It’s time for the next stop on my tour of vegetarian friendly pubs of Melbourne! This time we’re at the Napier Hotel in Fitzroy! The Napier is an old-school style pub (it’s been there since 1866!) but with a more interesting menu than most! It’s retained it’s pub charm with a proper front bar, a room with a fireplace, a sunny courtyard and then a small dining room out the back, so it’s the perfect spot for an afternoon beer, or to spend an evening over a meal with friends.
I’ve spent a lot of time at the Napier over the years as I used to work very close by, plus it’s not far from home either! Their menu caters well for vegetarians and vegans, with a handful of regular options, plus at least one vegetarian special. Their food includes pub staples like burgers, steaks and parmas, but also branches out to include non-standard pub fare like a smoked duck breast salad, curries, kangaroo fillet and a filo pie.
This particular visit was for an evening of beers and food with family and friends to celebrate my sister’s birthday. It was an informal evening rather than a sit-down dinner, so we all just ordered and ate whenever we got hungry, so I was only able to capture a couple of the vegetarian meals that were enjoyed, but it’s better than nothing!
B and I both went with the Vegetarian Burger ($18) which consists of a roast beetroot and freekeh patty, salsa verde, tofu aioli, house pickled courgette, swiss cheese, carrot, cos & tomato on a focaccia bun with fries and tomato chutney (a vegan option is also available). This is not your average vegie burger and I really liked the addition of the tofu aioli and the the interesting flavours of the patty. It came with a mountain of shoestring fries, which aren’t my favourite way to have chips but were tasty nonetheless, particularly the tomato chutney! I liked the burger, however it was much spicier than I had anticipated, which unfortunately overpowered some of the more subtle flavours like the pickled courgette.
I managed to make it through mine with the help of my beer, but B found it all a bit too spicy so ended up having to leave some of the burger and focus on the chips instead.
One of mum’s friends (and also a lovely I Spy Plum Pie reader – hi Maryann!) ordered the vegetarian special of the day – the Yellow Split Pea Dhal ($17) which came with flatbread and yoghurt. I didn’t try this, but all reports were it was really delicious, with a nice amount of spice to it (less overpowering than the burgers!) and really nice flatbreads. I’ve had their vegetarian curries and dhal in the past so I have no doubt this was up to their usual standard!
Whilst I don’t think this was B’s favourite stop on our pubs for vegetarians tour, it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area as I’ve never had a bad meal there (spiciness aside!). It’s always nice to know there’s a pub in the area that not only has a good range of vegetarian options, but that they are not all heavy, carby pub meals. I have no doubt I will be back again fairly soon!