Among many trendy diets, plant-based or vegan diets quickly became two of the most popular ones. Whether the reason is health benefits, humanitarian or spiritual, more and more people are changing their dietary habits.
Many celebrities and social media influencers endorsed plant-based and vegan diets and as a result, media consumers began trying these diets as well. This trend inspired many of America’s biggest fast food chains to update their menus.
“I feel like social media influencers and celebrities definitely have the power to influence trends, especially diets or fashion,” said Nireeksha Namjoshi, Associated Students’ environmental sustainability commission director.
In August 2019, Burger King became one of the first fast food restaurants in the West coast to serve “meatless meat.” Shortly after, several other fast food chains such as Carl’s Jr. and Del Taco began announcing their plans for meatless alternatives.
For those looking to satisfy your meatless needs, here is a list of fast food chains that serve plant-based meats.
Disclaimer: Several of these items are not completely vegan and must be modified. Some of these restaurants prep and cook in the same area as real meat, so these options may not be suitable for all.
Burger King is one of the front runners for the meatless meat burger. After a successful trial run, the Impossible Whopper became a permanent menu item. The burger comes with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mayo, ketchup and cheese.
In addition to the Whopper, the chain also introduced a breakfast sandwich called the Impossible Croissan’wich which is an impossible sausage patty, egg and cheese in a croissant.
The taste of the Impossible Whopper is similar to a store bought vegan patty. It’s simple, but strong enough to satisfy a burger craving.
Carl’s Jr. came in hot with a line of Beyond Meat items, including several burgers, sausage breakfast biscuits and burritos. The restaurant created the Beyond Famous Star and the Beyond Bbq Cheeseburger. The two burgers are plant based versions of their two most popular burgers.
Both burgers are filling and hold a taste very similar to meat. The Beyond Famous Star is like a classic burger with lettuce, tomato and onion but with a meatless patty.
The Bbq Cheeseburger is a more hearty burger, made with barbecue sauce, cheese and onion rings. This option is indulgent, and you will definitely need a nap afterward.
Carl’s Jr. is my top choice for a plant-based burger. They’re the most filling and they serve the tastiest of the meatless meats.
Surprisingly, the company, Dunkin’ Donuts added a Beyond sausage breakfast sandwich to their menu. This one is definitely not vegan. It is a Beyond sausage patty on a toasted english muffin with egg and cheese.
Their version of a breakfast english muffin is filling but also not as heavy as the real thing, so it won’t have you feeling too full or sluggish afterwards.
Del Taco introduced three menu items— the Beyond Avocado Taco, the Beyond 8 Layer Burrito and the Epic Beyond Original Mex Burrito. They also offer the option to substitute or add Beyond Meat to their other menu items.
Del Taco’s Beyond Avocado Taco looks like a regular taco, served in a hard shell with lettuce, tomato, cheese and avocado. The tacos have a bit of an aftertaste, but the taco seasoning helps cover it up.
Plant-based burgers are constantly evolving. All of the meatless options listed taste very similar to real meat. Whether you’ve been eating plant-based for a while, or you just want to try other alternatives, there has never been a more accessible time to do so than right now.