There's no doubt that the number of vegans in the UK has seen a massive surge over the past few years. This rise has meant that a number of brand new vegan restaurants have opened in London, and more and more non-vegan restaurants have begun to offer a plant-based range. Now, while many people might think that veganism is a lifestyle choice which is all about being healthy, there are a number of different reasons why people might decide to stop eating meat and dairy, such as environmental factors or animal cruelty. This means that most vegans still want to be able to indulge occasionally and allow themselves some less healthy treats. In fact, a number of restaurants focus specifically on vegan junk food, serving everything from jackfruit wings to vegan milkshakes.
Something which a huge number of places now offer is a vegan burger option, with London restaurants constantly adjusting their recipes to try and stake a claim to having the best non-meat patty; some have even gone as far as creating vegan burgers which 'bleed'. However, there’s a lot more to a good vegan burger than simply having a good patty. The sauce, the toppings and the bun are just as important given that they would normally contain at least a small amount of dairy, and in our experience vegan cheese can hugely vary in quality.
There’s no doubt though, that when a vegan burger is done well, it’s not a million miles away from a meat burger, and is even in some cases indistinguishable. So whether you’re a burger fan who’s just looking to cut down on their meat consumption a bit, or a dedicated vegan looking for a bit of a greasy treat, there are plenty of options to pick from. Below we’ve put together a guide to the best vegan burgers in London and where you can find them.
Simplicity Burger's Big Double
What: Simplicity Burger marked a change in direction for Temper's Neil Rankin, with the entirely plant-based restaurant having a particular focus on zero waste. For those of you looking for a burger which brilliantly replicates the texture of a standard beef burger, Simplicity's patties (made from fermented vegetables) have a wonderful bite to them. The Big Double features two of these patties, alongside lettuce, onions, and sauce made from vegan mayonnaise and sriracha, and can be accompanied by a plate of amazing vegan nachos.
How Much: £12
Where: 202 Brick Lane, E1 6SA
Cut + Grind's Miso Aubergine Burger
What: This burger is one for those of you who aren't necessarily looking for a meat replica in your burger, but just want something packed with flavour. Cut + Grind may be best known for its meaty offerings but its vegan burger is pretty amazing too. Combining glazed aubergine with kimchi, cucumber slaw and gochujang vegan mayo, all served in a carrot and turmeric bun, this burger's Asian flavours provide a great alternative to a more standard vegan burger. An extra bonus is that it includes a portion of veggie fries.
How Much: £10
Where: The Urbanest Building, Canal Reach, N1C 4BD
Honest Burger's Bacon Plant
What: Honest Burgers has garnered quite the reputation in London when it comes to top quality, flavoursome burgers, and its impressive menu now includes two separate vegan options. Our favourite is the Bacon Plant burger which is stuffed with shoestring fries, vegan smoked gouda, vegan 'bacon' ketchup, and chipotle mayo, all on top of a fantastic patty, and served alongside rosemary fries. Yes, that's chips both inside and on the side!
How Much: £14.50
Where: Various locations
Patty & Bun's Whoopi Goldburger
What: For a while Patty & Bun was the least vegan-friendly restaurant you can imagine, with its hefty beef burgers and incredibly meaty sides. However, everything’s changed now with not one but four plant-based burgers appearing on the menu, headlined by the wackily named Whoopi Goldburger. Featuring a tempeh and mushroom fritter, bread and butter pickles, diced onion and vegan smoked gouda served up in a bonsoy bun, it’s certainly worth making the journey for.
How Much: £9
Where: Various locations
The Vurger Co's Auberger
What: This entirely vegan fast-food restaurant has many of its ‘vurgers’ to pick from, and all are made from a mixture of vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grain. However, there is one clear winner for us on The Vurger Co's lengthy menu and that’s the Auberger. Served in a vegan brioche bun, it consists of a patty made from aubergine, tabasco, chickpea, and red onion, and comes topped with pickled red cabbage, cumin mayo and cheese. For an extra level of indulgence why not try one of the Vurger shakes?
How Much: £8.75
Where: 6 Richmix Square, Cygnet Street, E1 6LD; Unit 1 The Wharf Kitchen, Jubilee Place Lower Mall -2, E14 5NY
Mildreds' Polish Burger
What: The first bean burger on our list comes from legendary London meat-free restaurant Mildreds. Its Polish burger is made with a white bean and beetroot patty, gherkins and vegan aioli and can be accompanied by one of the many small plates on its menu, such as chargrilled aubergine, smashed avacado, and garlicky seasonal greens.
How Much: £8
Where: 45 Lexington Street, W1F 9AN; 9 Jamestown Road, NW1 7BW; 200 Pentonville Road, N1 9JP; 1 Dalston Square, E8 3GU
The Genesis Burger at Genesis
What: Based in Spitalfields Market, this all-vegan fare has become somewhat of a hotspot among vegan influencers thanks to its huge menu of sweet and savoury plant-based dishes and cocktails. Genesis' signature burger is ideal for people looking for a reliably good vegan burger, and comes topped with garlic mayo, vegan cheddar, red onion, and the restaurants tangy house sauce.
