It’s National Burger Month, and here at BYT we don’t like to write anything ordinary. So instead of giving you a burger guide, we are giving you a Veggie Burger Guide. They’re healthier, trendier, and (gasp!) even tastier than your average burger. Our list will help you find a veggie burger for your every mood, at every type of dining destination.
The Best Diner Veggie Burgers
What I love about Farewell is the different ways you can get enjoy your veggie burger. Get it Mexican-style and it comes with sweet pickled jalapenos, Greek-inspired, with tofu-feta kalamates, or the original with the same mushroom-chickpea patty, garlic aioli, lettuce, tomato and a housemade bun. My favorite though might be the BBQ chickpea seitan burger; its finger-licking good. Basically, if you are looking for choices, Fare Well is your veggie burger heaven.
The veggie burger at Ted’s is soft and chewy, made primarily of black beans. What I like is that the burger has a mild enough taste that you can get it made all different ways and it serves as a vehicle for the flavors you are craving. For example if you want something simple, get the All America, with lettuce, tomato, and 1000 Island dressing. For something more robust, get the Southwestern, with roasted red peppers, guacamole, green chile sauce, and white cheddar. And if you are feeling really crazy get the Ted’s ‘Burgh, which comes on white bread with a fried egg, fries, coleslaw, and American cheese.
The Best Vegetable Veggie Burgers
Good Stuff Eatery, The Fried Green Tomato Burger
Vegetarians take note: Good Stuff offers TWO veggie burger options so you actually have a choice and you won’t be stuck ordering the same thing every time. As Chef Max Albano says, vegetables are the trend right now and Good Stuff definitely wants to keep up. The Portobello burger has been on the menu for a while, but the restaurant wanted to include something different and decided to take a Southern turn by offering a fried green tomato burger. The burger is everything, and more. A perfect golden crust enrobes the tart tomatoes, which are served on a bun with and a heap of lettuce, avocado, and chipotle mayo. Its crunchy and salty and super satisfying. Appreciate the picture I took below because you’re gonna eat yours so fast you won’t have time to snap a pic.
Shake Shack, The ‘Shroom Burger
I wouldn’t call it healthy but you’re probably not too worried about calories if you are dining at Shake Shack. Besides, we all know sometimes the tastiest dishes are the unhealthiest. At Shake Shake, a portabello mushroom is stuffed with cheese and then breaded and deep fried. It’s a crunchy ooey-gooey burger of madness. Get with fries and a shake, because, well, why not? You can start your diet tomorrow.
Beefsteak, The Beet Burger
A whole beet as a burger? Sounds suspect I know. But in reality, it is genius, and actually a fine example of the genius of Jose Andres. The beet is marinated in red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and thyme, and then cut to fit perfectly onto the housemade bun that it is served on. The beet is sweet and tart, and sprouts and pickled red onion add some texture. Don’t knock it until you try it!
Ambar, The Zucchini Burger
Made with shredded zucchini and sunflower seeds and then doused in tartar sauce, this burger is a great option for someone avoiding the usual grain or bean or soy veggie burger. It is offered only at lunch at the Clarendon location of Ambar. It’s pretty small, more like slider size, and only $6 so you can get other items as well like Balkan fries, pies, and cheese on the side.
The Best Fine Dining Veggie Burgers
When Michael Costa decides to do something, you know he is going to do it well. His new falafel burger is no exception. The burger is bold and robust, with classic Mediterranean flavors of cumin, coriander, garlic, and parsley. The hearty burger sits on a puffed up olive oil brioche bun, smothered in a cool tzatziki sauce and crowned with thick tomato slabs and sprigs of mint. It is a burger for champions.
This veggie burger is worth schlepping to the suburbs for. The burger was created by Jeff Black for his vegan sons; it is comprised of sweet potatoes and black beans, and topped with pepper jack cheese and sriracha mayo. The contrasting sweet and spicy flavors combined with the buttery bun make the $14 price tag worth it.
The Best Beer Garden/Gastropub Veggie Burgers
At Takoda, the veggie burger is a twist on pretzels and cheese, the classic food paring for beer. The veggie burger is made of meaty grains like quinoa and barley, as well as chickpeas and lentils, and then topped with pimento cheese and served on a pretzel bun. It’s the quintessential beer pairing for a vegetarian, and even for non-vegetarians.
The crew at City Tap House have put a lot of effort into making a veggie burger meaty enough to stand up to a cold pint of beer. They have been successful; their veggie burger is a blend of beans, beets, wild rice and oats so it is super dense and filling. The addition of smoked cheddar cheese and dijonaise add a serious kick and the housemade brioche bun takes it over the top. You will need several beers to finish off this monster veggie burger.
Executive Chef Francisco Ferrufino has always made sure that vegetarians eat well at Meridian Pint. Diners can enjoy their beer with a simple lentil and barley burger made in house, and choose to top it with a variety of toppings like blue cheese, wasabi mayo, vegan cheese, guacamole, and teriyaki sauce.
The Best Vegan Veggie Burgers
This burger comes in a pita, instead of a bun, but it may be my favorite burger of all. Super crispy, with whole and mashed chickpeas, it has an awesome texture. The addition of charred onions and tomatoes add a sweet note, while pickled turnips are tart and juicy. The tahini sauce is uber creamy and delicious, make sure you get a generous heaping. Polenta fries are a great on the side.
The Ziggy Burger at HipCityVeg is their most popular burger, and for good reason. The smoked tempeh burger is soft and savory, slighty sweet and a little smoky. The special sauce smothered on top is bold and rich, and lettuce and tomato add crunch and freshness.
The vegan burger at Busboys is fresh and tasty; it comes on an earthy multi-grain bun with vegan chipotle aioli, avocado, and arugula as toppings. As soon as I read avocado on the menu I was sold. What’s cool is the burger also comes in slider form, if you are looking to share.
The Best Fast Food Burgers
If you are hungry, this is the veggie burger for you. Bobby Flay wanted to create a veggie burger that could stand up to his non-veggie burger options, so his veggie burger is huge and packed with flavor. Made with BBQ wild mushrooms, chickpeas and quinoa, it is smothered in melted smoked American cheese, a bright green onion slaw and mustard BBQ sauce. Bring it.
What makes this burger special is that it is baked, and then fried, so it has an awesome crispy quality. The burger is made with soy, beans and sweet potatoes, and has a touch of honey and BBQ sauce so it has a great sweet and smoky flavor profile. Enjoy it with your choice of toppings which include grilled jalapenos, mojo sauce, and chipotle ranch.