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Eater's Veggie Burger Guide: Where to Avoid Meat NOW

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The main question behind a great veggie burger is not "does it taste like meat?" Tasting like meat is inconsequential. The question is, simply, is it delicious? Bonus points if it doesn't fall completely apart as one eats it — that helps too. With this in mind, Eater has tracked down some of the best vegetarian and vegan patties around DC, from quinoa to portobello to tempeh. So here now is a list of 18 veggie burgers in the Washington area that definitely can compete with meat.
Adele Chapin


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Elevation Burger

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442 S Washington St.
Falls Church, VA 22046
(703) 237-4343
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There are two veggie burger patties option on the menu at Elevation Burger (multiple locations), both with boring names. Vegans, go for the chain’s Veggie Burger #2 for a burger packed with veggies, while Veggie Burger #1 is the option with cheese.

2. Galaxy Hut

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2711 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 525-8646
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Last year, Galaxy Hut’s menu switched over to become almost entirely vegetarian. The burger at the Clarendon indie mainstay is a vegan patty, with topping options like vegan bacon, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, vegan cheese, and regular cheese.

3. Juice Joint Cafe

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1025 Vermont Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 347-6783
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This K Street-adjacent cafe is a favorite of office workers looking for a healthier lunch, with a menu that includes a veggie burger that includes black beans, portobello mushrooms, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, goat cheese, and basil pesto.

4. Commissary

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1443 P St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 299-0018
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Quinoa is the binder for The Commissary’s behemoth veggie and mixed bean burger. Upgrade with toppings like sprouts, avocado, goat cheese, and caramelized onions.

5. Smoke & Barrel

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2471 18th St. NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 319-9353
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One might not guess this by the restaurant’s name, but Smoke & Barrel in Adams Morgan is a big hit with the vegetarian community, carrying on the legacy of the former Asylum. The Adams Morgan restaurant’s burger offering is a patty made from sweet potatoes, oats, and toasted pecans.

6. Teaism

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400 8th St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 638-6010
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Grilled tempeh is what Teaism (multiple locations) opts for in their veggie burger. It’s organic, of course, with lemon maple accents, and the burger is served on whole grain focaccia along with tomato and marinated portobello mushroom.

7. Busboys and Poets

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2021 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 387-7638
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The house-made vegan burger patty at Busboys and Poets (multiple locations) is served with avocado, tomato, and arugula on a wheat bun.

8. Vinoteca Wine Bar & Bistro

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1940 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 332-9463
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The portobello burger on Vinoteca’s bar menu can be dressed up with sauces like basil aioli and spicy ancho chili mayo.

9. BGR - The Burger Joint

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1514 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 299-1071
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BGR’s (multiple locations) house-made veggie burger is majorly sweet, thanks to the patty’s concoction of molasses, oats, brown rice, and black beans, but it has its fans.

10. Shake Shack

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1216 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 683-9922
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The fried portobello mushroom “burger” portion of Shake Shack’s ‘Shroom Burger is basically a delivery vehicle for a giant, indulgent glob of muenster and cheddar cheese.

11. Science Club

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1136 19th St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 775-0747
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Science Club’s beloved, house-made vegan burger was crowned “DC’s Best Veggie Burger” during Eater DC’s Veggie Burger Power Hour in 2011.

12. Cause - The PhilanthroPub

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1926 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 588-5220
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Obviously a bar called the Philanthropub would have multiple veggie burgers. The ‘Shroom and Oat Burger is topped with three-onion jam and mustard aioli, while the Quentil Burger is a mashup of quinoa and lentils, topped with cucumber, harissa, mint, greek yogurt, and feta.

13. The Brookland Cafe

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3740 12th Street Northeast
Washington, DC 20017
(202) 635-6307
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The menu at Brookland Cafe caters to vegans, and their veggie burger does too — it’s made with carrots, potatoes, and beets.

14. Bourbon Steak Washington DC

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2800 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 944-2026
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Meat is the star at Bourbon Steak, but the Georgetown restaurant takes particular care with their veggie burger too, with a crispy, savory patty made from quinoa, red beans, and mushrooms.

15. Del Ray Cafe

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205 E Howell Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301
Alexandria, VA 22301
(703) 717-9151
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The organic veggie burger at Del Ray Cafe is vegetable-heavy, with extras like caramelized shallots and shiitake mushrooms that take it to another level.

16. Ted's Bulletin

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505 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 544-8337
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The veggie burgers at Ted’s Bulletin are black bean-based, and can be substituted for any burger on the menu, but make a great match with the Southwest (West Virginia) burger toppings: green chile sauce, white cheddar, avocado, and roasted red pepper.

17. The Counter

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11922 Democracy Dr.
Reston, VA 20190
(703) 796-1008
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It’s way out in Reston, but California-based chain The Counter’s vegan veggie patty with a bazillion topping options might be worth a pilgrimage.

18. Burger Tap & Shake (BTS)

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2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20052
(202) 587-6258
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The crunchy, house-made patty in BTS’s Haight-Ashbury is a burger/falafel crossover. Whatever you call it, the thing is addictive, served in a fresh baked bun with tangy pickled vegetables, feta, and cilantro raita sauce on top.

