England has many American-style fast food chains, most of which do now offer vegan versions on the menu, which is progress, for millions continue to support them. However, what’s even better is to support homegrown local vegan food fast chains, which not only means all profits are helping animals to survive, but also they tend to all use compostable packaging (McDonald’s may have switched to paper straws, but still use plastic cup tops, which rather defeats the object).
All of these chains offer all your favourites from burgers and fries to plant-based shakes. Many have plant-based alternatives to Big Macs and Filet-O-Fish, along with more varied options like wraps and burritos (most are cash-free to avoid bank notes made with animal fats). They are mostly still focused in the big cities, but gradually opening up more branches, as they become more successful. The masses do not shop at local indie health stores. So although a bit ‘clone town’, the animals will thank us!
Neat Burger (London) was co-founded by racing driver Lewis Hamilton, and uses sustainable proteins like peas, corn, rice, quinoa and chickpeas to produce naturally coloured burgers flavourd with a secret spice blend. The menu includes a range of burgers, Neat Dogs, salad bowls, fries, nuggets, nachos and shakes. All packaging and cutlery is made from compostable sugar cane and cornstarch. The entire menu is climate-labelled, so you can see the positive impact and . Find branches at Oxford Circus, Finsbury Park, Soho, Camden and Westfield Stratford.
Unity Diner (Spitalfields, London) is a non-profit founded by campaigner Earthling Ed, using profits to help fund Surge Sanctuary, which rescues barnyard friends from abattoirs. The menu includes burgers, beer-battered ‘tofish & chips’, plus plant-based versions of calamari, pork steak, southern-fried drumsticks, fries, donuts and waffles. Nearest tube stations are Aldgate East (4 minute walk) and Liverpool Street (8 minute walk), with all cups, containers and straws biodegradable (staff uniforms are ethically made with organic cotton and eco inks).
The Vurger Co has two outlets in London (Shoreditch and Canary Wharf), one in Manchester and one in Brighton, with top Welsh chef Gaz Oakley now developing recipes, cooked in rapeseed oil (collected and turned into biofuel – all waste is also composted). The menu includes a wide range of burgers (with vegan cheese), fries, salad bowls and creamy shakes. Burgers are gluten-free but ask for gluten-free buns, if needed. The company’s cookbook The Vurger At Home has 80 recipes (including ‘the perfect burger’ and homemade shakes).