Coffee and tea house also serving food like all-day breakfast, daily soup/stew, enchiladas, smoothies, raw snickers and desserts. Also operates Admiral Cheng Ho in Abbotsford. NOTE: Confirmed open, Nov '22. Open Mon-Fri 7:00am-5:00pm, Sat-Sun 8:00am-5:00pm.

Venue map for Monk Bodhi Dharma
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53 Reviews

First Review by vgough


Points +50

28 Oct 2023

Ordinary and Dissappointing

Ordered the Avo toast with ‘vegan fetta’ and the mushroom toast dish,
Vegan fetta is dry and more like couscous or breadcrumbs, mushrooms were soggy and tasteless.
Came here for my wife’s birthday and were moved to sit in the doorway right where everyone pays, door constantly opening. It was difficult to find, would have been better if we didn’t find it to be honest

Pros: The walls

Cons: The food, The service and crowdedness, jammed seating, Luke warm coffee



Points +984

15 May 2023

Better than I had hoped

My family and I shared four meals and let’s just say all meals exceeded my expectations. We tried the pancakes, zucchini fritters, toastie (which was more of an open toast), and mushroom on polenta bread (absolute magic). Everything is vegetarian/vegan. Kitchen does use milk/milk products but vegan cheese can be swapped out for vegan. Cool location and coffee was 10/10.

Pros: Food coma good , Lots of options, Really cool vibe


Points +677

01 Apr 2023

Nice vibes

This place has every right to be pretentious with its aesthetic, flavor profiles and service and yet it is not. Lovely lovely food on lovely plates served by lovely people. Shared table. We will be back!!!!!!


Points +29

20 Mar 2023


I had a takeaway coffee scroll - so good!! Very kind staff 🧡. Will be back to try the pancakes!


Points +164

15 Mar 2023

Cute little cafe

Love the hole in the wall vibe of this place. Staff were kind and offered to remake my friends coffee. Lots of baked goods on offer.


Points +6100

18 Feb 2023

Best chai. Best vegan muffins!

Monk chai is superior. Monk also does the best vegan fruit muffins. Vegan muffins are so hard to find and these are tasty and moist. The mushrooms are divine inspiration and my absolute fav. The fritters are awesome as well. Amazing food.

Updated from previous review on 2020-12-11


Points +978

23 Jan 2023


Such a cool hidden place! Love the decorations and vibe. What an amazing menu, I wanted to try everything! I ended up getting the mushrooms on pumpkin & Polenta bread! So yum and such a big portion! I also got a decaf soy chai latte which was good too- not too sweet and so many spices!! Especially love the face mugs hahha
I will be back soon :)) This place is my new obsession

Pros: Big portions, Amazing chai lattes


Points +68

29 Oct 2022

One of my Melbourne’s all time favourite

I am a big hungry jimbo fan and have been for years, always want to try different things but always going back to this classic! Their acai is a great sweet options too. I love the facts that they have pretty much the same team for years, for me that say a lot with the way the business is run, for hospo staff to stick around for years, the business must be doing something right, and that make me love this business even more! Not to forget their coffee is on point, always have an outstanding cold brew there. Not sure if they still do, but they also used to have crazy inspired dinner degustation!

Pros: Great food , Great coffee , Great ethics

Cons: None


Points +13866

12 Sep 2022

Nice food, makeshift tables

I hadn’t been here in years and it’s northside counterpart Admiral Cheng Ho disappeared a while ago now, so I was keen to revisit this place. I hadn’t missed the poky seating, and sure enough when we arrived we were seated at the makeshift bench on which your plate juts over the edge. We ordered the Hungry Jimbo and the zucchini fritters, both of which were absolutely delicious. The fritters were notable for their combination of spices - I detected anise and cardamom - giving them a flavour on the border of savoury and sweet. Keeping an eye out for a decent table becoming free we eventually managed to score one, even as somebody unfairly tried to dive on it before us. It’s everyone for themself in the hipster cafe jungle.

Pros: Delicious food

Cons: Poky seating and makeshift tables


Points +68

10 Aug 2022

Best coffee - seriously

Comfy little brick building with awesome coffee and vegan avo.


Points +90

02 Aug 2022

Mushroom dish is my fave

Love this place, amazing vegan options. The mushroom dish is my #1.


Points +148

14 Mar 2022


Our weekly visit for the past 10 years!
Best chai & food.
Lovely staff.
We love the jimbo & avo… and rest of the menu!
A must go to if you are vego/vegan.

Pros: Chai & coffee, Food & cakes , Vibe & staff

Cons: None, Zlich , Nothing!


Points +65

27 Feb 2022

Great vegan food/coffee/vibe but now over-priced

Been a regular patron to MBD since it started and always loved the food/coffee/vibe but went back recently after a couple of years living interstate and was shocked at the price hike- seriously what's the deal $22.50 for avo on toast and got stung $5.50 for a standard long black - as much as I like the place I definitely won't be a regular in future but maybe just a special occasion as just can't justify paying those prices especially when they roast their own coffee!

