flexible, so check ahead. Open Tue-Thu 6:00pm-10:00pm, Fri-Sat 6:00pm-10:30pm, Sun 5:30pm-9:00pm. Closed Mon.

Venue map for Ballard's
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32 Reviews

First Review by Kittybiscuit


Points +6908

27 Aug 2023

Best vegan food in Melbourne

I walked past this with a friend and there were seats available so we decided to try it. I had a few tables (mostly for 4 and a couple of booths for 6. It was really nice inside. I love places where the tables aren’t too close to each other. All of the alcohol is vegan too and the cocktails were delicious. I shared a plate of salt and pepper tofu which was very nice. It was also served with sprouts with a dressing and they were delicious! I didn’t think I’d ever say that either! I ordered a mushroom ravioli for my main. It had really nice flavours. It would have been nice to have another piece of ravioli but I can’t say that I was starved afterwards. I could smell the cauliflower croquettes and they smelt delicious. I think next time I’d order two entrees to share!
It seems like it would be a great date place or a great place to catch up with small groups of friends. I also loved they were playing Talking Heads!
I’ll definitely go back.

Updated from previous review on 2019-06-15

Pros: Tables aren’t too close together, The lighting, The music



Points +18

08 Aug 2023

Hands down my favourite

Absolutely my favourite restaurant in Melbourne. The food is amazing.

Updated from previous review on 2022-11-02


Points +28

14 Jul 2023


Ballard's is my absolute favourite restaurant I've ever been to. Somehow you just nail every single thing on the menu, the flavours are just so good! If you are in Melb you MUST go here. Sunday roasts are an epic, the gnocci is 🤤 and the parma deal was amazing (pls bring it back).

Pros: Flavour, Very reasonably priced, Atmosphere


Points +13747

09 Jul 2023

Great food but not very relaxing

We came here for a special occasion. We were seated in a booth, not as intimate as a table,  but further away from the cold air when the door opens. We’d been here a few times and never tried a degustation, so it seemed like as good a time as any. We got to sample a good deal of the menu, and everything was delicious, perhaps with the Brussels sprouts at the lower end of the rankings for me (while still good). The arancini and the Jerusalem artichoke balls were very nice and I was surprised at how delicious the braised cabbage was with its rich, savoury flavour. The meal was good value at $65 for eight dishes and I was definitely full by the end. The restaurant has a lively atmosphere and was booked out on this occasion. Staff were very busy and this did detract from the dining experience. After finishing our meal we were notified that we needed to leave in 15 minutes. I understand that restaurants need to maximise bookings, particularly in the current economic climate, and I also realise that 90 minutes is not an unusual allocation of time for a booking. However, given that the topic of booking times had already come up when we arrived (when we couldn’t sit at a particular table), it would have been good to be informed of this time limit at that stage, and it ended up making us feel rushed. That said, I do see this as the first choice for a special date night in Melbourne: a small, completely vegan fine-dining restaurant in close proximity to a boutique independent cinema.

Pros: Delicious food , Small completely vegan fine-dining restaurant

Cons: Not notified of time limit until time to leave

Ari Gis

Points +58

01 Jul 2023

Undefeated Champion

This is the best vegan restaurant in Melbourne. I’ve been dozens of times and it always delivers. I love their regular bistro menu as it always changes but the flavours and textures are incredible. Recently, I’ve been to their roast nights and parma nights and they were great as well. Fanciest parma you can find.

Creative food by an artist of a chef. Relaxed atmosphere in a dimly lit cozy wine bar. Unhinged sarcastic ramblings of a mad man for a social media marketing plan. What more could you ask for?

We are truly not worthy.

Pros: Flavours, Good jokes, Terrible bedside manner

Cons: Costs too little, Not open 24/7, Makes other restaurants seem worse


Points +1617

15 May 2023

High quality food for reasonable prices

I generally love the food at Ballard's. The most recent time I went was the first time I ordered a couple things that I ended up not loving. The mushroom gnocchi is pillowy and fluffy, but was a little lukewarm (except those in the centre) this time. We also got the salad and garlic bread included basically free, as part of their $30 gnocchi, salad, garlic bread special. The garlic bread was covered with what looked like bolognaise sauce but tasted like chilli jam (far too sweet for our liking).
The parsnip rosti was a surprising highlight, it was delightfully crunchy.
Their burnt eggplant dip is always delicious, and comes with amazing house made focaccia.
The charred brassicas was layered with some pickles, which was quite strongly flavoured, and wasn't to my taste. Also, the brassicas were kale (I wouldn't have got the dish if I had known) and turnip (I think).
Alot of their dishes are on par with what you'd get at a fancy degustation restaurant, but in a cosy, grunge bar aesthetic. I love what the chef can do with just wholefoods, I wish there was less oil used though.

