Who says meat eaters have all the fun? London's burger joints are after the vegetarian pound, so if you're in search of more than a bean burger in a soggy bun, here are some of the best veggie and vegan burgers in town.
Shoreditch - 202 Brick Lane, London E1 6SA
Neil Rankin had, before Simplicity Burger, been best known for the smoked meats he serves at Temper - but this sees something of a change in direction for him. The restaurant is dedicated to sustainability and zero waste, serving up plant-based burgers made with a top-secret recipe. The Big Double is two of their bespoke patties, sauce (vegan mayo, pickle juice, ketchup, sriracha and mustard), lettuce, onions - and yes, it does rather resemble a certain other classic burger. One of the top vegan burger joints in town - this is well worth a look.
Sides: The fries with "mince" and gravy should be top of your list - that's simplicity burger mince, grilled onion and fermented gravy (made using the fermenting liquor from the vegetables).
Dalston - 33-35 Stoke Newington Road, Hackney, London, N16 8BJ
Biff's Jack Shack are known for their jackfruit creations and their burgers are created with a jackfruit patty. They've teamed up with Brewdog to launch a vegan bar in Dalston, with an extensive menu of fast food delights. There are lots of vegan burgers on the list, and we're picking out The Truffle Shuffle - Truffled cracked black pepper mayo, jackfruit patty, smoked flat mushrooms, caramelised onion, rocket, smoked gouda, red onion. Look out for regular specials too.
Sides: Lots to choose from, including nachos, chilli cheeze fries, korn ribs and more.
Boutique burger chain Haché launched their new vegan burger last year. Beyond Le Fumé features a Beyond Meat vegan patty with grilled aubergine, smoky semi dried tomatoes. Violife Cheddar, zucchini straws, Rubies in the Rubble mustard mayo, toasted ciabatta bun. and then the whole thing is presented in a smoked-filled dome.
Sides: How about their spicy buffalo cauliflower or kale caesar salad?
Brixton and Shoreditch
Originally street food, Halo Burger first set up shop at Pop Brixton, with a second restaurant in Shoreditch. They've teamed up with plant-based food specialist Beyond Meat who provide their patties, and the hero burger is the Halo Burger. That's Two 1/8 lb Halo seasoned Beyond Burger patties, diced caramelised onion, two slices of melted American style cheese, beef tomato, lettuce, pickles and house-made sauce.
Sides: Make sure to have the "Don't have a cow fries" - pink salt fries with melted cheddar cheese, signature sauce and caramelised onions.
Fitzrovia and The City
Yes, Mac and Wild are best known for their game menus and the venison burger - but they've put just as much effort into perfecting their veggie burger. The Bloody Roots burger still harks to their Scottishness with a veggie haggis, no less. It's "Macsween veggie haggis patty, beetroot ketchup, vegan cheesy fondue, soyannaise, ripped parsley & dill salad - served in a poppy seed bun."
Sides: The truffle mac and cheese, we think
Shoreditch - Unit 9, Avant-Garde Building, 6 Richmix Square, Cygnet Street, London E1 6LD
The Vurger Co. started as a market stall, popping up across London before settling down in Shoreditch. They have a fully vegan menu and several burgers to choose from. Top of the list, we think, is the Auburger - that's Aubergine, chickpea, red onion and chipotle patty with pickled red cabbage, gherkins, tomato, vegan cheese and house cumin mayo. Look out for their wraps and salads too and keep an eye out for the new Buffalo “chicken” vurger too.
Sides: Choose between skin-on or sweet potato fries as well as tater tots. The Sundried tomato mac n cheese is worth a look too.
Dirty Bones have a veggie option with a difference - a ‘bleeding’ burger (the blood is beetroot juice, FYI.)
Moving Mountains® plant-based B12 Burger is 100 per cent plant meat (which, in an attempt to simplify, is a mixture of oyster mushrooms, pea and potato protein). It is topped with vegan mac & cashew ‘cheese’, smoky mushroom ‘short rib’ and espresso-spiked BBQ sauce on a soft bun. Find them in four London locations (Kensington, Carnaby, Soho, Shoreditch), with one in Oxford too.
Sides: There are lots of lovely sides here. We just about made room for the fried aubergine in Buffalo hot sauce served on creamy garlic ranch dipping sauce.
Mayfair - 4 Princes St, London W1B 2LE
Renowned vegan Lewis Hamilton has a side business in addition to his racing - Neat Burger, a vegan burger joint in Mayfair. Their patties are by Beyond Meat and the main Neat Burger is a Double Neat Meat Patty, Lettuce, Tomato, Grilled Red Onions, Pickles and Neat Sauce - with cheeseburgers, hot dogs and Chick'n burgers all on the menu too.
Sides: Fries, sweet potato fries and tater tots with the messy "Tarantino" upgrade.
Dalston, Camden, Soho, King's Cross
Mildreds has been offering interesting, delicious vegetarian and vegan food for 30 years so they know how to make a tasty burger, with three varieties on their menu. The stand out is the Polish - beetroot, white bean, dill, iceberg lettuce, red onion, basil mayo, pickled cabbage and a gherkin in a brioche bun.
Any vegetarian options? Outside of January, that'll be their halloumi burger.
Sides: It would be rude not to try their small plates, each location offers something slightly different - dishes like chargrilled aubergine, rose harissa, preserved lemon & basil oil, or smashed avocado, lime and chilli with organic corn chips.
