The future is here, and it’s just as bloody as we’d expect it to be. Veggie burgers have glown up in recent years, and they’re no longer the half-frozen patties of our youth. In fact, now Whole Foods is opening up Next Level Burger restaurants in various stores around the U.S., proving that the future really is plant-based.
Next Level Burger first opened in Bend, Oregon in 2014, and it offers Beyond Burgers, which are vegan burgers that “bleed” beet juice. Beyond Burgers are apparently so good that Bill Gates has backed them, so it’s no wonder that Whole Foods is hopping on the vegan train, which is probably electric.
According to Eater, Whole Foods managers didn’t have to look far to find Next Level Burger. Erika Dimmler, regional PR director for Whole Foods, told the two brands’ meet-cute story:
If pseudo-bloody burgers just aren’t your thing, Next Level Burger also offers other items, like a black bean burger, an “umami” burger made with mushrooms, meatless hot dogs, and more.
As of right now, Whole Foods stores in Lake Oswego, Oregon and Seattle are the only ones boasting Next Level Burgers, but Eater reports that Whole Foods stores in Northern California and possibly the East Coast will be next to gain the burger chain.
If you’re having an existential crisis over what exactly defines a burger anymore if they can be vegan, it’s probably best to just not think about it too much and let your taste buds decide. Vegan burgers are coming, there’s nothing we can do about it but give them a try!