I’m pretty sure I haven’t been in a Burger King since they were giving away The Empire Strikes Back commemorative glasses. But I, and it seems like a lot of other people, are now stopping by the BK Lounge to try the new plant-based Impossible Whopper.

We’ve been watching Burger King roll out its Impossible Whopper nationwide with great interest to see if and how consumers would take to the heme burger. Early results from BK’s market tests showed that Burger Kings serving the Impossible Whopper saw an 18 percent increase in foot traffic over those that did not carry it.

The Impossible Whopper was certainly enough to get me in the door. I honestly didn’t even know there was a Burger King near my suburban Washington home until I Googled it to see how far I’d have to drive to try one.

Thankfully it was only fifteen minutes away, but before leaving I actually called ahead of time to make sure that a) they carried the Impossible Whopper, and b) that they were in stock — Burger King had warned the Impossible Whopper would be available “while supplies last.” They didn’t pick up the phone so I drove up with a little trepidation.

Evidently, I overthought it because the people taking my order had no reaction when I asked for the plant-based burger. A little more than six bucks (the Impossible Whopper is $5.89 plus .50 for cheese) and it was mine. This was a popular order at the time: the customers before me in line ordered three Impossible Whoppers and the customers after me ordered two more.

I asked one of the managers how well the Impossible Whopper was doing and she replied “We sell a lot of them,” complete with a head roll gesture to emphasize the point. She could just be toeing the company line, but given the number of Impossible Whoppers I saw served up, I’m inclined to believe her.

I unwrapped my Whopper and disassembled it to take some pictures. Seeing the patty “naked,” I was surprised at how fake the Impossible patty looked. It was like a large coin with perfect edges. Like an MS Paint drawing of a burger patty.

I reassembled the Whopper and took my first highly-anticipated bite. It was… fine. I mean, it was good, but it’s missing some of the deep flavor complexity and texture of ground beef, and the Impossible patty was a little more dry. It definitely wouldn’t fool a meat eater. I much prefer the Impossible burger served at my local waterfront restaurant. Perhaps Burger King needs more training in the preparation of the patty, so it tastes less mass market.

My thoughts echoed Spoon reader Tom G‘s, who sent us his Impossible Whopper review awhile back. And a favorite food podcaster of mine, Dan Pashman of The Sporkful posted pretty much the same thoughts on Instagram:

View this post on Instagram

Side by side taste test: original whopper vs impossible whopper. (I’ve had some impossible burgers before, this was my first impossible whopper.) Bottom line: when eaten side-by-side you would never mistake the impossible burger for real beef. It just doesn’t have the same beefy flavor or juiciness. (And my classic whopper came without cheese although I had asked for it, so that one was at a disadvantage and still tasted better.) That being said, the impossible whopper is definitely tasty. I would eat it again. If it’s better for animals and the planet, great. If it helps vegetarians and kosher people experience something closer to a real cheeseburger, great. And if it’s healthier, which it seems to be (at least marginally), also great. Final point: I find the impossible whopper logo’s resemblance to the German flag unsettling.

A post shared by Dan Pashman (@thesporkful) on

I asked the customer next to me, an older gentleman, if he liked his. He said he did, but not in a particularly enthusiastic way. When I asked why he ordered it, he said it was for environmental reasons.

And that’s where I net out. I don’t think I’ll drive out of my way for an Impossible Whopper, but if I find myself in a Burger King, I’d get one again. Not because of the taste, but because I feel better about eating a burger that is better for the planet.

Anecdotally speaking, the Impossible Whopper seems to be drawing lapsed customers back into Burger King, so I’m sure the fast-food giant will see a spike in initial sales with the nationwide introduction of the Impossible Whopper. The question that remains now is how many people will come back for another.

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25 COMMENTS

  1. I had one today and it tastes like field grass, with burnt herbal notes, thin, dry and not juicy, not at all like beef. It is a waste of time but BK will make a fortune because it costs so much less than beef and they charge a high price for it. Total deception.

  2. The patty was to dried and the taste not so good can’t compare it to the taste of a real whopper with chese like they said it did . i defenetly would not try it again you fooled me once burger king.

  3. So the patty lacks the “deep flavor complexity and texture of ground beef”.
    I don’t think the author understands why people buy Whoppers. He should stick to his four-star restaurants and let us regular people have our fast food

  4. I find it mystifying that comments regarding the Impossible Burger and other plant based products aren’t couched in the fact that livestock contribute 9% of the methane in the atmosphere, making them significant contributors to global warming. The author of this article cavalierly says if it’s convenient he’ll ‘have another.’ We need to get our heads out of our posteriors and start taking care of the planet.

  5. How can it be better for the environment. Increased agricultural areas cut from the forest? Increased processing equals more environmental wast. Forget the carbon footprint a facility makes in addition to the manpower necessary to make it. If it was truly good for the environment, we could outside and pick a batch of impossible burgers from a bush. If you really want to save the environment, don’t buy a cell phone or car. There are more animal processes to those 2 things than you realize. Forget about the mercury used. It’s too much to even think about it.

  6. My husband and I both had one the first day it came out, it’s a good size for my husband but it’s a little bit too big for a woman I have no complaints how it taste it has my health in mind. I had it made in the microwave instead of on the grill, I do not like grilled food, plus I do not eat no meat products so I didn’t want it made on the same grill as they do meat. You people that do complain need to try it more than once. Or take a little Cajun spice alone and add it at the table, I do it a lot of places. Definitely will be eating it more great job thumbs up.

