Published May 15, 2019|16 min read
Burgers are lauded as an American classic, a perfect meal for a summer BBQ or trip to your local diner. May is National Hamburger Month — and it’s a time for everyone to celebrate, including those who don’t eat meat. Chickpeas, mushrooms and black beans are just a few burger substitutes that can be healthier and equally delicious.
While grilling your own burger — whether meat- or veggie-based — is unbeatable, you can also get one at a restaurant. With that in mind, Policygenius awarded restaurants with the best veggie burger in each state.
We took a look at local restaurants — those with three or fewer locations — and made sure the ingredients are healthy. Plus, best of all, a lot of these restaurants shop local, so you’re getting locally-grown veggies to put on your burger. (Want to make a stop at your local farmer’s market to get your own healthy produce? Here’s our list of the best farmers markets in each state.)
Here are the best places to get a veggie burger in each state.
##Alabama: Chef Will the Palate Address: 2211 Seminole Dr., Huntsville Details: Chef Will has been crafting up healthy, locally-sourced portabella burgers out of his Huntsville food truck for quite some time now. Be sure to add the spicy chipotle sauce, and get the bright peppers chips with fruit salsa for a healthy side. ##Alaska: Middle Way Cafe Address: 1200 W. Northern Lights Suite G, Anchorage Details: This breakfast hotspot prides itself on having fresh, seasonable vegetarian options — and no dish is more fresh than their Coyote Burger, a homemade black bean and kale patty topped with fresh veggies, cheddar cheese and their signature Coyote Sauce.
Looking for more tasty ways to start the day? Check out our list of the best breakfast spots in each state.
##Arizona: Green New American Vegetarian Address: 2022 N. 7th St., Phoenix & 2240 N. Scottsdale Rd. #8, Tempe Details: Green’s veggie burgers are so good you feel like you’re having a healthy treat. We suggest you get the Big WAC, a double-decker organic veggie burger topped with fresh veggies, cheddar cheese and their special sauce on a sesame seed bun. Who knew healthy could be so delicious?
##Arkansas: The Root Cafe Address: 1500 S. Main St., Little Rock Details: Many restaurants claim to be “farm-to-table,” but when the Root Cafe says it, they mean it. Their shiitake mushroom burger — a creation soaked in a homemade vinaigrette and topped with fresh veggies — is sourced from Sweden Creek Farms, a mushroom farm not far away in the Ozark Mountains.
##California: VeganBurg Address: 1466 Haight St., San Francisco Details: Founded nearly 10 years ago, VeganBurg has some absolutely delicious and fully plant-based burgers on the menu. And they even tout that when you have the carbs from veggies, healthy fats and these plant-based proteins, you’ll be enjoying a cholesterol-free dish. Try the barbecue burger with a side of shroom fries, and enjoy, guilt-free.
Summer sunshine means people tend to go out more. But don’t let that ruin your budget. Here are some tips on how to save when dining out.
##Colorado: RootDown Address: 1600 W. 33rd Ave, Denver Details: RootDown’s veggie burger sliders are made with jalapeno jam and served with a side of sweet potato fries and curry-lime yogurt. Root Down has two onsite gardens, where they get their seasonal produce from, so you know you’re getting local and fresh ingredients.
##Connecticut: ION Restaurant Address: 606 Main St., Middletown Details: All meals here are all fully plant-based — you can choose everything from gumbo to pierogis without consuming animal products. Their burger is made of seitan, or wheat gluten, and comes with vegan bacon and cheese. Get a side of waffle fries, kale quinoa salad or soup to complete the meal.
##Delaware: Masala Kitchen Address: 825 N. Market St., Wilmington & 111 N. Dupont Hwy., New Castle Details: Masala Kitchen is an all-vegetarian Indian cuisine restaurant that offers several burger options. These include the vada pav, a fritter made of spiced potatoes on a buttered bun, and the dabeli, which is also served on a buttered bun, topped with pomegranate and roasted peanuts.
##Florida: Beth’s Burger Bar Address: 5145 S. Orange Ave., Edgewood & 9938 Universal Blvd., Orlando Details: Beth’s Burger Bar has two vegetarian options: a traditional veggie burger and the Impossible Burger, the famous plant-based patty. You can customize your veggie burger however you want — or choose a signature burger, like the Black and Bleu, with blue cheese, grilled mushroom, lettuce and tomato.
##Georgia: Slutty Vegan Address: 1542 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. SW, Atlanta Details: Slutty Vegan is an Atlanta sensation that offers up self-described “junk food” that’s guilt-free because it’s healthy — and vegan. Try a Dancehall Queen, an Impossible Burger with sweet jerk plantains, vegan cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato and “slutty sauce” on a vegan Hawaiian bun.
You can enjoy any of Slutty Vegan’s burgers at home — they deliver. Here’s how to save on takeout.