Camden: 103a Camley Street, N1C 4PF, Hackney: 10 Morning Lane, E9 6NA
Temple boasts a fully vegan menu, using the meat alternative seitan, a similar consistency to chicken and made from wheat. Oh, and deep-fried in crispy goodness. Based in both Camden and in Hackney with street pop-ups across London, these chaps offer a crispy Seitan fillet, ranch mayo, bacon, cheese, lettuce and pickles – great for vegetarians who miss meat.
Sides: They would probably win the award for most Instagramable Mac and Cheese pot.
Shoreditch: 104 Brick Lane, London E1 6RLA
One of the first vegan burger bars in London, Mooshies has a dedicated following. As well as their jackfruit jerk burgers and the aubergine Fillet-om-Fish, there's the Where's Ur Beef - organic quinoa and black bean, Mooshies burger sauce, caramelised onions, vegan cheese, gherkins and lettuce. And you can add avocado and aubergine on that too, if you fancy.
Sides: Their loaded fries, topped with everything from fried aubergine to BBQ jackfruit.
147 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JE
They're already pushing the boundaries with their standard burgers, so it makes sense that Burger and Beyond do just the same for vegetarians. This is "Panko Crusted Mushroom Patty, Melted Raclette, Caramelised Onion, Green Leaves, Smoked Garlic Mayo", available at their permanent Shoreditch restaurant.
Sides: Pair that with some truffle tots on the side and you'll be very happy.
Spitalfields, Victoria, Bloomberg, South Bank
With four locations around London, Bleecker offers a New York-style burger - fried organic tofu with hot sauce, blue cheese sauce, lettuce, onion & sauce.
Sides: It’s all about the angry fries - fries with hot sauce & blue cheese sauce
A large amount of Honest Burger locations now exist across the UK, so you know they are doing something right. The fritter burger avialiable in vegetarian (Cauliflower, sweetcorn and chickpea fritter, cheddar, lime and coriander mayo, hot sauce, red onion, tomato and lettuce) or vegan (Cauliflower, sweetcorn and chickpea fritter, vegan smoked Gouda, Rubies vegan chipotle ‘mayo’, French’s mustard, red onion, lettuce and pickles).
Any plant-based options? Look out for their Plant Burger which features vegan smoked gouda and Rubies chipotle "mayo".
Sides: Onion rings, obvs. Or if you need something refreshing, order the little gem, rocket, fennel & radish salad
With 13 locations including one in Brighton, Patty and Bun serve up a mean Field Mushroom Fritter – with garlic parsley butter, cheese sauce, coleslaw, lettuce, tarragon mayo in a brioche. Gluten-free buns are also on the menu, and burgers are available to take away too if you don’t want to sit in.
Any vegan options? That'll be the Pamela - a Plant Based Patty, THIS Isnt Bacon, Spicy Mayo, Vegan Cheddar, Tomato, White Onion & Pickles, Lettuce, Ketchup, Bonsoy Bun.
Sides: Cheese Balls, you say? With XXX Hot Sauce? Don’t mind if I do.
22 Wardour St, London W1D 6QQ
Open until 2am on the weekends and spread across three floors, this Japanese udon/sushi/burger joint is as kitsch as it comes. Executive chef Brendan Fong pays homage to the vegetarian ‘Dude Food’ movement with a tempura vegetable patty, miso braised mushroom, lettuce and yuzu kosho aioli (with the option with Brie for £1.00).
Sides: The only options are coleslaw or fries, so take both.
Peckham: Peckham Town Centre Car Park, 95a Rye Lane, SE15 4ST
The Peckham branch of this small chain offer the Fried Celeriac burger, served with cheese and chive sauce, fried egg and pickles.
Any vegan options? Look out for the Vegan Buffalo in their flagship Brixton restaurant.
Sides: Choose between rosemary fries, smoked mash with crispy onions, roasted squash with curd and honey, or sweetcorn fritters with smoked mayo
With 12 locations and no sign of slowing down, this once meat-heavy chain now offers up to four vegetarian options (branch dependant). Known for having a seriously fun cocktail list, it is famous for having a selection of drinks with names like “The Paralyser” where diners are limited to a maximum of 2. We opt for the Halloumi Mushroom Burger - halloumi, mushroom, red onions, pickles, lettuce, French mustard and ketchup.
How about a plant-based option? Then you'll want the Burgaloo - that's a spiced potato, beetroot and black bean patty with red onions, pickles, ketchup and garlic mayo.
Sides: It’s fries all the way here with eight different varieties, including fries covered in green chilli sauce, melted cheddar cheese & pickled jalapeños –worth it even if you do have to drink a whole bottle of Gaviscon the next day.
3 Portman Mews South, London W1H 6AY
Inspired by Indian street food, Roti Chai offers a moreish selection of small plates including the Bun Tikki - a mini Amritsar style aloo tikki burger. But don’t stop there – the plates are small, so team it with the Aloo Papri Chaat (crunchy wheat crisps, potato, chickpeas, yoghurt) or the Hakka Chilli Paneer.
And if you're visiting Roti Chai’s sister restaurant, Chai Ki at breakfast, you'll want the Aloo Tikki Bun - that's spiced potato hash, fried egg, cheese and Chai Ki signature tamarind tomato ketchup.
Sides: Go for a warming bowl of Tarka Dhal
Looking for more veggie inspo?
Then check out our guide to the Best Vegetarian Restaurants in London.
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