Veggie burger rankings in the Mac-Groveland neighborhood

Are you a vegetarian? Do you ever go out to eat with your friends and worry about finding something satisfying to eat? Never fear, your intrepid Food & Drank reporter is here to help. Since I decided to go vegetarian about a year ago, I have been on somewhat of a quest to sample all the veggie burgers offered within the general vicinity of Macalester’s campus. Now you too can learn from my mistakes and chow down on a delicious and meat-free veggie burger at the following local restaurants.

Buffalo Wild Wings

Now that there is a Buffalo Wild Wings just down Snelling, how often do your more carnivorously inclined friends want to go feast on chicken wings? While B-Dubs is certainly not known for being vegetarian friendly, they do offer a build-your-own black bean burger that, while nothing special, is still pretty decent. The choices to put on top include standard lettuce/tomato/onion, cheese, and any of their sauces. I’m partial to the honey barbeque sauce myself.

Veggie Burger Rating: 3/5

Shish

Shish is a staple for any Macalester student, and while you are probably familiar with their falafel wraps, did you know that they have a veggie burger as well? Eating Shish’s veggie garbanzo burger can be like biting into a little slice of heaven. The garbanzo bean patty is thick and makes for a nice change from the typical black bean burger. The hummus on top makes a nice addition and the sweet potato fries are definitely worth springing for. My only caveat is that the burger can get a little bit soggy, but it tastes so good you probably won’t notice.

Veggie Burger Rating: 4.5/5

St. Clair Broiler

The St. Clair Broiler, with all of its diner charm and really, really, ridiculously good milkshakes, unfortunately does not offer a good veggie burger. While they have a build-your-own veggie burger option, no amount of cheese or ketchup can cover up the taste of a frozen Boca burger nuked to within an inch of its life. You’re better off ordering the vegetarian egg white frittata or Spartan spinach omelet. Who doesn’t like breakfast for dinner anyways?

Veggie Burger Rating: 1/5

Blue Door Longfellow

It might be a bit of a schlep, but if you haven’t made it out to the new Blue Door location on the other side of the river, it’s definitely worth it. The waits are much shorter and they have the ultimate build your own black bean burger, which the Blue Door Pub in St. Paul doesn’t offer for some reason. The patty is perfectly cooked, the bun is toasty, and you can put pretty much any topping from their Blucy burgers on there. Peanut butter? Fried egg? Curry sauce? Whatever your heart desires. The best combination I have come up with thus far is a black bean burger with fried onions, mozzarella cheese, and garlic aioli. I think we have a winner.

Veggie Burger Rating: 5/5

So there you have it—my very official ratings of the veggie burgers at four local restaurants. This list is by no means exhaustive. For example, Neighborhood Café has a veggie burger that is surprisingly good and Shish has vegetarian burger options beyond the garbanzo bean one. Veggie burgers are also not just for vegetarians. Meat eaters think they’re good too, and they don’t leave you with a post-hamburger greasy food coma. Go forth, be brave, and eat veggie burgers my friends!