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1. Elevation Burger

442 S Washington St., Falls Church, VA 22046
There are two veggie burger patties option on the menu at Elevation Burger (multiple locations), both with boring names. Vegans, go for the chain’s Veggie Burger #2 for a burger packed with veggies, while Veggie Burger #1 is the option with cheese.
442 S Washington St.
Falls Church, VA 22046

2. Galaxy Hut

2711 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201
Last year, Galaxy Hut’s menu switched over to become almost entirely vegetarian. The burger at the Clarendon indie mainstay is a vegan patty, with topping options like vegan bacon, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, vegan cheese, and regular cheese.
2711 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

3. Juice Joint Cafe

1025 Vermont Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005
This K Street-adjacent cafe is a favorite of office workers looking for a healthier lunch, with a menu that includes a veggie burger that includes black beans, portobello mushrooms, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, goat cheese, and basil pesto.
1025 Vermont Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005

4. Commissary

1443 P St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Quinoa is the binder for The Commissary’s behemoth veggie and mixed bean burger. Upgrade with toppings like sprouts, avocado, goat cheese, and caramelized onions.
1443 P St NW
Washington, DC 20005

5. Smoke & Barrel

2471 18th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009
One might not guess this by the restaurant’s name, but Smoke & Barrel in Adams Morgan is a big hit with the vegetarian community, carrying on the legacy of the former Asylum. The Adams Morgan restaurant’s burger offering is a patty made from sweet potatoes, oats, and toasted pecans.
2471 18th St. NW
Washington, DC 20009

6. Teaism

400 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
Grilled tempeh is what Teaism (multiple locations) opts for in their veggie burger. It’s organic, of course, with lemon maple accents, and the burger is served on whole grain focaccia along with tomato and marinated portobello mushroom.
400 8th St NW
Washington, DC 20004

7. Busboys and Poets

2021 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
The house-made vegan burger patty at Busboys and Poets (multiple locations) is served with avocado, tomato, and arugula on a wheat bun.
2021 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

8. Vinoteca Wine Bar & Bistro

1940 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
The portobello burger on Vinoteca’s bar menu can be dressed up with sauces like basil aioli and spicy ancho chili mayo.
1940 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

9. BGR - The Burger Joint

1514 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036
BGR’s (multiple locations) house-made veggie burger is majorly sweet, thanks to the patty’s concoction of molasses, oats, brown rice, and black beans, but it has its fans.
1514 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036

10. Shake Shack

1216 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20036
The fried portobello mushroom “burger” portion of Shake Shack’s ‘Shroom Burger is basically a delivery vehicle for a giant, indulgent glob of muenster and cheddar cheese.
1216 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20036

11. Science Club

1136 19th St NW, Washington, DC 20036
Science Club’s beloved, house-made vegan burger was crowned “DC’s Best Veggie Burger” during Eater DC’s Veggie Burger Power Hour in 2011.
1136 19th St NW
Washington, DC 20036

12. Cause - The PhilanthroPub

1926 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Obviously a bar called the Philanthropub would have multiple veggie burgers. The ‘Shroom and Oat Burger is topped with three-onion jam and mustard aioli, while the Quentil Burger is a mashup of quinoa and lentils, topped with cucumber, harissa, mint, greek yogurt, and feta.
1926 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

13. The Brookland Cafe

3740 12th Street Northeast, Washington, DC 20017
The menu at Brookland Cafe caters to vegans, and their veggie burger does too — it’s made with carrots, potatoes, and beets.
3740 12th Street Northeast
Washington, DC 20017

14. Bourbon Steak Washington DC

2800 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC 20007
Meat is the star at Bourbon Steak, but the Georgetown restaurant takes particular care with their veggie burger too, with a crispy, savory patty made from quinoa, red beans, and mushrooms.
2800 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington, DC 20007

15. Del Ray Cafe

205 E Howell Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301, Alexandria, VA 22301
The organic veggie burger at Del Ray Cafe is vegetable-heavy, with extras like caramelized shallots and shiitake mushrooms that take it to another level.
205 E Howell Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301
Alexandria, VA 22301

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16. Ted's Bulletin

505 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
The veggie burgers at Ted’s Bulletin are black bean-based, and can be substituted for any burger on the menu, but make a great match with the Southwest (West Virginia) burger toppings: green chile sauce, white cheddar, avocado, and roasted red pepper.
505 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003

17. The Counter

11922 Democracy Dr., Reston, VA 20190
It’s way out in Reston, but California-based chain The Counter’s vegan veggie patty with a bazillion topping options might be worth a pilgrimage.
11922 Democracy Dr.
Reston, VA 20190

18. Burger Tap & Shake (BTS)

2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20052
The crunchy, house-made patty in BTS’s Haight-Ashbury is a burger/falafel crossover. Whatever you call it, the thing is addictive, served in a fresh baked bun with tangy pickled vegetables, feta, and cilantro raita sauce on top.
2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20052

Related Maps