The rise of veganism. Gone are the days when going out to dinner as a vegan meant sitting down to a limp Mediterranean salad smothered in olive oil or to a stodgy bowl of mushroom risotto. Don’t get us wrong, both of those dishes when done well are delicious, but everyone likes a bit of variety. Thankfully the tides have turned for Melbourne’s restaurants, with vegan options being almost as common as any meat dish, which, for the city’s vegan, vegetarian and veg-curious population, is an appreciated shift. With 12% of the population now eating little to no red meat, this diverse city has become the third fastest-growing vegan market in the world. But why the change? Well, with many people now conscious about environmental and ethical factors, there has been a noticeable shift in ‘clean eating’ and healthy living, for which veganism is a natural extension and as such, Melbourne’s vegan restaurants have capitalised. You’ll find heaps of healthy and animal-free options throughout the city which, if we’re honest, can sometimes be a little overwhelming. So we thought we’d help you sort the tempeh from the tofu and give you an overview into what you can expect from the vegan restaurants in Melbourne.