Sometimes people just want a burger, there’s no getting around that. Even vegetarians enjoy the experience of opening our mouths a little too wide to sink our teeth into a toasted bun, toppings, and a juicy patty. But not every burger is created equal. We’ve run into a few awesome, and some awful, veggie burgers and thought we’d share what we found. If you agree, disagree, or have other information, please share. As always, if you have a place you recommend, let us know so we can try it out.

Red Robin: Veggie Burger

Known for its burgers, RR should also get our respect for the veggie burgers. Not only does this restaurant offer a veggie burger with a Gardenburger patty, it also offers the vegan Boca patty. And, as if two vegetarian patty options wasn’t enough, you can substitute either alternative on any burger at no additional charge. That’s right, Red Robin accommodates vegetarian and vegan diets without penalizing us for our choices.

The Whiskey River BBQ burger with a bocca patty and no cheese makes a delightful vegan dinner with enough food to share. Thin and crispy onion straws soften as the sweet BBQ sauce drips down the patty to the edge of a toasted bun.

Since the kitchen uses soy based oil to fry, the endless steak fries and panko-crisp onion rings offer perfect compliments to a great, and meatless burger.

Denny’s: Veggie Burger

Surprisingly good, Denny’s starts with an Amy’s Organics patty, then throws in mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach to make this a rather healthful burger. Well, healthful enough to counteract the scrumptious pepper jack cheese melted on the patty. They are open all night and appear to have the same menu throughout the country, so put this on your list of safe road trip stops.

Carl’s Jr.: Definitely an F-you Veggie Burger

We saw their “veg it” option and thought we’d give it a try with a quacamole burger. Boy were we disappointed. Pulling the meat off of the regular burger and charging the same price is not the best plan if you are trying to keep vegetarians in your dining room. Bun, lettuce, tomato, and sauce. That’s what we got. Not even the avocado that would have been on the regular version of this $6 burger. And the saddest part is, they put this on their website as a valid vegetarian option. How about when you sell half the product, the charge half the price? Just a thought, guys.

Burger King: Veggie Burger

We didn’t ask if this was made in house, but it’s pretty good either way. There are water chestnuts that give the patty added crunch, so that’s a little different, but we kind of like little texture surprises. The usual BK fixin’s go on top, and as always you get to make it your way, so this is a nice fast food burger option.

JG’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers: Veggie Burger

We only recently discovered this fun little burger joint that has been in business for 27 years. (Yes, we wondered how we missed it, too.) A sign on the soda machine boasts “Best burger in Dallas First Runner Up” and we can see why. The veggie burger comes with a wonderful vegan patty that holds together well and has incredible texture. If you enjoy cheese, that’s available, too. The bun is toasted with butter, so vegans should let them know to hold that when you order. You choose your toppings from a condiment bar we honestly thought was a salad bar when we walked in. While here, try the onion rings. Sweet onions encased in sweet batter push these near the dessert section, but we couldn’t get enough. And speaking of dessert, JG’s has Blue Bell ice cream and shakes! Regular burgers here are greasy and delicious, so keep this on your mixed group dining list.

Chili’s: Veggie Burger

The black bean patty is good if you like those, but we’re split here. The vegetarian dislikes them, the carnivore loves them, and the omnivore is indifferent. While it’s a veggie burger, it’s not our first choice. But, if you find yourself at Chili’s with a group, you know the menu offers at least something to eat.

BJ’s Brewhouse: Veggie Burger

Just like any burger, you get a TVP-based (according to our waitress) patty on a wheat bun with lettuce, tomato, pickle and mayo. There is garlic either in the patty or on the bun, so this is not a “make out later” option, unless your partner just loves garlic breath, but it’s quite good. A little dry, but we still recommend keeping the ketchup on the side because the dryness seems to make it better. Just try it and you’ll know what we mean. Served with beautiful steak fries, this is a very good veggie burger.

Jake’s Hamburgers: Veggie Burger

Jake’s makes all of their patties in house, and the black bean patty is no exception. This looks close to a real burger, but is still shaped a little to perfectly. This has great flavor and goes beyond what you expect from black beans. Of course, eating one of these next to someone holding the Atkins burger was a little funny, but it’s a great place for a mixed group.

Village Burger Bar: Veggie Burger

We tried the location in The Shops at Legacy and are so glad we did. This is by far our favorite burger. Instead of a veggie or black bean patty, the Portabello burger comes with a huge portabello mushroom cap on a toasted bun. We didn’t ask what they did to this mushroom, but it tasted incredible. And the burger is completely different from what we expected. Goat cheese and spinach are not obvious toppings for a burger, but they make this one a masterpiece. The shoestring potatoes are really good and just salty enough. If you like sweet potato fries, VBBar has some decent ones, but the shoestrings were the table favorites. Our neighbors’ onion rings smelled incredible, but we didn’t try any on this visit. We did, however, discover some yummy drinks in the mango margarita and watermelon mojito. This is a wonderful place for mixed groups, happy hour, or families. All of their burgers are great (even the meaty ones) and the atmosphere is extremely relaxed. Add this to the top of your list for the next time you crave a burger.

We’ve tried a few burger places and given our thoughts. Rather than taking our word for it, we hope you’ll be able to try a few. Now it’s your turn. Let us know where you have encountered the best, the worst and the most interesting veggie burger options.

Until next we meet, enjoy great food and keep a happy heart.

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.