US restaurant chain Mr Charlie’s known as the vegan McDonald’s to open Sydney branch

Author: Maria Chiorando

Read Time:   |  8th September 2023

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US restaurant chain Mr Charlie’s, known as the ‘vegan McDonald’s’, is set to move Down Under and open a branch in Sydney.

The eatery, which makes a number of parody versions of the fast food giant’s famous options, will open its doors in Redfern.

After debuting in Los Angeles in 2022 – and garnering a huge following – the brand then opened another outlet in San Francisco.

It is so popular thanks in part to its tongue-in-cheek mockery of McDonald’s, riffing off the burger giant’s branding and menu.

Among its offerings, Mr Charlie’s menu includes its own version of the Happy Meal, called the ‘Frowny Meal’.

It also offers the ‘Big Chuck’, a plant-based twist on the Big Mac, as well as standard fast food options like vegan cheeseburgers, fries, and a chicken sandwich among other dishes.

Venice Beach, CA is another of the eatery's recently opened locations. Photo courtesy of @mrcharlies via Instagram

Venice Beach, CA is another of the eatery's recently opened locations. Photo courtesy of @mrcharlies via Instagram

Mr Charlie’s

According to Mr Charlie’s website, its mission is to ‘bring approachable plant based food, fun & support to communities’ and ‘support those who are ready for a second chance’.

The chain, which has three co-founders – Taylor McKinnon, Aaron Haxton and Charlie Kim – helps the environment and animals by serving only vegan food.

But it also helps humans, by focusing on hiring people who might usually be overlooked while job hunting. The eatery partnered with advocacy organisation Dream Center so it can offer employment opportunities to those ‘ready for a second chance’, including those who have struggled with addiction, homelessness, or who have been incarcerated.

According to the eatery’s site: “We’re three weird dudes…who give a s*** about the world and the people we share it with.

“What would happen if you created a small business with an idea to employ people so deserving of a second chance but overlooked by a broken system?

“Maybe a burger joint only serving plants in order to better the planet and inspires you to connect to your inner child. Imagine the impact that idea could have on the world?!

“We had a little crack at it, and it’s called Mr.Charlie’s Told Me So. We have earned a reputation of unconditional love, good food, and a beacon of positivity in the community. We are the future, the new wave of experiencing fast food, the kinder and cleaner alternative, powered by the people for the people.”



Taking to social media recently to announce the opening of the Sydney branch, the team wrote that the city is ‘one of those places’ that ‘just leave an impression’.

Describing the city as having an energy which is ‘vibrant and fresh’, and a heart which is ‘pure and kind’, the post said it was exciting to be opening its doors in Redfern.

The post continued: “Why Redfern? Because we are a company on a mission to create change, and where better to start than by aiding our indigenous communities.

“We are proud to be teaming up with some incredible charities and brand partners who are creating opportunity for the Aboriginal people.

“Mr. Charlie’s is more than a vegan burger joint, it’s an energy wave on a mission to restore a loving connection to serving this planet and her people through food and service.

“Our store is built, the team has assembled – and we want to thank each and every being who played a part in bringing our brand to the other side of this big wide world.”

Mr Charlie’s is set to open its Sydney branch on Cope Street in Redfern on September 30.

Why not put your own fast food skills to the test and whip up a tasty plant-based meal? Try out this Vegan Southern Fried Chicken Burger

Featured photo © Mr Charlie’s

Written by

Maria Chiorando

Maria is an editor and journalist. Her work has been published by the Huffington Post, the Guardian, TechnoBuffalo, Plant Based News, and Kent on Sunday among other national and regional titles.

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