Disclaimer alert: I have not been to every establishment that sells vegan burgers – yet. That is why this is 5 of the best, and not the 5 best.
These 5 burgers have had a lasting imprint on my taste buds and I will never forget them for their taste, texture, flavour, and creativity. And some I won’t forget for their similarity to real burgers. I applaud the creators of these veggie burgers, and I thank them for their dedication to health, the vegan movement, and the culinary arts!
These vegan burgers range from the deceptionally healthy and sin-free, to the deliciously filthy takeaway burger.
If there are any establishments who think their burger should be on this list, I would happily accept an invitation to come and taste test the specimen – wherever it is in the country!
Here is the current list for this year (in no particular order)
1. Vegan Burger, Superfoods Takeaway, Dublin
This burger is definitely the cleanest on this list and it looks uncanny to a standard beef burger! It has a soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture and a rich, earthy flavour. When I lived and worked in Dublin I made sure to drop in on my lunch breaks to get this burger on a number of occasions. It’s served with a selection of vegan salads and topped with the traditional burger topping of gherkins (or pickles I think they’re known as abroad..?). It’s a bapless burger because the theme of this establishment is clean food which means no gluten! But trust me – you won’t miss it. I don’t even think it would suit it! This could be one of my favourite veggie burgers ever. Unfortunately, this is not a fully vegan establishment – yet. The owners have definitely considered it and even tried it for a day, but, due to their awkward positioning in Moore St. Mall, it is not yet viable for them to do this. However, their vegan cooking skills are second to none! I highly recommend coming here on your lunch break, or drop in at the weekend, if you can. Read this review to learn more about Superfoods Takeaway.
2. Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burger, The Happy Pear, Wicklow
This is a big hefty thing and very colourful too! It was on the Happy Pear blackboard one of the days I was there, but I assume it’s probably on the menu most days because it’s so freakishly delicious. The flavour of this thing just blew me away. Honestly, it was so so tasty and decadent. It’s not like a “fake meat” burger at all, it’s very obviously a veggie burger, but the combination of the quinoa and the black beans and the garlic and the herbs and the sweet potato is just perfection. The smoky garlic and sweet sweet potato were perfectly balanced with added texture from some whole black beans made for a very interesting and memorable flavour experience. I don’t know why this isn’t an Irish staple already, it’s probably so easy to make. And it’s a decent size too even if it does lack a bun. If anyone is going to visit the Happy Pear, this is definitely something you need to try.
3. Veggie Burger, Sweet Beat Café, Sligo
Butternut squash and sweetcorn veggie burger with fresh dill,Spanish red onion, fresh lemon, sumac, caraway and fennel. Oh.my.god. I will never forget this culinary experience! There is a reason the Irish Times featured this Sligo eatery in their Life&Style section this year – it’s because it’s fantabulous! Sweet Beat is situated right on the bridge going through Sligo town with seats downstairs in the window eves, and outside looking down onto the river and towards the town, but the the main dining area is upstairs. It’s simple in decor but so dedicated to the craft of plant-based cooking. And this shines through in this incredible veggie burger that I devoured that July day. Thank God I was on my own because I would hate for anything to have come between me and that burger. It was Served between a rustic pitta bread on top of a unique and innovative range of vegan salads – top class. Top quality. Top of the Burger Pops.
4. The Happy Food Burger, Happy Food, Dublin
A group of vegans from the Dublin Vegan group on Facebook (myself included) held a meet-up in Happy Food one evening back in Febuary. Happy Food had only just opened for evening food at that stage so we took advantage of that and had a feast of a meal! I ordered the “chia cheese burger” and Holy Mary and Moses it was a beast of a thing! It’s everything you would want from a typical burger because it was massive with cheese and massive gherkins and the right amount of greens with a big thick bun. And although it was big, it wasn’t dirty, which is a nice touch! To be able to stuff your face with all elements of a typical burger and not feel bad about it – while enjoying it – is a great burger experience! However, after a bit of investigating I have noticed that the Happy Food website no longer have a dinner menu – this was news to me! And to wreck your heads even more, the lunch menu doesn’t even have the “chia cheese burger” on it! So you may never get to experience it! But, there is a “Black Bean, Spinach, Organic Hemp, Fresh Coriander & Parsley Burger” (directly copied and pasted from their website!). Going by their previous success in burgers, I’d assume this can only be better! Go and try it and let me know sure.
5. The Beetmac Burger, Take a Veg, Dublin (very soon to be Barcelona)
Don’t kill me for this! But you can’t actually get this anymore either *stream of tears*. Take a Veg took Dublin by storm over the last year and vegans all over the city were obsessed, literally! The team of 2 created the most unique street food-inspired dishes that changed weekly, and, delivered them to your house by bike! It was an amazingly creative, unique and fantastic service and I am sad to see them go, as I’m sure the rest of the vegan contingent of Dublin will too. But I couldn’t not have this burger on the list. Now, I know I make statements like these quite often, but in all seriousness, in terms of veggie burgers, the beetmac was –hands down– probably one of the best (vegan) burgers I have ever tasted (I never liked real burgers)! It was your typical filthy takeaway burger but made with beetroot thereby negating the filth. To me it tasted meaty, that takeaway burger meaty that satisfies the fiercest hangover cravings. It’s so meaty that one of my good vegan friends didn’t like it because it reminded her too much of meat! But trust me this was a champion burger, served with skin on fries and a vegan taco sauce. Amazing! Take a Veg, take a bow! Buena suerte en Barcelona! Iré a visitaros cuándo vivo en Murcia. 🙂