Pros: Delicious wholefoods

Cons: Some dishes have too much oil drizzled on/around


Points +29

13 Apr 2023


We had the five course menu. Everything was amazing and felt curated but not in a stuffy way. Warm and inviting atmosphere and great vegan wines.

Pros: Both casual menu and degustation, Great atmosphere, Entirely plant based menu


Points +148

20 Feb 2023

Quaint bar with relaxed vibe

All vegan bar with lovely small dishes for sharing as well as larger plates. Spots to dine inside or outside. Especially enjoyed the focaccia with shiitake dip.


Points +521

16 Feb 2023


Have been meaning to come here for a while, to try out the delicious food. Bar has a friendly, eclectic and chilled vibe which is nice. We started with the chili fried popcorn cauliflower which was very very good. Very light but crispy batter/coating finished off with chipotle Mayo and pepitas for some texture. Perfect way to start the meal. My partner had the Sunday roast with all the delicious trimmings. All the elements worked and the flavours balanced like a champion.

But the star in my eyes was the pesto gnocchi with charred broccoli, roast tomato, kale pesto and chili oil. There was so many flavours all balanced so well, it was impossible to fault. As I’m eating each mouthful is as good as the first, with many mmmmmms and “how good is this?!?” to “I can’t believe how good this is”. I’ve grown up around gnocchi my whole life and this was the best I’ve eaten. So much so I bought another serve to take away, took it to my Italian parents to sample (I know, fraught with danger lol). They also agreed with my assessment. “Ma che buoni!!” (how good are these?!?)

We also had the desert, which was okay, but not to the level of the other dishes.

Well done guys, definitely be back.

Update Feb 2023: This has become my favourite restaurant of all time (vegan/non vegan), the variety and inventiveness of the dishes never cease to amaze me. The chef Tamlyn is a wizard of vegan food.

Updated from previous review on 2020-11-30

Pros: Beautiful vegan food, Cool venue


Points +948

07 Jan 2023

Gnocchi heaven

I’ve been excited to try this place, big fan of the owners social media presence and the menu sounded delicious. Let’s just say it was everything I was hoping for and more. Cool vibes and awesome food, and some Rick and morty music? 😂

Pros: All vegan , Super fluffy gnocchi, Great service


Points +19

Mostly Veg
28 Oct 2022


Been following Ballards on Instagram for a while after some friends raved about how good the food was, and we finally visited last month.

All the dishes were delicious (big love for the roast potatoes and the agnolotti). The prices were really reasonable too.

The menu changes regularly so you can check Instagram or Facebook to see what’s on offer.

If you want to book just send a text to secure a table.

Pros: All Vegan, Good price for the quality of the food , Great atmosphere


Points +81

28 Oct 2022

Amazing maybe we should make sure not too many know 🤔

Was honestly best vegan food around. A few of us find a different place each month and this food was a stand out!

Pros: Feed me

Cons: No cons just fabulous


Points +45

04 Sep 2022

Quality and unpretentious

One of my favourite places to eat in Melbourne. If you get tired of the regular vegan faux meats and burgers this is such a great alternative. Suprisingly unpretentious, which is a welcome change from what often comes with vegan dining.
Constantly changing menu, interesting flavours and really good value considering the quality of the food.
Also, the Sunday roast is a massive winner. Hearty and healthy, while also being indulgent


Points +358

15 Jul 2022

Great Vibe!

Great vibe and the food was great! My mum literally licked the plate lol

Pros: Vegan


Points +365

15 Jun 2021


Small menu but good choices and went in Feb 2021.
Had the cauliflower dish and my friend had the mac n cheese. All very tasty with good flavours. Nice wine too.

Small place but we'll see out and staff were lovelY.

Pros: Tasty and weLl presented food, Good menu, Helpful staff

Cons: Small venue, best to book


Points +711

14 Mar 2021

Overpriced and underdelivered

Vegan degustation here is really not worth it. Plus the staff seemed pretty uninterested in us.

They should probably stick to the $3 tacos.


