Plant Food: The Best Vegan Bacon in the world

By Faran Krentcil, Fact checked by Jessica Ochoa

2 min read

Vegan Bacon

True story: You can commit to a plant-based diet and still really love bacon. Taste-wise, it’s basically the perfect food, and there’s no shame in craving your favorite childhood staple. The thing is, vegan bacon is better for your body and for the planet. (Not to mention the inconvenient truth that pigs are capable of the same amount of empathy as dogs—and likely, more empathy than several of our exes.) 

The good news is, there are multiple vegan bacons that taste just as good as the original, and have a much better impact on personal and planetary wellness. How do we know? Because over winter break, the Wild Elements team tested tons of them. 

Here are the best vegan bacon varieties in the world. Want to suggest your own? Email us and let us know! (We will always eat more in the name of… uh… research.)

If You Want “Real” Hometown Diner Bacon…

THIS Bacon Rashers are the closest thing we’ve tried to pork bacon, both in terms of texture and taste. With just the right amount of grease and crunch, this is the vegan hangover food we’ve been craving for years… as long as it comes with a side of pancakes and a Bloody Mary.

If You Want a Superior FBLT (fake bacon lettuce and tomato) or FBEC (fake bacon egg and cheese)…

Sweet Earth’s Benevolent Bacon gets top marks for its firm texture and sage, hickory, and garlic seasoning, along with its ability to get super crunchy or super chewy, depending on how you like it. Slide it into your breakfast sandwich or use it as protein for lunch.

If You Want Thick, Butcher-Style Bacon Slabs…

Meet The Very Good Butchers, who make plant-based alternatives to artisanal meat staples like charcuterie salami and meatballs. Their plant-based bacon is super-thick, fries up beautifully, and tastes like it comes from a (vegan) French country inn. 

If You Want Easy-to-Snack Bacon Jerky…

The Louisville Vegan Jerky Company is the one-stop shop for “but I really miss meat” cravings. (Which are totally okay to have, BTW!) We’re especially in love with their Maple Bacon bags, which combine chewy soy-based protein with tamari, olive oil, brown sugar, paprika, and just the right amount of smokiness.

If You Want to Make Your Own…

The Bon Appetit test kitchen has a great mushroom version that guides wannabe vegan chefs through the easy but time-sensitive process of crisping up and smoking mushrooms to get a bacon-y texture and taste. Gordon Ramsay’s viral vegan bacon recipe uses tempeh strips instead of mushrooms for added protein. Either way, we recommend buying liquid smoke, a natural bottled product that looks a bit like hot sauce, to get that extra “wait, this isn’t bacon?” infusion of woody umami.