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Best of Toronto

The Best Veggie Burger in Toronto

Posted by Libby Roach / December 15, 2011

best veggie burger torontoThe best veggie burger in Toronto is an intriguing category. The sheer number of restaurants that now feature this sandwich is rather overwhelming. From the grimy and greasy beef joints, to the delicate and clean vegan-only spots, the choices are as different as the ingredients used to produce these patties.

One thing is clear; the veggie burger is the ultimate crossover. It's got friends in total dives and in swankier environs. Some have their liquor licences (Burger Bar, Stampede Bison Grill) and others quietly don`t even open on Sunday, instead observing church services. Let`s not even talk about the Five Guys' veggie (non-) option.

Here are the best veggie burgers in Toronto.

See also:

The best burger in Toronto
The best cheeseburgers in Toronto
The best fries in Toronto
The best poutine in Toronto
The best old-school burgers in Toronto
The best vegetarian restaurants in Toronto

Left photo in lead montage by Pam Lau in the blogTO Flickr pool

Burger's Priest

Burger's Priest

Ah yes, burger redemption is here folks, whether you’re church-goers or not. The Priest has the solution to the plain, dried out veggie burgers that are the mainstay at most burger shacks. Located at Queen and Coxwell (and a new location on Yonge street north of Lawrence is opening soon), owner Shant Mardirosian christens his veggie burger the option, made of deep fried mushrooms stuffed with cheese for $7.99. Not open Sundays, burger believers beware. More »

Holy Chuck Burgers

Holy Chuck Burgers

Also playing the burger idol is Holy Chuck Burgers, located at Yonge and St Clair. This place steals the second spot with their two veggie burgers, The Animal Feed $8.99, which is a Panko-crusted Portobello mushroom burger stuffed with feta and cream cheese, then deep fried, and topped with a garlicky aioli. The Grazer $10.99 is same as above, but served in between two grilled cheese sandwiches. The owner Johnny is friendly and passionate about his craft, and their deep fried dessert menu will have you praying you wore sweat pants. More »

Fresh

Fresh

Fresh, the vegan juggernaut, known for more things vegetarian than you can shake a carrot at, offers a staggering five vegan choices, from the standard deluxe (patty with standard tomato, lettuce & mayo) or BBQ (with quinoa onion rings and chillies, cabbages and bbq sauce) running up to the gourmet junkie miso (miso gravy, cabbage, tomato and lettuce) or thai (thai peanut sauce, cilantro and bean sprouts) or the crowd pleaser, the mushroom and onion (you guessed it, mushroom, onions with alfalfa sprouts for texture). More »

Sadie's Diner

Sadie's Diner

Sadie’s Diner, located on Adelaide just before Bathurst is totally vegetarian, with loads of strict vegan options abound. Owner Al Ridley specializes in a well-stocked juice bar as well as an all-day breakfast. The burger rings in at $7 with fries, with add-on toppings such as veggie bacon, soy cheese and grilled eggplant that can up price and the deliciousness factor. More »

BQM/Burger Shoppe

BQM/Burger Shoppe

With three locations, Riverside, Queen West and Ossington, Burger Shoppe is captained by Saeed Mohamed, who quit his computer programming job in 2007 to live the dream and own his own boutique burger bar. Their grilled tofu burger $8 features a spicy Mediterranean marinade, jalapeno aioli, alfalfa sprouts, cucumber, red onions and BQM BBQ sauce. Friendly service keep the locals coming back for more. More »

Great Burger Kitchen

Great Burger Kitchen

With two locations, at Gerrard and Jones and at the bottom of Church, locally sourced and sustainable burgers are what beckon most burger callers here. Great Burger Kitchen offers two veggie burger choices on their menu, the traditional patty $5.95 with lettuce, tomato and balsamic onion and GBK sauce, or the Portobello mushroom $6.95 with brie, balsamic onion, sauteed tomatoes and GBK sauce. More »

Discussion

46 Comments

JennyT / December 15, 2011 at 10:51 am
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Best Veggie Burger... slightly oxymoronic. A bit like best dictator or best pile of dog poop.
Nell / December 15, 2011 at 10:55 am
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Veggie Burger in Mikes Bar & Grill in Liberty Village is the best I've had so far... they also have some amazing fries..

