Veggie burgers on Long Island: 4 picks

Houston's veggie burger, served with a side of

Houston's veggie burger, served with a side of couscous. (Credit: Yana Paskova)

Even if you don't eat meat, you can still have a great burger experience with these three vegetarian variations.

HOUSTON'S, 630 Old Country Rd., Garden City, 516-873-1454

The veggie burger at this Roosevelt Field chain restaurant is top-notch. Smoky and caramelized on the outside, it's made with brown rice, black beans, oat bran and beets, brushed with sweet soy sauce and grilled over hardwood before going onto a butter-grilled bun with Jack cheese, mustard, mayonnaise, tomato, onion, lettuce and pickle. On the side: couscous or shoestring fries. ($16 dinner, $15 lunch)

BROWNSTONE BREWING COMPANY, 200 Portion Rd., Ronkonkoma, 631-588-1135

Sweet potato and spinach are the main ingredients in the very good veggie burger served at this lively brew pub. Sharing the plate are fries and slaw ($10.95 dinner, $8.95 lunch)

THE PIT STOP, 1706 Sunrise Hwy., Merrick, 516-223-7799

This ultracasual spot serves a fine house-made veggie burger done with lots of bright, fresh vegetables -- zucchini, yellow squash, onions, eggplant and broccoli -- bound by egg whites and a small amount of bread crumbs. ($7, $10 with fries and a drink)

DIRTYBURGER, 12 Manetto Hill Rd., Plainview, 516-595-7399

With a bright, contemporary look punctuated with a pop of graffiti art, this new burger joint offers a savory surprise with its dirty veggie burger. It's topped with curry mayonnaise, avocado and lemon vinaigrette-dressed greens.

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