Points +1433

26 Feb 2021


Finally dined at Ballard’s this week and it’s going straight on my list of local favourites! Worth noting that the menu changes daily so the dishes listed in the blurb here are only indicative of the kind of delicious creations that might be on offer when you visit. The website notes that there is always at least one gnocchi available, because everyone loves it! And you’ll see why when you bite into those pillowy clouds of potato. We shared 2 gnocchi and 3 small plates between 4 people. The charred broccoli in one gnocchi dish imparted a delicious smoky flavour, while the pumpkin gnocchi was sweet and creamy. Popcorn cauliflower was crisp and light, salt and pepper mushroom calamari was predictably delicious, and fries came with a very herby dill mayo. Our group comprising 1 vegan, 1 vego, and 2 omnis enjoyed everything equally. Can’t wait to try more!


Points +18

14 Jan 2021


Best vegan food in the area. Gnocchi was delicious, soooo soft. Roast cauliflower was so brilliant, and all the wines we tried was so yummy. Thank you!!!


Points +456

27 Dec 2020

I love everything about this place

Ballard's is an absolute joy and a testament to plant-based restaurants. Great social media, wonderful staff, nice indoor and outdoor set up - and best of all, delicious food. I am picky and have high standards and Ballard's don't disappoint.

The Roast = delicious

$3 Tacos = delicious and super cheap

Gnocchi = so gooood (it's homemade and dumplingy and not like store bought, so maybe some of the negative gnocchi reviews just aren't used to that style?)

Degustations = an almighty treat and celebration of food

All vegan wines and drinks - we're so lucky to have Ballard's in our lives.

Some people have said the staff are grumpy - but I respect a boss who looks after his employees and honestly, I've always found them to be relaxed, fun and great to communicate with.

I recommend Ballard's to everyone - and have a lot of non-vegan friends who love it too.

Pros: Variety of menu, Delicious wines - and great wine recommendations, A restaurant owner/chef that really cares

Cons: None, But maybe this place isn't for you if you like US , style service?


Points +198

23 Nov 2020

I love this place

Found Ballard's by a happy accident once upon a time and have now been 3 times including with omni friends who also loved their meals. The gnocchi is so pillowy it's like biting into a cloud. I will continue raving about this place to anyone who will listen.

Pros: Everything on the menu so far is delicious, Great service


Points +42

18 Nov 2020


Whole food vegan. A must try. I’ve been 4 times this week!

Pros: Highly recommended , Delicious , Great whole food ingredients


Points +480

04 Mar 2020

So Good!

I went here after seeing the venues hilarious Instagram posts of the owner/chef seemingly vomiting his thoughts into the captions and I absolutely love the raw honesty and it’s funny.
The food was genuinely really good and for $25 a head for all you can eat there was zero complaining. They had a couple of $5 tinnies and a really good wine selection so overall I have nothing negative to say!

Pros: All Vegan, Good price , Wine selection


Points +30

08 Feb 2020

Go Go Go!!

Brilliant, delicious, exciting and amazing vegan food.
Everything is cooked to perfection always!!
The wines are delicious, and well paired with the Menu. The bartenders are so friendly and always have excellent recommendations!! Trust them they know all the secrets!!
They are always running specials, where you can have all you can eat for $25!! unheard of value!

Pros: All Vegan!


Points +69

01 Feb 2020

Amazing! Not to be missed!

The reviews here almost turned me off... But the place I was going to eat at fell through. And I'm so glad it did!

Great vibe! The people working there wonderful! And the food was absolutely amazing!

My favourites were the eggplant dish which had an amazing texture, and the gnocchi with mushrooms.

For $100 we got enough food for 2 people, and 2 glasses of wine each, which is a great price for a nice meal out!

I'm already planning on my next visit!


Points +37

04 Dec 2019

great food, drink, and service

delicious food, excellent service, and a nice selection of booze


Points +16

29 Nov 2019


Pretty disappointed eating here, the eggplant steak was dripping in oil (inside and out), the potato side salad was actually quite nice. The gnocchi seemed more like mashed potato dumplings, rather than gnocchi.

They did have a pretty decent wine list, however the staff did seem very disinterested.

overall the food was quite flavourless.

Pros: completely vegan, good wine list

Cons: oily food, flavourless, disinterested staff


Points +76

21 Nov 2019

Incredible vegan food, lovely staff!

We headed to Ballard’s for the 8 course degustation in a Friday night and enjoyed every second! Cute bar, and we sat in a booth. The staff were so lovely, friendly and funny. The food was the best vegan fare I’ve ever had. Simple yet so different and just delicious. Brinner, 2 deserts and the lentil pate were my faves. So much value for money and I’ll be back!

Pros: Delicious vegan foods, Friendly staff, Great beer, cider and wine options.

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