Last weekend, for the first time in three weeks, Jack and I were both off work, so we decided to get a bit of retail therapy done in Reading. Of course, to carry out said retail therapy, we needed to fuel ourselves first, I’m an awful shopper on an empty stomach, isn’t everyone? We had originally intended on having breakfast but after we left the house a little later than planned and then wondered around Riverside deciding where we could get some good ol’ vegan grub, it had already gone midday. 

After a quick Google search, Jack suggested that we try out Handmade Burger Co as they had a handful of Vegan options on their menu. Having not really heard of the place before, I was eager to have a peep. The Handmade Burger Co in Reading is located on riverside behind The Oracle shopping center, so it’s super easy to get to parking wise and it’s right next to all the shops, bargain! 

At first glance, I already knew that I loved the place! Through the entrance they have stacks of Kilner jars filled with different plastic farmyard animals animals and lightbulbs, cute idea right?! The rest of the decor did not disappoint. A very clean/fresh approach with white tiles and chalkboard black walls with quotes and menu items scattered about and the odd bit of grenery too. Another great design aspect that I really like in restaurants was that the kitchen was at the rear of the restaurant, facing out towards the floor so you could see all the scrummy food being made! This certainly made it harder to wait for our food, I tell ya!

The staff were all super welcoming and within a couple of seconds, we were sat at our table and our waiter explained how it all worked there! As the name suggest, everything at Handmade Burger Co is handmade on site, for every order! This means that if there’s something you see on the menu but you’d rather have it with a little less of something or a little extra of something else, they’ll customise your order as you desire! Now if that isn’t customer service then I don’t know what is! To make it even better, their playlist was on point. Think Bring Me The Horizon, George Ezra and Kate Bush, tunes!

When it came to deciding what to order, for once we were spoilt for choice! As time goes on, more and more restaurants are offering vegan options but more often than not, I’m stuck eating side salad, without the dressing, chips and onion rings. To our surprise, there were five vegan burgers on the menu! Score! Unlike most other restaurants, all of the vegan options were clearly labeled so!

Their choice of vegan burgers were Cajun vegetable and bean, veg-mex, sweet potato and bean, Thai vegetable and chickpea and quinoa. Although they all sounded equally as delicious, I decided to go for the chickpea and quinoa burger with the original HBC relish, lettuce, tomato and red onion whilst Jack picked the veg-mex which was a falafel patty with handmade Mexican salsa, hand crushed avocado, jalapenos, lettuce tomato and red onion. How’s all that for a mouthful!?

Cue Oliver Twist’s “Food, Glorious Food.” Because we’re little vegan piggies, we also ordered two sides of fresh, hand cut peri-peri chips, a portion of veg skewers and a side of jalapenos(although those were just for Mr. Corbett because ew, jalapenos). Little did we know that this would be far too much food for our ever growing tummy’s! But, we took on the mission like troopers and devoured more than I ever thought possible in one sitting.

Not only was my burger unbelievably tasty, but it was full of flavour! I’d love to be able to sneak into the kitchen and have a peep at the recipe so that I could make them myself. I’m still not entirely sure what relish is as oppose to sauce or salsa but the HBC relish is rich, tomatoey, sweet and god-damn delicious! Jack’s veg-mex burger also looked a treat! I’d have tried some myself but damn those pesky jalapenos.

Our bill came to a total of just under £30 which, for the amount of food we had on our table, was a pretty reasonable cost. My top tip would deffo be to share your portion of chips, because even myself, queen of potatoes, couldn’t finish my portion in it’s entirety.

If there’s anywhere that I’ve eaten lately that I’d recommend to you, vegan or not, it’d definitely be the Handmade Burger Co! From the friendly staff to the delicious food it’s certainly worth a visit! If you have any specific dietary requirements, you can find an extensive allergen menu here. What adds to the epicness is that the Handmade Burger Co are an independent family business and have been since 2006! They now have over twenty restaurants up and down the UK! To find your closest Handmade Burger Co, just click here!
Have you visited the Handmade Burger Co before? What did you think? Do you rate it as highly as we do? Let me know!
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