Beyond Meat vs Impossible Burger | Here’s Our Plant-Based Protein Restaurant Reviews

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Stetson with Del Taco meatless options

Plant-based protein is definitely having a moment as meatless options are popping up all over the country in fast food and casual restaurants alike.

We wanted to try a few popular plant-based options from Del Taco, The Cheesecake Factory, and Qdoba to see how they would taste to an enthusiastic meat-eater. So we sent Stetson, our open-minded omnivore, to do the tasting.

Stetson says: This taste test is going to be a little different because it’s going to be vegetarian style! I’m not vegan or anything like that, but I’ve tried some other things like the Impossible Whopper, and I surprisingly thought it tasted great! I’m starting to see meatless options everywhere, and I’m kind of a fan!

Watch a replay of Stetson’s live video to see his taste test and hear what he had to say about these plant-based options below!

Del Taco Beyond Avocado Taco & Epic Beyond Cali Burrito – $2.49-$6.49

Del Taco Beyond Avacado Taco

Del Taco’s Beyond Avocado Taco is made with seasoned Beyond Meat plant-based crumbles, sliced avocado, crisp lettuce, and fresh diced tomatoes in a crunchy shell.

Hip Tip: Try it for free! Download the Del App or join the Raving Fan eClub to get any taco FREE! You’ll also receive exclusive offers like coupons, opportunities to try new products before the general public, and a free premium shake on your birthday!

Stetson with Del Taco burrito

The Epic Beyond Cali Burrito is made with seasoned Beyond Meat plant-based crumbles, crinkle-cut fries, sour cream, guacamole, and handmade pico de gallo salsa in a flour tortilla. Described by Stetson as “bearable,” the highlight of his burrito may have been when he discovered the fries inside. You have to watch the video. 😂

Stetson says: I was really excited about these two items; however the after taste just ran me off. I could only describe it as a “burnt rubber taste.” I don’t recommend either of these items at all, but if you’re feeling adventurous like me, then give it a try. You may like it!

The Cheesecake Factory Impossible Burger – $16.95

The Cheesecake Factory Impossible Burger

The Cheesecake Factory’s Impossible Burger is a plant-based burger with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, and The Cheesecake Factory’s special sauce on a toasted brioche bun.

Cheesecake Factory receipt

We know that meatless protein is expensive, but it’s still kind of hard to believe the price of this vegetarian burger! It turns out that this burger isn’t sold by itself. You have to order it as part of a meal, which means that you’ll also get your choice of french fries or a green salad with your Impossible Burger. But Stetson didn’t want or have time to wait for his side, and he still paid $16.95 plus tax! 😲

Stetson says: This was a very juicy burger! It was flavorful, and the faux meat didn’t steer me away. It had a normal burger texture and great taste. However, the price would steer me away. At $18.35 (with tax), I don’t think it’s worth it unless you want to really just treat yourself. It isn’t sold just by itself – it’s priced as a meal.

Qdoba Impossible Burrito Bowl – $9.95

Qdoba Impossible Bowl

Qdoba’s Impossible Bowl contains cilantro-lime white rice and black beans layered with 3-Cheese Queso, pico de gallo, guacamole, and seasoned Impossible plant-based protein.

Stetson says: This was my favorite out of the bunch. You can completely customize your bowl to your liking, and the Impossible protein tasted great, especially surrounded by all those toppings! I really recommend this meal. The texture was fine and had no aftertaste at all in my opinion.

Hip Tip: Download Qdoba’s highly-rated app and join Qdoba Rewards to order ahead, pay with your phone, and skip the line. Plus, you’ll earn rewards with every purchase, get exclusive app perks, and redeem points on your favorite menu items!

Qdoba bag and bowl

Stetson says: The Qdoba bowl is my favorite of the three even though it’s $9.95! For that price, it’s a complete meal in a bowl and you can totally customize it. Based on taste alone, I would also recommend The Cheesecake Factory’s Impossible Burger but the price is a killer. Finally, I don’t care if they’re affordable – the DelTaco plant-based options are a no-go for me. But don’t be scared of the vegetarian stuff – the Impossible items were really great!

Next time you’re in search of a quick meatless meal, you can keep Stetson’s recommendations in mind and order with confidence! 😉

Knowing that both Qdoba and The Cheesecake Factory use Impossible plant-based protein and Del Taco uses Beyond Meat, it seems like Stetson has developed a preference for Impossible products! For those of you who have tried both, we’d love to know – what is your preference?

Looking for an easy meatless dinner idea? Try this Slow Cooker Veggie Lasagna Recipe!

About the writer:

Jenna has a Bachelor's Degree from Lycoming College and her Master's from Penn State, holding 4 years of writing experience between a variety of publications and Hip2Save.

