Fast Food With Veggie Burger

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The Best Veggie Burger in Fast Food

Veggie burgers are a beloved staple of the fast food landscape. They’re an easy way to get some extra veggies into your diet, and they’re also a great option for those who don’t eat meat. But which place has the best veggie burger? We’ve got a few contenders for you to try!

Burger King

BK is known for its Angus burgers, but their Veggie Whopper is just as good. It’s made with a veggie patty that’s seasoned with herbs and spices, and topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onion, pickles and ketchup. If you don’t want cheese or mayo on your sandwich, you can ask for it without those toppings—just make sure you specify when ordering so they don’t add them by accident!

McDonald’s

If you’re looking for something quick that won’t leave you feeling hungry an hour later, McDonald’s has an option called the McAloo Tikki Burger that will do just fine! This vegetarian burger comes with two potato patties instead of beef patties—but don’t worry: they’re still pretty tasty! You can also order this sandwich without cheese if you’d prefer not to have any dairy products

Fast Food With Veggie Burger


It’s no secret that veggie burgers are becoming more and more popular — and that more and more restaurants are offering up their own versions of them.

a banner that says "taste test"

The Rules:

🍔  This is a BLIND taste test, meaning: we will do everything possible to hide any logos or clues that could reveal the source of the burger so that no biases would be included.

🍔  The taste testers will span across all sorts of dietary preferences for a more balanced and relatable review. In this case, our testers ranged from longtime vegans to complete carnivores.

🍔  The comments and reviews from our testers will be anonymous in hopes of getting blunt, brutal, and truly honest feedback.

🍔  We chose from fast food and restaurants that were the most widely available across the United States (so no NYC-only burgers for this test).

🍔  All taste-testers will gather in BuzzFeed’s New York City office at lunchtime to experience the burgers together.

Now that you know how it went down, let’s get to the burger reviews!

Natasha, Ezgi, Celina, Matt, Victoria, and Whitney all sat down in the BuzzFeed office to test the burgers. Here’s what we saw! 

Burger #1: The Classic Burger from Beatnic

a burger with a reddish patty with lentils and corn visibly exposed

First up, how was the presentation?

five burgers lined up in a row

Next, how did it taste?

a woman reacts to what she's eating with a confused look

Overall rating: 🍔🍔 (2 out of 10 burgers)

As the inaugural burger for this taste test, Beatnic really disappointed. Both the flavor and presentation were a disappointment, and most of us noted that the burger patty itself crumbled away with each bite. Messy and underwhelming? Not a great start:

“I liked the flavors of the sauces for sure — if only it wasn’t so damn dry!”

“While it tasted dry and bland I know I would have enjoyed it if there was dressing added.”

“I didn’t like the texture of the patty. It was a bit sticky. I wouldn’t crave this burger.”

“The sauce is a little sweet. The burger was a little bland. The roll was good quality, though. For something so “pretty” looking, it was a bit boring.”

“This did not fool me that this was not a meat-based burger. Even for veggie burger standards, this was not good. It was edible, but if I paid money for this I’d be very disappointed.”

Burger #2: The Smokehouse Burger from HipCityVeg

a burger with a brioche bun, fried onions, and cheese smeared all over the patty

How did it taste?

a woman points to a burger

Overall rating: 🍔🍔🍔🍔 (4 out of 10 burgers)

Unfortunately, this one was not a crowd favorite:

“This is the most burger-like plant-based-burger so far. I’d give this one to a carnivore (meat eater) and see how they’d react.”

“I liked but didn’t love it. The fried onions lost their shape and taste mixed in with the BBQ sauce. I liked the burger patty itself and cheese, though…”

“I don’t know, I have mixed feelings… It might just not be my STYLE of burger. But I think if I was hungry, I’d like it! But it’s BLAND, come on now! But if you’re looking for something that tastes like meat, it pretty much does!”

“I think I would feel quite gross if I ate the entire thing, it’s very heavy. I can imagine my dad being into this, I’m personally just not into the flavor profile (using the term “flavor profile” makes me feel very fancy). The taste lingers for so long!”

