A patty, some vegetables, maybe a slice of cheese, and two buns. It doesn’t take much to create a solid burger, but across the country, chefs are reimagining the tried-and-true American classic, and the results are inventive, sophisticated, and downright outrageous. VegNews searched the country for the biggest, baddest burgers out there, and here are the ones you need to try, now.
20. Shouk Burger
Shouk, Washington, DC
This chickpea-black bean-cauliflower burger is drizzled with imported tahini, topped with grilled onions, and roasted tomato bursts before being piled into a fresh, fluffy pita.
19. The Big Zac
Plant Power Fast Food, San Diego, CA
McDonald’s eat your heart it out. This Big Mac look-a-like is made with two beefy patties, special sauce, melted American cheese, and a dose of nostalgia.
18. Vegan Burger
White Owl Social Club, Portland, OR
At this swanky Portland bar, an inventive beet-wakame-hazelnut patty is sprinkled with pea shoots and ribbons of shaved carrots, given a smear of ginger-infused miso mayonnaise, and plated simply with shoestring fries. Not much messing with perfection.
17. Beets Me Burger
Seabirds Kitchen, Costa Mesa, CA
The secret to this mouthwatering beet burger? A smearing of chunky almond butter (don’t knock it til you try it!) that keeps patrons coming back for more.
16. Sunshine Burger
Toad Style, Brooklyn, NY
This made-from-scratch burger gets a slathering of cashew dill cream cheese and sweet chili mustard, then is piled with avocado and arugula for a bite that’ll have you feeling sunny, whatever the weather.
15. Buffalo Greek
Kitchen 17, Chicago, IL
Fried cauliflower is drenched in buffalo sauce and broiled to a spicy crisp on top a roasted zucchini-chickpea burger and finished with ranch dressing and greens.
14. Superiority Burger
Superiority Burger, New York, NY
A pillowy-soft potato bun gives way to tender, seared-to-a-crisp patty, juicy roasted plum tomatoes, iceberg, mustard, and pickles in this super-simple, but super-satisfying burger.
13. Bacon Mac n’ Cheeseburger
Arlo’s, Austin, TX
Mac and cheese on a burger? Hell yes, and add bacon, too. Arlo’s is legendary in Austin for it’s comfort food, and this burger is no exception.
12. Bruschetta Burger
Wayward Vegan Cafe, Seattle, WA
A beefy, griddled-to-perfection patty gets dressed in garlicky, balsamic tomatoes and topped with a deep-fried patty of mozzarella for a next-level Italian burger that takes the app to new heights.
11. Coconut Burger
Green Bar and Kitchen, Fort Lauderdale, FL
For a tropical meal, go for this Field Roast patty that’s breaded with toasted coconut flakes, fried to a deep-brown crunch, and topped with lettuce, tomato, red onion, sweet mango salsa, and chipotle mayo dressing.
Dad’s Day Done Right—The Animal—just $10 for all the dads this Sunday only for Father’s Day! Proclaim your supreme dadness at the counter for this delicious deal. Boom—just like that. 🧔📆👑🐻🌱🍔🧡🎁🥤🙌🏻😀 . . . . . . . #fathersday2018 #fathers #dads #dadswag #plantbasedburger #vegansofig#veganism#vegansofinstagram#plantbased #govegan#veganlife#crueltyfree #veganlifestyle#veganlove #veganfood#veganfoodshare#whatveganseat#whatveganslooklike#veganburger#veganfastfood #nextlevelburger#treatyoself#veganeats #burgerholic#burgerlovers #burgerlife⠀
10. The Animal
Next Level Burger, Bend, OR
You’ll go wild for this fast-food chain’s star burger—the two sausage-style patties with tempeh bacon, a layer of crinkle-cut fries, swiss or cheddar, and a generous splatter of barbecue or special sauce guarantees it.
9. BBQ Mac & Cheeze Burger
Hella Vegan Eats, Oakland, CA
This dreamy seitan-chickpea burger creation is adorned with housemade persimmon barbecue sauce and a fried cashew mac and cheese fritter. Add cashew ranch or a whole fried chicken patty, because why not?
Mushroom Brie Burger. Perfect for happy hour all night! Available on @trycaviarnyc, too. Our housemade porcini-bean-seitan patty, house brie, mushrooms and shallots, arugula and garlic ailoli. . . . #veganfoodshare #vegansofig #vegan #veganeats #veganfood #veganaf #veggieburger #burgerlover #eatmunchies #eatingnyc #instafood #foodandwine #eaternyc #lovefood #plantbased #buzzfeast #mlbk #eatstagram #infatuationnyc #nycdining #feedfeedvegan #foodstagram #bkeats #comfortfood #vegancheese #vegburger #imhorngry #happyhour #porcini
8. Mushroom Brie Burger
Modern Love, Brooklyn, NY
Modern Love is making its own smooth and creamy cashew brie, baking it, and serving it atop a juicy, flame-grilled porcini-seitan burger crowned with sautéed mushrooms, arugula, and shallots, and served with a garlic aioli. We’re in love.
