8 Must-Try Veggie Burgers in NYC

By James Mulcahy  |  October 25, 2013
Credit: Clay Williams

A note to all the vegans and vegetarians out there who haven't been so thrilled by Burger Week in all of its meaty glory: we haven't forgotten about you! The city is full of meatless options that are worth trying, not just as an alternative to animal, but because they rock in their own right. For a full array - from white bean burgers in Brooklyn to fantastic falafel patties in Manhattan - check out our picks in the slide show below.

  • Thistle Hill Tavern

    Former Top Chef contestant Dale Talde whipped up the vegan option for his South Slope gastropub. The patty is made of white beans, cracked wheat and mushrooms, and it's served on a potato bun with salt and pepper fries - just because you want to go vegan doesn't mean you should skip the tasty sides.

    441 7th Ave.; 347-599-1262

  • Go Burger

    This Manhattan-based mini-chain has a location in the Garment District and another on the UES (as well as a truck), and its veggie falafel burger ensures that everyone has something to enjoy when they drop in. Available with or without the whole-wheat bun, it's a medley of grain, vegetables and spices topped with hummus and tzatziki sauce. Once you go veggie, you may never go back.

    Multiple locations

  • B&B

    Josh Capon also serves a falafel-style burger at his SoHo joint. This one is made with chickpeas, slathered with tzatziki and served on a seven-grain bun (gluten-free buns are also on hand). Capon has dominated Burger Bash at both the South Beach and New York City Wine & Food Festival (he tied for first this year) with his famous Bash Burger - maybe he should go veggie next time to mix it up.

    25 West Houston St.; 212-334-7320

  • BareBurger

    This NYC chain goes black bean for their meatless offering, which can easily be made vegan by skipping the multi-grain roll in favor of a lettuce wrap. The bean burger is topped with vegan cheddar, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, raw red onions and a cilantro-lime dressing.

    Multiple locations

  • Melvin's Juice Box

    The newest creation on our list is being served at this just-opened eatery in the super-hip Dream Downtown hotel. The team at Melvin's collaborated with chef Michael Armstrong from the hotel to come up with a quinoa-crusted, roasted-squash burger that's topped off with red pepper hummus and served on a multi-grain bun. Packed with flavor, it pairs well with many of the health-conscious hang's freshly made juices.

    355 W. 16th St., 646-625-4825

  • MexiBBQ

    If you prefer grilled portabello, head over to the new Manhattan outpost of Astoria's MexiBBQ, which serves up a mushroom patty with green aïoli, crispy panela cheese, baby sprouts, avocado and pickled cabbage. This one packs a little spice too (it is, after all, a Mexican-inspired restaurant), throwing some jalapeño into the topping mix for good measure. It's served with a pickle and fries, and goes well with a beer from the extensive selection on tap.

    1633 Second Ave.; 212-837-8285

  • Chickpea and Olive

    The signature item at this Smorgasburg stand is a Phatty Beet Slider, and there's a reason they spell phat with a PH. The mini-burgers - which are adorable in their own right - are made of beets, 'shrooms, rice and lentils, and are served on a vegan bun. The beets throw an extra bit of sweetness into the mix, and varieties like the Calexico load on some heat with toppings like chipotle aïoli and jalapeño. In addition to Smorgasburg the mobile crew pops up at other festivals and markets, follow them here.

    East River State Park, N. 7th and Kent Avenue, weekends through November 24

  • 5 Napkin Burger

    This chain's patty isn't pink because it's cooked medium rare. The hue comes courtesy of the beets that are a big component of the veggie burger's makeup (other ingredients include carrots and black beans). The ginormous offering is then topped off with pickles, lettuce, tomato and 5 Napkin's special sauce. Though you miss the juiciness of their signature burgers, that sauce still can dribble, so expect to go through two to three napkins for this one.

    Multiple locations