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I ate the red Spider-Verse Whopper, but did not gain powers

Turns out Burger King’s multiversal offering isn’t that different from our current world’s

a small black paper plate — sitting on a table with Spider-Man artwork on it — holding Burger King fries and a half Whopper with a red bun that has black sesame seeds on it
I wanted to get the full experience — y’know, for science — so I ate two Spider-Verse Whopper halves.
Photo: Samit Sarkar/Polygon
Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Miles Morales’ home turf may be in Brooklyn, New York, but the teenage Spider-Man is temporarily taking up residence in the borough of Queens, Peter Parker’s stomping grounds. Specifically, he’s hanging out at a Burger King in the neighborhood of Astoria, where diners can leap into the Spider-Verse and try two new menu items as part of a tie-in with Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

Burger King has tweaked its flagship offering to fit the color palette of Miles’ spider suit: The “Spider-Verse Whopper” features a red bun with black sesame seeds, and Swiss cheese — in something like spiderweb white, you might say — instead of yellow American. The burger and the “Spider-Verse Sundae” debuted Monday in Burger King locations nationwide, and will be available through June 21, a few weeks after Across the Spider-Verse’s June 2 release.

Of course, chain restaurants have a long history of promoting media such as movies and video games with themed menu items — think of McDonald’s and its Szechuan sauce for 1998’s Mulan (and, two decades later, Rick and Morty). This isn’t even the first time Burger King has done a tie-in for a Spider-Man film. Back in 2007, Burger King’s U.K. arm launched the “Dark Whopper,” which was inspired by the Jekyll-and-Hyde turn of Tobey Maguire’s symbiote-infused hero in Spider-Man 3. (The burger — which featured cracked black pepper cheese, black pepper ketchup, and a “darkly delicious” sauce — drew some eye rolls when the company brought it back just one year later, this time as a tie-in for The Dark Knight, and even reused its original commercial with a simple movie poster swap.)

Burger King’s Spider-Verse Sundae, a swirl of soft-serve vanilla ice cream topped with red and black popping candies in a cup, sitting inside a Spider-Verse-branded cardboard crown on a table with Spider-Man artwork
The Spider-Verse Sundae is pretty good! But the Miles Morales cardboard crown might be even better.
Photo: Samit Sarkar/Polygon

With apologies to the late, great Mike Fahey (of Snacktaku fame), I now bring you a taste test of the Spider-Verse Whopper and Sundae.

First, I’ll say that you don’t have to worry — it’s just food coloring in the bun, not tomato flavoring or anything like that. Secondly, that’s a microcosm of my thoughts of the Spider-Verse Whopper: It’s like putting a visually striking superhero costume on an ordinary person. Or something.

While it has been years since I’ve eaten a standard Whopper, this one didn’t taste meaningfully different from my memory of the fast-food staple. Swiss cheese has a distinctive nutty taste, but whatever variety Burger King is using, its flavor is overwhelmed by all the other ingredients in the sandwich — particularly the sweetness of the raw onions and the sour tang of the pickle slices. That said, if you enjoy a Whopper with cheese, you won’t mind this remix.

I actually enjoyed the Spider-Verse Sundae more. As with the burger, the recipe is a simple twist: Chocolate-flavored popping candy in red and black is sprinkled atop Burger King’s vanilla ice cream. The normal menu item is a cone or cup of nothing but the ice cream, so the chocolate candy pieces add a lot to the experience, both in terms of texture (a nice crunchy contrast with the soft-serve ice cream) and flavor.

You can find the Spider-Verse Whopper and Sundae at a Burger King near you, but the aforementioned restaurant in New York City’s Astoria neighborhood is the only one in the continental U.S. where you can enter the Spider-Verse. The Burger King in question is located a stone’s throw from the Astoria Boulevard stop on the N/W subway line. It has been outfitted with a full Spider-Verse skin for this promo, turning the restaurant from your friendly neighborhood Burger King into, well, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man’s Burger King.

The front entrance is surrounded by a yellow hexagon — a shape that evokes the comic book-tinged flourishes of the Spider-Verse films — and it sits beneath a glowing yellow “Enter the Spider-Verse” sign. The exterior and interior walls of the restaurant are covered in artwork from the movies, as are the tables inside. The windows feature decals with various Spider-Man logos, too. And there’s a figure of Miles in a web-swinging action pose, maybe 20 feet in the air, beneath the Burger King logo on the restaurant’s massive signpost. But perhaps my favorite little touch is the fact that Burger King has put a Spidey spin on its cardboard crowns.

All in all, it’s not a radical transformation, but the thoughtful designers did go a lot further than Burger King did with the Spider-Verse food options.

Correction (May 19): A previous version of this article said that a Burger King in Queens, New York, was the company’s only restaurant in the U.S. to undergo a Spider-Verse takeover as part of this promotion. That is not the case — a Burger King in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico, has also been skinned with Spider-Verse artwork. We’ve edited the article to reflect this.

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