What vegans need to know before eating at Burger King

When Burger King rolled out the Impossible Whopper in 2019, it was a game-changer. Those who adhere to plant-based diets had an excuse to get back into the fast-food burger game, a space that previously made little concessions for the meat-free set. The Impossible Whopper wasn't just a win for those looking for a meatless fast-food alternative but also for the brand. CNN Business reported a serious spike in sales after the burger's initial introduction.

The Impossible Whopper's success inspired other fast food outlets to introduce their own take on a meatless burger. Thrillist put five veg-based burgers from outlets like A&W and Carl's Jr. to the test and White Castle came out on top. Veg News reports that Taco Bell is planning on introducing vegan options to the menu in 2021. But while the Impossible Whopper certainly proved to be a move in the right direction, it might not please strict vegans and vegetarians.

Why some vegans might choose to look the other way and why they shouldn't

While the Impossible Whopper might be made minus the meat, but that doesn't mean that it qualifies as vegan or vegetarian for a number of reasons. First off, unless the customer specifies, the patties comingle on flat top space with beef burgers. Some vegetarians might choose to look the other way, but several unhappy customers filed a class-action lawsuit regarding shared griddle space (via BBC). Next up, there are the toppings. The Impossible Whopper is dressed with the same elements as the original, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, and cheese. However, vegans can request their burgers minus the American and mayo, and rest assured that Burger King's bun is free of animal products (via Insider).

The Impossible Whopper might have opened Burger King's doors to a new class of diner, but those who want a different vegan alternative have a few more options on the menu. Women's Health dug into Burger King's offerings and came up with ten vegan-friendly items, some of them obvious (garden salads, apple sauce, and soft drinks) and others that might come as a pleasant surprise (think french toast sticks and hashbrowns). And in case there was any question about the vegan friendliness of the fries, unlike some other fast-food giants, Burger King exclusively uses vegetable oil for all things fried potato-related. The chain's popular apple pie is also vegan but has, unfortunately, been discontinued at U.S. locations.