A road-trip to Belgrave in Melbourne's outer east brings patrons back to nature and food inspired by nature. Nestled in The Dandenongs is the vegetarian and vegan café The laughing Owl
Grab a table at The laughing Owl in Belgrave
The Laughing Owl is placed along the main strip and flanked by other small eateries and specialty shops. What makes The Laughing Owl special is the fact that you need to arrive early in order to secure a table. The shop is cosy and warm, with a beaming atmosphere to match the rhythmic hum of the ever-busy coffee machine at the counter. Every nook and cranny houses a table, bench and chair so that space is maximised and patrons can vie a spot at this popular café.
The laughing Owl is popular so bookings are advised!
Choose from The laughing Owl's delicious vegetarian and vegan choices
The Laughing Owl is a 'café with a conscience', emphasised by its dedication to plant-based fare and ethical ingredients. Patrons are spoiled for choice if they want to sit back over a long and lazy brunch, or who stop quickly for a takeaway coffee and cheeky treat from the over-flowing cabinet. Towering cakes anointed with fresh flowers, smaller treats like slices, biscuits and balls all add to the selections here so it's no wonder a steady stream of foot traffic wander in and take a few moments to make their choices.
Warm up from a selection of coffees, hot chocolate or vegan chai
Patrons also have a choice when it comes to their coffee – takeaways are served in recycled jars, complete with screw-top lids that eliminate spillage. In a time when minimising waste is so important, this genius solution to disposable cups and lids is a popular point in The Laughing Owl's conscious business model. Patrons can also buy an eco-cup if they choose.
Crispy zucchini fritters with house-made chilli jam
If patrons are lucky to score a table (yes, The Laughing Owl can take bookings in advance), a tasty short order menu waits with flavours to satisfy plant-based and non-plant-based customers alike. For a cooler day, the zucchini fritters are a delicious choice. Lightly fried patties snuggle within a light salad of greenery and corn salsa, all flavoured by a sweet and spicy house-made chilli jam. The heat from the chilli will warm a cold body if the weather conditions outside are less than favourable. The Laughing Owl's 'naked' burger is another filling choice; dense burger patty that's layered with salad, balsamic glaze and creamy condiments.
The laughing Owl's 'naked' burger
While patrons wait for their meal (not too long a wait), they indulge in a soy latte, warming hot chocolate or vegan chai while admiring the quirky furnishings. A gorgeous selection of glass bottles and lanterns hang from a ladder attached to the ceiling, playing in the sunlight peering through the vast shop window-front. Lights are strewn across the shop's ceiling, joined together by dried tree branches.
Gorgrous furnishing to create a cosy ambience at The laughing Owl
It's best to leave some room for something sweet afterwards. There are many gluten-free options for vegetarian and vegan patrons, and a slice of the day's cake is always a reliable go-to that will satisfy the sweet tooth.
Delicious sweet treats are found at The laughing Owl
Whether it's served at the table or as a takeaway for later, it's a wonderful finish after a tasty and satisfying brunch. Patrons lucky enough to get a table at The Laughing Owl won't leave disappointed.