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Unlike their meatier namesakes, veggie burgers are a more complex breed. The lack of ground beef-as-glue requires a delicate balance of proteins, veggies and other creative components to hold these patties in place. Keeping them nicely cohesive while staying simultaneously delicious is a challenge -- one that some eateries excel at over others.
With these factors in mind, Short Order took a look at Miami's veggie burger landscape and hand-picked the city's five best. (Some might even argue these outshine their beefy counterparts. We'll leave that up for debate.)
5. The Vegetarian-Chipotle Black Bean Burger at Lost and Found Saloon.
This Western-themed kitschy charmer, parked midway between Wynwood and Midtown, is known for an impressive array of vegetarian-friendly eats -- and a discerning craft beer assortment.
Their spicy little three-bean veggie patty sits on sourdough, adorned with sliced red onions, plum tomatoes, coleslaw and requisite pickle spear. Add-on options are almost endless and include cheese, avocado, portabello and grilled eggplant.
While we can't help but wish they served fries, at least that lowers the guilt factor. Instead, use those calories on a jumbo cookie for dessert.
4. The organic veggie burger at OneBurger.
This Gables favorite burger-bastion is the holy grail for patty fiends. Beef burgers, turkey burgers, chicken burgers and yes, veggie burgers, all offered up in their simple little black and white digs. They offer a whopping five veggie burger options, including a BBQ version, a "japones" concoction and a portabello and walnet-crusted goat cheese selection.
Their mainstay, the Organic Veggie Burger, is a house-made 12-ingredient pattie topped with baby greens, tomato and a balsamic spread on a whole wheat bun. Fries are a la carte, but worth the extra couple bucks. Oh yeah - and a "killer carrot cake" shake on the side? Yes, please.
3. The Black Bean Veggie Burger at Green Gables Cafe
A popular spot for health-conscious working stiffs down Gables-way, this little family-owned establishment does a rousing takeout and lunch biz -- and makes it easy to enjoy seasonal, organic environmentally-conscious eating. More places like this, please?
Their black bean veggie burger comes topped with tomato, romaine and garlic aioli on a multigrain bun. It's partnered with sweet potato home fries and your choice of cheese (go for the the goat).
2. The Veggie Burger at LoKal.
This recent addition to the all-too-limited eating options in the Grove serves up all kinds of beefy creations -- including a patty paired with a donut-as-bun. But if you're on the veggie bandwagon, they do more than deliver.
Their generous-sized veggie delight is made from a sweet & savory concoction of oat bran, brown rice, beets and prunes. It's served with mayo, French's, lettuce, tomato, pickles, white onion and melted jack. Hint: don't skip their epic, award-winning fries.
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1. The 5 Napkin Veggie at 5 Napkin Burger.
This trendy, super-sized South Beach burger den (with locations in NYC and Boston, to boot) has made a name for itself via ginormous 10 ounce patties, mouthwatering milkshakes and a crazy beer selection. But their veggie burger beats it all.
Loaded with superfoods, it's made from scratch in-house and packed with beets, carrots, mushrooms, brown rice, wheat berries, sunflower, lentils and parsley. That's one serious meatless feast. Topped with 5 Napkin sauce, you may never go back to meat.