Un-burger your burger

Five veggie options for vegetarians and veggie-curious eaters

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West End Tavern's Crispy Falafel "Burger"
Michael J. Casey

It’s not easy being a vegetarian in a meat-eating world. Thankfully, it’s a little easier to eat meat-free in Boulder County — there is no shortage of eateries here that cater to herbivores and omnivores alike. Some local eateries seek to mimic the taste and texture of a classic hamburger, while others serve patties that play up their veggie foundations. In any case, you won’t miss the meat. Here are six of Boulder’s finest veggie burgers that might sway even the staunchest meat-eater.

Michael J. Casey

SNARFBURGER
2000 Arapahoe Road. Open every day 11 a.m.–10 p.m.

Looking like a square sausage patty, SnarfBurger’s veggie patty has the unmistakable flavor of the griddle and a beautifully caramelized surface that produces a superb bite. Already loaded with flavor, they add slices of Cheddar and Swiss to further enhance the umami factor. Pile it high with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mayo, mustard, ketchup and hot sauce, order crispy fries on the side, and you’ll want for nothing.

ROADHOUSE BOULDER DEPOT
2366 Junction Place. Open Sunday–Thursday until 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m.

Here you will find the Impossible Burger, the much coveted vegetarian advancement that mimics the taste and texture of a beef patty. The Roadhouse goes one step further by serving the 100-percent-plant burger with pesto aioli, roasted red peppers, pickled red onions and a spring lettuce mix on a brioche bun. Who says a veggie burger can’t be fancy? Not the Roadhouse Boulder Depot, that’s for sure.

WHOLE FOODS MARKET
2905 Pearl St. Open daily 7 a.m.–10 p.m.

The Whole Foods on Pearl is more playground than grocery store. Not only is the retail section vast, but the food court features a seemingly endless selection of sandwiches, salads, pizzas and a whole lot more. Look for the Beyond Burger (The Future of Protein™) counter and build your own. Needing a veggie patty to-go, say something for Labor Day weekend to serve at home? Head to the frozen food section, and they have more vegetarian burger options than you can shake a stick at. Try Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie burger.

WEST END TAVERN (Pictured above)
926 Pearl St. Open Sunday–Wednesday until 10 p.m., Thursday–Saturday till 11 p.m.

Some veggie burgers try to mimic the taste and texture of meat. Others lean into their veggie components, and West End Tavern’s Crispy Falafel “Burger” is decidedly in the latter camp. Served with charred cheese, greens, pickled onions and green goddess dressing, the Falafel Burger is a cross between a Mediterranean pita and Americana cuisine.

Susan France

THE SINK
1165 13th St. Open Sunday–Thursday till 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m.

Made in-house, Rosa’s Veggie Burger — composed of rice, lentils, roasted peppers, spinach and oats — is topped with Haystack Mountain goat cheese, avocado and smoky tomato aioli for good measure. Wash it down with Odd13 Brewing’s Codename: Superfan, a gluten-reduced India pale ale, and check out table 54 — that’s where Obama ate pizza when he visited CU in 2012.

Michael J. Casey

NATIVE FOODS CAFE
1675 29th St. #1272. Opens daily at 11 a.m., closing times vary.

Leave the meat-eaters at home, gather your vegetarian friends, and head to Native Foods. This restaurant chain out of California is 100% plant-based and sports a Double Cheeseburger — made with Follow Your Heart® vegan American cheese — and a BBQ Brisket Burger, topped with brisket-style seitan. They also have chocolate chip cookies, because no one can subsist on burgers alone.