7 plant-based burgers in Shanghai we're loving right now

We’ve got a list of where you can get your favorite foods in vegan and vegetarian fashion (so long as burgers are your favorite food).

By James Halpin

Photograph: Lefteris Kallergies via Unsplash

Ever heard of Meatless Mondays? Been thinking of trying or even moving up to Meatless Weekdays or Weekends? If so, your options are more extensive than ever and (with your support and curiosity can) continue to expand throughout Shanghai and China.

Photograph: Deryn Macey via Unsplash

Maybe you’re thinking… ‘Oh no, not again. The vegan police are coming for my meats again!’ and the answer is no, friend… not yet. No one’s asking you to give up your favorite childhood meals like ‘Momma used to make,’ or start eating bugs to save the planet... not yet. Fortunately, you can still eat your favorite foods, reduce your carbon footprint, and give some lucky farm animals in the world a reason to smile. We’ve got a list of where you can get your favorite foods in vegan and vegetarian fashion (so long as burgers are your favorite food).

Photograph: www.brewdog.com

First and foremost, it felt important to talk about Brew Dog, Shanghai's international Scottish brew-pub. Not only do they offer both Beyond Beef and two Zrou options, but also a vegan buffalo chicken sandwich and all-you-can-eat Buffalo Cauliflower on Wing Wednesdays, so vegetarians and vegans can join their chicken wing mouth vacuuming friends.

Photograph: www.brewdog.com

If you’re not ready to jump straight into the Zrou game, you can get two for the price of one on Mondays and get both Beyond Beef and Southern Fried Zrou in one sitting or sneak in a fun new plant-based date night. There is no wrong option, they are all yuuuumy and come with a side of fries.

228 Weihai Lu.

Photograph: Vegegood via WeChat

Another Vegetarian watering hole that offers a vegan-friendly burger is Vegegood. While the burger is not the star offering of the joint, don’t overlook this delicious twist on the American menu staple: a Beyond Beef patty between warm and toasted buns, topped with thinn (that’s two Ns, yes) sliced cabbage and a house special (and secret) whopper sauce; this vegan burger is part of a complete plant-based dinner set. If the burger alone doesn’t satisfy your non-vegan chops, top your Meatless venture off with a dairy and egg-free slice of cheesecake!

1F, 411 Madang Lu.

Photograph: Yang Xiaozhe

If you want to stay on the more familiar side of beef patty alternatives before the days of Beyond Meat and Zrou, Green Vege offers two delicious options in their Portobello Mushroom and Thai Chilli burgers. If you’re not in the mood for mock beef or missing McNuggets, they also have Mock Nuggets! Most importantly, they have Avacado Sashimi to satisfy your never-ending sushi cravings if the burgers don’t fill you up.

3F, 697 Zhongshan Nan Er Lu.

Photograph: BAPS via Dianping

Given this new spot’s big, bold & beefy name, it’d be hard-pressed to think they would offer anything other than their 16 pure burger lovers’ blessed beef patty offerings. Thankfully, animal lovers and environmentalists can join their carnivorous friends here as the restaurant offers 3 vegan friendly burgers for all of the kids and family to enjoy, two of which are made with Zrou. BAPS also have a wide range of plant-based drinks and after-hours delights for your plant-based friends.

3F, Unit 1, 123 Xingye Lu. Multiple locations around town.

Photograph: Charlie's Burger via Dianping

If you’re not simply passing through Shanghai for business or vacation, you’ve probably met one of Shanghai’s most widespread and adored burger providers, Charlie’s Burger. In addition to their already amazing burger pricing and their amazing avocado, egg and cheese veggie burger, you can replace any beef burger order with Beyond Beef for FREE! That’s right… you can still get your favorite burger options VEGANIZED for the same price! You can find many of Charlie’s in-person sit-down options around the city. Their Found 158 location even has cocktail offerings.

B1, 158 Julu Lu. Multiple locations around town.

Photograph: Duli via Dianping

If you’re more of an adventurous and ‘something outside of the normal western burger fares’ type of person, there are options for you, too! Famous vegan spot, Duli, also now includes two exciting Beyond Beef vegan burger options of their own: one with two Japanese traditional flavorings and the other with another offering of China’s famously spicy Sichuan flavor.

Photograph: Duli via Dianping

I dragged my protein-obsessed roommate here once just to see if they even had any vegan burgers and we both walked away pleasantly surprised to see and try these crumbly gems. We also learned that chickpeas also have protein and that if you roast them long enough, they actually get soft and make the perfect snack/appetizer.

30 Donghu Lu.

Photograph: www.shakeshack.com

New York’s golden upstart burger chain child, Shake Shack, is making waves in both Shanghai and the vegetarian burger scene. In addition to their various location arounds town and their long-time offering of the ‘Shroom Burger’ (a delicious breaded and fried mushroom in a burger bun), the chain is soon to open a new store at Raffles City Changning and will roll out a new vegetarian burger option called the ‘Veggie Shack’ (complete with mushrooms, sweet potatoes, carrots, farro, and quinoa).

181 Taicang Lu. Multiple locations around town.