The best vegan burger in the UK… that’s a big title to carry and a bold statement to make. In the classic town of Cambridge there’s a new kid on the block that is starting to develop this reputation. We had to investigate.
These burgers have been on our hit list for quite some time. We’d heard the rumours grumbling on the streets and we’d seen the foodporn photos popping up on social media. It was definitely an understatement to say we were bloody excited.
After eating vegan food all around the world there are only a few places that we can honestly say have mastered the vegan burger. It’s not a rarity anymore – with the huge increase in vegan dishes around the UK you can find a vegan bean burger everywhere; from East End pubs to library cafeterias. But availability doesn’t equate to desirability. We wanted to find the best vegan burger in the UK and after months of waiting we finally set a date to try out these bad boy burgers.
As you may know we are proud to have pretty epic appetites – If it’s vegan and delicious we’ll find room for it. Nonetheless the only time Sarah and I had free to try these burgers out was on a rainy Thursday at midday. I don’t know about you but this normally isn’t our prime time for burger lust. Holy shit was this about to change. As soon as we set eyes on the menu our mouths began to salivate, our nipples hardened and we were eager to see if Doppelganger really was home to the best vegan burgers!
As with many pop-up cafes there was a real air of mysticism and urban legend surrounding Doppelganger burgers. We were always one step behind. We’d find out the day after one of the pop-up events through a friend bragging about the best vegan burger they had tried. Because of unfortunate timing we never got to the pop-up events so we were over the moon when Doppelganger announced they would be getting a residency in the centre of Cambridge. No more being one step behind, we were going to get this burger!
The location was unassuming, downstairs in a underground cocktail bar with shadowy atmospheric lighting and walls filled with vintage music memorabilia. It definitely seemed like the kind of place naughty things happened. And, looking at the Doppelganger menu you knew naughty things were definitely about to go down.
Ever seen charred cactus, schwarma roasted aubergine or pickled pear on a burger menu?
Like winning bread week used to indicate the winner of the Great British Bake Off, we know that when we want to order EVERYTHING on a menu it indicates it’s going to be a damn tasty meal. The thing we loved is that it really was more than just burgers on their 100% vegan menu. So many ingredients and toppings we’d never heard of on a burger before and even things we’d never tried (which is a rarity for us). I’m talking charred cactus, schwarma roasted aubergine and pickled pear. Out of this world.
After much debate we both decided it wouldn’t be right to order two burgers each at this time of day, so we opted for a Chappo burger and a BBK burger. Time of day aside, after looking at the menu we were now ravenous and couldn’t wait to try these experimental works of art.
Is this the best vegan burger in the world?
I started off tucking into the Chappo burger and I can honestly say it’s nothing like I’ve ever tried before. Burger doesn’t do it justice, it was a whole jigsaw of flavours and textures intricately pieced together between a deliciously toasted bun.
The first taste coming through was the silky smooth avocado cream, then the crunch of white cabbage and toasted pumpkin seeds and then the smoky bitterness of the charred cactus. This is all before you get to the juicy texture of their homemade soy Dopplepati and the gooey melted cheese. It was moist and meaty textured, giving a deliciously rich foundation to this epic burger.
To top it off the bun was even dusted with lime and chilli. All together it was immense, such a incredible palate of flavours and textures which resulted in a hugely refreshing and enjoyable experience.
Getting carried away I started polishing off more than my half of the burger before Sarah quickly switched them around (we always try to share to sample the biggest variety).
Round 2 – the BBK burger!
Imagine the most perfectly photogenic image of a burger, the type you see in the adverts, and this is how the BBK came (the photos don’t do it justice, it was dark!). With cheese dripping down the side and vivid colours and tastes shouting off of the plate it almost seemed a shame to tear into it.
Once again this burger was undeniably unique and each mouthful felt as though you were uncovering new qualities and tastes. The miso and lime mayo came through with a beautifully delicate oriental bite to it, then the Korean sticky bbq sauce drenched pulled jackfruit sent your taste buds into overdrive. Coupled with the lime dressed coleslaw and the pear marinated in chilli and garlic your senses really didn’t know what to do. It was an explosion of flavour that left you confused as to whether you’d just had a burger or a whole tasting menu in one mouthful.
“Greater impact with every bite”
On top of the first rate food we also got a chance to sit down with Alf, the man behind the burger. He told us the whole idea behind Doppelganger was ‘sustainability and to build something bigger, the mission is a greater impact with every bite‘. He told us it was his ‘vent for creativity’ and you can tell that as soon as you see the menu and with every bite you take.
Seriously curious as to how they came up with the winning combinations Alf said ‘we’d each decide what we wanted to cook and then sell tickets on Eventbrite so people could try half of each burger and vote to see which would would go onto our guest spot’…’we have our three main burgers and then there’s a spot for the guest one which changes every month’.
Doppelganger burgers do seem to have taken Cambridge by storm so it was a surprise to find out they’d only been open just over a year. ‘The first pop-ups were in October 2017 and I was still working full-time for another job’ Alf told us, ‘We opened this residency location January 4th, paid a months rent and had £400 in the bank so it was kinda like ”we’ve got to sell some burgers”. We owe a huge amount to the vegan community because of the massive support they gave.’
After a good half an hour of conversation, despite the overindulgent flavours we both felt satisfied but fresh and light. After a lot of similar meals we’ve tried around the UK we’ve felt heavy, oily and like our heart needed a bit of TLC. This wasn’t the case here. We asked Alf if that was a consideration and he said
‘It’s got a load healthier recently, all the patties are cooked in air fryers’ when asked if they still tasted as good ‘YEH! we did a trial to see which people preferred and it was split down the middle’.
We told Alf how delicious we thought the burgers were but said we had one criticism: we loved the shadowy atmosphere of the bar but we couldn’t do the burgers justice in the photos because of the lighting.
In a perfect response he excitedly told us that they would be moving to their very own place next month with all the details coming out soon, so watch this space!
Want to know one of our other favourite vegan spots in the UK?
Is this the best vegan burger in the UK?
Do I think these are the best vegan burgers in the UK? Hell yes, out of pure ingenuity and excitement to your tastebuds. Everything about these burgers was different and I honestly think calling them a burger is a bit of an understatement. With only two of the burgers tried we can’t wait to go to their new location and try everything else they have on offer. If you want to go and pay Doppelganger a visit (which you definitely should) you can find out more information on their website here.
Have you tried Doppelganger burgers? Or do you think it’s got competition for the best vegan burger in the UK? Tell us in the comments box below!