Contrary to popular opinion, vurgers are not a humanoid species from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The Vurger Co is a vegan burger joint reimagining the classic American diner-style menu for the plant-based generation.
The first crowd-funded vegan restaurant in London, this Shoreditch spot is a low-key, bright space with industrial vibes and Peggy Gou tunes. Don’t expect haute cuisine or table service, it’s very much of the Shake Shack ilk, with metal trays, unashamed USA-sized portions and those cute buzzer thingies which vibrate vigorously when your food is ready. There’s no Quorn or seitan here: expect a pared-back menu featuring four different patties made wholly of vegetables, seeds, nuts and grains, plus unbelievably buttery butter-free brioche buns and cream-topped mylkshakes, with not a jot of lactose in sight. The Oreo shake (£4.85, with optional shot of ‘because it’s Tuesday night’ rum, +£2) was, in the inimitable words of the Scissor Sisters, filthy-gorgeous.
My favourite was the Auburger (£8.45), an aubergine and chipotle chickpea patty with cumin mayo and the fermented kick from gherkins and red cabbage, while my pal rated the Big Mex, a spicy chipotle corn fritter patty topped with salsa, crispy jackfruit chicharrones and queso sauce (£8.45) — though there was a bit too much going on in this one for me. Being millennials, we obviously opted for extra avocado (+£1), along with 50-50 sweet potato and skin-on fries (£3.75) plus a side of the walnut pesto mac’n’cheese (£5.75), never the most attractive of dishes but very addictive all the same (nutritional yeast — is that you my old friend?). Vurger Co gets extra brownie points for the focus on sustainable packaging — compostable cutlery, paper straws and ‘plastic’ cups made from plants — but in the interests of food waste, don’t over-order as the portions are enormous.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Sure, The Vurger Co is not masquerading as a super-healthy option but it’s a hot pick for some quality meat-free indulgence — you certainly don’t need to be a hardcore vegan to appreciate it.
The Vurger Co can be found in Shoreditch at 9, Avant Garde, Cygnet St, London E1 6LD. For more great vegan restaurants in London, check out our guide.