When you’ve got to have one, you’ve got to have one. A good cheeseburger was the one thing I missed when I became a vegetarian, which set me on a hunt for the best veggie and vegan burgers in the city (most of which turned out to beat their meaty counterparts). Here are some establishments that I found to fill the void with veggie burgers sure to please vegetarians and omnivores alike. [Image credit: iStock.com/bhofack2]
A tasty alternative to a greasy burger joint, Cafe Mosaics’ space is as fresh as the food it serves. But, don’t let the veggie-heavy, herb-infused meals fool you; your stomach will leave full and inspired with a range of flavours that, in my opinion, come together best between two Kaiser buns. Cafe Mosaics offers three vegan burgers, each with a different patty (veggie, vegan or mushroom) sandwiched between fresh vegetables. I’d recommend the Mystery burger, which features a mystery veggie sauce and a pile of vegetables, oats, spices, organic tofu and flour packed into one delicious patty.
Despite its name, this is probably the most meat and potatoes veggie burger option on this list, minus the meat. The Next Act’s food never disappoints, and the Diva burger is no exception. It’s a creative, yet simple, take on a fast food classic: A veggie patty fit with the classic groceries (lettuce, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, pickle and tomato) paired with avocado and pea shoots. If you want to go green all the way, sub out your fries for a house salad that’s sure to get you in the mood for summer – mixed greens tossed with strawberries, grapes and balsamic honey vinaigrette.
It’s no surprise that this eclectic little restaurant would offer such a colourful and flavourful veggie burger option. Come to Blue Plate for lunch or dinner and indulge in the chipotle chickpea and sweet potato burger. This one is extra healthy, sandwiched between whole wheat buns spread with avocado ranch.
If you think that pesto’s limited to pasta, then the sky’s the limit at the Pourhouse. Their Spent Grain Veggie Burger layers a patty (made in-house) with pesto and roasted vegetables to form a warm and rich combination. I’ve had a few people now tell me that it’s one of the best veggie burgers they’ve ever had at a restaurant. I found it to be a bit salty, but quenching my thirst wasn’t a problem with so many beers on tap!
All of those who’ve gone gluten-free, rejoice. The Urban Diner offers a delicious veggie burger at lunch and dinner served on either a marble rye bun or a gluten-free bread option. Patties are made in-house with vegetables, spices and quinoa, and layered with Havarti and garlic aioli. And, if you’re not a true-blue vegetarian, you can always add black forest ham or bacon to your burger for $2.
If you’re looking for a faster meal in a laid back environment, The Buck delivers, but not without a surprising punch of flavour. Pick from their four vegan burgers, just one of the many options on this diverse, all-vegan menu. My favourite is the Barbeque Bacon cheeseburger. It’s a perfect combination of light citrus flavours provided by the beet burger balanced with a hit of barbecue sauce and classic (vegan) cheddar, along with all the groceries you’d expect from a kitchen providing an upscale pub experience.
This might seem like an unlikely suggestion, but if you come to Chop at lunch time you can try their Grilled Veggie Burger, a classic sandwich stacked with lettuce, tomato, onion, aged cheddar and mushrooms. Chop is a large, luxurious space, so you might as well go big or go home here and bite into something that requires both hands.