British folks absolutely love Neat Burger, a plant-based chain that has now landed in the U.S. for the very first time, inside of the Urbanspace food hall on Park Avenue.
The chain comes to this side of the Atlantic with stellar references: actor Leonardo DiCaprio and racing champion Lewis Hamilton are both Neat Burger backers. The company has also won PETA's inaugural Company of the Year Award, a designation that is a clear comment on the business' dedication to sustainability.
Although plant-based food seems to be all the rave these days—a new vegan BBQ spot has just opened in midtown and the iconic Eleven Madison Park has gone plant-based, for example—no New York outpost has yet taken over the fast-food market. Neat Burger does just that by offering vegan hot dogs, "chicken" burgers, shakes, French fries and more.
The burgers are certainly the menu's centerpiece. Standouts include the filet-no-fish, made with lettuce, tartar sauce and a crispy coated filet; the smoke smash, prepared with a double Neat meat patty smashed with onions, lettuce, jalapenos, pickles, mayo, two crispy onion rings and BBQ sauce; the Neat dog, with grilled onions, pickles, crispy onions, ketchup, mustard and mayo; and the classic Neat burger, served with cheese, grilled onions, pickles, lettuce, tomato, white onions, Neat sauce and stack sauce.
Bowls, sides, shakes and desserts (cookies! Oreo brownies!) are on offer as well.
The arrival of Neat Burger in the city also portents the debut of a specific sort of vegan cuisine within New York's culinary canon. Up until just a few months ago, eating plant-based food at a restaurant meant giving up on certain flavors and dishes that chefs have until now only been able to create using non-vegan ingredients. Things are clearly changing—and we're here for it.