Whether you're simply doing it for Veganuary or the sake of the planet, reducing one's red meat intake is something that a lot of people (ourselves included) are trying to do at the moment. It is, for the most part, probably a very good idea. Eating meat has been proven to have a large impact on the environment, doing everything from fueling climate change to polluting landscapes and waterways.
The only trouble with giving up meat for gluttons like us is, of course, the fact that a lot of animals have the knack of becoming extremely delicious when cooked, and it's not always easy to ignore your carnivorous cravings in the face of a chargrilled steak. Or a really good burger. God knows there's nothing we love more than demolishing a hamburger when we're hungover and knee-deep in regret about sliding into the DMs of just about every eligible person we know.
Moments like those are why we created this list of the best burgers in London. However, this guide isn't about those beautiful beef and brioche constructions. No, this guide is a paean to the plant-based purveyors serving some of the city's best meat-free burgers – the plant-based burgers in London you'll want to be eating when you've got a clear head and conscious.
If you're after burgers that "bleed" (those of the "you-won't-believe-it's-not-beef" variety) you'll be best served by any restaurant that has either Beyond Meat's Beyond Burger or a Moving Mountains® patty on its menu. The Impossible Burger, which has made waves in the US, isn't available in the UK as of yet, so those lot will be your best options from the following list of the best plant-based burgers in London. If you're not fussed about those faux-beef offerings you can try out a variety of pea, seitan, beet and bean burgers that are made in-house instead.
They might not be exactly the same as the real thing, but eating less cattle can only be a good thing, right? And, well, we've got no beef with any of these meat-free options. Here's our pick of 21 of the best plant-based burgers in London, in no particular order. Enjoy.
1. Honest Burgers
The Beyond Burger from Beyond Meat is a plant-based patty that's capable of achieving that uncanny feat of tasting just like meat, despite containing absolutely zero animal products. That oddly juicy disc of not-beef is what you'll find in Honest Burgers' 'Plant' burger along with vegan smoked gouda, Rubies chipotle 'mayo', mustard, red onion, pickles, and lettuce. Pair that with Honest's always-reliable rosemary salted chips and you've got a meat-free meal that's absolutely worth a butcher's.
2. Halo Burger
With branches in Shoreditch and Brixton, Halo Burger is a great spot to get your laughing gear around Beyond Meat's latest 4.0 patty. The eponymous Halo Burger consists of two patties, American "cheese", tomato, caramelised onion, lettuce, pickles and a zingy house-made sauce. Capable of "bleeding" all over your hands just like the real thing, it's a plant-based burger that's got basically everything you'd want and expect from a typical US-style hamburger. Except, y'know, the ham bit. And all the obnoxious patriotism. This is a plant-based burger in London, not America, buddy. If you're not feeling up for a freedom sandwich you can always test out Halo Burger's Beyond Meat hot dog or its chicken-free nugs.
3. The Vurger Co
Richmix, Cygnet Street, E1 6LD
The Vurger Co's New York Melt is a great plant-based burger in London that, on first bite, tastes exactly like a regular beef burger. Which is sort of the point. Beyond Burger's dangerously good Beyond Meat patty is topped with two slices of vegan cheese, gherkins and The Vurger Co homemade burger sauce in this absolutely stacked sandwich. This is the ideal burger to give someone who's whole concept of vegan cuisine is limp salad and lentils; a real game changer that you'll be able to finish in a New York minute.
88-89 Cowcross Street, EC1M 6BP
Head down to FlipSide in Farringdon for a meat-free burger that'll have you saying: "wow, I can't believe that's a meat-free burger". While FlipSide doesn't have a dedicated vegan burger per se, every single burger at the joint comes with the option for you to replace the regular patty with a Beyond Burger patty. Which is just as good in our eyes. The quarter pounder contains a Beyond Burger patty, pickle, grilled onions, little gem, mustard, ketchup, and mayo – all nestled in a soft and airy glazed bun.
5. Dirty Vegan
Westfield, W12 7GE
As the younger sister of Dirty Bones, Dirty Vegan is the ideal place to hit up when you're stressed in Westfield and keen to stick to your vegan diet. Demi brioche buns look pretty as a picture and the wealth of fillings you can stuff inside of them is one of Dirty Vegan's major draws. The Classic is still the move in our opinion – red onion, gherkins and dijonnaise complementing the uncannily beef-like Beyond Meat patty. The most decadent menu item though? That's got to be the Mac Daddy burger which arrives decked out with mac and cashew cheese, smoky mushroom, short rib and an espresso-spiked BBQ sauce. Oof.
