After 20 years of service and growing popularity, the demand for takeaway orders at Fitzroy North’s popular Moroccan Soup Bar was getting unmanageable. The option to bring your own container and have it filled with strictly vegetarian traditional Moroccan dips, stews and soups, as well as the specialty chickpea bake had become so popular, owner Hana Assafiri decided it was time for a change.

“Long queues were just in the middle of the cafe, almost nightly – they took about an hour,” she says.

Last week, the popular spot, opposite the Edinburgh Gardens, expanded with a new takeaway outlet down the road, Moroccan Soup Bar Two Go. While you won’t be able to get takeaway from the original Moroccan Soup Bar anymore, the new location allows you to order takeaway over the phone and online. Catering services have been added at the new spot, too.

You’ll also now be able to order lunch for the first time. $12.50 will nab you a biodegradable pack containing the famous chickpea bake; couscous salad; falafel; cabbage, walnut and honey salad; chermoula; eggplant; and tahini cauliflower.

And the Moroccan Soup Bar team is still encouraging its customers to bring their own containers – they’ll even swing you a $2 refund.

Dining in for lunch will let you select from rice and couscous-based dishes that change depending on seasonal availability. There are both gluten-free and vegan dishes available. There’s also a banquet feast for a minimum of two people. In the evening takeaway is the only option.

New to the menu is the Marrakizza pizza – a nod to the former occupants of the space, Baci Pizza.

“In respecting the tradition that was this place, we're putting our spin on the pizza,” says Assafiri. “It's a very thin-crust pastry and with our in house-made chermoula and harissa. We combine them with flavours that are uniquely Moroccan.”

Moroccan Soup Bar Two Go also serves as the headquarters for the Heart River Project, an initiative that aims to support refugees and asylum seekers as they establish new lives in Australia.

“What we are is a hub and a place that is trying to nurture the goodwill of a community and translate it into practical outcomes that benefit and support asylum seekers and refugees. It's about empowering our community and saying, ‘You don't have to move mountains. Your small contribution goes a long way and is important’."

Moroccan Soup Bar Two Go
313 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North
(03) 9486 3500

Tue to Sun 11am–3pm

This article first appeared on Broadsheet on July 23, 2018. Menu items may have changed since publication.