##Hawaii: Beet Box Cafe Address: 66-437 Kamehameha Hwy. #104, Haleiwa Details: This vegetarian restaurant serves mouthwatering food that’s healthy too. Their signature Hello Burger features a homemade veggie patty on a toasted bun with garlic aioli, dijon mustard, arugula, pickled onions and cucumbers.
##Idaho: BBQ4LIFE Address: 930 S. Vista Ave., Boise Details: This family-run restaurant offers food everyone can enjoy, including healthy vegan and gluten-free options. Their Greens and Beans burger features a house-made veggie patty grilled in coconut oil and topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions and vegan mayo.
##Illinois: Handlebar Address: 2311 W. North Ave., Chicago Details: This vegetarian restuarant’s veggie burger, the Handlesmash, is so special it’s only available on Tuesdays. The burger features two homemade black bean patties with cheddar or vegan cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, pickles and special sauce on a brioche bun.
##Indiana: Three Carrots Address: 920 Virginia Ave., Indianapolis & 222 E. Market St., Indianapolis Details: Come to either one of Three Carrot’s locations to get delicious vegan comfort food, like seitan nuggets and buffalo cauliflower bites. But their handmade beet burger, served with tomato jam, miso caramelized onions and roasted garlic, is an unforgettable dish.
Address: 310 East Prentiss St., Iowa City Details: This vegan staple has a vast menu of plant-based food, but be sure to try the red bean veggie burger. Trumpet Blossom tops this housemade patty with BBQ aioli, greens, pickles and caramelized onions. Make it a meal by adding a side of hand-cut sweet potato fries with maple cayenne aioli.
##Kansas: Burger Stand Address: 803 Massachusetts St., Lawrence & 1601 SW Lane St., Topeka Details: This innovative burger joint, with two locations, gives you lots of choices when it comes to veggie burgers. They have everything from a mushroom patty with avocado to a garbanzo bean patty with a citrus garlic aioli.
##Kentucky: Morels Cafe Address: 619 Baxter Ave., Louisville Details: Kentucky may be known for bourbon and fried chicken, but you can also get great vegetarian food in the Bluegrass State. If you’re in Louisville, check out Morels Cafe, which serves “vegan food that doesn’t suck.” Be sure to try their backyard burger, a Beyond Meat patty topped with BBQ sauce, crispy onion straws and melted cheese, served on a brioche bun.
##Louisiana: Liberty’s Kitchen Address: 300 North Broad St., New Orleans Details: New Orleans is a foodie city, and that includes veggie options too. Liberty’s Kitchen helps train young people to join the city’s food scene, and they also feature a delicious veggie burger. Their homemade black bean burger is served with melted cheddar, avocado mash and cilantro lime mayo.
Address: 100 Main St., Saco Details: Run of the Mill’s veggie burgers are homemade from scratch, with potatoes, lentils, black beans, red peppers and onions. How good are they? In an interview, executive check Chris Loftus said some customers ordered the veggie burger with bacon on top – meaning even meat-eaters were choosing a veggie burger over a regular hamburger.
This is a great brewery that features a stellar veggie burger. But you don’t want to miss this list of the best local breweries in each state.
##Maryland: Hamilton Tavern Address: 5517 Harford Rd., Baltimore Details: This eclectic restaurant has a variety of options, but the house-made veggie burger is a standout meal. It’s topped with smoked tomato aioli, mixed greens and red onions. You also have your choice of healthy sides, including broccoli salad or a house salad.
##Massachusetts: The Gallows Address: 1395 Washington St., Boston Details: Looking for a veggie burger that’s healthy but isn’t the same old black bean patty? Try a falafel burger from The Gallows, topped with feta and tzatziki.
Address: 500 E. 4th St., Royal Oak Details: Between multi-grain, cultured soy and portabella mushroom patties, you’re sure to find a veggie burger that you like. Try the Big Baprawski, a double-decker burger with vegan cheese, sauteed onions, lettuce and tomato.
##Minnesota: J. Selby’s Address: 169 N. Victoria St., Saint Paul Details: This airy cafe bills itself as “a plant-based eatery.” Their Dirty Secret is made with Beyond Burger patties, the Solo comes with Field Roast or Beyond Burger patties and the J. Lucy is a Beyond Burger filled with melted cheese. If you want to add more to your order, there are other healthy options like cauliflower wings.
You can also make wings at home. Check out this $3 wing recipe.
##Mississippi: Cool Al’s Address: 4654 McWillie Dr., Jackson Details: Cool Al’s offers all of its burgers in vegetarian and vegan options, which makes it easy to make your favorite burger healthier. There are dozens of burgers to choose from, which means there are healthy options no matter what you’re craving. Try the Caribbean curry veggie burger, topped with fried plantains and curry mayo.
