The best burgers in New York are a hot-button issue—Time Out has got our own Battle of the Burger to prove it. But passionate discourse over those cheap-eats patties aren’t relegated only to meat eaters—where to find the best veggie burger in NYC is also a topic of contention, with options made by some big-name toques and at some of the city’s best vegan and vegetarian restaurants.
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Best veggie burgers in NYC
Brooks Headley’s brick-and-mortar offshoot of his white-hot 2014 veggie-burger pop-up has been met with critical acclaim and, more crucially, everyman approval, thanks to its dense, nicely charred, surprisingly meaty patty built with grains (faro, barley, quinoa). That meatless round gets further amped with melted Muenster, crisp iceberg lettuce, roasted plum tomatoes, snappy dill pickles and copious squirts of honey mustard. $6
The Impossoble burger does what no other veggie burger has done before: It bleeds like the original. Not only does the texture and appearance match perfectly, but it's also a delcious patty. Finished with lettuce, tomato, pickle and special sauce, this burger will have any meat-lover fooled. $18.
Just becuase it doesn't have meat, doesn't mean it has to be healthy. This monster of a burger starts with a grilled ancho chili and seitan patty and gets covered with maple hickory bbq sauce, jalapeno mac n cheese, smoked chili coconut bacon, baby arugula and chipotle mayo all on a grilled pretzel bun. $12.25.
The power of bacon is a transcending one, so you can’t fault even vegetarians wanting to get in on that smoky, salty goodness. At the vegan Chelsea café, find a soy patty crowned with meat-free bacon, vegan mozzarella, caramelized onions, mushrooms and chipotle aioli on a semolina bun. $16
The ShackBurger may be the crowd favorite at Danny Meyer’s burger giant, but this mushroom-fueled alternative is nothing to sneeze at (and is probably twice as indulgent). A portobello puck is fried to a crisp and stuffed with melted Muenster and cheddar cheeses before getting hit with lettuce, tomato and that signature ShackSauce. $7
Just like everything else on the menu, the veggie burger at Loring Place is bright, fresh and packed with local vegetables. The toothsome patty is laden with shredded beets and grains, lightened up by the addition of avocado on top. Found on their lunch menu, this burger can stand up to its beef counterpart with ease. $18.
Eleven Madison Park emperor Daniel Humm jumped on the veggie-burger bandwagon with his elegant iteration at the gilded gastropub, made with lentils and cremini mushrooms before hitting the fryer. If that isn’t tasty enough for you, the whole thing is smothered in piquillo aioli for an extra bite. $18
In between wild-game options like bison, elk and boar, the organic burger chain offers a variety of nonmeat burgers like sweet potato and wild rice, black bean and, best of all, a nicely texture farmers' quinoa patty. DIY your burger with a choice of buns, cheeses, sauces and spreads. $9.90
This hulking beaut is the East Village grill’s signature and for good reason. The roasted mushroom round is slathered with pesto spread on an Ezekiel bun and topped with a laundry list of fixings: roasted green peppers, guacamole, vegan cheese, caramelized onions and sprouts. Who said healthy and tasty were mutually exclusive? $13.99.
This fast-casual vegan concept has people lining up for their healthy fare including a flawless veggie burger made up of a jazzed-up tempeh-lentil patty topped with beet ketchup and special sauce. If you're feeling adventurous, you can give one of their other five stella veggie burgers a go. $8.95.
It may be meatless but that doesn’t mean you won’t need those namesake napkins when you take a big, gloriously messy mouthful of this veg-based burger. A tender blend of beans, barley, brown rice and beets, giving it a rosy-rare hue, is tricked out with creamy 5N sauce, pickles, lettuce and tomato on a multigrain roll. $14