By Anastasia Bez
As a vegetarian, this is a list that I wish existed when I first moved to Newark. While expansive, this is not definitive and may be updated. I have a bias towards vegetable patties instead of imitation meat burgers (i.e. Beyond or Impossible patties). The ‘Boca Burgers’ of my childhood are no longer default! After spending the last year making my own veggie patties, (for inspiration, see Veggie Burger Atelier), I am on a mission to eat delicious veggie patties and persuade restaurants to offer house-made options. In this article, I am loosely defining a veggie burger as a non-meat patty with toppings on a bun that is offered instead of, or in tandem with, meat burgers.
62 Van Buren Street (Newark)
Burger Bound is great, they have two different house made veggie patties, one is black bean and the other is mushroom (for pescatarians Burger Bound offers a salmon patty as well). I appreciate that there are (delicious) options instead of one afterthought of a burger. Burger Bound also features cocktails and occasional live music. There are also gluten-free bread and vegan cheese options not listed on menu.
47 Halsey Street (Newark)
Walla offers a veggie samosa burger. It is flavorful; but having a samosa on a bun is a lot of potato wrapped in dough covered in a bun for my taste. Walla formerly offered a veggie patty (also made in house) that was my favorite veggie burger in Newark. If/when it comes back on the menu, I recommend pairing it with goat cheese. Please, bring it back! Gluten-free bread and vegan cheese options are available.
55 Park Place (Newark)
The Yard offers a Beyond Meat patty. The accoutrements, Yaya sauce, bun, and fries or tater tots are the stars of the show. Last month, The Yard did a collaboration with Brownmill Company and temporarily had a toasted garlic and black bean burger, topped with a dry slaw, BBQ sauce, mushrooms, and a fried green tomato. I will forever be dreaming of that burger. It hit the perfect notes of crispy, savory, moist, and inventive; alas, it no longer available. Gluten-free bread and vegan cheese options are available.
Blueprint Cafe Lounge
369 Raymond Boulevard (Newark)
Blueprint Café Lounge offers an Impossible patty in a vegan burger. The burger comes with vegan cashew cheese, mushrooms, onion jam, sundried tomato ketchup, and microgreens. This is a good option for vegans to have a flavorful experience instead of just removing ingredients. Vegan cheese options available. Gluten-free bread not listed on menu.
27 Central Avenue (Newark)
There is currently no veggie burger on the menu at Kilkenny. However, I did once have a veggie burger (a Morningstar patty) here. Not the most remarkable experience, but Kilkenny had a veggie burger available. Gluten-free and vegan cheese options not listed on menu.
Novelty Burger and Bar
214 Market Street (Newark)
I learned of Novelty Burger while doing some research for this article. Their website is down, but the menu on a delivery site offers a veggie burger made with portobello mushrooms. The menu also offers a ‘build your own burger’ option where you can build a burger around their mushroom patty. Further commentary will be provided after visiting. Gluten-free bread and vegan cheese not listed on menu.
98 Halsey St. (Newark)
Global Burgers offers two veggie options. One is a falafel patty, topped with a lime tahini dressing as well as standard toppings. When I ordered this, I found the falafel patty somewhat dry. I think experimenting with toppings might solve that problem. The second is a ‘plant based meat patty’ customizable with the toppings of any of the meat burgers. The menu also features a salmon patty. Gluten-free bread and vegan cheese not listed on menu.
183 W. Kinney Street (Newark)
Vonda’s Kitchen offers a veggie burger with a patty that is not made in house. It is served with standard burger toppings. Gluten-free bread and vegan cheese not listed on menu.
Dottie’s Crispy Chicken
705 Frank E Rodgers Blvd S (Harrison, but delivers to Newark)
The ‘chicken fried’ mushroom sandwich from Dottie’s is an indulgent delight. From the packaging to the sandwich being fresh and crisp, you can’t go wrong. All the sandwiches are served with Cajun curly fries, pickles, slaw, and roasted garlic mayo plus the mushroom sandwich comes with a creamy chipotle sauce. This is a well-executed sandwich. Gluten-free bread and vegan cheese options not listed on menu.
500 Passaic Avenue (East Newark, but delivers to Newark)
Tops Diner offers a Beyond Meat patty. The burger fixings are standard. Gluten-free bread and vegan cheese options not listed on menu.
11 Clinton- Smothered Blues
Though 11 Clinton is permanently closed, I have fond memories of eating their made in house veggie patty with homemade pico de gallo while listening to live jazz music.
Featured photo by Anastasia Bez