The veggie burger is sort of like the neglected step-sibling of the burger — which does not need a "meat" qualifier in front of it. But with a well-crafted patty and the right combination of sauce, toppings, and bun, the veggie burger can hold its own alongside its dominant carnivorous counterpart.
While we might not be able to convince the stalwart meat-lovers of New York to forgo their beloved burger in favor of the veggie alternative, we can at least suggest they switch it up every now and then with one of these five flavorful versions, below. And what better time to do so than October 1, for World Vegetarian Day? Vegetarians: go to town.
Genuine Roadside, the healthy "fast fine" joint inside Gotham West Market, has teamed up with Chef Ivan Orkin to show meatlovers that veggie burgers can pack that umami punch, too. For the month of October, diners can order Ivan's Genuine Ramen Burger for $10 with a side of golden fries (add $2 to sub sweet potato). The patty combines eggplant, mushroom and edamame, mixed with miso, ginger and apple, plus barley, soy beans and panko bread crumbs for crispy edge. It's topped off with cheddar, housemade pickles, yuzu ketchup and a fried egg — which improves any meal. Omnivores have the option of going overboard by adding salted bacon.
In celebration of World Vegetarian Day, on October 1, Narcissa at the Standard Hotel's East Village location is launching its new smoked shiitake and kale burger, available for brunch and lunch. For $15, you get a hearty patty made of kale and shiitake, topped with fontina cheese, tomatoes, sprouts, and terra chips for the crunch-factor. A special sauce combining kewpie mayo, sauteed onions and Aleppo pepper, adds the decadence. Served on a potato bun.
When all-vegetarian eatery Superiority Burger first hit the New York fast-casual dining scene in summer 2015, its veggie burger became an instant hit among vegetarians and carnivores alike. On first glance, one might mistake the superiority burger ($6) for a traditional meat burger: layered with iceberg lettuce, muenster cheese and pickles on a Martin's potato bun. The veggie patty anchoring it all is protein-forward, packed with black beans, quinoa and lentils, so you won't be left wanting, even though it's closer to slider-sized. Brown honey mustard and roasted plum tomatoes give it a juicy kick.
Cinnamon Snail, the four-time Vendy winning vegan food truck — now with a brick and mortar location in Midtown — brings the Korean-chili kick with its gochujang deluxe burger ($10). Served on foccacia bread, its burger is built with a seitan patty topped with sauteed kimchi, pickled daikon and leeks, sriracha mayo, and arugula. It all combines into a spicy and messy, satisfying affair, finger-licking good.
The housemade veggie burger ($10.50, comes with fries) holds its own at Dutch Boy Burger, the fast food diner in the back of Franklin Park Bar in Crown Heights. Served on a potato bun and topped with sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions and hot cherry peppers, it's tasty and filling, with a spicy kick. Oh, and did we mention the chipotle aioli? That goes a long way. Pair it with any of their creative and delicious milkshakes, spiked (Root Beer schnapps anyone?) or regular (nutella and banana).