6. Dirty Bones
NYC-inspired joint Dirty Bones does dirty food and dirty cocktails that won't completely clean out your wallet. While the regular burgers aim to emulate the patties you'll find scattered around the Bronx and Manhattan, the focal point of this list of the best plant-based burgers in London is The Vegan Classic. Dirty Bones employs the dab hand of a Moving Mountains® plant-based burger topped with vegan cheese, red onion, gherkin and veganaise on a soft seeded bun. It's a meat-free burger that balances on just the right level of indulgence and one you should definitely check out if you've got a hankering for some plant-based NYC-esque heavily-hyphenated eating.
7. Kua 'Aina
26 Foubert's Place, W1F 7PP
This popular burger and sandwich import from Hawaii has set up station in Soho. It's time you two said aloha. The burgers are 100% beef, fresh from Kua 'Aina's butcher, made to the joint's special recipe from premium cuts of rib and hand-pressed in different two sizes. They contain no fillers, rusk or preservatives. But you're here to hear about the vegan burger, right? Well, Kua 'Aina fills its meat-free burgers with a Moving Mountains® plant-based patty that's almost as good as the real thing. Almost. In spite of the lack of meat, Kua 'Aina's vegan burger is given just as much attention as the spot's bovine offerings. The option to add vegan cheese is a nice touch, too.
Camden Lock Market, Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AF
VBurger is a vegan burger bar – a burger bar dedicated to vegan burgers, plant-based patties, and meat-free mounds of food. If you're up in Camden, you'd be remiss not to check out VBurger and its selection of sandwiches. The slow roasted British beetroot and quinoa patty; seitan schnitzel; and green falafel are all great meat-free options. However, if you want a patty that best emulates the Maillard vibes of a beef burger, then the Moving Mountains® burger is the way to go. What's in it, you ask? Mushroom, pea protein, wheat protein, soy protein, oats, coconut oil, beetroot, flavouring, sugar, colouring, vitamin b12, preservative, herbs, vegetable oil, water, and spices. Trust us, it tastes much, much better than that sounds.
34 King Street, WC2E 8JD
Maxwell's might be best known for its cheesebomb burger (don't ask) but the Moving Mountains® vegan burger it's got on the menu might be just as Instagrammable. Expect a juicy B12 patty with shiitake bacon, vegan cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, gherkin and an avocado mayo that looks pretty much exactly how a burger that contains animal would. The taste isn't too far off, either. One of the best plant-based burgers in London? You'd be a fool to ignore it.
Other plant-based burgers in London
10. Simplicity Burger
202 Brick Lane, E1 6SA
Neil Rankin's Simplicity Burger (which takes more than little inspiration from New York's Superiority Burger) is a plant-based burger option where all of the patties are made from sustainably-sourced local vegetables. Rather than using any weird or wonderful plant-based meat alternatives, Simplicity Burger's burgers are made using pickled and fermented vegetables. The namesake 'Simplicity Burger' comes with sauce and crispy onions, but we'd recommend spunking out for the big double: two SB patties slathered in sauce, lettuce and onions. It delivers all the punch of a Big Mac without any of the guilt about the ethics of the golden arches.
11. Patty & Bun
Patty & Bun is responsible for one of the best burgers in London – so, when news broke that the restaurant group would be introducing a vegan option on the menu to cater to the growing demand for meat-free fast food options, needless to say we found ourselves excited (and salivating) at the prospect. It turns out all that dribble was warranted, too. P&B teamed up with the founders of THIS to incorporate the meat-free brand's 'THIS ISN'T BACON' into its latest plant-based burger: the 'Pamela'. Pamela contains a plant protein patty alongside meat-free bacon, spicy mayo, fake cheddar, white onion, pickles, tomato, lettuce, and ketchup in a fluffy, bronzed bonsoy bun. And she's mighty fine.
12. Biff's Jack Shack
Biff's Jack Shack is a staple of the London street food scene and you can probably hold them responsible for every occasion that you've bought pulled jackfruit from a white man with dreadlocks. Jackfruit isn't some new or exciting super food (it's been an ingredient used in various different cuisines for donkeys) but Biff's Jack Shack has helped popularise it within the London vegan fast food scene/bubble. Biff's signature jackfruit patties are hand-formed, unprocessed and free from soy and GMO ingredients, meaning they're actually kinda healthy. If you're properly in a "fuck it" mood though, we'd suggest ordering 'The Jack Bauer Tower of Power', a double decker behemoth that even comes with the incredibly extra accoutrements of a deep fried cheeze slice, seitan bacon and a hash brown. It's big, delicious, and you won't stop being able to think about it for at least 24 hours after you've eaten it.
13. Temple of Seitan
An O.G. of the London vegan scene, Temple of Seitan is a hugely popular haunt amongst meat eaters and animal lovers alike. When it comes to fake fried chicken burgers, you'll struggle to find a more complete sandwich than Temple of Seitan's 'Nashville Hot' – a piquant hot-dipped chick'n fillet with ranch mayo, lettuce and pickles in a picture perfect bun. As for the faux beef, the 'Temple Deluxe' is Temple's take on the quarter pounder with the restaurant's housemade plant patty and addictive burger giving any 80/20 ground beef iteration a run for its money. It's a plant-based burger that even your vegan-hating flat mate will finish in bitter silence.
