I tried McDonald’s new Beyond Meat plant-based ‘PLT’ burger, and it was a big disappointment

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Taniya Spolia

Burger King has the Impossible Whopper. Dunkin’ has the Beyond Sausage breakfast sandwich. Taco Bell, White Castle, Qdoba, and others have their own offerings, too.

And now, McDonald’s has joined the plant-based craze taking over fast food.

Select McDonald’s locations in Canada are now test-driving the “PLT” burger – that is, “plant, lettuce, and tomato” – using a Beyond Meat plant-based patty instead of traditional beef. The sandwiches, which debuted in late September, are available at 28 McDonald’s restaurants in southern Ontario.

I happen to live in London, Ontario, home of many of the franchises offering the PLT. I recently decided to try the burger for myself, being an avid McDonald’s eater and burger enthusiast.

Although McDonald’s is heavily promoting the burger, I found it to be a big disappointment. Read on to see what it was like.


McDonald’s recently debuted its PLT burger at 28 locations in Ontario, Canada, including the one I visited in the city of London.

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GEOFF ROBINS/AFP via Getty Images

Everywhere I turned, I saw signs promoting the burger.

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Taniya Spolia

Given the hype, my expectations were high. The burger is made with a pea-based patty from Beyond Meat, and is topped with cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion, pickles, a mayo-based sauce, ketchup, mustard, and the quarter-pounder bun.

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Taniya Spolia

Sitting at $6.49 in Canadian dollars (or $4.93 in US dollars), it’s comparable price-wise to most of the other burgers on the menu.

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Taniya Spolia

Although the burgers are plant-based, it’s important to note they’re not vegan — not only do they come with cheese and a mayo-based sauce, they’re cooked on the same grill as meat-based menu items.

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Taniya Spolia

While the classic McDonald’s meal features a burger and a side of fries, I ordered poutine — a Canadian staple.

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Peterskim/Flickr Creative Commons

The first thing I noticed was that the burger was extremely saucy. Before I had even taken my first bite, I had made a mess on my tray. Simply attempting to take the burger out of its box left me with ketchup, mustard, and mayo dripping onto my fingers and hands.

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Taniya Spolia

In fact, there were so many toppings I could hardly discern the taste of the patty.

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Taniya Spolia

Once I got past the sauce, it tasted pretty much like what you’d expect a vegan patty to taste like. Sampling a bare bite, I was able to really taste the savory flavor in the patty. It felt like eating protein, but definitely not a beef burger.

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Taniya Spolia

The patty itself tasted somewhat burnt, and the flavor was considerably muted compared to a beef burger. Similar to other plant-based burgers, the vegetable toppings made the burger feel heartier, although the taste of protein seemed more prominent in this patty.

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Taniya Spolia

Ultimately, the PLT is a run-of-the-mill plant-based burger. It’s great to have on the menu, and it will likely attract some curious customers who might not otherwise eat at McDonald’s. But considering that McDonald’s is late to the game, it wasn’t as special as I would have hoped.

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GEOFF ROBINS/AFP via Getty Images