Contributed by Katy Morris
Some say that veggie burger is a laughable oxymoron, but the ones we’ve rounded up here certainly hold their own when it comes to the hearty and tasty All-American sandwich.
Veggie burgers are diverse and versatile; they vary in consistency, taste, and texture depending on their base (anything from lentils, beans, chickpeas, beets, and more) and spices.
And vegetarians and kosher keepers are thrilled to notice that finally, meat filled restaurants realize that veggie burgers should not be an afterthought on their menus.
So where should you turn to for great versions of the highly revered veggie-based burger? Here are a handful of our local favorites.
Be sure to scroll down for an easy vegan recipe if we’ve whetted your appetite and you want to whip up your own!
Westville, Various Locations in NYC
Liz fell hard for this burger at a recent tasting at Westville. This crisp, heavenly patty (it is flash fried) chockfull of veggies is served on a lightly toasted, distinctive Portuguese bun and topped with sautéed mushrooms and a dab of their house made spicy tartar sauce. Westville’s eccentric veggie burger is definitely my all-time favorite. And their crispy sweet potatoes fries are definitely something to call home about.
Spotted Horse, Westport, CT
You can dine in a tavern-like, rustic setting while enjoying Spotted Horse’s house made vegetable burger with a Southwestern twist. It’s a grilled black bean and mixed-grains based burger made with corn, tomatoes, brown rice, cilantro, cumin, bread crumbs, and garlic. It’s topped with melted provolone cheese, radish sprouts, roasted peppers, and chipotle sauce. Delish!
The Lime, Norwalk, CT
The veggie burger is just one of many vegetarian options at the Lime in Norwalk. Made of bulgur whole-wheat flour, grated carrots, zucchini, sesame & sunflower seeds (no salt, no spices), this fried patty is simply superb. I love to have a mixed green salad with their house made tahini dressing on the side of anything I eat there.
Bare Burger, Various Locations, NYC & CT
Bare Burger’s well-known local chain has not just one, but three options for veggie burgers. E. says the one to order is the vegan black bean. According to our trusted source, the flavor-packed black bean patty is super hearty and pairs well with traditional toppings of lettuce, tomato, cilantro lime sauce, and onions. Try it with a lettuce bun versus the brioche to help balance the flavors and reduce calories.
5 Napkin Burger, Boston, NYC & Miami
You can find a highly revered healthy veggie burger among all the meaty choices on the menu at 5 Napkin’s. This tasty delight comes on a multi-grain roll and is served with the traditional toppings of pickles, lettuce, tomato, as well as a special house sauce (a tasty take on tartar sauce). The black bean patty is a mix of brown rice, carrots, barley, beets, jalapenos, sesame seeds and is extremely well balanced – we’re talking pleasantly crisp on the golden-brown outside and warm and moist on the inside. Yum.
Hillstone’s ginormous (and expensive, at $17) house made veggie burger is savory, hearty, and flavorful. It ‘s packed with black beans, beets, prunes, and brown rice, glazed in sweet soy, topped with melted jack cheese, and served on a house made egg bun.
Hankering to make a great veggie burger in your own kitchen?
We turned to Rachel Carr of Six Main for her beet burger recipe (and check back in a couple weeks for a full post on this fantastic vegan, vegetarian, and raw, farm to table restaurant in Chester, CT). Thanks, Rachel.
“There is something so satisfying about biting into a great burger with all the toppings, the flavor of the grill, the heartiness of the patty…This vegan beet burger will satisfy that craving, believe me! The cashew cheese makes a great topping for other dishes as well.” – Rachel Carr, Six Main, Chester, CT
This recipe is vegan and pareve.
- 1 cup onions, minced
- 1 cup shredded beets
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped mixed herbs (parsley, chives, basil)
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten*
- ¾ cup bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- ¼ tablespoon chili flakes
- ½ tablespoon fennel seed
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast*
- 2 tablespoon tamari
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1 cup cooked brown lentils
- ½ cup water (or as needed)
- Mix everything together in a bowl and form into burger-sized patties.
- Bake on an oiled cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Grill before serving.
- Serve on a whole-wheat bun with toppings of your choice, such as mustard, cashew cheese, pickles, tomato and sliced onions.
*Vital Wheat is the natural protein found in wheat. It contains 75% protein.
*Nutritional yeast is an ideal vegetarian support formula and has an appealing cheese flavor.
See Bob's Red Mill brand for both products.