Shans / December 15, 2011 at 11:22 am
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Nope. Best veggie burger is from The Court Jester on Danforth, absolutely unreal. #nomnomnom
Seishin / December 15, 2011 at 11:25 am
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Who the hell voted for Holy Chuck?! Their veggie burger is more cream cheese than veggie. And is a grease bomb. D:
James Kachan / December 15, 2011 at 11:28 am
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Utopia and Rivoli both have great burgers,
Utopia is a more conventional style, really great though, meaty like even, whereas Rivoli is anti texture, twist on the burg.
I dont think Fresh's is anything super special, Stampede Bison Grill beats it in my opinion... Havent tried a few of the others though, great post for vegheads!
TG / December 15, 2011 at 11:28 am
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Hate to say it but for a non-vegetarian,the Harvey's veggie burger is pretty good.
Shawn replying to a comment from JennyT / December 15, 2011 at 11:28 am
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As someone who is by no stretch of the imagination a vegetarian, I have to say that's an absolutely idiotic statement. My one problem is with veggie burgers that are laced with soy filler and/or nitrates; the ones that are based on mushrooms/quinoa/etc. are fine but the soy based ones are probably about as unhealthy as it gets.
Stephanie / December 15, 2011 at 11:39 am
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Would be nice to know for all of these, not just some, whether the veggie burger is just some vegetables or also legumes - and therefore part of getting some protein.
Sarah / December 15, 2011 at 11:50 am
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How is a deep fried mushroom a veggie burger? Burgers priest may have great meat burgers but I would rather eat at the Harvey's across the road then eat their ridiculous attempt at a veggie "burger"
Erica replying to a comment from TG / December 15, 2011 at 11:51 am
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Along those lines (fast food), Lick's Nature Burgers are fantastic. I get them in the frozen food section at Superstore as well.
gold soundz / December 15, 2011 at 11:52 am
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I don't get why you're such a big fan or portobello mushrooms stuff with cheese - sounds kinda gross, and if you're vegan that's a no go.

I'll check out some of the other options on this list though. Burger Bar is a great restaurant but Fresh...meh, I think it's overrated...
Melissa / December 15, 2011 at 12:41 pm
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Umm... Utopia? It's one of the only places I know of where you can get any option for a meat burger on a veggie burger. Swiss Mushroom...mmmm...
Brandon / December 15, 2011 at 12:53 pm
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C'est What has an amazing handmade veggie burger (this coming from a dedicated omnivore), but they don't have it all the time unfortunately.
Tellie / December 15, 2011 at 12:59 pm
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You must try The Blue Plate on Roncesvalles. Nothing competes..
Thunder Oak smoked gouda, mayo, beet, wilted spinach and
tomato chutney on a Fred‘s Bread onion bun with Yukon gold fries .......
It will absolutely blow your mind
lee / December 15, 2011 at 01:19 pm
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you missed queen mother's cosmic burger.
Jessica / December 15, 2011 at 01:24 pm
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Whaaa? What about Mitzi's Sister? Best veggie burger I've ever had.
Chadandy replying to a comment from Sarah / December 15, 2011 at 02:16 pm
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Sarah, large mushroom caps have been used as in place of meat patties in vegetarian dishes for a long time, and many mainstream veggie burgers are made largely from diced mushrooms. I would much rather have a mushroom than the ridiculous, sugary, and allergen-filled soy and corn patties most places serve.
Mark replying to a comment from Jessica / December 15, 2011 at 03:08 pm
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I second this.
sparrow / December 15, 2011 at 05:04 pm
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Back when the only (well that I knew of) option really was Lick's, Epicure Cafe actually had a really good Veggie Burger - they also had two, one that was a thick soy patty, but the other seemed more homemade - probably a mix of chickpeas and grains - with the toppings/stlye you could pick and good fries, it stood up. However, last time I was there it was one of those nasty ones where you can see the peas and corn and pretty disappointing that what I thought was one of the best ones, mostly because it wasn't a frozen patty, looked like it wasn't being made anymore.

I've had the BQM tofu one and thought it was pretty good. Swiss Chalet too hahahah
Hmm replying to a comment from JennyT / December 15, 2011 at 05:21 pm
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Wow, what a classless way to start a comment thread.
J / December 15, 2011 at 06:35 pm
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surprisingly: Real Sports Bar.
MH / December 15, 2011 at 08:22 pm
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The Hogtown Vegan has an excellent vegan cheeseburger, perfect in nearly every way.
Corby / December 15, 2011 at 08:51 pm
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It's hard to criticize all veg burgers as a group, since they come in so many different varieties. Each one is a full recipe, as opposed to a meat burger which is usually just one ingredient: meat. I've had great ones and bad ones.

From this list, I've only had a veg burger from Fresh on Spadina, and it was pretty bad. (Their sweet potato fries were soggy too).

I like the veg burger from Harvey's provided I get the mesquite sauce. I can go crazy with toppings at South St Burger. The veg option at Hero is pretty good too. And Lick's is also pretty decent and kudos to them for making their own.