“I wanted to enjoy this one, but couldn’t. I didn’t feel great after eating and overall would not try again.”

“It’s a bit heavy. I wouldn’t crave it.”

Burger #3: The Impossible Cheeseburger from Applebee’s

a burger with a shiny bun, cheese, a patty, and lettuce on the bottom of it

How was the presentation?

an inside look at the burger

How did it taste?

a woman prepares to dig in

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Overall rating: 🍔🍔🍔🍔🍔 (6 out of 10 burgers)

Overall, I think we’re all pleased that people who are ~eatin’ good in the neighborhood~ can also order a veggie burger if they’d like:

“I wouldn’t be mad if I got this at a restaurant. It’s very filling, but it’s just a bit boring. I think that could be solved with some mayo, mustard, and ketchup.”

“It’s giving me ‘real food’ vibes, so if you’re into a homemade taste, this is for you. Doesn’t taste fake or chemically.”

“I would definitely eat this one again! I am not a meat lover, but this one felt so light and good. The patty was the winner of the game!”

“A really strong sauce would have completely elevated this burger. Upon hearing the price, I thought it was a bit ridiculous.”

“It looks pretty, and I like that there were veggies in it. If this had a sauce or more seasoning, I’d be BLOWN AWAY! Instead, I am happy to eat it. Also, this patty looked really uniform. This was one of the only patties that looked like meat, uniform, and looked nice after biting into it. I like the cheese on this.”

Burger #4: The Shroom Burger from Shake Shack

a burger with a potato-like yellow bun, lettuce, tomato, sauce, and a very crispy patty

How was the presentation?

a woman pointing to the cheese inside the patty

How did it taste?

a man is surprised by the burger's taste

Overall rating: 🍔🍔🍔🍔🍔🍔🍔 (7 out of 10 burgers)

Reviews were mixed, but some of our enthusiasts revealed that this burger is a staple for them already:

“This is carnival food, not a burger! If you like sweet and savory though, you’d like this! The patty feels like you’re eating a donut.”

“Total WHAT THE HECK AM I EATING VIBES! I couldn’t really tell what it was. I could see someone, like a boomer, being confused by it. Overall, it’s pretty tasty though. The roll was soft. I could SMASH like three of these.”

“I wish I liked mushrooms.”

“It doesn’t feel healthy since it was fried, but I loved it.”

“I actually get this burger a lot in my non-BuzzFeed life!”

Burger #5: The VG Classic from Veggie Grill

a burger with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and a flat patty

How was the presentation?

a woman points to a close-up of the burger

How did it taste?

man eating a burger

Overall rating: 🍔🍔🍔🍔🍔🍔🍔🍔 (8 out of 10 burgers)

The testers really enjoyed this burger:

“This was my fave!”

“I love this!!!!!! This tastes sooo good in terms of flavor and it’s pretty. If you want a burger that tastes good, you’re getting it with this one! Love the sauciness….!!!!”

“Please don’t ever change the ingredients and cooking.”

“I would eat it again. It was my favorite overall, even though I didn’t like the patty.”

“Very McDonald’s and I say that in a good way. Lots of veg, so I like that. The sauce definitely comes through.”

“This burger was SO good, definitely a favorite.”

Burger #6: The PLNT Cheeseburger from PLNT Burger

a burger with a shiny bun, lettuce, tomato, shredded lettuce, red onions, cheese and a patty

How was the presentation?

a woman shows off the burger's insides

How did it taste?

a woman looks down at a burger

Overall rating: 🍔🍔🍔🍔🍔🍔🍔🍔 (8 out of 10 burgers)

The general vibe of this burger was enjoyable: good looks and good taste!

“The bun was so squishy and soft and good. I LOVE THIS! I want another one of this!!!!” 

“It’s extremely flavorful and rich, but not as rich as some of the others. I could have 2 of these no problem.”

“I would eat again, but it’s not my favorite.”

