by Adina Brenner ‘20
Veggie Burgers. They’ve been the craze for the past few years now and have only gotten more popular. With the climate crisis intensifying, scientists are pointing out that reducing one’s red meat intake can have a positive impact on our environment. In turn, this discovery has prompted more people to want to go greener or even become a vegetarian. But when it comes to being a vegetarian or reducing your meat intake, it is important that we find delicious contenders for some of our favorite foods, specifically America’s favorite: the classic hamburger. Over the past few weeks, I have tasted and analyzed five different varieties of meatless burgers to find out which really deserves the honorable title of “Best Veggie Burger.”
Taste: What was the flavor like? Enjoyable? Sickening?
Texture: What did the first bite feel like in your mouth? Mushy? Crunchy? Both?
Similarity to Meat (STM): How close does its taste, texture, and appearance come to that of a real hamburger?
Nutrition: How many calories does the patty contain? What’s the fat content? How much sodium?
Price: Are you getting the best bang for your buck?
1. The Impossible Burger
240 cal, 14g fat
Cost (1 burger at Burger King): $5.59
When they handed me my food at the drive-thru, I instantly knew this was going to be one of my top contenders. The smell and presentation alone were outstanding. The patty had grill lines! The taste proved to match the appearance with my first bite. Similar to the Beyond Meat, this burger had meat-like qualities and certainly surprised my taste buds. The burger proved to be nearly perfect … except the price. One burger for almost $6.00?! This aspect could use some improvement for sure. Is the price worth it, however? Yes!
Taste: 10 Texture: 9 STM: 8 Nutrition: 6 Price: 4
Overall Score: 37
2. Beyond Meat Burger
250 cal, 20g fat
Cost (pack of two): $5.99
Beyond Meat = Beyond Delicious! My initial thought when taking a look at this burger was “Wait, this isn’t meat?” Not only does it have a marbling that melts and tenderizes like real beef, but before I cooked it, the patties contained a red substance (beet juice) that was eerily similar to blood. With a rich and juicy texture, there were times during my consumption where I completely forgot this was meatless. Just keep in mind, this may not be the healthiest option due to its high fat content and amount of sodium.
Taste: 9 Texture: 8 STM: 9 Nutrition: 4 Price: 6
Overall Score: 36
3. Amy’s Black Bean Burger
130 cal, 4g fat
Cost (pack of 4): $6.00
When it comes to black bean burgers, it can be hard to find one that is both tasty and has a texture that isn’t just straight mush. Amy’s Black Bean Burger has proven to fit both of these qualities. With its smoky flavor and a slight kick in each bite, this burger had a great flavor profile. Congratulations Amy! You nailed it.
Taste: 8 Texture: 6 STM: 3 Nutrition: 10 Price: 7.5
Overall Score: 34.5
4. Morningstar Grillers Original
130 cal, 5g fat
Cost (pack of 4): $4.50
The Grillers Original veggie burger can be purchased in any local grocery store and is surprisingly not bad. Although the overall texture proved to be extremely dry and chewy, the flavors were appetizing. It may resemble meat on the outside; however, once you bite into it, you will quickly discover its flavors do not compare to the real thing. This burger may not be the best, but if you’re looking for a healthier, smaller option with a great price point, this may be the burger for you.
Taste: 6 Texture: 4 STM: 4 Nutrition: 8 Price: 9
Overall Score: 31
5. Morningstar Veggie Lovers
160 cal, 9g fat
Cost (pack of 4): $6.50
Although the Veggie Lovers burger failed to resemble or taste like the real thing, it still presented an appealing flavor full of various vegetables. With the first bite, your mouth will experience at least five to six diverse flavors, both soft and crunchy. Due to its ten-vegetable base, it is certainly a healthier option for those looking to watch their calorie intake. It also comes in a frozen package, so if you want a quick and easy meal, this burger may be the perfect option for you.
Taste: 6 Texture: 7 STM: 2 Nutrition: 7 Price: 7
Overall Score: 29