Pros: great vegan food , great coffee, nice vibe

Cons: Over-priced , 10% surcharge on weekends


Points +40

04 Apr 2021

Go-to Vegan breakfast

The best chai latte I’ve ever had! Please get the acai bowl , it’s ridiculous. The vegan muffins are also delicious.

Pros: Lots of vegan breakfast/lunch options

Cons: $10 for a chai latte 🤭


Points +67

01 Nov 2020

Best cafe in St Kilda

Amazing brunch food and pastries. Coffee is excellent! Incredible chai.

Pros: Great vegan food options, Amazing coffee and chai, Friendly staff


Points +5448

23 Jun 2020


One of my favourite places for brunch! The best mushroom dish ever, although it can be dry at times. The atmosphere is great and so it’s the coffee. It can be had to get a table.

Pros: The best mushroom dish I’ve ever had! , Nice ambiance and staff, Great coffee


Points +202

03 Jan 2020

A great nook

This converted little factory In the back lane near a carpark may be hard to find, but it is a cozy little get away from the craziness of nearby Carlisle Street. It prides itself on its range of ethical coffees and has a menu that is surprisingly extensive. It is vegetarian and mostly vegan but everything can be made vegan usually just by swapping yoghurt into coconut yoghurt. The Hungry Jimbo is their specialty as is the mushroom on polenta which features more types of mushrooms than I could count. A great spot!


Points +633

11 Dec 2019

The best!

Most (if not all) meals are vegan/can be made vegan. Their vegan pancakes are hands down the best in Melbs, with the açai bowl not far behind. Their chai is also unbeatable. Service is always excellent.

Pros: Best pancakes/chai, Affordable , Good location

Cons: Some dairy options.


Points +114

08 Nov 2019

Best Vegan Pancakes

I come here whenever I am in Balaclava and have the most amazing vegan pancakes. Sensational!

Pros: Excellent food, Pancakes, Great coffee


Points +93

21 Sep 2019

Yummy chocolate brownie in this stylish hidden gem

For nourishing savory meals, or indulgent sweets. If you make it to this place, you’ll have it all.

Pros: It’s all vegan, Plenty of pastries, It has character and a chill atmosphere


Points +11

Mostly Veg
18 Sep 2019


Beautiful coffee selection, and really flavourful vegan/vego/gf meal options. It’s a small, Cosy space; one big shared table, a bench and 4 or 5 two seater tables.

Pros: The avo on toast is like. best in class., Coffeeee!

Cons: Slightly more expensive Vego breakies


Points +71

15 Jun 2019

Hungry hungry jimbo

You must try the hungry jimbo dish, it's amazing. The housemade bread and almond ricotta are huge winners. Love the coffee but if you want almond milk, you're paying about $7 for an almond latte which is CRAZY! The almond milk is also housemade but wow that's a hefty price tag.

Pros: So many yummy dishes

Cons: Expensive coffee


Points +736

16 Mar 2019

Real good

Great little spot for coffee, pancakes and tofu. Will be back.


Points +281

12 Mar 2019

Best Cafe in Melbourne!!

This is my favorite cafe in the world (as a 747 international long haul airline pilot, I have been to hundreds of cafes all over the world). The only reason they aren’t 100% vegan is because they have cows milk for coffee [they also have lots of plant-based milks for us vegans!] and they have two menu items with optional Cheese. Otherwise everything is 100% vegan. They even have vegan croissants and muffins and baked goods!!

The Avocado Toast is the best I’ve had (photo doesn’t do it justice. All the current photos on Happy Cow are not very good. If you go here, please add some better photos!).

If you order Vegan Avo Toast, it comes with Almond [Vegan] Feta!! And so much Avocado and so so much flavour! The coffee is unbelievably good too! They have many different types of coffee, and they roast it themselves in-house! In the coffee capital of the world (Melbourne), this is the best coffee shop I’ve been to. All the other food I saw other people eating was also outrageously amazing looking (there’s currently no good photo’s on Happy Cow, but don’t let that discourage you!)

This is the first cafe/restaurant I’ve ever given a 5 star review to that isn’t 100% vegan (serves some milk & cheese). They deserve it! Plus they are 99% vegan.

A little hard to find, it’s in the alley beside Woolworth Grocery store, just off Carlisle Street; no big sign outside. 1 block walk from Balaclava train station. Easy to get to from the CBD on the train.

Pros: 100% Vegan except 2 items have optional cheese. , Amazing Avocado Toast! Vegan baked goods! , Amazing coffee (roasted in-house)

Cons: Serves Cheese in two menu items, Optional cows milk in coffee for non-vegans


Points +49

05 Dec 2018

Delicious and cozy

One of my favourite places to eat. Delicious food in a cool, cozy space.

Pros: Flavourful vegan options , Great atmosphere, Great cooked vegan food


Points +57

20 Oct 2018

Delicious vegan banana pancake

The best vegan banana pancake I've ever tried. Very delicious.

Place is abit small. Go early to secure seats.

Pros: Plenty of options, Friendly staff

Cons: Small space


Points +78

06 Aug 2018

Doesn’t get better

The coffee, the umami mushrooms, the pancakes, the Tim tam ... these are a few of my favourite things. And if you get the chance to go to one of the sporadic degustation nights, DO NOT MISS IT. They are phenomenal.

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