Leonardo DiCaprio was recently announced as an investor in Neat Food Co., a plant-based fast food brand based in the UK. The actor has been known for advocating for environmental issues, even though he was also, tragically, in Don’t Look Up (55% on Rotten Tomatoes).
According to the company, Neat plans to open its first Neat Burger store in the U.S. in fall 2022, starting in New York City and then expanding to other cities across the country by the end of the year.
The company was founded in 2019 by Formula 1 racer Lewis Hamilton and investor Tommaso Chiabra, who also invested in Beyond Meat, according to Eat This Not That. The brand has eight brick-and-mortar locations in London so far and is hoping to use that sweet, sweet investor money to expand worldwide.
“Disrupting our food system with sustainable alternatives is one of the key ways we can make a real difference in reducing global emissions,” DiCaprio said in a statement. “Neat Burger’s pioneering approach to alternative-proteins is a great example of the type of solutions we need moving forward.” No one’s sure what exactly this “pioneering” entails, but hey, anything to get us to stop talking about his 24-year-old girlfriends.
Neat Burger’s menu features the classics: regular burgers, a chicken sandwich, a fish sandwich. There’s also fake meat bowls, in addition to chicken nuggets, buffalo nuggets, and tater tots. That’s all fine, as long as it actually tastes good, and good enough to fork over the probably-Sweetgreen-level cash for a meal.
There’s one thing I’m particularly excited about on the menu, which is the vegan hot dog. Fake hot dogs are easy to find in stores, and, theoretically, should be the easiest fake meat to replicate (textureless mystery meat? Sign me up).But for whatever reason, it’s hard to find a vegetarian/vegan hot dog these days (RIP Chubby Weiners in Chicago—I’ll never forget you), which has really affected the community (vegetarians who want to eat a hot dog on the bus).
So Neat Burger? I’m rooting for you. Please don’t disappoint!