##Missouri: The Rockhill GrilleAddress: 2000 Grand Blvd., Kansas City Details: This restaurant's healthy vegetarian patty includes artichoke hearts, black beans, corn, tomatoes, onions, peppers and more, all mixed together and served on a brioche bun.
##Montana: Backcountry Burger Bar Address: 125 W. Main St., Bozeman Details: With a patty made from black beans, rice and vegetables, Backcountry Burger Bar’s veggie burger makes for a healthy, well-rounded meal. Still hungry? Add a side of kale chips.
##Nebraska: Louie M’s Burger Lust Address: 1718 Vinton St., Omaha Details: This diner offers a delicious veggie patty that you can substitute in on its other specialty burgers. The Michelle Garden Burger is topped with grilled peppers, onions and swiss, but you can also other vegetables. Want to go even healthier? Get a naked burger, which is served on crisp lettuce instead of a bun. ##Nevada: Veggy StreetAddress: 5135 S. Fort Apache Rd., Las Vegas & 1110 E. Silverado Ranch Blvd., Las Vegas Details: This restaurant's motto, according to its website, is to have the least possible environmental impact on the planet, which is why they have a vegan menu. If you’re looking for a flavor-rich (and healthy) burger, try the Mea Culpa, loaded with red onions, smashed avocado, vegan bacon, tahini and garbanzo crumbs. Don’t forget to add a side of yucca fries.
##New Hampshire: Hop + Grind Address: 17 Madbury Rd., Durham Details: Though you can find plenty of meat options at this burger joint, it's the veggie burgers that stand out. Try the Fun Guy, with portobello mushrooms, smoked gouda and black garlic truffle aioli.
##New Jersey: White Manna Address: 358 River St., Hackensack Details: Did you know this renowned local burger joint offers a healthy vegetarian version of their classic slider? An Impossible Meat patty — a combination of soy and potato proteins that has a similar texture to beef — gets the diner-style burger treatment, complete with onions and cheese atop a squishy Martin’s potato roll.
##New Mexico: Grassburger Address: 11225 Montgomery Blvd. NE, Albuquerque Details: In addition to namesake burgers from grass-fed beef, this New Mexico spot offers a vegan burger made of quinoa and gluten-free oats. You can also mix it up and get a burger bowl on a bed of savory rice, topped with shredded cabbage. Grassburger’s offerings are gluten and corn syrup free, and they also participate in a Biofuel program that collects and converts used fry oil into green energy for local farm trucks, so you’ll be saving the environment while you chow down.
##New York: Superiority Burger Address: 430 E. 9th St., New York Details: Superiority Burger’s patties consist of quinoa, chickpeas, roasted carrots, and are made by hand, as is everything else at this tiny East Village burger bar. Chef Brooks Headly was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef. You can also find daily gelato and sorbet specials and warm and cold salads. You won’t even miss the fries, absent from this vegetable-lovers paradise.
##North Carolina: CowBar Burger and Fries Address: 411 W. Morgan St., Raleigh Details: Located inside a food hall, CowBar Burgers offers a vegan patty made of grilled zucchini and kidney beans, infused with curry for a little heat. They’ve also got a wide range of toppings, like truffles, sriracha ketchup and kimchi.
Address: 512 E. Main Ave., Bismarck & 30 1st St. NE, Minot Details: The Starving Rooster isn’t exclusively vegetarian food, but it’s a good place to go with a mixed group. Their veggie burger is served with sauteed mushrooms and onions, mozzarella and garlic mayo, and paired with your choice of coleslaw or fresh fruit for a healthy meal.
##Ohio: The Greenhouse Tavern Address: 2038 E. 4th St., Cleveland Details: It might be hard to get a table at this award-winning Cleveland gastropub, but it’s worth the wait. Keep it light and healthy with their famous veggie burger — a brown rice, beet and bean patty served with aged cheddar.
##Oklahoma: Picasso on Paseo Address: 3009 Paseo Dr., Oklahoma City Details: This artsy cafe has a wide variety of healthy veggie options on the menu, including fried portobello quinoa tacos and a vegan meatloaf. Their veggie burger is a vegan quinoa blackbean burger, served with spicy mayo on a toasted torta bun.
##Oregon: White Owl Social Club Address: 1305 SE 8th Ave., Portland Details: Portland is a veggie paradise, and the vegan burger at White Owl Social club is beloved by vegan, vegetarians and meat eaters alike. The patty is crafted from beet, wakame seaweed and hazelnut, and it’s served with pea shoots, carrot ribbons and vegan misonaise.
##Pennsylvania: Tattooed Mom Address: 530 South St., Philadelphia Details: A Philly dive bar might not seem like the best place to get a fresh, healthy veggie burger, but Tattooed Mom’s burger is a can’t-miss. Skip the cheesesteak and go for the house special vegan burger, which is a local favorite. It comes with lettuce, tomato, onions and a special sauce.
