Monday, 14 January 2019

Are the vegan burgers better at Hungry Jacks?

I never thought I would see the day when I would write about a vegan burger at Hungry Jacks but here it is.  The title of my blog post is a tongue in cheek take on the advertising slogan "The burgers are better at Hungry Jacks".  I think this slogan is aimed at McDonalds, its main rival.  So I sampled a vegan burger to see if they really are better.  And while I think it is great they have a vegan burger, Hungry Jacks is still not much my sort of place.  (For those outside Australia, Hungry Jacks are the Australian equivalent of Burger King.)

I was fascinated to read that Hungry Jacks had introduced a vegan burger with vegan cheese.  (Disclaimer: I am a lacto ovo vegetarian who eats a lot of vegan food.)  It really feels like veganism is hitting the mainstream when this happens.  I think that it is great for current vegans or wannabe vegans to have the option when they want to relive happy memories of fast food or just want something quick on the go.

Having said all that, it is still weird to see vegan ingredients in a fast food place like this.  Here it is on the menu display with the vegan burger surrounded by chicken burgers.  (Is that because there are many people who when I say I am vegetarian they ask if I eat chicken!)

I had to go all nostalgic for the days before I went vegetarian and add some fries and coke.  It's been 25 years since I went vegetarian but I do have some fond memories of fast food meals.  But only in the way that I have fond memories of meat sausages and burgers that I don't want to relive.  That is how I felt when faced with this meal.

And here is my burger.  Not anywhere near as impressive as the picture on the menu board.  I have to reminisce about the most excellent vegetarian burger patty I had about 20 years ago in a British Burger King while travelling.  Nothing at Burger King or Hungry Jacks has ever lived up to its amazingness.  Definitely not this burger.  Apparently this is based on the "popular" vegetarian whopper.  I think I might have tried one ages ago and then blanked it from my memory.

A mashed potato burger with peas and carrots is a cop out.  They are the sort of burgers that butchers sell who don't have any understanding of what it means to be a vegetarian/vegan.  I wanted to find out what sort of cheese they use but neglected to ask and then could not find any information online.  For those who aren't vegan, vegan cheeses aren't all created equal any more than vegan burger patties. 

And just to remind me I don't really belong in Hungry Jacks, I see the printed note about their beef guarantee inside the whopper box.  This note does seem to say that Hungry Jacks will put more effort into their meat burgers, probably best given this is their target audience. 

So, I am not thrilled about this burger but then again I am way past being thrilled about fast food.  It fills a void.  This could be done better but I am grateful it is done at all.  However if you really want to eat a decent vegan burger to fulfill a fast food craving, I would suggest you would be much better off at Lord of the Fries.  Though as I had this burger at Belmont in Geelong, I think it is pretty safe to say there are no Lord of the Fries outlets there.  So I am sure there are places where Hungry Jacks might be as good as you can get for fast food and vegans will be able to order this burger and know this is a step in the right direction.


  1. Hah, made me chuckle and glad your not rushing back. I am also glad I missed this ship. My family were late to the party with fast food joints, its not something we did growing up as my mother was a fantastic cook. I think the only time we ate out was when we went to B'ham and it was KFC. I went to Macdonalds the first time when I went to Uni. and it was for a milkshake even then. But its funny the appeal I find in vegan fast food places cropping up in the UK. I think its because deep down in my psyche I know that their no cross contamination. PS I am pinching your Disclaimer: I am a lacto ovo vegetarian who eats a lot of vegan food! sums me up too.

    1. Thanks Shaheen - the country town where I grew up still does not have fast food outlets so I didn't grow up eating from these sort of places (I still remember my parents going there when we were kids and coming home to tell us how awful it was). Then my 6 brothers and sister worked in Maccas and Kentucky as teenagers so it figured larger in my life for a while. So occasionally I like some nostalgia but like you I prefer it at veg places because they don't treat me as an afterthought.

      And I thought I better make a disclaimer as I taste enough vegan food to have comparisons but want it to be clear I am not writing as a vegan - though I think where once it was a dairy cheese and mayo in the burger now it is all vegan even for vegetarians. So the vegan burger would be my option these days too, which is another big change to fast food!

  2. I am a carnivore and still don’t go to Hungry Jacks - I find the food isn’t filling and you are hungry again an hour later. Oh well, at least they are trying. The burgers never look as good in reality as the styled advertising.

    1. Thanks Cakelaw - I remember hanging out with people who liked going there when I was about 18 but I think even if I hadn't gone veg I would not be very interested now - I just did a double take when I saw vegan cheese and had to try it!

  3. I don't think Burger King has a vegan burger on these shores, but McDonalds brought out a vegan wrap the other day, which I think is their first vegan product. I mention it because it made me think about going to McDonalds for the first time in about a decade, even though I can't say I had any desire to go before that. Reading this, I kind of feel like I won't be missing out if I give the McDs a miss - maybe it'll be another decade before I do go back!


Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)