Beefing Up the Menu: West End’s Grown Cafe Goes Omni

West End’s popular vegan cafe Grown has recently made the unexpected decision to add meat offerings like fried chicken and bacon to their traditionally plant-based menu.

Read: Lekki by Little Lagos Brings Hard-to-Find Tastes of Nigeria to West End

Operating since 2017, Grown has built a loyal customer base around their meatless dishes like the smashed avocado, slow roasted mushrooms, and baby beet salad. However, the owners noticed the business struggled to stay afloat catering solely to vegans and vegetarians.

Grown’s traditional plant-based menu (Photo credit: @grown_bne/Instagram)

Now diners can order mainstream favourites like eggs and bacon with their Grown breakfasts. The famous Eggs Benedict comes with the option of adding Gympie nitrate-free bacon or fried chicken, besides avocado or smoked salmon. Even the cafe’s famous QLD Pumpkin gnocchi can be ordered with southern fried chicken.

The cafe’s new dinner menu (Photo credit: Grown/Google Maps)

They even offer a southern style fried chicken burger, which customers can opt to add bacon to for a true meat overload feast. 

Initially, Grown kept about 65 percent of menu items plant-based to continue catering to their original vegan customer base. However, within just a few months of adding meat options, demand from meat-eating customers led to a reversal – now only a small portion of offerings like forest mushroom on toast and smashed avo remain vegan.

Eggs Benedict Fried Chicken with house made pepper berry hollandaise (Photo credit: @grown_bne/Instagram)

Despite these big changes in their menu, Grown cafe sets itself apart by incorporating native Australian flavours into both its vegan and omnivore offerings. Expect to see bush pepper mayo, wattleseed balsamic, and saltbush potato positively influencing familiar dishes. 

The menu continues to change seasonally based on available produce, and craft beers and Australian wines complement the evolving dinner selections.

Read: New Wine and Vermouth Bar to Grace Brisbane’s West End

The addition of animal products to Grown’s menu represents a major shift for the formerly vegan cafe. Whilst the change has been controversial among some loyal plant-based customers, it has also succeeded in attracting new meat-eating patrons. 

One thing is clear – to stay in business, sometimes restaurants have to evolve. Grown is striving to strike that delicate balance.

Find Grown at Shop G03/21 Buchanan St, West End.

Published 5-February-2024

Plant-Based Cafe Rises From the Ashes, New Location in West End to Open Soon

After being gutted by fire last February 2022, this plant-based cafe is set to stage a comeback from its new location in West End.

Owners Prince Khamkaew and Pratana “Gifty” Langkapinth lost their cafe, Vega, on Chalk St, Lutwyche due to fire. It was a devastating loss for the young couple who had just opened the venue last year and even had their home put on the market to help fund its expansion.

With the help of the locals who are quick to rush in and provide their support through a fundraiser organised by Scott McDonald and Casey Earley, the pair is now starting over and will soon be reopening their cafe at its new location at 91 Jane Street in West End.

fire-gutted Vega Lutwyche
Photo Credit: Vega Cafe / Facebook

The 150sqm cottage that will be the new home Vega Cafe is currently undergoing renovation which once completed will feature two covered decks for its alfresco dining. The owners are hoping to reopen Vega later this year and serve customers their plant-based favourites including their Weef Burger which is grilled tofu patty with green oak, tomato, cucumber and cheese.

vegan burger
Vegan burger | Photo Credit: Vega Cafe / Facebook
Acai bowl / vegan Shibuya
Acai bowl / vegan Shibuya | Photo Credit: Vega Cafe / Facebook

Vega’s coffee options will be supplied by Fonzie Abbott plus a range of other beverages will be on offer including smoothies, milkshakes, fruit soda and iced tea. Meanwhile, their vegan cabinet will feature gluten-free vegan pastries and cakes.

Butterfly pea ice latte / Black cold brew by Fonzie Abbot
Butterfly pea ice latte / Black cold brew by Fonzie Abbot  | Photo Credit: Vega Cafe / Facebook

Late last year, they decided to return to their vegan roots, much like what they did when they were still operating Little Digs in Fortitude Valley. They removed all of Vega’s vegetarian options from the menu and made it a full-fledged plant-based eatery.

Learn and Enjoy Vegetarian and Vegan Cooking at West End

It’s always a challenge finding vegetarian and vegan food around. That’s why the best weapon that any vegetarian and vegan can have is the ability to prepare their own food.

Three times a year, the West End branch of the Australian School of Meditation and Yoga (ASMY) presents ‘Hands-On Interactive Vegan/Vegetarian Cooking Class‘ suited for beginners and experienced cooks looking for new ideas and techniques.

Each class is different and the same class is never repeated. The next cooking classes for 2017 are on Saturday, 12 August 2017 and Saturday, 11 November 2017.

Upcoming Event Details

What: Hands-On Interactive Vegetarian/Vegan Cooking Class
When: Saturday, 12 August 2017
1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.Saturday, 11 November 2017
1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Where: Australian School of Meditation and Yoga
236 Montague Rd, West End
Cost: $60 per person


Photo credit:

The classes present fresh food ideas and cooking tips for vegetarians and vegans. Attendees will be able to take home a comprehensive cookbook with vegan recipes. Only 24 participants can be accepted at the classes.

All the recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts presented at the classes are guaranteed healthy and delectable at the same time. The Hands-On Interactive Vegan/Vegetarian Cooking Class is also an ideal event for those needing advice and tips as they transition into this new lifestyle.

Aside from the cooking class, participants will get a glimpse of what’s being offered at ASMY, including meditation, gentle stretching, breathing and kirtan.

Visit the ASMY website to find out more.

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