Plate Up Ballarat has launched a new food festival that will kick off this Thursday to celebrate vegan and vegetarian food.
Twenty-one Ballarat restaurants, cafes and pubs have signed up to participate in Plant-a-Palooza by offering a special plant-based dish from October 1 to October 4 as part of the festival.
Soldiers Hill cafe Tin Roof is offering a Mexican-style vegan burger for dine in and takeaway.
Owner Jessie Fu said the popular burger was created especially for the Plate Up Ballarat burger challenge in May this year and will be back on the menu especially for this next event.
"As cafe owners we always love to support local events, especially during the COVID period when we can't physically attend any events," she said.
"It is just great to see Plate Up step up and organise this event."
Ms Fu said the cafe had a particular interest in vegan and vegetarian food and had changed the menu earlier this year to include more healthy and plant-based options.
World Vegetarian Day is celebrated on Thursday.
Ms Fu said being involved in the Plate Up Ballarat burger challenge in May helped draw new customers to the venue and boost sales, so she hoped this festival would also be a hit.
"I really hope this event is successful and we bring more really great hospitality experiences to people in Ballarat," she said.
Azzuri restaurant at Mercure Hotel is offering a pan-fried beetroot gnocchi with pomegranate and pumpkin for the four day festival.
Mercure Hotel sales manager Mandy Grant said participating in the Plate Up burger competition and pasta challenge earlier this year had boosted takeaway sales during a tough time.
"It brings the Ballarat community together through food," she said.
"It is a really great concept and I encourage more businesses to get involved."
Commerce Ballarat chief executive Jodie Gillett said it was fantastic restaurants, cafes and pubs had been innovative throughout the year amid COVID-19 and continued to create new offerings.
"I encourage the community to get out and try new things because the hospitality industry needs our support and will do for a long time to come," she said.
Plate Up Ballarat is supported by Commerce Ballarat, which hosted the Big Night In earlier in September, encouraging residents to buy take-home packs from restaurants and enjoy livestreamed entertainment from Piano Bar.
Visit the Plate Up Ballarat website to see the full list of participating venues and their dishes on offer for Plant-a-Palooza.
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