How Much: £13.95
Where: 144 Commercial Street, E1 6NU
Club Mexicana's MFC
What: Mexican-inspired vegan restaurant Club Mexicana has been getting people excited for a few years now and has continued to host residencies at various London restaurants and street food outfits. As well as plant-based versions of many classic Mexican dishes, the menu also features a couple of burgers including the Mexican fried chick’n burger - annatto-glazed 'chicken' is topped with mustard mayo, pickled cabbage and jalapeños and served up in a fluffy bun.
How Much: £9.50
Where: Dinerama, 19 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3EJ; Seven Dials Market, 35 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LD; The Spread Eagle, 224 Homerton High Street, E9 6AS
Haché's Beyond Le Fumé
What: Having opened its first restaurant back in 2004, boutique burger joint Haché has been on the map for a while now and has been a long time favourite of ours due to the quality of meat. We’ve always particularly enjoyed the Steak le Fume burger because of its smoky flavours and elaborate presentation inside a smoke-filled dome, and now there’s a vegan version. The Beyond Le Fumé is comprised of a Beyond Meat patty, topped with grilled aubergine, vegan cheddar, smoky tomatoes, zucchini straws and mustard mayo, in a crispy ciabatta bun.
How Much: £14
Where: Various locations
Neat Burger's Neat Burger
What: Sometimes keeping it simple is best, and Lewis Hamilton's vegan burger joint Neat Burger does exactly that. Rather than stuffing the burgers full of too many toppings and sauces, there is a focus on just making the basics taste as good as possible and that is demonstrated by the eponymous burger. The Neat Burger consists of two neat meat patties, lettuce, tomato, onions and the house sauce, served inside a fluffy bun, with the option to add cheese or double up. There's also the option to add a side of fries, or even a shake if you fancy.
How Much: £8.49
Where: 4 Princes Street, W1B 2LE
Temple of Seitan's Temple Deluxe Burger
What: Temple of Seitan (which has branches in Camden and Hackney) has become known as one of the go-to spots for vegan junk food in London thanks to its menu full of indulgent plant-based treats. And that includes a selection of incredible meat-free burgers, with our favourite being the Temple Deluxe which sees a quarter pound patty smothered in vegan cheese and burger sauce and topped with 'meatless' bacon, lettuce and pickles. Tempting sides include fries and crispy popcorn bites.
How Much: £7.50
Where: 43 Parkway, Camden Town, NW1 7PN; 5 Morning Lane, E9 6NA
Biff's Jack Shack's Samuel Hell Jackson
What: Based in Brewdog’s Dalston branch, Biff’s Jack Shack is said to be the first restaurant to serve crispy fried jackfruit - a pretty bold claim among vegan restaurants. Regardless of whether this is true or not, one thing’s for sure, the food at this East London spot is delicious and that includes the burgers. Our favourite on the menu is the spicy Samuel Hell Jackson, which consists of a signature jackfruit patty piled high with chipotle slaw, maple chipotle hot sauce, jalapeños, American cheese, and barbecue sauce.
How Much: £9
Where: 33-35 Stoke Newington Road, N16 8BJ
Mooshies' Pulled Mooshie
What: Brick Lane vegan burger bar Mooshies began its life as a supper club before quickly becoming so popular that it needed to find a permanent home in East London. With a a number of different burgers on offer, featuring various different patties, you certainly won’t be short of choice at Mooshies. Its pulled Mooshie burger is a particular favourite of ours and comes stuffed with pulled jackfruit covered in barbecue sauce. Now, who could resist that?
How Much: £7
Where: 104 Brick Lane, E1 6RL
Halo Burger's Smoky Carolina BBQ Burger
What: Running both at Pop Brixton, and also out of its own restaurant in Shoreditch, Halo burger offers a short but sweet menu of vegan burgers. It was the first restaurant to use Beyond Meat's 4.0 patty, which replicates both the texture and flavour of beef to the point where it's difficult to tell the difference. Its smoky Carolina BBQ burger is a particular favourite of ours, thanks to the strips of crispy onion and the fact that it's lathered in barbecue sauce.
How Much: £9.50
Where: Pop Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Road, SW9 8PQ; 105 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3JD
The Full Nelson's Colonel
What: This cosy spot in Deptford might not seem like the typical, fashionable vegan spot from the outside but the menu is stuffed full of amazing meat-free junk food, with a focus on burgers. While some dishes do contain dairy, everything can be made to be entirely vegan. We particularly recommend going for the Colonel Burger which replicates crispy chicken with seitan and is covered with garlic buffalo, and black pepper and lemon mayo.
How Much: £8.50
Where: 47 Deptford Broadway, SE8 4PH
Looking for a vegan restaurant in Central London? Check out our guide to the best vegan restaurants in Soho.