The absolute worst burger of all time has to be the one at A&W. The one time I ordered it (at the food court inside Square One I think), I actually found a flake of bacon in it on top of the veg patty. But even without that crap in there, it's just clear A&W absolutely HATES vegetarians and wants to make them sad. It's even worse than the veg burger at Burger King.

Ashley / December 15, 2011 at 09:06 pm
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I cannot even believe Fresh is on here.

Worst veggie burger in life. Not just Toronto.

Dry. Stale bun. Crumbly. Chunky. Awful.

Close second, the licks veggie burger. Thankfully that didn't make the cut.
Laura / December 16, 2011 at 09:56 am
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Try The Local on Roncesvalles homemade veg burger...smoked tofu and black bean. Don't forget to add the sauteed onions as well. So good!!
sharon / December 16, 2011 at 11:04 am
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It's kind of ridiculous, as at least one of the top 5 listed, i know for a fact, simply uses Yves soy burger....(which in my opinion is seriously GAK), For my money UTOPIA serves the top 5 best veg/vegan burgers in the city
KennyB replying to a comment from JennyT / December 16, 2011 at 12:19 pm
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Or best bedroom romp with JennyT.
sulu replying to a comment from JennyT / December 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm
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Jenny T just likes to use the word oxymoronic every chance she gets. It reminds her of what the kids used to call her in school. You know, because she had acne, and she was a moron.
Sean / December 17, 2011 at 10:56 am
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If it's 'veggie' - DON'T CALL IT BURGER. Call it something else.
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 11:54 pm
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Hate to say it but for a non-vegetarian,the Harvey's veggie burger is pretty good.
dor / January 8, 2013 at 07:47 pm
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queen mother cafe's veggie burger is really good!
Jane / January 14, 2013 at 07:55 pm
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Epicure's super soy burger is fucking delicious, ESPECIALLY if you get it with mango chutney on it.
HoesUpGeesDown replying to a comment from Sean / January 14, 2013 at 10:16 pm
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LETS'S REDO THIS LIST FOR 2012!!! Would be a great addition!!!
allisonjayne / May 28, 2013 at 09:20 am
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I don't get why people feel so passionate about the term 'veggie burger'. If it's not your thing, don't eat it. I think most people realize that the term 'burger' is used for any patty-type thing between two buns. Is that a difficult concept???

Anyway! I just wanted to mention that Gourmet Burger Company (I've only been to the one at Carlton and Parliament) has a really good veggie burger. But I think one of my favourites is at No Bull Burger at Queen and Parliament. It's quinoa-based and quite delicious.
dt / June 5, 2013 at 10:40 pm
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I've been a life long vegetarian and as much as i love veggie burgers I never order them at restaurants or anywhere else for that matter. 99.9% of the time they're on the same grill as their non-veggie counterparts...often sizzling in the same juice :(
Trish / June 5, 2013 at 11:21 pm
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I like Licks nature burger and surprisingly the Wheat Sheaf has a pretty good veggie burger for a pub style.
Gill-One / June 5, 2013 at 11:34 pm
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Livin Lovin!! I love veggie burgers but have one rule, always ask for them well done, otherwise sometimes they come out soft or pasty. You want it well done, a bit charred...
gurgle replying to a comment from Sean / June 6, 2013 at 12:50 am
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because real burgers are made of ham?
Pat replying to a comment from JennyT / October 29, 2013 at 01:38 pm
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Yes, slightly less moronic than people who eat meat and fat as the only "tasty" food.
A / November 22, 2013 at 01:26 pm
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HOGTOWN VEGAN!

Rob Ford / February 5, 2014 at 05:21 pm
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Hey JennyT....your oxycontin order is in. Ennio says hey.
sarah / February 16, 2014 at 01:49 pm
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I think its rather amusing that people find it offensive that burgers are vegetarian. Who decided that a burger can only contain meat? A burger by definition according to the dictionary is just a protein source between 2 buns essentially. I also find it amusing that those people are in fact taking the time to read and comment. Go find another thread to troll on. Vegetarian and vegan folks do have the right to eat mushrooms, tofu or any other shitty protein source between 2 buns.
giggyhertz / May 1, 2014 at 02:47 pm
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I can't believe you left off EMMA'S COUNTRY KITCHEN'S Corn and Black Bean fritter.

Definitely one of the best in town.

BurgerBun / May 14, 2014 at 02:27 pm
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Hey BlogTo folks! It's been over 2 years since this list has been re-done - the time is now!
mudita / June 19, 2014 at 06:43 pm
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South Street Burger has amazing veggie burgers!
Sophia / October 5, 2014 at 08:19 pm
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The veggie burger at Hair of the Dog on Church is amazing. That with their sweet potato fries and fantastic patio is a perfect meal.

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