🍔ARTI’S DIP BURGER🍔 housemade plantbased burg w/ melty provolone, sautéed mushrooms, and the creamiest spinach & artichoke dip in the land – topped with onion rings bcoz we like to be extra 😜🌿👊 there’s still one more day to enter our GIVEAWAY w/ @Brave_GentleMan 🎩 check out our post involving two babes and shakes from a few days ago for all the deets!
7. Arti’s Dip Burger
Champs Diner, Brooklyn, NY
Appetizers and entrées collide in this burger topped with melted vegan provolone, ultra-creamy spinach and artichoke dip, and sautéed mushrooms. Then the whole thing is speared with a steak knife that’s stacked with onion rings.
6. For Heaven’s Sake Burger
Cybelle’s, San Francisco, CA
For heaven’s sake, who wouldn’t want to tackle two ⅓-pound Impossible Burger patties, double bacon, housemade smoked vegan gouda, garlic aioli, and a vegan fried egg on a pretzel bun?
Do you know what this is? Just @vegnews #5/20 Best Burgers! ( Swipe⬅️ for proof! 😸) It’s the Trash Can Burger— Steamed bun, chorizo, hash browns, grilled onions, grilled corn, @fieldroast chao cheese, @fieldroast fieldburger a smidge of cream cheese and chipotle mayo all stacked high for your enjoyment. We have extra (biodegradable) napkins to clean up after this yummy feast so don’t be shy and come give it a try. Thanks to one of our lovely customers for calling our attention to the feature! #cycledogs #veganseattle #vegnewsbestburger #vegnews #fieldroast #seattleeats #seattleeater
5. Trash Can Burger
Cycle Dogs, Seattle, WA
Transforming one of Cycle Dogs’ best-selling franks into a burger topped with hash browns, grilled onions, charred corn, a mountain of spicy chorizo, cream cheese, melted Chao cheese, and chipotle mayo isn’t a good idea. It’s a great one.
Today’s special- Cauliflower Fish Tacos & The Black on Black Burger 2. Layered w/ housemade chili, sweet guajillo peppers, cashew nacho cheese, guacamole, corn tortillas, garlic aioli, and a Mexican corn. . . .#VeganRestaurant #Organic #EatClean #VeganBurger #PlantbasedRestaurant #VeganVegas #CrueltyFree #Eattolive #eateolive #Medicinalfoods
4. Black on Black Burger
Panacea, Las Vegas, NV
We’re putting our bet on this Vegas creation. A quinoa-barley patty is all dressed up in a rotating selection of ingredients like habanero dark chocolate, braised portabello, black garlic aioli, nacho cheese sauce, and guacamole. Then it’s sandwiched between two midnight-black buns infused with Mexican mole and activated charcoal.
3. The Bulls-Eye Burger
Tony’s Darts Away, Burbank, CA
This hidden gem of a burger features melt-in-your-mouth, sweet croissant-doughnut buns, two Impossible burger patties, smoky bacon, frizzled onions, a draping of melted provolone, and zig-zags of barbecue sauce.
2. Smoked Sage Seitan Burger
Cinnamon Snail, New York, NY
This burger from famed food truck-turned-brick-and-mortar Cinnamon Snail features a toasted pretzel buns, roasted garlic aioli marinated kale, a fat, juicy seitan burger and a scoop of baked ziti studded with smoked sage sausage. A sprinkling of chili coconut bacon adds crunch, and voila, one of New York’s best burgers.
Touchdown!!! #VSFSDNIGHTS 🎪 Just rolled up and I’m already elbows deep into this bad boy!!!😱 #BurgerPornHub #SecretMenuItem🍔 - Apparently this is how you pre-game @anthemvegan style! 👊🏻 #TheBeyondImpossibleBurger🌶🍔🔥 #SanDiegoDontPlay - We got less than 2 hours to smash this, put on stretchy pants and hit the party of the year! 🕺🏻 @veganstreetfair🎪 #VSFSDNIGHTS #DoorsAt5pm - If u in the neighbourhood come thru! 🍔🍕🌯🌮🍦🍩🎧🎤💃🏻🕺🏻#AndBringUrFriends #ThisPartyIsForEveryone🙌🏻 #EspTheOnesWithTheAppetites * 2611 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego 5-Midnight🎉 @anthemvegan @donnajeansd @plantfoodforppl @cenavegan @charliesbrownies @scandylous_delights @aguasveganas @veganbyvictorias @foodartbylauren @wordofmouthtruck @_veganation 🔥 #FoodComaMe🚶🏻
1. Double Beyond Impossible Chile Relleno Burger
Anthem Vegan, San Diego, CA
This behemoth burger is aptly named not just because it showcases both Beyond and Impossible patties, but because it’s beyond what you ever thought possible. It gets a heap of house guacamole, and aioli infused with Mexican huitlacoche. Then it’s finished with a relleno made from a battered and fried poblano pepper stuffed with roasted corn, black beans, soy chorizo, and imported Greek Violife mozzarella.
Check out the full feature of the 20 Best Burgers in the Summer Issue of VegNews Magazine, available online here!
Richard Bowie is an associate editor at VegNews and won’t stop until he can eat a burger with sweet chili mustard and cream cheese.
Header photo courtesy of Jackie Sobon