February 2019 Update:
The Counter has been permanently closed. But there are plenty of other options to find an excellent vegan burger in Dubai!
I’ve never been able to say no to a burger. Especially when it comes to custom made burgers – at some point in my life I would even prepare a burger at home in my own kitchen! So the Counter, an American chain restaurant, seemed like the perfect match for me, since you can literally choose everything yourself from bun over toppings to the sauce. Even in my best dreams I could not have imagined that place to be able to cater me as a vegan until I discovered the incredible: there’s the option for a vegan burger patty at the Counter!
Obviously I have been to one of the branches of the Counter in Dubai more than once this year already. They’ve just recently opened their second branch in the Dubai Mall (opposite the ice ring) while the first branch is located in JBR. The concept of The Counter comes from the US, where they have more than 30 outlets, most of them cluttered somewhere around California. All their restaurants are furnished in a modern aAmerican diner style and you are even able to have a look into the kitchen through a window.
Other than burgers you can also build your own smoothie or grilled cheese (for your non-vegan friends) and they offer a variety of fries and other sides. And for the not so creative in this world: they’ve got a couple of pages on their menu where they’re offering their best burger and burger-in-a-bowl constellations.
Normally I always have a burger, bust just last time I went for the lower carb Burger-in-a-Bowl option (no bun and my choice of lettuce instead). Either ways you can choose the size of your burger between 1/3 lb, 2/3 lb and 1lb – and I highly recommend going for the smallest option even when you are really hungry. These burgers are big and super filling. Unfortunately the Counter branches in the UAE do not offer any vegan cheese yet, but hopefully that’s still to come.
There are obviously a wide range of vegan toppings for the burger / bowl and even quite a lot vegan sauces: apricot sauce, hickory bbq sauce, house mustard, lemon vinaigrette, dijon balsamic dressing, sesame ginger dressing, habanero salsa and the sweet sriracha. This time I topped my vegan burger-in-a-bowl with grilled pineapple, cranberries, roasted peppers and sundried tomatoes tossed in the apricot sauce! The mix of vegetables in the burger and spinach with the sweet toppings were absolutely perfect for my sweet and savory cravings.
Also we ordered a vegan burger topped with dried tomatoes and avocado, which was just as delicious! For fries there are three vegan options: sweet potato fries (average taste), normal fries and the sweet sriracha fries, which I can highly recommend. It’s thin fries tossed in sweet and sour sauce topped with sesame seeds and spring onions. At the moment there’s the Counter Burger Challenge going on and you can submit your favorite self-build Burger to win!
The service at the Counter is good overall and everyone is trying to accommodate whenever I have another question about the sauces or side dishes being vegan! With 29 AED for your custom made burger without any premium toppings the prices are justified. And if you don’t feel like leaving your house just put your burger together on talabat and it will get delivered to you! Obviously I like coming to the Counter because I can easily build my own vegan dish without having to feel like I’m asking for too many extras (such as “Is it possible to remove the cheese from the salad and get a different dressing instead?”).
The Counter at Dubai Mall
Ground Level opposite the Ice Rink
Opening hours: 8AM to midnight
The Counter at JBR
Next to Eggspectation
Opening hours: Sat-Wed 8AM to 1AM; Thu-Fri 8AM to 2PM