Burger King Is Opening a Meat-Free Restaurant

While U.S. customers are only able to order Impossible Whoppers, the brand's European counterparts are going big on plant-based menu items.

Burger King Germany is leaning hard into its plant-based menu, and is (briefly) opening the fast food chain's first-ever all-plant-based restaurant in Cologne, Germany. From Monday, June 7 through Friday, June 11, vegetarians, vegans, and the veg-curious can visit this limited-time location to try Burger King's newest plant-based options, including a just-released sandwich called, um, the Long Chicken Patty.

Burger King has collaborated with The Vegetarian Butcher for its first entirely meatless menu. This isn't the first time the two companies have worked together; according to VegNews, the Vegetarian Butcher—which is owned by multinational consumer-goods conglomerate Unilever—also developed the vegan chicken nuggets and the plant-based Rebel Whoppers that are available at some Burger Kings throughout Europe and the United Kingdom, Burger King Mexico's Whopper Vegetal, and a plant-based Whopper for its restaurants in China.

Burger king
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Speaking of Burger King UK, the chain's CEO Alasdair Murdoch recently said that it is working toward a menu that will be 50 percent plant-based by 2031. Last month, Burger King UK also debuted the Vegan Royale, a Vegan Society-certified version of its Chicken Royale sandwich (and yes, the Vegan Royale is the same sandwich that Burger King Germany calls "The Long Chicken Patty").

According to Food & Living Vegan, the long-awaited vegan 'chicken' patty is topped with iceberg lettuce and vegan mayonnaise and, most importantly, it is prepared in a separate area so it does not come into contact with any meat, dairy, or egg products. "Customers can rest assured that when they order items displaying the Vegan Trademark they're free from animal products and animal testing and that cross-contamination has been minimized," a spokesperson for the Vegan Society said.

Burger King UK has also brought its plant-based Whopper back—this time with vegan mayo—but unlike the Chicken Royale/Long Chicken Patty, it's prepared on the same grills as its beefy counterparts.

Here in the United States, the 'same grill situation' has been a plant-based thorn in Burger King's side. In 2019, an Atlanta vegan filed a class-action lawsuit against the chain after he realized that his Impossible Whopper was "coated in meat-products" after being flame-grilled beside the restaurant's beef burgers. A judge dismissed that lawsuit last summer, ruling that Burger King had promised a non-meat burger, and they'd delivered a non-meat burger—and he pointed out that customers could request "an alternative cooking method" if they were concerned about cross-contamination from the beef-burger broiler.

If any Germans are interested in scoping out that special plant-based Burger King, it will be taking over the restaurant location at Schildergasse 114 in Cologne. Please let us know how the Long Chicken Patty is.

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