Known for their burger-centric menu through which you can travel the world, owners Mitch and Christina Springman make sure their culinary creativity is accessible to all diners by crafting a housemade veggie burger that can be used as a vehicle to sample their international delights. Packed with veggies, lentils, chickpeas and spices, the burger is so good people demand it regardless of if they are vegetarian or not. “I can’t remember the last time I ordered a beef burger,” mentioned one local carnivore when asked about the restaurant’s vegetable-forward option. “I order the veggie burger and top it with meat gravy,” quipped another.
120 E Burlington St, Iowa City
The Black Bean Burger at The Mill is well-seasoned, made in-house and served with guacamole. A thinner-than-typical patty makes this option unique in a sea of black bean burgers; it seems to hold together longer than many other black bean burgers and makes for an abundance of crispy surface area.
Short’s Burger and Shine
18 S Clinton St, Iowa City
521 Westbury Dr, Iowa City
1006 Melrose Ave, Iowa City
Short’s Burger and Shine was the leader of the pack in the burger-centric restaurant and craft-beer craze of the last decade. Over the years, they’ve added housemade black bean burgers that you can substitute for their Iowa beef patties, but they’ve also crafted a section of their menu that highlights black bean burger specific preparations. Most are Southwest inspired, save for one that plays with Greek flavors, but all are satisfying and promise to fill you up. Find the same Black Bean Burger menu at Short’s Eastside and sister restaurant Stella.
310 E Prentiss St, Iowa City
Chef Katy Meyer excels at making craveable vegan food and her housemade Red Bean Veggieburger is no exception. A mixture of red beans and miso and a smattering of spices, this plant-based patty sits atop a perfectly toasty vegan bun with a slick of vegan BBQ aioli. Yum!
Find the big-name meat replacement patties at many local restaurants, including:
Nodo 5 S Dubuque St, Iowa City
600 N Dodge St, Iowa City
If you’re on the hunt for a burger alternative, Nodo has an option that just might be up your alley. Swap in a NexVeg Hemp Smoky Southwest vegetable patty in place of your beefy burger and you won’t be disappointed. A mix of hemp, oats, seeds and spices, this high-protein whole-food plant-based patty has a texture akin to falafel and is great for those looking to reduce their meat consumption, pack a few more vegetables into their daily diet, or simply because it’s delicious.
30hop 900 E 2nd Ave, Coralville
951 Blairs Ferry Rd NE Cedar Rapids
30hop uses the popular prepared Impossible patty to cater to health and environmentally-conscious customers, but takes it a step further by providing a fully vegan “burger” option. The “burger” is nestled on a bun slathered with housemade tofu mayo, topped with vegan cheese and shiitake mushrooms and is a real treat, and proving that making shifts in your diet doesn’t have to mean doing without.
840 W Penn St, North Liberty
Pullman Bar & Diner 17 S Dubuque St, Iowa City
St. Burch Tavern 127 Iowa Ave, Iowa City
Reds Alehouse 405 N Dubuque St, North Liberty
Sanctuary 11 S Dubuque St, Iowa City
Zombie Burger 1451 Coral Ridge Ave, Coralville
This burger restaurant offers a completely vegan-friendly burger experience with their “Lucille” or “Undead Glenn” menu options. Using the Beyond Meat patty and topping it with vegetables, vegan sauces and mayos, the resulting burger is a delicious choice for vegans and meat-eaters alike.
1225 S Gilbert St, Iowa City
101 W Main St, Solon