10 Best Veggie Burgers in Houston

Veggie burgers can get a bad rap for being mushy, tasteless and a poor substitute for their meaty counterparts, but these offerings from various establishments around Houston are changing the game. From beet-laden to quinoa-filled, these plant-based creations will make you forget that you're not eating meat.

10. Lankford Grocery: Of the 20 burgers listed on Lankford Grocery’s menu, only one is vegetarian — but, luckily, it’s super-tasty. There’s something really satisfying about the foil wrapping that surrounds the squishy bun sandwiching a black bean patty, fried mushrooms, avocado, Monterey Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles. Go with friends so you can split a side of the super-crispy sweet potato fries, curly fries or tater tots. $7.69

9. Beaver's: Grains of rice are visible in the cashew- and walnut-studded patty, sandwiched between a domed sesame seed bun. The slightly chewy and well-crisped patty comes topped with the classics: lettuce, tomato, pickles, cheddar and an updated miso mustard. The burger is served with a side of fries, potato chips, coleslaw or side salad. $13.50

8. Moon Tower Inn
: This chill dive bar housed in Second Ward, with hallmark items such as wild game hot dogs and bacon-wrapped tomatoes, churns out surprisingly delicious vegetarian options — we’re going to ignore Moon Tower's Cheesus Christ Almighty (two grilled cheese cemented together with additional cheese) for the moment in favor of the “BOB,” a reddish-hued black bean and beet patty laced with chipotle and tarragon and covered in sambal mayo, chèvre, onion and cilantro. Only two downsides: It doesn’t automatically come with fries, and the food can take awhile to come out. $9.69

7. Hay Merchant:
 Hay Merchant offers two fabulous versions of its "Cease & Desist Burger" — two meat or black bean-olive veggie patties sandwiched between two slices of American cheese and layered with crisp wedges of iceberg, tomato and pickles for an über-classic burger presentation. Even with two patties, the overall package is manageable — "not too big to affect your girlish figure," as they say. The bonus of ordering the veggie option — the flavorful umami-filled (if slightly on the mushy side) patties also seem about twice the size of their meat counterparts, fully extending outside the petite brioche bun. $10

6. Barnaby's: Barnaby’s stands out for its choice of four different veggie burgers — boca, hempseed, falafel and chipotle black bean burgers — and overall consistent quality. The black bean burger is one of the tastiest, with a soft texture laced with a hint of spice, but the falafel burger is also an interesting contender— you can order it like Barnaby’s spinach and feta burger and get it topped with feta, spinach, tomatoes, onions and kalamata olives instead of the normal burger dressings. Each burger comes with a side of fairly bland and uninspiring shoestring fries, but at least there’s a lot of them. $10.50

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Erika Kwee is a freelance food writer, photographer and contributor to the Houston Press who particularly enjoys exploring the many unique sweet spots around Houston. She is constantly on the hunt for exceptional pad thai, vegetarian dumplings and pancakes.