Oregon-based vegan chain Next Level Burger (NLB) will open its newest location this fall inside a Whole Foods Market in Austin, TX. Husband-and-wife team Matthew and Cierra de Gruyter launched the flagship location of NLB in 2014 in Bend, OR, with the mission of serving healthy, plant-based fast-food to customers in their community. Through a partnership with Whole Foods Market, the couple has since expanded NLB to several locations outside Oregon, including in-store outposts in Washington, California, and New York. The Austin location is a homecoming for Matthew de Gruyter, a former Texan. “As America’s first 100-percent plant-based burger joint, we cannot wait to throw down our burger- and shake-slinging goodness in the Lone Star State,” de Gruyter told VegNews. “But on a personal note, after spending a third of my 35 years in the great state of Texas, I cannot wait to bring this one home.” The menu will feature similar dishes to NLB’s other locations—such as dairy-free chili cheese fries, coconut-based milkshakes, and burgers offered with either a house-made vegan patty or the Beyond Burger patty—with the addition of a to-be-announced item specially created for the Austin location.

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