Where’s the beef? Not here. The Impossible Burger looks and cooks like beef, but it’s made entirely of plants. The meat-free patty has become a favorite of chefs. It’s now served in more than 2,500 restaurants in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia. Here are nine standout preparations of the humane hamburger.
Founding Farmers, Washington, D.C.
Make this meatless masterpiece your own. Add on the usual suspects: cheese, bacon, or avocado. Or it can be animal-free, topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, bread and butter pickles, and vegan sauce. Make a reservation at Founding Farmers.
Crossroads, Los Angeles, California
There’s a fast food vibe to this burger. It’s simply dressed with LTO, pickles, and Crossroads sauce. To give it an haute lift, it comes with a side of truffle fries. Make a reservation at Crossroads.
Curio, San Francisco, California
The search for the Holy Grail is over. This blessed burger is coronated with cremini mushrooms, tomato jam, fried onions, and raclette cheese. It’ll have you yelling ‘Hallelujah!’ at the top of your lungs. Make a reservation at Curio.
Old Town Pour House, Chicago, Illinois
A toasted brioche bun serves as the bookends for this beaut of a burg. Garnishes include aged white cheddar, shredded iceberg, tomato, onion, and roasted garlic horseradish aioli. Try not to drool all over yourself before you eat it. Make a reservation at Old Town Pour House.
Headwaters, Portland, Oregon
This sassy sando is dressed up with aged cheddar, roasted onions, remoulade, lettuce, tomatoes, and bread and butter pickles. Choose either organic greens or crispy fries as a side. No judgments either way. Make a reservation at Headwaters.
Saxon + Parole, New York, New York
If you’re feeling indulgent, opt for the Impossible Burger luxed up with truffle cheese sauce, sherry-braised onions, mushroom puree, and roasted mushrooms. There’s also a vegan version with paprika Veganaise, poblano salsa, and avocado. Either way, you can’t go wrong. Make a reservation at Saxon + Parole.
Big Easy Winebar & Grill, Miami, Florida
Peri peri aioli adds a flash of fire to this Impossible Burger, which is also garnished with tomato and arugula. It comes with a side of fries. The pair makes for a pretty presentation that will look great on your Instagram feed. Make a reservation at Big Easy Winebar & Grill.
Jardinière, San Francisco, California
This ain’t your average Impossible Burger. Dijonnaise sauce, caramelized onions, avocado, cornichons, lettuce, and tomato top it off. It arrives with a side of pomme frites. Make a reservation at Jardinière.
Dutch & Doc’s, Chicago, Illinois
A capelet of melted fontina, a slather of tomato relish, and a tangle of shaved fennel are the usual toppings on this Impossible Burger. You’re welcome to add sliced avocado, bacon rashers, or a fried egg. Any decision you make is guaranteed to be delicious. Make a reservation at Dutch & Doc’s.
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Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.
Photo credits: Aubrie Pick (Saxon + Parole); Boka Restaurant Group (Dutch & Doc’s); Hardy Wilson (Curio); Grove Bay Hospitality (Big Easy Winebar & Grill).