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Melbourne loves vegan junk food

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Time and time again, vegans are proving “rabbit food” isn’t what we’re after.

Good Food reports that in Melbourne, The Big Mock burger at the The Cornish Arms is emblematic of the shift in demand for vegan restaurant options. Knowing the popularity of the vegan big mac around these parts, it’s not too surprising to us that their homage got incredible amounts of attention.

A photo posted by The Cornish Arms (@thecornisharms) on

“We had people ringing up from interstate asking about it. People drove down from Albury [320 kilometres away]. Twenty came in on a bus from Dandenong. It was total madness,” owner Anthony Foster told Good Food. The hybrid eatery boasts the coexistence of different diets, but it’s the mock fish and chips, chicken parm, and facon that are raking in the business. It’s not salads, quinoa, and kale chips that’s got vegans bursting through the door, it’s junk food.

“We find the junkier the better,” says Foster. “We tried to go the healthy route with things like lentil curry but it doesn’t get half the reaction. I guess the thing is that vegans can get their healthy fix anywhere.” Until now, flavourless tofu and hard to swallow wheatgrass shots were the expectation. But as people are able to decipher the difference between eating a plant-based diet for physical health, and going vegan for the animals, it’s not hard to see that many can and do still crave their hearty, greasy favourites.

Grill’d, a popular burger chain, found in their research that 480,000 Australians now identify as vegan. And while the numbers don’t split the health food vegans from the ethical ones, they indicate that variety is needed in vegan cuisine. Pair that with continuing non-vegan support for restaurants like The Cornish Arms, and there’s a huge market that’s hardly been tapped yet.

The article goes on to speak with a handful of other drool-inducing vegan options in Melbourne. From a pizzeria that made the switch to veganism last year, to a deli that can’t keep it’s breakfast sandwiches in stock, the junk food trend is likely only getting started. We’ve got our napkins tucked in to the front of our shirts, and we’re ready to be on the frontline of this trend.

Photo from The Cornish Arms Facebook page

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  • Love it! I can (and do) eat salads and lentils at home, but when I go out, I want to have something vegan…and delicious and indulgent. The most popular item at my local veg restaurant is their burger and fries 🙂 I feel like most real vegans (as opposed to “plant based”) just want to eat delicious, filling food. It’s a life choice, not a diet, and I don’t intend to eat leaves and bark at restaurants.

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