104 Brick Lane, E1 6RL
Mooshies on Brick Lane does some pretty banging meat-free burgers, to be honest. Handcrafted and rammed tenderly into a multigrain seeded brioche vegan bun (probably the most #wellness sounding bun in the city) the burgers at Mooshies can come filled with a variety of patties that range from marinated spicy jerk jackfruit to panko fried aubergine. The most beef burger-like of the lot comes in the form of the 'What's Ur Beef?': an organic quinoa and black bean patty that doesn't taste like beef, but does deliver just as much satisfaction in the flavour department. Especially when smothered in caramelised onions, vegan cheese, gherkins and lettuce.
74-76 Westbourne Grove, W2 5SH
We've got absolutely no beef with Farmacy's 'Got No Beef Burger'. It might not bleed with added heme but the beetroot element of the mushroom, walnut and beetroot patty ensures you're still provided with that requisite burger drip. The kind of sort-of-dirty-but-not-quite sensation that sums up most of this list of the best plant-based burgers in London. Combined with goji berry ketchup, beetroot pickled onions and a side of sweet potato fries, that burger's one of the better meat-free burgers you'll find in the city. Just don't wear a white t-shirt anywhere near its vicinity.
Here's a fact for you: all burgers taste better with aioli. Go to any Mildreds in London and you can get a burger that has aioli in it. And not just any old burger either. It's a Polish beetroot white bean burger that comes in its bready exterior with pickled red cabbage, tart gherkins and, yes, aioli. If that doesn't convince you to give plant-based burgers a go then we truly give up.
17. Wicked Vegan
14 Hildreth Street, SW12 9RQ
All of the burgers at Wicked Vegan are 100% vegan and made 100% from scratch. They're also 100% delicious. Whether you go for the 'Wicked Jack' (deep-fried jackfruit, coleslaw, lettuce, tomato, gherkins), the 'Bean-jamin Button' (black bean patty, baba ganoush, spinach, scallions, gherkins, cashews nuts), the 'Cheeky Pea' (chickpea and barley patty, lettuce, tomato, red onion tartar, shichimi mayo) or the bright and brilliant 'Sunset' (chargrilled carrot and lentil patty, guacamole, roasted kale, lettuce, tomato), you're in for a good feed. Who knew being vegan in Balham was so easy?
18. Cut + Grind
The Urbanest Building, Canal Reach, N1C 4BD
If you want a crisp and juicy burger that'll have you hunching over in pleasure, Cut + Grind in King's Cross is a neat spot to hit up – there's a reason we think it's one of the best burgers in London. The meat-free options aren't half-bad either. Cut + Grind's miso aubergine burger makes the most of glazed aubergine by jazzing it up with kimchi, cucumber slaw and gochujang vegan mayo inside of a carrot and turmeric bun. The 'Beet + Bean', on the other hand, involves a bean beetroot and carrot patty getting acquainted with vegan cheese, beetroot jam, beet and rocket salad, vegan mayo, and crispy onions. Now, that sounds pretty hard to 'beet', doesn't it?
19. The Full Nelson
47 Deptford Broadway, SE8 4PH
This veggie/vegan bar and kitchen is your best opportunity for plant-based eats in deepest, darkest Deptford. All of the 'beef' burgers at The Full Nelson come cooked in the kitchen's special baste on a lightly toasted brioche bun with tomatoes, sweet onions, pickles and shrettuce. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a hard man, why not try out the 'Sith' burger? A liberal use of Deptford Death Sauce, sriracha mayo, spicy cheese, jalapenos, onions and… even more hot sauce make that starry sandwich one of the hottest burgers in the entire city. Literally.
20. Wulf & Lamb
243 Pavilion Road, SW1X 0BP
The meat-free burger at Chelsea's Wulf & Lamb is a real wolf in lamb's clothing. You'd hardly guess that the moreish seitan burger – topped as it comes with tomato, baby gem lettuce, pickles, red onion and cashew aioli – contains absolutely zero animal products. None. Zilch. Nada. It's a cruelty-free burger that's just as satisfying as it is mind boggling. Eat it.
21. Neat Burger
4 Princes Street, W1B 2LE
Who'd have thought Lewis Hamilton would be responsible for one of the best vegan burgers in London? Well, aside from anyone who's aware of the F1 driver's passionate veganism, that is. But – c'mon – when's the last time you actually watched a Grand Prix and didn't fall asleep? The meat-free burgers at Neat Burger, however, are not to be slept on. The titular 'Neat Burger' is one of the best plant-based burgers in London. A Double Neat Meat Patty (of Neat Burger's own creation) makes fast friends with the restaurant's signature Neat Sauce alongside the regular stable mates of burger fillings. It's a champion burger. Nicely done, Lewis.