This year my annual review of best NYC burgers is bucking my own trend of the juicy, beef-based variety in favor of the rising trend of plant-based burgers (and plant-based everything). It wasn’t so long ago that plant-based burgers looked and tasted like cardboard patties with pickles, but the rise of the celebrity chef has turned tasty veg burgers into something of a heated competition. It’s been an interesting race to the top, and so it’s worth a look at the best across New York City.
430 East 9th Street, East Village
Superiority Burger was first mentioned on my site in my 2015 interview with Dave Ortiz and then again in my 2017 burger feature; it’s worth an additional mention since it was voted GQ’s best burger of the year when the joint first opened and the cookbook is coming out this June. The menu offers vegetarian and vegan options and their signature Superiority Burger is served with muenster cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and a juicy, tasty patty whose recipe is still a secret, just like chef Brooks Headley intended. They have lots of other delicious dishes including the TFT, a non-chicken fried chicken sandwich. Follow them on Instagram here.
The Impossible Burger
Click here to find a location that suits you.
Also on the list again is The Impossible Burger, which was (and is still) being served at Momofuku Nishi in my last burger write up. Now it’s being served everywhere from White Castle to 5 Napkin Burger to Bareburger, and a recent petition garnered 40K signatures to bring the meatless burger to McDonalds. The tasty, bleedy burger is made from wheat protein, potato protein, spices, coconut oil, soybeans, konjac (a Japanese plant), and heme, a compound found in all living things and the one that gives these burgers their meaty taste and coloring. Follow them on Instagram here.
Black Iron Burger
540 East 5th Street, East Village
Black Iron Burger was purchased by business partners from Seville, Spain in 2013 and set out to revamp the menu with fresher ingredients and higher quality meat. Since 2015 it has been voted Zagat’s #1 burger joint in NYC. Their classic veggie burger comes with a 100% veggie patty made of carrots, onions, string beans, oat bran, soybeans, zucchini, peas, broccoli, corn, spinach, red pepper, and parsley. It is best served with tahini yogurt and red onions. Cash only. Follow them on Instagram here.
26 Thompson Street, SoHo
Just a short walk from Washington Square Park, this Greenwich Village vegetarian restaurant has six different veggie burgers, all of which get high reviews. Their classic veggie burger is served with grilled corn, black beans, pico de gallo, soy chicken, guacamole, and tofu sour cream. Their vegan burger is made from quinoa & black bean and topped with avocado, grilled portobello, roasted corn, black bean salsa, and sun-dried tomato-garlic soy mayo. They also have a middle eastern burger made with falafel chickpeas and Arabic spices; an Aloha Burger topped with grilled pineapple, soy bacon, fresh mango salsa and tropical-lime mayo; a Big Leap Burger served with sautéed spinach and brown rice; and a Fire Rock Burger basted with chipotle BBQ sauce and topped with soy bacon, jalapeño peppers, and blue cheese.
185 Bleecker Street/60 West 22nd Street/240 Lafayette Street/1 Rockefeller Plaza/171 N 3rd Street, Williamsburg/Coming Soon: 181 Front Street
An entirely vegan menu doesn’t stop by Chloe from having lines out the door at lunchtime, and their classic and guac burgers are among the most popular menu items. The classic is made out of a tempeh/lentil/chia/walnut patty, while the guac burger is made out of a black bean/quinoa/sweet potato patty. Both options are offered with gluten free buns, and both options are delicious. Follow them on Instagram here.
Chickpea & Olive
Whole Foods, 238 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Smorgasborg: Saturdays and Sundays, 11 AM – 6 PM / Saturday at 90 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249 / Sunday at Prospect Park at Breeze Hill
The all-vegan burgers are made with a beet patty and can be served in one of four ways: plain with beefsteak tomatoes and green leaf lettuce; with eggplant bacon, vegan cheddar cheese, bread and butter pickles, and fresh herb ranch dressing; with avocado, pickled red onions and jalapeños, vegan cheddar cheese, and chipotle aioli; or with roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions, pickled red onions, and horseradish aioli. Whatever you pick, you’ll be glad you did. Follow them on Instagram here.