In summer, I like to eat veggie burgers—and I prefer that others do the cooking. Why turn on the grill when there are plenty of delectable meat-free burgers to be found locally? From classic to fancy, Salt Lake City has plenty of options for veggie burgers.
Upscale Vegan Burger
According to Chef Ethan Lappé of Caffe Niche (779 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-433-3380, CaffeNiche.com), "A veggie burger should be as satisfying as a regular burger.It needs lots of flavor and a great bun." With a spicy patty made from black beans, brown rice and hints of poblano (figs and beets also make an appearance), served on a freshly toasted bun with avocado, Caffe Niche has one of the most elegant vegan burgers you'll find. Pair it with something from its new summer cocktail menu, like the refreshing Gin Rickey made with Tanqueray gin, lime and soda water.
Vegan Pub Burger
Squatters Pub (147 W. 300 South, 801-363-2739, Squatters.com) is a friendly place to quench your thirst with locally crafted beer and to try the chef's veggie burger. Made with roasted veggies and garbanzo beans and topped with avocado and hummus, all served on a Squatters ale-infused bun, it's one hell of a meal. The fries are pretty dope, too. Order a Chasing Tail Golden Ale or Respect Your Mother Amber Ale to wash it down.
Old Timey Vegan Burger
With four decades of serving burgers, Hires Big H (multiple locations, HiresBigH.com) knows what they're doing. Order the Hires Big H combo. It comes with the Veggie H (veggie patty with onion, lettuce, tomato and fry sauce), a delicious housemade root beer served in a frosty mug, and your choice of fries or onion rings. The fries are good, but the rings are even better: Light yet crispy, they contain just the right amount of onion.