##Rhode Island: Garden Grille Address: 727 E Ave., Pawtucket Details: When you go to a vegetarian restaurant, you know they’ll do veggies right, and Garden Grille is no exception. Try their Portobello Bean Burger with a kidney bean and mushroom patty, smokey ‘bacon’ onion jam, crispy sweet potatoes, greens and a tarragon aioli for a healthy blast of flavor.
##South Carolina: Sesame Burgers & Beer Address: 2070 Sam Rittenberg Blvd., Charleston & 4726 Spruill Ave., Charleston & 675 E. Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Mt. Pleasant Details: This health-conscious, environmentally-friendly burger joint serves up one of the best black bean burgers in town. Choose from one of their signature burger combinations or build your own with local produce and homemade condiments.
Address: 441 Mt. Rushmore Rd., Custer Details: In this meat-loving state, tasty vegetarian options aren’t all that easy to come by, but you don’t need others, thanks to the delicious options at Black Hills Burger & Bun. Topping the list is Vegetarian the Loaded Hunter. It’s a black bean burger topped with roasted red peppers, pepper jack cheese, spinach, red onions and a garlic aioli.
Address: 5101 Sanderlin Ave., Suite 104, Memphis Details: City Silo has a beet walnut burger that is one of the more outlandish menu options. It has a patty made of red beets, crushed walnuts, red onion, carrot, gluten-free oats, dried tomatoes, garlic, tamari, pink salt, herbs and spices, topped with sriracha aioli.
Address: 2408 W. Anderson Ln., Austin Details: This detail-oriented restaurant is sure to leave you satisfied. Bartlett’s veggie burger patty is made with brown rice, cremini mushrooms and sweet soy sauce, topped with jack cheese and an avocado-basil spread.
Address: 151 S. 500 E., Salt Lake City Details: The vegetable grain burger at Oasis Cafe is a can’t miss item on the lunch menu, even for non-vegetarians. It’s got avocado, romaine, alfalfa sprouts, tomato and swiss cheese — and you can get basil aioli on it or even on the side. It comes on a whole grain bun and is paired with a spinach and avocado salad.
Address: 160 Bank St., Burlington Details: This place is all about farm-to-table meals and the freshest ingredients really make the food great. Choose from the American Flexitarian — with 100% plant based patty — or the farmhouse veggie, which has smoked queso, roasted mushrooms, arugula and kimchi. You can even sub out the bun for a bed of sauteed kale.
Address: 3449 W. Cary St., Richmond & 200 Towne Center W. Blvd., Richmond & 5404 Lakeside Ave., Henrico Details: There’s a full vegetarian burger section on the menu, including traditional things like a black bean burger, but the Impossible Burger is where it’s at. It’s 100% plant-based and, as the menu says, it’s “so close to the real thing, you can hardly even tell the difference.” It comes topped with mayo, mustard, pickles, onions, lettuce and tomato but you can add other toppings for a small upcharge.
Address: 1372 31st Ave. S, Seattle Details: You could go for the beety bean burger (made with a blend of beets, beans, mushrooms, nuts and brown rice) but the real star here is the grilled halloumi. It’s grilled eggplant, red onions, roma tomatoes, arugula, romesco and olive tapenade. The sides options are a bit less healthy, but how can you resist tater tots served with a chipotle aioli dipping sauce?
Address: 701 9th St., NW, Washington, D.C. & 6555 Winning Dr., Frisco Details: Expect nothing but quality from Zaytinya, created by celebrity chef Jose Andres. Though the Mediterranian restaurant was founded in D.C., it’s since opened a second (and just as popular) location in Texas. Their veggie burger contains a falafel patty, seasoned with cumin and garlic, that’s placed in between an olive oil brioche bun and smothered in tzatziki sauce.
Address: 1600 Washington St. E, Charleston Details: This restaurant serves farm-to-table comfort food, specializing in vegetarian dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. The veggie burger is homemade with organic quinoa, veggies and organic tofu on a locally baked bun.
Address: 317 N. 76th, Milwaukee & 4195 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood Details: Blue’s Egg mainly caters to the brunch crowd, but after 11 a.m., the restaurant applies sustainable sensibilities to lunch fare, including its veggie sausage burger with roasted peppers, provolone, dill cream cheese and an egg bun.
Address: 123 E. Ivinson Ave., Laramie Details: In addition to award-winning wines and beer, Jeffrey’s serves a crispy black bean cheddar burger served on a jalapeno cheddar roll with chipotle mayonnaise, tomato, avocado, lettuce and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Cooking up your own veggie burgers this summer? Here are some ideas on some healthy items to grill.
Image: Filip Mishevski
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