One mark of an outstanding vegetable burger is that carnivores will actually scarf it down happily. Hillstone, the overachieving chain eatery that used to be Houston's, passes that test with a hound-acclaimed veggie burger seasoned with Worcestershire and topped with melted jack.
Vegetarian restaurant Quantum Leap has a spicy version that pleases the meat-eating MinhLikesFood. And the burger joint Stand makes a veggie burger from quinoa, mushrooms, and zucchini that's actually better than its above-average beef burger, uwsister says.
At Five Napkin Burger, the secret ingredient is beets. OK, it's not a closely held secret; LNG212's server spilled it when asked. "Be forewarned: it's huge and it's messy," LNG212 adds.
SouthWest NY also has a way with veggie burgers, and it leans Latin. The black bean patty comes between two arepalike corn cakes. fm1963 suggests adding sautéed mushrooms and a side of maduros or corn pudding.
Some other hound-endorsed veg burgers can be had at Film Center Cafe and Zaitzeff, both enriched with avocado; Dojo, whose soy burger comes in a whole-wheat pita; and Shake Shack, a destination for conventional burgers, whose portobello 'shroom burger is a deep-fried, cheese-stuffed thing of beauty.
378 Park Avenue South (at E. 27th Street), Manhattan
Quantum Leap [East Village]
203 First Avenue (between E. 12th and 13th streets), Manhattan
Stand [East Village]
24 E. 12th Street (between Fifth Avenue and University Place), Manhattan
Five Napkin Burger [Hell's Kitchen]
630 Ninth Avenue (between W. 44th and 45th streets), Manhattan
SouthWest NY [Battery Park City]
225 Liberty Street (in 2 World Financial Center), Manhattan
Film Center Cafe [Hell's Kitchen]
635 Ninth Avenue (between W. 44th and 45th streets), Manhattan
Zaitzeff [Financial District]
72 Nassau Street (at John Street), Manhattan
Dojo [East Village]
14 W. Fourth Street (between Broadway and Lafayette Street), Manhattan
Shake Shack [Flatiron]
In Madison Square Park (near Madison Avenue and E. 23rd Street), Manhattan