Veggie burgers have had a serious glow up these past couple years. What was once an afterthought on menus to appease our meat-free friends, is now practically a requirement for restaurants. Here's the thing though, anyone can make a veggie burger, the challenge is making it taste just as good and satisfying as its meaty co-stars.
Thankfully, Toronto has some seriously talented chefs that think vegetarian and vegan dining is more than just a trend. You won't see any freezer burned, pathetic-excuse-for-plant-based patties on this list. We're on a mission to find some of Toronto's best veggie burgers that'll make you want one, like, yesterday even if you're a meat-eater (gasp).
620 King St. W.
When this whimsical vegan restaurant opened on King West last year, we wouldn’t have guessed it would become a top spot for comfort food – we stand pleasantly corrected.
With healthy twists on just about every plate, you won’t feel guilty about indulging. The popular Big LOV cheeseburger with special big LOV sauce and vegan mozzarella is full of melt-in-your-mouth creamy goodness without any dairy. The “e” is the only thing missing.
Maple Leaf Tavern
955 Gerrard St. E.
For a vegetarian clone of one of the city’s best cheeseburgers, run – don’t walk – to Maple Leaf Tavern. The lentil and mushroom patty is as thick and juicy as this east end restaurant’s beefy twin and deserves just as much recognition.
Plus, it’s got all the same American cheese and garlic mayo oozing over the sides. This once dilapidated bar has chef Jesse Vallins at the helm and sure knows a thing or two about reinventing classics into something even better.
3401 Dufferin St.
Think fast food, but make it fashion…and healthy-ish. This Insta-famous, plant-based New York City outpost found a northern home in Yorkdale mall. The guac burger alone, with an ice cream scoop-sized drop of the good green stuff, has amassed its own following.
Don't be fooled by how legit the bacon on their bacon burger looks and tastes, everything is plant-based here.
21 St Clair Ave. W.
The West Coast (best coast?) veggie Burger requires two hands and absolutely no second thoughts. It’s so delicious, even people who eat meat regularly order it.
The house-smoked cheddar cheese and watercress mayo are not vegan and not-a-problem when they meet your mouth and drip down your sleeves.
1265 Queen St. W.
Located inside Parkdale’s Bar Vegandale, you can’t miss Doomie’s vegan Big Mac because it’s, well, rather huge. There are two patties packed into this meat-free doppelgänger of the famous McDonald’s icon.
Although it’s plant-powered, it’s by no means a healthy alternative, despite the lifting workout you'll get from picking it up.
Opening a restaurant during a pandemic isn't ideal, but the creative vegan eats at SweetChops sure are. Available for delivery and pickup only (for now) the Big Chops burger is a pretty big deal.
This plant-based beast has a housemade, smoked paprika-mushroom-lentil patty stacked with guacamole, poblano peppers and shoestring potato crisps. It's everything you didn't know you wanted in a burger.