Four Meatless Burgers That Are Masterpieces

These four plant-based burgers are so good, you won’t miss the meat.

Whether you’re a full-tilt vegetarian or just trying to rein in your meat consumption, these four veggie options are good enough to give even the best beef burgers a run for their money.

Tickle Pickle’s Buns N Roses

Tickle Pickle is already a local mecca for vegan fare of all kinds (we see you, Coney Bennet), but the Northside joint makes the bold claim of having one of the best black bean burgers in town. This uncomplicated veggie burger is for the black bean purist. Be warned—it’s a bit on the dense side, so pack on all the spicy ketchup you can mustard (ahem, muster). And yes, before you ask, the bun is vegan, too. 4176 Hamilton Ave., Northside, (513) 954-4003

Goose & Elder’s Veggie Burger

For every vegetarian who has suffered through enough microwaved black bean burgers to last a lifetime, there’s hope for you yet. Find it in Goose & Elder’s unassumingly named veggie burger, a haloumi-crowned beast that presents veggie connoisseurs with a rare sensation—feeling full and satisfied after a meal. The moist, delectably seasoned falafel is the main act, but it’s the creamy za’atar mayo that really steals the show and asks the question: Why can’t every veggie burger be this good? 1800 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 579-8400

Bard’s “The Bard Boy” (Veggie Edition)

Bard’s Burgers & Chili may be best known for its Food Network–famous cheese curds and artery-clogging “Bardzilla” challenge, but don’t sleep on the vegetarian options. While there technically isn’t a veggie burger on the menu, you can substitute a house-made bean patty for practically anything on the burger menu. We opted for a vegetarian version of The Bard Boy, which follows the familiar Frisch’s formula (cheese, lettuce, pickle, and tartar sauce). Pair it with a half-and-half order of cheese curds and pickle chips, and you’ve got a meal that’ll make your taste buds sing. 3620 Decoursey Ave., Latonia, (859) 866-6017

Herb & Thelma’s Veggie Burger

Many moons ago, 82-year-old Covington institution Herb & Thelma’s took home the title of Cincinnati Magazine’s best burger. Sure, it seems a bit blasphemous to talk about the bean patty at such a down-home dive. But by some stroke of genius, this Pike Street fixture gets the veggie burger right, thanks in part to a fresh-off-the-grill patty, bread-and-butter pickles, and a special menu add-on: watermelon relish. Don’t question it. Just trust us on this one. 718 W. Pike St., Covington, (859) 491-6984

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