By Lori Melton
The Greater Detroit Area boasts plenty of restaurants and cafes that serve up some tasty vegetarian options. Vegetarians, vegans, and anyone who’s seeking a change from a traditional beef burger should check out our list below to find five of the best places to grab a non-beef burger in and around the Motor City.
4265 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
The HopCat is a fun, upbeat place that originally launched in Grand Rapids. The Detroit location opened in 2014 and boasts a two-story bar and restaurant that houses over 130 craft beer taps. The turkey burger is fabulous. The herbed turkey patty is made in-house and comes garnished with chilled marinated tomatoes, basil, lemon, garlic and feta cheese crumbles, featuring spinach and yummy pesto aioli. You can also opt for a chipotle black bean patty – which is also delicious. The HopCat is known for its signature “Crack Fries” (named as such because they’re so addictive). The fries are a must-try and make a great side for burgers.
4620 Cass Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
Detroit’s premiere art bar and restaurant is a popular college hangout, as its located near Wayne State University. The Cass Café proudly displays art works of local and nationally known artists. The Café Lentil Burger is a house specialty and is bursting with all kinds of flavor. The patty features walnuts, lentils, Parmesan, and other ingredients. It’s dressed with spinach and tomato on a toasted onion bun and is served with a side of honey mustard.
This place originated in Ann Arbor in 1973 and expanded to open a mid-town Detroit location in 2011. The menu features a lot of great vegetarian options, including a great Tempeh Burger which is a sizable chargrilled tempeh patty on a toasted pretzel bun. It comes with lettuce, tomato and a choice of cheese. It comes with a pickle spear and choice of side, such as a fresh apple, peanut-kale salad, French fries or yam fries. The burger is reasonably priced for the quality, at $13.
Café Muse is featured on several notable “Best” lists in Detroit publications like Metro Times and The Detroit Free Press and national outlets like Esquire Magazine, Readers Digest and was even featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show when Oprah’s BFF Gayle King stopped by and endorsed it on a food expedition. (She sampled the amazing grilled cheese sandwich). The vegan burger is given a spicy twist. The patty is made with black bean, brown rice, and red lentil. It’s topped with salsa and served open face on whole wheat bread. All sandwiches are served with a choice of chips or salad du jour.
215 W. Nine Mile Road
Ferndale, MI 48220
This well-known Ferndale restaurant is owned by cardiologist Dr. Joel Kahn, who is known as “America’s Heart Healthy Doc.” So, the menu boasts heart-healthy, organic options with a key noting GF (gluten free), OF (produced without any cooking oils), NF (produced without any nuts), etc. for guidance in specific dietary restrictions. The Quinoa Lentil Burger features a Cremini mushroom, lentil, quinoa and sweet potato patty with organic leaf lettuce, pickled onion, chimichurri mayo, and pickle. You can request a gluten free bun and add topping like avocado, cashew cheese and mushrooms for an additional charge.
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