To the non-vegan, non-health-nut, the new casual restaurant VBurger may seem like a contradiction. It’s a vegan spot … that serves burgers, fries and shakes. How? Why? Don’t vegan health nuts only eat carrot sticks?
But VBurger makes perfect sense, actually, if you know the shift in thinking over the past five years. You see, eating healthy doesn’t mean only eating salads. It means eating what makes you happy – as long as it’s crafted from real, fresh ingredients. That’s how I personally roll. I indulge in ice cream once a week from the farmer’s market. I love sweet potato french fries. I pop my own popcorn and season it with real butter and Himalayan garlic salt. And I feel great!
Clearly, from reading the preceding examples, you can tell I’m not vegan. I’m a conscious carnivore, which means I only eat meat if I know where it comes from. But after having a meal there this week with some of my friends from the Ethical Writers Coalition,* I’ve added VBurger to my short list of places to grab a meal when I’m near Union Square.
I rarely eat red meat. I probably have a hamburger once every six months from a place that sources hormone-free meat from a local farm. I haven’t had a steak in years. So delicious veggie burgers? Absolutely. Several different flavors of veggie burgers? Even better. VBurger also serves organic french fries, onion rings, a mean portobello sandwich, avocado toast, a fried “unchik’n” sandwich, vegan milkshakes, canolis, and whoopie pies, the latter of which were my favorite. OK, they also have salads, if you feel like being boring that day.
Finally – and this is awesome – they have locally-sourced Aqua Vitea kombucha on tap. Why am I so into this? Well, besides the fact that I love kombucha in itself (it’s supposed to do wonders for your skin and digestion), I think it is the perfect replacement for fizzy soda. It feels sort of sad to pair a burger and fries with water. But kombucha, as we found out as we washed our huge pile of fries down, feels like it’s helping your digestion in the same way soda does. Just without the chemicals and high fructose corn syrup.
VBurger is certainly not a place to go on a date – it’s a super casual spot that shares space with a falafel restaurant. But if I still worked near Union Square, I might head there every day for lunch. And I wouldn’t feel guilty about it.
VBurger is located at 815 Broadway between 11th and 12th Streets, just south of Union Square.
*They generously fed us for free.