Veggie burgers often get a bad reputation for being bland. But with more people going vegetarian (have you seen What the Health?), many local chefs have risen to the challenge of creating veggie burgers that satiate all. A taste test reveals the best vegetarian patties in D.C. proper.
Fare Well Bakery, Diner, and Bar’s Burger ($15)
406 H St. NE
If you’re going to operate a vegetarian diner, you better serve a really good veggie burger. Fare Well does just that. Chef Doron Petersan’s patty is earthy and nutty. She makes it with chickpeas, walnuts, mushrooms, and sunflower seeds, and tops it with a garlicky aioli, fresh tomatoes, and sweet caramelized onions.
Zaytinya’s Falafel Burger ($11)
701 9th St. NW
On his lunch menu, Chef Michael Costa serves a Mediterranean-inspired veggie burger with a thick, fragrant falafel patty on an olive oil brioche bun. The patty is spiced with cumin, coriander, and fresh parsley, and topped with tomatoes and garlicky tzatziki sauce.
Farmers & Distillers’ Black-Eyed Pea Burger ($13)
600 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Farmers & Distillers forms its veggie burger out of hearty white beans and black-eyed peas for a vegetarian take on a good, old fashioned burger. It’s served on a fresh wheat bun, topped with thick tomatoes, leafy greens, mayonnaise, and layers of melted American cheese.
Good Stuff Eatery’s ‘Shroom Burger ($7.65)
303 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
Chef Spike Mendelsohn’s ‘Shroom Burger doesn’t pretend to be healthy. Good Stuff Eatery cooks stuff a portobello mushroom with not one but two kinds of cheese, dip it in breadcrumbs, and fry it to a golden crisp. Then they crown the thick flying saucer with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and plenty of savory, creamy “Good Stuff” sauce. Everything tastes better fried.
Bobby’s Burger Palace’s Bobby’s Veggie Burger ($8.95)
2121 K St. NW
Chef Bobby Flay came up with his veggie burger recipe on an episode of his namesake show, Beat Bobby Flay. To make it, he chops mushrooms, cooks them down, and glazes them with Bobby’s BBQ sauce. Next, he combines the mushrooms with quinoa to form a super earthy, sweet, and spicy veggie burger patty. Finally, he tops the burger with pickles, cheese, tomatoes, and a spicy mayonnaise-based sauce. This veggie burger brings more umami flavor than most.