News of Burger King transforming its flagship Leicester Square restaurant into a fully vegan eatery for one month has excited vegan diners. While the combination of Violife cheese, La Vie bacon and The Vegetarian Butcher patties will tempt many through the doors, what happens when normal service resumes in April? Thankfully, there are a host of permanently vegan burger chains to get acquainted with, in the U.K. and each has its own niche.
The following five burger chains are all 100 percent plant-based, offer feel-good junk food and guilt-free ingredients. They’ll also still be serving when Burger King returns to beef-based Whoppers:
1. Ready Burger
Ready Burger was launched to offer a sustainable alternative to conventional fast food. The company raised £2 million via crowdfunding in 2021, to help with the build-out of new restaurants. In January this year, the chain announced a 99p hamburger option. The item has since remained on the menu as a permanent addition. It represents the cheapest fast-food veggie burger on the market and mirrors McDonald’s Saver menu. Other items include Chicken Challenger and the Texas Stacker sandwiches. Fries, drinks and Swirlee icecreams are all available.
Founded by: Adam Clark and Max Miller.
Locations: Two now open, two in construction and franchises planned, all in London.
USP: Mimicking McDonald’s style menu items and selling for the same prices.
Don’t miss: The Big Ready. It’s exactly what you think it will be, only without beef. Perhaps that sauce isn’t so secret after all.
2. Neat Burger
Neat Burger was founded in 2019 to satisfy the urge for a tasty burger without having to deal with any environmental guilt. Alongside fast service restaurants, Hamilton has revealed intentions to open 20 ghost kitchens, for delivery service only. Following the success of the initial London location, a further seven restaurants have opened within two years, plus a New York destination. More global openings are anticipated. The menu features a selection of vegan beef and chicken sandwiches plus burger bowls,a hotdog and the usual expected sides.
Founded by: Lewis Hamilton, Tommaso Chiabra, Zack Bishti and Stasi Nychas.
Locations: Nine. Eight in London and one in New York.
USP: Being backed by global sports superstar Lewis Hamilton, who is himself a passionate vegan.
Don’t miss: The Buffalo Nuggets. First, you’ll think they are real chicken, then you’ll notice the spice, then you’ll want to take a vat of the dipping sauce home with you.
3. Flower Burger
Taking a more wholesome tack, Flower Burger was founded in Italy but has a restaurant in the heart of London. You won’t find realistic meat substitutions here, or veganised versions of other restaurants’ menus, just good, hearty vegan fare in brightly-coloured buns. The whole vibe is hippie-loving, groovy and good for you. Don’t forget to take your sunglasses, as the decor is as bright as the food. You probably won’t get a side of edamame instead of fries anywhere else but here!
Founded by: Matteo Toto
Locations: 13. 11 in Italy, one in the Netherlands and one in London.
USP: Incredibly colourful food made using healthy, whole ingredients. No vegan meat here.
Don’t miss: A premium Instagram moment by forgetting to snap a picture of your burger choice. They are all equally as beautiful and tasty as each other and guarantee a lot of ‘likes’ on your grid.
4. Oowee Vegan
Oowee Vegan claims to be on a mission to revolutionise fast food. That’s probably why it hasn’t restricted itself to London, opening locations in Manchester and Bristol to give UK-wide access to its plant-based creations. It has developed a menu full of stacked burgers, powered by beyond Meat, chicken sandwiches and loaded sides and desserts. Vegans and non-vegans are both the target audience, hence the focus on realistically meaty protein sources. The food tastes as you’d want it to: tasty with a side of dirty. It’s real fast food that just happens to be vegan.
Founded by: Verity Foss and Charlie Watson.
Locations: Five. Two in Bristol, two in London and one in Manchester.
USP: A very authentic US diner feels that comes from loaded fries, thick shakes and meaty patties.
Don’t miss: The Flamin’ Hot Clucker and Jalapeño Cheese Waffle Fries. If you can say the first bit without accidentally swearing at the cashier, you deserve a dessert as well.
5. Clean Kitchen Club
Clean Kitchen Club was born out of personal health difficulties during the Covid-19 outbreak. Founder Mikey Pearce moved home to Brighton, determined to make lifestyle and business changes. Noticing how plant-based food helped him get stronger and healthier, he decided to try and make it a mainstream choice for other consumers and launched Clean Kitchen Club on Deliveroo. When the company moved to London, Verity Bowditch joined as a partner. Two dark kitchens, a stalled Boxpark launch (one day before lockdown began) and a Camden site opening later, the chain is expanding again with two more London locations opening this year. The menu is packed with junk food-adjacent options that offer cleaner nutrition than conventional counterparts. Acai bowls, rice bowls, burgers and bagels; there’s a lot to choose from.
Founded by: Mikey Pearce.
Locations: Three. Two dark kitchens and one restaurant, all in London.
USP: A focus on carbon footprints, cleaner junk food and upmarket flavours.
Don’t miss: The Truffle Mayo Crispy Chick’n Sandwich. It’s decadent and leaves you no change from £10 but you’ll remember it with fondness when it’s finished.
Lead photo by Polina Tankilevitch at Pexels.