Trying to find a good veggie burger in New York can be intimidating. But once you find a few, it’s a whole new world out there. Because veggie burgers shouldn’t fall apart in your hands (cough, Mel’s Burgers) or taste like straight-up carrots. When done right, they are just as delicious as their meaty counterparts. Here are three NYC versions you should try, depending on your taste/mood:
For those who like savory + sweet: Head to Community Food & Juice for their (delicious) house veggie burger. It’s served with avocado mayo and spicy tomato jam, as well as all of the usual burger fixings.
Don’t think a veggie burger can be hearty? You’re wrong - so wrong. I recently chowed down on the veggie burger at Westville, which is packed with veggies and topped with mixed mushrooms. I think the only reason I was able to finish it all was because it was my first meal of the day. If you’ve seen me eat, you know that’s saying something.
If you’re looking for a way to try seitan, or gently force it on someone else, the burger at Candle Cafe is probably your best bet. It’s grilled seitan served simply on a seeded bun. Accessible and tasty - what more could you ask for?
Nestled on 9th, between 21st and 22nd, a quaint row house turned upscale vegetarian restaurant “Blossom" sits pretty - complete with a front door that I had to lean heavily into to gain entry.
The first floor of this veggie-friendly haven is nice enough, but you get the full effect when walking up the old, creaky wooden stairs to an equally cozy second floor. At prime time on a weekday night, it was charmingly quiet, minus the lady next to us slurping up the soup of the day - a spicy lentil (I could hardly fault her bad manners; it smelled unbelievable).
After seriously considering the soup, I settled on the Wild Mushroom Tart with a beet puree and figs. The mushrooms were cupped in a light, fried potato shell shaped like a bowl. Each bite had a warm, earthy flavor with just enough crunch, and a fruity finish from the sweet red-purple components on the plate.
It was a dish good enough to rival the vegetarian fare at David Bann in Edinburgh, which is high praise in my book. I’ll be back.