  7. You cannot compare this to a real beef Whopper.
    I compared it to other plant base burger such as Beyond Meat.
    In my comparison Impossible was way better than Beyond burger.

  8. No, it won’t fool a meat eater. NONE of the current plant based alternatives will. But for what it is (and more importantly, what its NOT), its good.

  9. I was really impressed. I asked for extra onions and put a little extra mayo because those are my favorite things on a burger. I don’t like eating beef, plants are much cleaner in my opinion. I very rarely eat out and my husband and I were on the road and he wanted a Whopper so much to my happiness when I saw they had a Veggie burger. Give it a try. Don’t compare it to anything, just enjoy a great meal.😉

  10. I loved it!! My husband and I were on the road and we had both ordered Whoppers and right after I saw the advisement. The manager said I could change my order even though my burger was ready, so nice. They made it the same way extra mayo extra onions…it was GREAT!!! I liked it Better!
    When you try something new don’t do it with comparisons in your mind, just enjoy it as something new 😉

  11. I tried it today. If you are a normal meat-eating omnivore, you will not be impressed. I was sad that I wasted the money. I eat veggie burgers that come frozen from the grocery store that taste much better. I can just microwave them and throw them on buns with cheese. I will not be trying this again.

  12. I thought it tasted great!! dont eat meat so not comparing it to other meat burgers If I go to /burger I would get this again and I wouldnt go to Burger king fo any other reason, so glad it is selling well and hope it continues..also it is less expensive than many restaurants that sell impossible burgers or beyond meat.

  13. Vegetarian for over 25 years for animal welfare & environmental reasons. Eat vegan 99% of the time & feel guilty that I still occasionally eat eggs & cheese. So I am thrilled to see the popularity of the Impossible Whopper & that it’s vegan if you hold the mayo. I also really enjoyed the taste.

  14. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this plant burger I hope you the company keep this up. Thank you “Burger King”
    My prayers have finally been answered

  15. I’m calling this “The Impossible Whopper Failure”. This will only be a temporary increase in profits for BK Corp. As another consumer said, Scott M, the impossible whopper plant based burger does not have the “deep flavor complexity and flavor of ground beef” and in addition the impossible whopper lacks pure and simply put, the juicy flavor of real meat.
    The 2nd part of this is that the progressive hard core left aka environmentalist believe this is a good step in the direction of saving our planet! What a joke, if you want to save our planet, plant trees to help reduce carbon pollution and stop killing our birds with wind mills that are a bigger carbon foot print than oil and coal combined. As well as go after the real threat which is not The United States, it’s China and India… as well as other countries.
    Bottom line is this is only a corporate run at making higher profits and going after the consumers wallet. Knowing full well that meat products are more expensive but yet the impossible whopper flop cost more because of alllllllll the hype!!!
    I’m sticking with my regular whopper from here on in and just because I am aware of the political and corporate issues behind this, you couldn’t pay me to eat another one.
    One last thing, real meat lovers know that this whopper flop is not as good, and the people on the commercial saying it “tastes like meat” are full of methane *wink**.

  16. I like the new impossible whopper, I will buy more in the future. It will not be mistaken for real meat for sure but I like it, the environmental reasons stated buy BK and it’s customers is complete nonsense IMHO. I would have more respect for BK if they wanted to try and bring in vegetarian customers into their restaurants by just saying so rather than making up political PC nonsense! I’m a hunter and conservationist, I’m tired of the political PC left-wing nonsense games played by company’s, you want to expand your customer base by offering vegi whoppers! Just say so for Christ sake! And drop the PC crap!

  17. I have not had a hamburger of any kind in ten years. I’ve never been a fan of red meat to begin with, ever. To eat a hamburger it had to come with everything on it to disguise the distinct hamburger taste. The reason for stopping all together? Sadly, but true, my last burger was a Whopper. A few hours later I was hit with severe food poisoning….. at WORK! So bad I had to stay there, in the Bathroom, to let it run its full course because it was that bad. I couldn’t get away long enough to drive home or anywhere. That bad.
    Whoppers, well the Jr (because the Whopper is too big for me), was my favorite of all burgers. I’ve always wanted to try a veggie burger or something like that but never did because I thought I would not like it.
    Fast forward to today. I seen conmercials for it, but didn’t really pay attention and then I saw a YouTube video of people trying it. That is where I learned it wasn’t beef. They liked it and I thought maybe I will try it. Before I did, sitting in the parking lot, I got online to read some reviews just to be sure the majority was in favor before I took a chance.
    Just got done eating and I LOVE IT! OMG, SO GOOD! I couldn’t tell it wasn’t an actual real meat burger at all. It did not taste dry to me like others have said, but I had all the fixings. I don’t know how it can possibly be dry with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, ketchup and mayo. (They left off my cheese. Those jerks. Kidding) I loved that it still had the flame broiled taste, too. The best part of it all was I never got a hint of hamburger taste, aftertaste, etc. In the past, if I did, I was done eating. I wanted nothing more from the burger. It was gross and I couldn’t eat any more.
    Long story short, worth eating. Worth going back. Worth every penny! By the way, damn fast food has got expensive. Ten bucks for a small meal? Wow. Anyway, I am a super fan of the Impossible Whopper. I hope it encourages other burger chains to introduce their own versions and it sticks around forever.

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