“I really liked it.”

“I would totally eat this again.”

“Honestly my mind is melting after so many burgers, IDK.”

Burger #7: The Impossible Whopper from Burger King

a flat burger with tomatoes exposed and a sesame seed bun

wendys veggie burger

On June 28, Wendy’s is getting back into the plant-based burger game with the launch of the Spicy Black Bean Burger. The meatless burger features a plant-based black bean patty made with a blend of spices, layered with tomatoes, onion slices, romaine lettuce, chipotle jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, and a spicy chipotle sauce. Wendy’s uses a dairy-based cheese on the burger and VegNews is confirming which other components of the Spicy Black Bean Burger contain animal-derived ingredients. Wendy’s does not claim that the burger can be ordered vegan due to the potential for cross contamination on the sandwich preparation line. 

Part of Wendy’s “Made to Crave” menu, the Spicy Black Bean Burger will be available while supplies last in three test markets: Columbus, OH, Jacksonville, FL, and Pittsburgh, PA. To promote the new limited-time option, Wendy’s is giving away a medium order of French fries and free delivery when customers order the Spicy Black Bean Burger using the Wendy’s app through July 1. VegNews.Wendys1

While fast-food competitors—including Burger King, Carl’s Jr., and White Castle, among others—have offered modern meat alternatives made by plant-based brands Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods for several years, Wendy’s chose to go a different route. 

“Demand for plant-based proteins has exploded during the past 10 years,” a Wendy’s spokesperson told VegNews. “As a company striving to meet our fans where they are and deliver incredible taste and flavor, we identified a culinary opportunity to craft a plant-based protein in a uniquely Wendy’s way. Guided by our food vision, Fast Food Done Right, we’ve been carefully tracking the plant-based trend and exploring the best, most craveable way to introduce it to Wendy’s fans.”

Wendy’s goes all in on black beans

In mid-2015, MTV personality Steve-O petitioned Wendy’s to add its first veggie burger option. Later that year, Wendy’s introduced the Black Bean Burger to a select number of test locations in Ohio, South Carolina, and Utah. That meatless burger featured a patty made from a blend of vegetables and grains, topped with tomato, a spring mix, pepper jack cheese ,and parmesan-ranch sauce that was served on a vegan-friendly toasted seven-grain bun. It was possible to order that burger without animal-derived ingredients by omitting cheese, mayonnaise, and sauce. The patty was also prepared on a separate surface.VegNews.WendysBlackBean2015

“Following previous tests of the Black Bean Burger, Wendy’s used insights gathered from team members and customers to innovate on the sandwich build and bring forward a craveable, mouth-watering bite with mind-blowing flavors,” the Wendy’s spokesperson said about the new Spicy Black Bean Burger. 

Wendy’s will monitor the performance of the Spicy Black Bean Burger to determine its next steps. “Wendy’s will take time to evaluate both consumer and operational metrics from this test of the Spicy Black Bean Burger to ensure it delivers on what customers are seeking in a plant-based offering,” the spokesperson said.

Where’s the beef?

In 2019, Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor explained that the company was closely watching the plant-based meat trend and aimed to capitalize on the space in its own way. “Clearly there is growth out there in plant-based proteins and we believe that it is a trend that will be here to stay,” Penagor said during an earnings call. “We’re taking a hard look at what the options would be for us at the restaurant. We want to do it the Wendy’s way. Something that is unique to Wendy’s. Our culinary team continues to look at various options. [Plant-based protein] is probably something we need to look at, and will look at, into the future.”VegNews.WendysPlantiful

Not long after the call, Wendy’s added The Plantiful Burger to its menu in Canada. That burger featured a pea protein-based patty (the key ingredient in vegan meat patties such as the Beyond Burger) topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and ketchup, plus dairy-based mayonnaise and cheese. Advertisements for The Plantiful Burger stated, “Where’s the beef? Not here,” a play on Wendy’s famous 1984 catchphrase. That burger has since disappeared from Wendy’s menu in Canada. 

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