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Comments 30

  1. Cate

    I just had the impossible burger yesterday. First you should know I’ve been a vegetarian for over 40 years and I am so thrilled that I can find so much vegetarian food when I became a vegetarian it was not a thing and was very difficult to eat out. With that being said I couldn’t wait to try this, so I took a bite looked at it and I was petrified that I was eating meat it looks so much like a real burger that I went up to the counter and asked them to please make sure that this was a vegetarian burger. I think at this point if I eat meat I would be sick as a dog . So strike one I don’t like to eat food that looks like meat. Second I don’t like the taste either , the veggie burgers at Burger King usually sells is way better. I’m not sure if they phased that one out I really hope not but I’m assuming they did.

    • Casey

      I’ve been veg for 20 years and I feel the same way! I much prefer plant alternatives like a black bean burger over the ones that are supposed to taste like meat. They are great options for others, though, and anyone that wants to reduce their consumption.

      • Dee

        Agree! Homemade is cheaper and waaaaay healthier! So many fun varieties, too! We make everything from plain black bean burgers, to chipotle pumpkin burgers to spicy chickpea 🙂

    • Cassie

      Impossible Burger is weird Frankenfood, imo. I have not had one, and I might take a bite of one just to try it, but nah.

    • M

      I hope Burger King isn’t getting rid of the original veggie wopper. I ordered it last week. The employee gave me the option to choose what one I’d like to order. I was afraid to try the new one because I bought Beyond Meat at the grocery store a few years ago and it made me gag because it tasted so much like real meat. I do however appreciate veggie options at fast food, and some people might like the new burgers…

      • Angie

        The very fact that Burger King’s BK Veggie does NOT taste like real meat is why I’ve always liked it. I tried the Beyond Meat burger at Carl’s Jr. and I actually felt sick afterward. For me, the main reason I stopped eating meat a very long time ago is because I didn’t like the way animal meat tasted. But, when you’re a kid in the l960s and 70s growing up in a large family, you ate what was put in front of you. Thankfully, my mom was supportive and started to add more non-meat side dishes for me. My 4 growing brothers didn’t seem to mind that at all.

  2. Luna

    The prices ☹️

  3. Truman

    I, like Cate, have been vegetarian for many years and agree with her that meat “freaks” me out. I have endured years of razzing from my diehard “meat-loving” friends about it. I recently tried the Carl’s Beyond Meat burger and also was skeptical that it was truly “meatless”. It realistically looked, smelled and tasted like a hamburger. Unlike Cate, I do not mind if the meatless options resemble the food it is trying to copy. My complaint with many meatless options is that they are often bland, rubbery, chemical-tasting, mushy, super salty or just indescribable and that freaks me out more. I do get ill if I eat anything with animal product in it, but I did not have any “meat product” side effects after this burger! In fact, two of my male friends are staunch “beef and potato” kind of guys … they skeptically tried the Beyond Meat burgers and now FREELY choose it over a beef burger when they go to Carl’s. My friend called me yesterday to say he had such a craving for the Beyond Burger that he sped to his local Carl’s last night before they closed to get one! I think decent testimony from a guy whose butt is glued to his recliner after 7 PM and who normally won’t even get out of it to go to his own kitchen for a snack! I understand that people’s tastes differ and “to each his own”, but based on my experience, I have to rate the Beyond Meat burger as a winner. And believe me, I have tried so many veggie burgers and meatless options that have truly missed the mark. I would say the downside to the upswing of restaurants offering the Beyond Meat options is the higher price point they charge. My other caution is that you need to ask if they will cook the “burger” on a vegetarian grill or make sure the grill is cleaned and free from meat before they cook the veggie burger.

  4. adele

    I had an impossible burger a few days ago at Red Robin. It’s an extra $3.50 for the patty which I didn’t mind paying. It tasted good but looks too much like a real beef patty, and I too questioned if it was a meat patty like the person above. I don’t know if I would have it again. Just looks too real for me lol

  5. Dee

    Hands down, Impossible is WAY better than beyond. I am a vegetarian – leaning towards vegan – and have tried both the Carl’s Jr. Beyond burger and the Impossible whopper, and Impossible is the winner, hands down. IMO Beyond “meat” has a very odd, distinct flavor that reminds me of the classic Boca burgers and I’ve *never* been a fan of boca burgers, but it seems most meat eaters are, so hm. To each their own!

  6. Dee

    Oh! I wanted to add the best packaged veggie burger is Morningstar Farms “meat lovers” black bean burger. It is SO good grilled. Honestly though, I prefer homemade veggie burgers most of the time. I do, however, appreciate there being more fast food options for when we are on day trips and such!

  7. Cassie

    I’ve never eaten at a Cheesecake Factory, but 18+ bucks for any burger is ridiculous.

  8. M

    I eat a plant based diet and I’d much rather have food that looks like what it is instead of something it’s trying to be. I’m glad there are options out there for people who might enjoy these, though. Our family eats primarily for health, but when we do go out (which is rare) we like things like chipotle bean burritos and a few different Asian types of food and places that serve hummus. I wish there were more options like that available!

  9. Cate

    Oh if you do want to try IMO, a great veggie burger go to Whole Foods the brand SOL is great. Love,love,love!!!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for the suggestion, Cate!

