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8 Great Non-Beef Burgers

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George's Cadillac Bison Burger at Ted's Montana Grill. Photo by Andres J. DeLeon

If you’ve got a beef with your variety of burgers, here are eight alternative burgers you can’t turn down.

Lamb Burger

The Fireside Cellars – Woodinville, Washington

Grilling lamb takes skill and precision to get just right. I recommend Chef B’s Lamb Burger at The Fireside Cellars just east of Seattle. The burger contains a half pound of ground lamb, topped with Gruyère cheese, a relish made of pickled red onions, and arugula.

Turkey Burger

Prairie Grass Cafe – Northbrook, Illinois

Turkey might be a tad bit too dry for some, but if topped with the right ingredients, can taste just as great as beef with less saturated fat. The Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook, Illinois boasts an $11 turkey burger served on a toasted bun with cranberry sauce and sweet potato fries.

Lobster Burgers

Rare Bar & Grill – New York City

Rare Bar and Grill offers decadence on a bun with its 7-ounce lobster burger. Lump lobster tail meat is served with cantaloupe melon carpaccio for a light citrusy accent atop a toasted sweet bun.

Ahi Tuna Burgers

Gott’s Roadside – San Francisco, California

Ahi tuna is low in fat, high in proteins, and rich in Omega 3s, making it a great burger alternative. Gott’s Roadside on the Embarcadero serves a tuna burger made with five ounces of seared rare Ahi tuna. It’s served on an egg bun with a sweet and sour slaw, and topped with a ginger wasabi mayo, giving it an Asian touch.

Bison Burgers

Ted’s Montana Grill – Denver, Colorado and other locations

Bison meat resembles beef, but is richer, sweeter, and contains less fat. Though the taste is somewhat gamier at first, by the end of your meal, you’ll likely forget you’re not biting into beef. Ted’s Montana Grill in Denver (named for Ted Turner) cooks your bison to order, and recommends it rare or medium rare. The patties are big and juicy, just the way burgers are supposed to be. Choose your favorite variation, whether it’s Swiss and Mushroom, Bacon, or a Breakfast Bison Burger with grilled ham, tomato jam, and a fried egg.

Duck Burgers

Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen – St. Helena, California
When duck meat is slowly cooked, the tenderness of the meat will only enhance your burger eating experience. Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen in St. Helena, California offers a sweet, spicy, and smoky Chinatown Duck Burger topped with a house made shiitake mushroom ketchup and arugula.

Tempeh Burgers

Aux Vivres – Montreal, Quebec

For vegans who cannot fathom trying a burger, Montreal might tempt you to think otherwise. Tempeh, a fermented soy product that originated in Indonesia, is rich in protein with a nutty flavour. Aux Vivres, one of Montreal’s top vegan restaurant serves a tempeh burger loaded with caramelized onions, lettuce, pickles, and tomatoes, and put over the top by its chipotle mayo.

Shrimp Burgers

Kazu – Montreal, Quebec

Kazu is one of the busiest restaurants currently open in Montreal. With fewer than 20 seats in the entire establishment, be ready to wait to try the shrimp burger. It’s made with a ground shrimp patty grilled to a crisp, served with a soft bun, a thick slice of tomato, lettuce, and a sun-dried tomato soy sauce mayonnaise drizzled on the plate.

Editor’s Note: What’s the best non-beef burger you’ve had? -KK

  • Justin C

    That duck burger sounds pretty tasty.

  • Jill Budzynski

    Oh my goodness, lamb burgers are to die for. I am allergic to beef so I eat a lamb burger every once in a while, and can’t stop saying “Yummy!” while I’m eating it! Grilled on the barbie is best!

Mr. Lew is a high school teacher from Montreal, Quebec. In 2009, after trying Montreal's supposed best burger, he decided to see what else was out there. So, every week, a new burger was added to the Great Burger Search. Since then, Mr. Lew has tried more than 100 burgers in cities across Canada, and hopes to one day expand to the rest of North America. Since Mr. Lew is part Chinese, the search isn't limited only to great burgers, but to other types of cuisine that makes Montreal one of the greatest culinary cities in the world.