The therapeutic potential of extracellular vesicles from eukaryotes has gained strong interest in recent years. However, research into the therapeutic application of their bacterial counterparts, known as bacterial membrane vesicles, is only just beginning to be appreciated. Membrane vesicles (MVs) from both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria offer significant advantages in therapeutic development, including large-scale, cost effective production and ease of molecular manipulation to display foreign antigens. The nanoparticle size of MVs enables their dissemination through numerous tissue types, and their natural immunogenicity and self-adjuvanting capability can be harnessed to induce both cell-mediated and humoral immunity in vaccine design. Moreover, the ability to target MVs to specific tissues through the display of surface receptors raises their potential use as targeted MV-based anti-cancer therapy. This review discusses recent advances in MV research with particular emphasis on exciting new possibilities for the application of MVs in therapeutic design.