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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.

Elevation Burger

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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.

Galaxy Hut

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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.

Juice Joint Cafe

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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.

Commissary

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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.

Smoke & Barrel

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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.

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.

Busboys and Poets

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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.

Vinoteca Wine Bar & Bistro

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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.

BGR - The Burger Joint

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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.

Shake Shack

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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.

Science Club

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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.

Cause - The PhilanthroPub

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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.

The Brookland Cafe

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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.

Bourbon Steak Washington DC

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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.

Del Ray Cafe

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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.

Ted's Bulletin

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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.

The Counter

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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.

Burger Tap & Shake (BTS)

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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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Elevation Burger

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.

Galaxy Hut

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.

Juice Joint Cafe

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.

Commissary

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.

Smoke & Barrel

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.

Teaism

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.

Busboys and Poets

The house-made vegan burger patty at Busboys and Poets (multiple locations) is served with avocado, tomato, and arugula on a wheat bun.

Vinoteca Wine Bar & Bistro

The portobello burger on Vinoteca’s bar menu can be dressed up with sauces like basil aioli and spicy ancho chili mayo.

BGR - The Burger Joint

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.

Shake Shack

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.

Science Club

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.

Cause - The PhilanthroPub

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.

The Brookland Cafe

The menu at Brookland Cafe caters to vegans, and their veggie burger does too — it’s made with carrots, potatoes, and beets.

Bourbon Steak Washington DC

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.

Del Ray Cafe