Food

Southern California’s Top 3 Veggie Burgers

Celebrate Meatout with three scrumptious SoCal burgers, or make your own at home.

I fancy myself somewhat of a veggie-burger expert, an aficionado of sorts, a connoisseur of patties between bread. I cannot get enough of them. In fact, I finished up a homemade burger just before I sat down to write this.

What is it about veggie burgers that keep us vegans coming back for more? Maybe it’s that they are a familiar food, or that they are casual, fun, and filling. Or maybe it’s because they are simply convenient and sometimes the only vegan option at a barbecue or chain restaurant. Whatever the reason, I know that I am always on the hunt for the next great burger. And I’m not going to settle for some frozen hockey puck! Of course, I love to go to the veg-only joints: They almost always knock it out of the ballpark when it comes to a good burger since they have all the good sauces and cheeses and know exactly what vegans want. But don’t automatically discount the vegan options at omnivore restaurants because you just might be surprised with the care they take in making sure they have great-tasting choices. Three of my favorite veggie burgers available in my home of Orange County, CA never disappoint; and believe me, they’re worth a trip!

The VG Cheeseburger
The Veggie Grill, Irvine, CA
A beefy, marinated veggie-steak patty that is juicy all the way through, this veggie burger is slathered up in all sorts of goodness: Chipotle Ranch, Veggie Grill cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion. I order mine El Dorado Style, which means it’s topped with jalapeños, caramelized onions, and ketchup.

The Veggie Patty
Slater’s 50/50, Anaheim Hills, CA
The whole idea behind this place is “burgers by design,” so you get to design your own burger from a plethora of toppings, breads, and spreads. There is so much to choose from, you’re bound to make a delicious burger. Start with the thick and hearty scratch-made vegan patty. I top mine with avocado mash, grilled pineapple, mustard, jalapeños, and onions. (Be careful, as most of Slater’s sauces and some of its breads contain animal ingredients!)

The Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger
Native Foods Café, Costa Mesa, CA
To be honest, this really isn’t a burger, per se, but it is fabulous. And it’s so ginormous, that even I can’t finish it in one sitting. It’s a mile-high pile of thinly sliced, house-made seitan, topped with melted cheese, crispy house-made bacon, caramelized onions, barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, lettuce, carrots, and tomato. But here’s the kicker: It’s topped with deep-fried pickle chips!

No tasty veggie burgers in your neck of the woods? Don’t fret. Just make your own. Here’s a recipe for Ranch Burgers to get you started. Does your town have a fantastic beef-free burger? Let us know in the comments!

Joni Marie Newman is the author of The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet from Fair Winds Press.

 Comments

More Food

6 Vegan Superfoods to Eat Now

Start 2015 off right by ditching the vegan junk food and raiding the produce section.
Read More »

7 Steps to Becoming a Healthier Vegan

Eating more cupcakes and cheese than fresh fruit and greens? Listen to these simple bites of advice.
Read More »

31 Changes in 31 Days

A handy guide to a complete health overhaul in just one month!
Read More »

The Top 15 Vegan Instagram Photos of 2014

From exciting new products to mouthwatering meals, countless great moments were captured on Instagram in 2014. Here are your favorites. Here are your favorites.
Read More »

The Top 15 Stories of 2014

Want to know the hottest vegan lifestyle stories of 2014? Here are your top 15 favorite reads of the year.
Read More »

This Week on VegNews TV: The secret to these delightful sweet treats is white beans! Aylin Erman shows you how to make these simple blondies.

More Videos »