It only takes one bad experience with a veggie burger to think they aren’t for you. Most store-bought ones are pretty rough and it takes a special chef to nail the perfect combination. If you’ve had a bad experience, don’t let it taint you from trying again.
If you don’t eat meat, there are bound to be days when you just crave a good burger. I know that is not always easy to find. I love this list which will lead you right to the good ones.
Chalkboard Magazine– a great online resource, posted this article about the best veggie burgers around the country and it sure had me drooling. Plus two of my favorite spots, M Cafe and Cafe Gratitude made the list and I can confirm, their veggie burgers are divine.
Here’s their selections, courtesy of The Tara List:
VEGGIE GRILL (CALIFORNIA): Veggie Grill is the king of vegetarian meats; their Chickn’ and Veggie-Steak taste so much like meat that you might even second guess it, but Veggie Grill is 100% vegan.
CAFE GRATITUDE (LA, BERKELEY, SANTA CRUZ, VENICE): This vegan mecca cooks up a superb veggie burger. The “I am Magical” is a bean patty made luscious with the addition of their wonderful spicy chipotle ketchup and organic whole wheat bun. Definitely order it with the macadamia cheddar, avocado and coconut bacon – yes, coconut bacon!!!
UMAMI BURGER (LA, SAN FRAN): Umami, in my opinion, is the end all be all when it comes to burgers, and their Earth Burger is out of this world. The patty is made out of mushrooms and edamame, and it’s topped with white soy aioli, truffle ricotta, cipollini onions, lettuce and slow roasted tomatoes. Trust me, this might be one of the tastiest high-end veggies burgers you will ever try…
UPPER WEST (LA): The Roasted Veggie Burger is unctuous and delicious, elevated further with the use of a brioche bun. The veggie burger patty is house-made and adorned with grilled pineapple relish, avocado, piquillo pepper and tomato aioli.
WESTVILLE (NYC): Westville’s veggie burger is quite unique in that it is flash fried to create satisfying texture and deep flavor. The Portuguese bun, mushrooms and tartar sauce add wonderful dimension, and I suggest you order it with swiss, cheddar or smoked gouda for that extra yum.
5 NAPKIN BURGER (NYC): This NYC burger joint makes a mean veggie burger. The patty is loaded with black beans, barley, brown rice, carrots, beets, jalapenos and sesame seeds, all drizzled with the 5N creamy sauce. It has satisfying crunch, wonderful moisture and insane flavor.
NATIVE FOODS (VARIOUS LOCATIONS): Native Foods does vegan food just right. Their Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger is killer – it’s comprised of thin slice of seitan meat, caramelized onions, vegan cheddar, romaine, carrots, tomato and “bacon”. Everything gets a good hit of barbecue sauce and ranch dressing, and is topped with battered pickle chips. This burger is the epitome of a healthy indulgence.
M CAFE (LA): Macrobiotic haven M Cafe creates a wonderful burger called The Big Macro. It’s made with a whole grain brown rice and veggie patty, special creamy sauce, lettuce, soy mozzarella, tomato, onions, pickles and sprouts, all on a house-backed whole wheat bun. This burger is super delicious, Macrobiotic and 100% vegan.
HILLSTONE (VARIOUS LOCATIONS): Hillstone’s House-Made Veggie Burger is huge and scrumptious! The patty, made with brown rice, beets, black beans and prunes, is covered with a sweet soy glaze and melted Swiss cheese. This veggie burger is pretty close to perfect, and with numerous locations around the country, it’s accessible, too!
SHAKE SHACK (EAST COAST, MIDDLE EAST): While the Shake Shack ‘Shroom Burger is not the healthiest on this list, it might be the best indulgence. It’s made with a crisp-fried portobello mushroom filled with melted muenster and cheddar cheeses, topped with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce. The ShackSauce is intoxicatingly good, as is the perfect mushy bun it comes on. You’ve got the crunch and ooze factor going on here, and it’s so divine.
ONE LUCKY DUCK (NYC): One Lucky Duck sets the standard for raw food. Their raw Portobello and Hemp Seed Burger is served with sprouted manna bread, lapsang tea-smoked cashew cheese, house-made mustard, pickled pink onions and caraway krout. You’ll feel light as a feather after this burger.
ALIAS (NYC): If you’re on the LES in NYC, Alias has got a satisfying veggie burger for you… It’s made with two Portobello mushrooms, black beans and queso blanco, which are fried in panko and smeared with pico de gallo and jalapeno mayo, all on a sesame bun. This burger has a scrumptious meaty quality when you bite into it that will satisfy your burger cravings.
DMK BURGER (CHICAGO): DMK offers 14 different types of burgers, all of which you can order with a crispy Portobello patty or a veggie patty. But the real winner here is their House Veggie and Grain Burger; the veggie patty is made with rice, zucchini, beans, peppers and mixed veggies, and it’s complimented with aged cheddar, eggplant, tomato and pesto mayo. This veggie burger is outrageously next level delicious and fancy.
THE FARM CAFE (PORTLAND): The Farmhouse Veggie Burger is a mixture of eggplant, breadcrumbs, cheese and spices, beautifully compiled on a rustic bun filled with caramelized onions, lettuce, roasted red pepper, Dijon mustard and seasonal pickles. The eggplant gives the burger a meaty, rich, umami quality that will definitely knock your socks off.
THE PLANT CAFE ORGANIC (SAN FRAN): This healthy cafe has fabulous veggie burgers. The Plant Burger is made from lentils, mushrooms, beets, cashews and bulgur wheat, served with roasted onion, leaf lettuce, tomato and aioli. There are 3 others types of burgers that play off of this base: The California Plant Burger with avocado and cheddar, the Swiss Mushroom Plant Burger with crimini mushrooms and Swiss and the Wasabi Plant Burger with sauerkraut and wasabi-raspberry aioli.
Which ones on this list have you tried? What’s missing? I’d love to know your favs!