  10. Kitty

    I tried the Impossible burger at Burger and it was great! I’ve tried many veggie burgers and so far this has been the best one. Give it a try. It’s around $5 alone. $7 some for the meal.

  11. Amber

    I enjoy the Beyond burger. I first had it via food truck on accident lol and later tried it again at BurgerFi. Have to say the BurgerFi Beyond burger wrapped in lettuce was my favorite. So much so that I grab a pack or two at my local grocery store. Myself and my family are not vegetarians but have adopted meatless options in our weekly rotations for meals. The beyond meat burgers were a huge hit! They also have Beyond Meat Italian sausage that were tasty. I think it’s cool it has caught on like it has.

  12. Pjane

    IMPOSSIBLE WHOPPER I have the impossible whopper. It’s pretty good. It definitely taste like a whopper. But get it with cheese because that makes it more fast food whopper tasting. 8.5/10

    BEYOND MEAT BURGER AT KROGER I have been a huge fan of these at the grocery store. I take an English muffin and toast it and make my own homemade vegan thousand island dressing. I pan fry the patty well done in evol. My two variations of this include one with vegan chili and cheese and onions. Totally amazing. My other version includes adding Trader Joe’s onion dip. That is a truly guilty pleasure. 9.5/10

    CARLS Jr. The beyond meat burger at Carl’s Jr. does not compare to the grocery store beyond meat burger. I just don’t care for it too much. If I had to eat it I would. It really does taste like their burgers. I just don’t like it. 7/10

    DEL TACO The beyond meat Del taco is pretty darn good. I am always wanted to have a vegan meat taco hardshell or soft shell. It is really pretty darn good. 8.8/10

    Yes I make my own delicious vegan patties with lentils red onion cranberries rice squash cumin curry roasted garlic oatmeal and they are amazing also. But this is a different experience. The new stuff coming out is meant to taste like meat. So if you desire meat, then you should definitely try. Yes they’re processed but they digest better than meat digest in your colon.

    I’ll take fake meat over real meat on most days. I really don’t prefer to eat dead animals. I have about eight eggs a year. I eat meat about 10 or 11 times a year. It just freaks me out and always has. However, I do crave the flavor. I just get too many mental images when I eat it.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for taking the time to share your review on these! We sure appreciate it!

  13. Lel

    I don’t eat meat or chicken outside for personal reasons. I like the BK impossible burger. It is tasty and tastes similar to a whopper without the heavy feeling after most fast food meals.

  14. Mitch

    I had the impossible burger at Burger King today. I am a huge meat eater and burger fan but my buddy wanted to try it and so I tried it. It was good. It wasn’t as good as a whopper burger but it was good. I would eat it again for sure as a more healthy alternative.

  15. Lisa

    I am not vegan, just trying to steer away from fatty meats especially red meats. I had the impossible burger at a restaurant and if they didn’t overcook it, it probably would have been even better. It was like eating meat. I purchase the beyond burgers at the store and made them myself. I feel like it has a funny taste. Won’t buy them again. Impossible burger definitely better if you are a meat person.

  16. Heather

    Just an FYI – Impossible meat contains Glyphosate. AKA Roundup.

  17. Leslie

    Aldi has a huge variety of veggie patties

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for the heads up! Good to know!

  18. Mel

    BurgerIM has veggie burgers, the uncut and palafel . You all should try if there’s one in your area. Their burgers are delicious! They have also chicken tenders for kids. Check their website: www.

    • Pjane

      The name of the restaurant really bugs me for some reason. Like how do you say it? Is it Burger RIM?

      • Pjane

        Burger. im? Or. Burger. I. M. (like instant message) i’m not being sarcastic. I just don’t know how to say it the name of the restaurant/should be easy

  19. Kelly

    In our house we only have 1 option, beyond meat. It’s gluten free. Sure wish they both were so we could weigh in on this. But I can tell you, hubby eats meat and will always freely pick a beyond meat burger over a real regular meat burger!

  20. kat

    I am vegeterian, gluten free and dairy free so finding gluten free vegeterian burguers is a huge challenge as most brand bind the ingredients with gluten. I have tried both the Impossible Burguer and Beyond Meat as well as other plant based burguers. Here is my take: first, the look of meat doesnt bother me so they are fine. 2nd- texture- the beyond meat is more rubbery than Impossible burguer. However, since the buns i order are GF that influences the overall texture of the food I eat but the Impossible burguer felt better in my mouth. 3rd- flavor- The beyond burguer seemed a bit bland but impossible burguer was more flavorful. Much of the “meat flavor” comes from the smokey flavor from a grill mimicked by using liquid smoke or smoked paprika. So for me Impossible burguer is the winner. Usually the markup is around $2.5 to $3 more but since i order GF bun I add $1 to $2 as well so if I am adding $4 to $5 just for the burguer rarely have them. The ground beef from beyond meat is just gross, super rubbery, large chunks and the seasoned in a way i dont like. Most other plant based burguers that have beans in them just get over seasoned with cumin which i enjoy in small quantities.

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