No missed steak – Plant Vibes Cafe opens in Bowen Hills
It’s 2020, people, which means that plant-based dining isn’t just for vegans. Proving that one can avoid animal products and still enjoy a flavoursome and filling feast is Bowen Hills hideaway Plant Vibes Cafe. This new eatery and coffee spot is specialising in chic Scandinavian vibes and a menu of plant-based eats that take influence from European and American cuisines, with a unifying ethos based on togetherness and connection.
The origins of Plant Vibes Cafe stretches back seven years – back when vegan cuisine was still finding its footing in Australia and the term ‘plant-based’ sent shivers of condescension through the hearts of most carnivores. At this time Eugenie Hows – an early adopter of the plant-based mindset – struggled finding cafes around Brisbane that catered to her particular tastes, but noticed through her travels across Europe that the plant-based culinary lifestyle had already cemented itself in other countries. Over the years Eugenie toyed with the idea of opening a cafe that specialised in vegan-friendly cuisine, writing dream menus based on recipes that she was cooking for herself at home. The idea was put on the back-burner when Eugenie embarked on a beauty therapy career, but when 2020 – and the accompanying pandemic – arrived, a work stoppage left her with plenty of time to think and revisit her hospitality dream. In March Eugenie decided to jump into hospitality head first, securing a cafe location in the heart of Bowen Hills by June and embarking on a substantial fit-out for Plant Vibes Cafe. The venue – perched near the corner of Brookes Street and St Pauls Terrace – had housed a number of cafes over the years, but Eugenie’s DIY refurbishment (knocking out walls, sanding, gap filling, painting, and even installing new stairs) has made the space look brand new. Plant Vibes Cafe boasts a bright and minimal Scandinavian-inspired aesthetic, favouring a crisp palette of white, blonde timber, rattan and sherbet-like pastels accented by pops of greenery.
Although by this stage Eugenie was a plant-based veteran, she was determined to enter the hospitality field with some experience under her belt. As the refurbishments came together Eugenie learned the ropes at other cafes, all the while honing in on an ethos that she thought would fit best for Plant Vibes Cafe. At its core, Plant Vibes Cafe is about living simply, healthily and in the now, taking cues from the Danish culture of embracing togetherness by creating a menu that everyone (herbivores and carnivores) could enjoy. Eugenie and head chef Jason Crawford have fashioned a culinary spread that foregrounds fresh seasonal ingredients and scratch-made elements, highlighted across assorted cabinet treats, large plates and drinks. In addition to familiar options such as acai bowls and avocado on toast, guests can chow down on breakfast croissants (filled with scrambled tofu, house made chive potato cake, mushrooms, avocado and relish), gnocchi with garlic enoki mushrooms, garlic cashew cream and dill, Summercotta (ginger and vanilla-bean panna cotta with mango mousse, passionfruit and ginger crunch), and the PBJC Bagel (bagel topped with raspberry jam, chocolate and peanut mousse and crushed peanuts). Grab-and-go treats like banana bread, brownies and doughnuts are also made on site. Industry Beans is supplying the caffeine, available via espresso and batch brew alongside matcha and turmeric lattes, organic tea from Mayde, protein-infused smoothies, iced tea, pressed juices and kombucha. Eugenie’s sister, nutritionist and yoga instructor Madison will utilise Plant Vibes Cafe at night as a yoga studio, further strengthening the venue’s health-oriented focus.
Plant Vibes Cafe is now open. For operating hours and contact details, head to the Stumble Guide.
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