The Spicy Green Bean
225 Hebron Ave.
Glastonbury, CT 06033
Any place that not only claims to offer the “best” veggie burger but also names it on the menu as “The Best Veggie Burger Ever!” had better be prepared to back up that claim – and The Spicy Green Bean is just such a place. “This one is all veggies, not all filler!” proclaims the staff at this Glastonbury treasure, which it describes in both words and in print as “Sooooooo good!” (with seven o’s). With its “Kooky Concoctions” and seasonal menus, The Spicy Green Bean is a fun place to bring the kids, including both meat lovers and even those who believe, as one menu entry is called, that “Meat is Murder!”
The Lime Restaurant
168 Main St.
Norwalk, CT 06851
“Naturally delicious” is the catchphrase at The Lime, which annually is voted best vegetarian restaurant in the state by at least one and often more newspapers, magazines and culinary guides. Although it does serve meat and fish, its vegetarian dishes are its bread and butter – and among the most popular of those is the veggie burger, made with bulgher wheat, carrots, zucchini, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. The Lime recommends adding avocado, cheese or tofu, and presents it with the creamy house dressing, unless otherwise specified by the customer. There is also a “meatless wonder” known as the “Nature-Burger” on the menu, and both are served in steamed whole-wheat pita bread that comes “stuffed” with garden greens, shredded carrots, peppers and cucumbers, along with a side of organic and brown rice salad.
Claire’s Corner Copia
1000 Chapel St.
New Haven, CT 06510
Where do Yale’s vegetarians go for a veggie burger? How about vegetarians who are also Kosher? Since 1975, the answer to those questions has been Claire’s Corner Copia at College and Chapel Streets, “in the heart of downtown, across from the old campus” by the Upper Green. “Vegetarian, organic, and sustainable and Kosher!” is how Claire’s trumpets its kitchen and menu, and for nearly 40 years, it has kept its promise to be all four of those. There is not just one or two but five veggie burgers on Claire’s menu: the all-American, mushroom, Greek, California and bistro. Each is made with “organic grains, vegetables and WALNUTS” (listed on the menu in all-caps) and served on a whole-wheat bun along with a sample of the “salad of the day.” Best of all, each of these is under $10 – a welcome relief to students who, even in the Ivy League, have limited funds.
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1096 Main St.
Newington, CT 06111
Since opening its doors in 2009, this classic burger joint has found a following not only among meat-lovers but also veggie-burger fans in Newington. The in-store made, hand-crafted patty includes chickpeas, black beans, mushrooms, roasted red peppers and jalapenos (for a kick). While hidden amongst a meat maniac’s menu of burgers the likes of “The Bomber,” “The Schogger” and the infamous “Fat Cat” New Jersey “grease-cart inspired” hamburger, the veggie burger is made by hand and with the same kind of love and attention as are its meaty cousins. While veggie burger customers are not eligible for some of the special “challenges” that involve downing copious amounts of meat in timed contests, they can enjoy the sideshow while chomping down on their meatless treat.
283 Asylum St.
Hartford, CT 06103
Why shouldn’t a veggie burger look like and come with as many toppings and sides as an all-beef or other meat burger? That is the philosophy behind the way Burger Baby prepares its vegetarian burgers in Hartford. It also blend the ingredients for its own veggie burger on the premises – no frozen or other pre-made patties; each one is made to order from fresh ingredients. Those ingredients are a proprietary blend of sweet potato, black bean and quinoa, and the basic version comes topped with avocado, tahini aioli and alfalfa sprouts – although the Burger Baby is very accommodating about switching up those toppings, and there is a long list of vegetarian-friendly cheeses, vegetables and sauces (like the chipotle, black pepper or black truffle aioli) to choose from. Don’t forget the sides, especially the hand-cut fries (which come in vegetarian varieties as well as the duck-fat-fried type).
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Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at Examiner.com.