New Zealand McDonald's Salad Burger Just Feels Like A Rip-Off

If you're a vegetarian or vegan, you're most likely used to looking for meat-free options from your favorite food establishments. Luckily, plant-based meat alternatives are on the rise, and an increasing number of restaurants, fast food chains, and other culinary brands are embracing veggie options. From the Impossible Whopper to Chick-fil-A's plant-based sandwich, people have more meatless choices to grab on the go than ever before. 

We all know that McDonald's menus are different in other countries, but one overseas menu item has some folks scratching their heads. When most restaurants create new plant-based meat alternatives to feature, the meat-free options that mimic meat are the most popular — and the most common. Yet, McDonald's in New Zealand decided to cut out the middleman, and the salad burger was born. New and exciting ideas for plant-based options are always welcome, but the salad burger is more or less what it sounds like.  

To some customers, the salad burger feels more like a copout than a creative vegetarian option. This item is a burger-less burger with typical toppings between a toasted sesame seed bun. While the item is customizable, its standard form comes with lettuce, tomato, onions, American cheese, pickles, and the chain's McChicken sauce. This concept becomes even more curious when you look at the price.

The salad burger is more expensive than meat burgers

McDonald's salad burger may seem like a great burger alternative for some, but for others, it's missing a key component: the patty. This is particularly noteworthy since it's more expensive than a burger with meat. A salad burger costs around $10, with the value meal priced just over $15. To compare, you can get a double cheeseburger at McDonald's New Zealand for about $9 and a double cheeseburger value meal for $14. A plain hamburger or cheeseburger will set you back between $5 and $6. 

Interestingly, McDonald's salad burger isn't the first of its kind. Burger King New Zealand began offering a similar option before McDonald's, though its salad burger includes onion rings. The McDonald's salad burger hasn't made its way to locations outside New Zealand yet, and it's unclear if it ever will. Since there are so few vegan options at McDonald's, it may be time for the chain to expand its meat-free menu. Whether the salad burger is the answer depends entirely on how much you like eating burger toppings.