Burger restaurants are notorious for three main items: hamburgers, french fries and sodas. But as consumers became more health conscious, these restaurants took note. What could they put on their menus to appeal to the vegetarian market?
These brands offer more than just a green salad as your only option:
The best part about Max & Erma's is that there isn't just one vegetarian burger item on the menu like some of the other places have. You can enjoy a multitude of its burger options because the restaurant replaces a meat patty with its Black Bean Burger. There are nine different burgers a vegetarian could try off its gourmet and classic menus.
BurgerFi uses quinoa, carrots and other vegetables to make its signature VegeFi burger. It's topped with white cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and BurgerFi sauce, and is served on a multigrain bun or wrapped in lettuce if you order it "green style."
The restaurant's Avocado Ranch Black Bean Burger includes fresh avocado, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and ranch on a multigrain bun. Smashburger also has Veggie Frites — a side of fresh green beans and carrot strips that are flash fried and served with dipping sauces.
Not only does this Cambridge, Massachusetts, location feature a terrific veggie burger option, but it also has tater tots! Yum! Four Burgers' organic and vegan Black Bean Burger is served with mango barbecue sauce, lettuce and tomato or salsa and guacamole and lettuce. Two really fun options for one really delicious burger.
Predominantly on the East Coast (and Texas) with some international locations, Elevation Burger offers two kinds of veggie burgers. One is made with a savory blend of veggies and cheese, and the other one is made with organic whole grains, corn and carrots and is vegan. Having a vegan option at a burger restaurant is certainly a rare (zing!) occurrence.
The Black Bean Veggie Burger is both dairy and nut free, perfect for a vegetarian or a vegan. Ingredients include black beans, green peppers, corn, cumin and fresh cilantro. You can order it on a brioche bun, wheat flour wrap, gluten-free tapioca rice bun or wrapped in lettuce. Bareburger also serves vegan sharp cheddar from Daiya foods if you're in the mood for some cheese.
"Keepin' It Real" is this restaurant's motto, and boy, does it ever! Located in Atlanta, Georgia, Yeah! Burger features an organic veggie burger that's made in-house with all-organic produce and Sea Island red peas. Also on the menu is a gluten-free vegan burger that's made in-house with organic black beans, brown rice and chia seeds.
This Denver, Colorado, staple offers an award-winning veggie burger that's made of a combination of brown rice, barley rice, dried cranberries, cumin, red and green chilies, corn, black beans and garlic, served with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and burger sauce and a fresh-baked potato bun made exclusive for Park Burger. That was one sentence, yes, but it's a whole lot of flavor!
If you're wandering Music City and get a hankering for a burger, Nashville's "Wurst-Burger" Joint, The Pharmacy, should be your first stop. It has lots of unique options to choose from, but for the vegetarian, it offers two: A Falafel Burger house made with chickpeas and topped with yogurt raita, goat cheese, tomato and onion, and a Black Bean Burger house made with black beans and your choice of three toppings. Burgers are served on a Provence bun, which is a local Nashville Bread company.
The hardest part about eating at 5 Napkin Burger is deciding what to drink from its selection of 50 beers, 100 wines and 10 specialty cocktails. The award-winning dining concept offers — you guessed it — an award-winning veggie burger. This yummy goodness includes carrots, beets, zucchini, brown rice, lentils, mushrooms and wheat berries as a handful of its 18-ingredient burger.
This Texas-centric burger joint features a fun variety of burgers, including an ahi tuna one that's sushi grade. (We'll leave that for another roundup.) Hopdoddy's La Bandita veggie burger is a black bean-corn patty with avocado, goat cheese, arugula, cilantro pesto and chipotle mayonnaise on whole wheat.
Ingredients so good, you can buy them online. Umami Burger is a concept that originated in California and moved its way east, with locations in Las Vegas, South Beach and Manhattan. The restaurant's veggie burger, Sloppy Mami, is a mix of lentils, mushrooms, tomatoes, cheddar, onion and jalepeños, served open faced.
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