What could be better than a savory, flavor-packed veggie burger served with golden, salty frites? Nothing. OK, maybe there are a few things outside of the food sphere, but for dramatic effect, we are going to say nothing could possibly be better. We scoured the country—and enlisted the help of food experts—to decide the best of the best. To find your veggie burger nirvana, these 11 eateries (in no particular order) serve up burgers ranging from wholesome and nutritious to should-be-illegal (with all the fixin’s). Dig in!
1. Burger on Smith, Brooklyn, NY
The Nutty Professor is one of Burger on Smith’s fan favorites, not to mention Viva Vegan! author Terry Hope Romero’s burger of choice. The Nutty Professor, which brings to mind a disguised Eddie Murphy, also conjures pure tastiness. The nut, veggie, and quinoa trio make for a knockout patty, and the oven-roasted tomato, avocado, and creamy herb sauce make this vegan dish something to savor over. Romero expresses her love for the eatery’s vegan bun, saying, “it’s like a lighter, chewy everything bagel, but maybe better.”
2. Comet Café, Milwaukee, WI
My #1 favorite veggie burger, the vegan Big Luck Burger, hails from the bustling old-school diner Comet Café in Milwaukee, WI. Everything about this burger screams perfection—the burger patty is even encrusted in hazelnuts! Adorned with the classics: lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles, the Big Luck comes with hand-cut fries or a small salad; I strongly recommend the fries, which are mind-bogglingly good. Polish it all off with a vegan Bloody Mary garnished with pickled veggies and mixed with anchovy-free house-made Worcestershire sauce.
3. The Eatery on Farwell, Milwaukee, WI
Mushroom enthusiast? You’ll love The Eatery on Farwell’s vegan Ratatouille Burger. This veggie burger puts a healthy spin on the American classic with its alternative portobello mushroom cap patty, and packed inside you’ll find roasted vegetables, Vegenaise, and Teese mozzarella cheese. What ties this burger together and makes it exceptional is the side of hot crispy steak fries that are out-of-this-world. I repeat: out-of-this-world.
4. The Flaming Ice Cube, Boardman and Cleveland, OH
The Vegan Burger at The Flaming Ice Cube delivers in providing its patrons with a scrumptious dish and one of VegNews Street Teamer Adam E.’s top picks. The housemade grilled soy-based patty is topped with all of the basics to make a stellar burger, and the classic mustard, ketchup, and vegan mayo combo act as the cherry on top. If you are in need of a cheese fix, Daiya mozzarella can be added, all you have to do is ask.
5. Fresh Café and Market, West Des Moines, IA
Johanna A. from VegNews’ Street Team says that one of the best burgers she’s ever eaten comes from a little spot in America’s heartland. Comprised of carrots, mushrooms, beets, brown rice, and quinoa this gluten- and oil-free burger appeals to health nuts and foodies alike. Served on a whole-wheat bun, which can be opted out for a gluten-free wrap, smashed avocados give the Fresh Café’s veggie burger a creamy tang.
6. Hillside Quickie, Seattle, WA
This Emerald City all-vegan eatery serves a Caribbean-American food fever dream via The Crazy Jamaican Burger. Comprised of a jerk tofu patty decked with ripe plantains, grilled sweet onions, potato salad, tomato, and eggless mayonnaise, you really can’t go wrong. Whilst devouring this creation, you might just dream about lounging on a beach overlooking the crystal blue Caribbean Sea.
7. Lotus Café, Jackson, WY
In the Old West looking for a vegan bite? Lotus Café’s Lotus Veggie Burger is sure to fill any burger void that you may have. This homemade patty is filled with quinoa, basmati rice, gold flax, sunflower seeds, carrot, legumes, and herbs. Atop the deliciously gluten-free creation sits tomato, lettuce, sautéed onion, and a house-made roasted garlic aioli (ask for the vegan kind!). For a dollar more, kimchi and a side of Korean barbecue sauce can elevate this already tasty fare to new heights.
8. Madeleine Bistro, Tarzana, CA
One of VegNews Managing Editor Elizabeth Castoria, Associate Publisher Colleen Holland, and VN columnist Allison Rivers Samson’s favorite veggie burgers is The Bigger “Mack” served at Madeleine Bistro. With all three calling it nothing less than phenomenal, this burger is a must if you are in the Los Angeles area. The lip smacking Bigger “Mack” creates the ultimate trifecta with its fluffy, moist bun, dense burger, and tangy sauce. And don’t be fooled by the name; this veggie burger blows anything McDonald’s has ever created out of the water.
9. Native Foods, (CA, CO, IL, OR)
With Native Foods, you can never go wrong. Especially when you order the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger, VegNews Online Editor Anna Peraino’s go-to. Comprised of thinly sliced seitan, melted vegan cheddar, caramelized onions, romaine, carrots, tomato, and “bacon,” smothered in barbeque sauce and ranch dressing, the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger always hits the spot. Did I mention this burger is topped with battered pickle chips?
10. The Organic Grill, New York, NY
VN contributor Allyson Kramer calls The Organic Grill’s Naked Burger her current favorite. While the grill calls this burger a dieter’s dream, the veggie patty topped with sautéed mushrooms, onions, peppers, lettuce, tomato, and sprouts is nothing short of fabulous and flavorful, especially enveloped in added guacamole. Perfect for hungry stomachs wandering through the East Village of New York City, and vegans looking for something that tastes delicious but doesn’t give you that greasy feel will be thoroughly impressed.
11. The Plant, San Francisco, CA
If you like covering your kappa maki rolls in wasabi like I do, you will become obsessed with The Plant Café’s Wasabi Plant Burger. VN columnist Jesse Miner and Senior Editor Jennifer Chen rave about it. Chen says, “it’s the kind of burger that you dream about.” Topping a patty made of lentils, cashews, bulgur wheat, and veggies is sauerkraut, raspberry aioli, and wasabi; this burger makes its distinctiveness and tastiness known. On the side, The Plant Café serves herb-roasted potatoes with mixed greens and vegetables.
These 11 veggie burgers across the States will wow your taste buds with tantalizing flavors and delight all of your senses with their finger-licking scrumptiousness. Did we miss your favorite burger? Tell us about it in the comments! Happy eating!