Impossible Burger Debuts Throughout Chicago
The Impossible Burger has arrived in Chicago, debuting on menus in 14 restaurants and on a college campus.
Students at University of Chicago will be able to order the highly anticipated, plant-based burger on campus starting today at Quantum Café, and it will be available later this year at the International House's Tiffin Café. University of Chicago is the first school to feature the Impossible Burger in student restaurants. Both campus restaurants are operated by Bon Appétit Management Company, the acclaimed sustainable foodservice pioneer that runs more than 1,000 cafés for universities, corporations, and museums in 33 states.
In addition to the University of Chicago, the Impossible Burger is now available throughout Chicago at gourmet burger establishments Kuma’s Corner, M Burger, Bareburger and Umami Burger. Chicago so far has 14 restaurants serving the Impossible Burger—more options than nearly any other city.
“Chicago has always been a culinary trendsetter,” says Impossible Foods’ CEO and Founder Dr. Patrick O. Brown, a former pediatrician, trained at Northwestern’s Children’s Memorial Hospital, and biochemistry professor who received three degrees from the University of Chicago. “A hundred years ago, Chicago was the ‘hog butcher for the world’ in Carl Sandburg’s famous phrase. But today Chicagoans are demanding meat that’s delicious, nutritious and sustainable.”
Brown will hold a question-and-answer session with students at his alma mater at 5 p.m. today at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation on the University of Chicago’s campus. From 6:30 to 8 p.m., Chicago-area students are invited to sample Impossible Burger in the Polsky Center.
In addition, Impossible Foods will host a pop-up experience next week in Chicago—a unique opportunity for meaty conversation about the past and future of food. Follow Impossible Foods on social media to find out when and where.
In development since 2011, the Impossible Burger is the world's only burger that handles, smells, cooks and tastes like ground beef from cows—but is made entirely from plants.
The Impossible Burger is produced without hormones, antibiotics, cholesterol or artificial flavors. It uses about 75 percent less water, generates about 87 percent fewer greenhouse gases, and requires around 95 percent less land than conventional ground beef from cows.
The Impossible Burger is made from simple ingredients found in nature, including water, wheat, coconut oil and potatoes. One special ingredient—heme—contributes to the characteristic taste of meat and catalyzes all the other flavors when meat is cooked. Impossible Foods discovered how to get heme from plants, transforming the Impossible Burger into a carnivore’s delight that’s light on the planet.
Impossible Foods launched production in September at its first large-scale manufacturing plant, in Oakland, Calif. As the Oakland plant ramps up over the next several quarters, Impossible Foods will expand distribution to more restaurants—as well as universities. The company is also developing additional plant-based meat and dairy products.
Burger connoisseurs in Chicago will be able to order the Impossible Burger from acclaimed chains specializing in great burgers.
Launched in 2005, Kuma’s Corner serves highly acclaimed American bistro fare, touting “the finest burgers available on this planet or any other.” The restaurant group—known for its “meat and heavy metal” mantra—offers sustainable and delicious food as well as a wide selection of rotating craft brews and whiskeys on tap. Kuma’s is the haunt of Chicago’s Russian Circles, Lair of the Minotaur, Ledge, J’ard Loose, Jungle Rot, La Armada, Harm’s Way, The Atlas Moth, Eat Their Own, and many others. As of this week, The Impossible Burger is available at all Kuma’s locations in Chicago and surrounding suburban areas as well as their location in Indianapolis.
M Burger was founded in 2010, with the goal of becoming “your neighborhood burger joint.” Part of Chicago’s Lettuce Entertain You restaurants, M Burger prides itself on repeat customers; some menu items are named after the most loyal clientele. The Impossible Burger is available at all six M Burger locations.
New York-based Bareburger was the first multi-unit restaurant group to launch the Impossible Burger when it debuted in March at the company’s flagship store near New York University. Since then, Bareburger has added the Impossible Burger to restaurants throughout the New York region—and now it’s served at Bareburger’s Lincoln Park outlet on Chicago’s north side.
The Impossible Burger is one of the top-selling menu items at Umami Burger, the Los Angeles-based multi-restaurant burger brand with an international cult following. Umami now serves the Impossible Burger throughout California and New York, and, starting today, will feature the Impossible Burger at restaurants in Chicago’s Wicker Park and West Loop. Early next month, Umami will introduce the Impossible Burger in Las Vegas.
The Impossible Burger is served in more than 100 restaurants throughout the United States, including multi-unit restaurant and fine-dining restaurants in New York, California, Texas and Nevada. Just last month, the Impossible Burger debuted at BSpot—a chain of burger restaurants in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana owned by Chef Michael Symon.