Top 3 Impossible Burgers in St. Louis

The Impossible Burger is a work of scientific art as much as a culinary achievement. It boasts something pretty close to the texture and flavor of a burger due to its use of soy leghemoglobin and genetically engineered yeast. As a result, esteemed chefs all over the country have been experimenting with it nonstop.

When Impossible Burger started rolling out ads in St. Louis earlier this year, the local hype got real. A tremendous number of restaurants started serving their meat-free creations within months. While I still prefer a bean-based veggie or vegan burger, St. Louis restaurants offer some pretty creative and tasty dishes centered around the Impossible Burger. Here are my top three:

the unicorn at layla // photo by lauren healey

1. Layla
The Unicorn at Layla is awesome. The Impossible patty is topped with a vegan cashew and red pepper “cheese” sauce, jalapenos, lettuce and pico, all served on a hearty pretzel bun. The “cheese” is a little salty, a little citrusy and thoroughly nutty (in a good way), and it plays well off the jalapeños. Especially alongside a tasty bowl of tabbouleh and some creamy hummus, The Unicorn ties together seemingly disparate flavors. After trying a number of Impossible Burgers served with the usual suspects (lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup), this thoughtful iteration of an American favorite was totally refreshing.

2. Frida’s
Between the perfectly toasted local ciabatta bun, the fine sear on the Impossible Burger and the tasty Buffalo mustard, the Frida’s version is a winner. I tasted it both with and without the white cheddar (and prefer it without), but if you’re a cheese lover, you’ll definitely appreciate what melted cheddar brings to the plate. I’m a very hungry man, and I wasn’t able to finish the accompanying side salad.

the impossible burger at the royale // photo by lauren healey

3. The Royale
I’m usually skeptical of a burger so basic on paper: an Impossible patty topped with vegan Daiya cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion on a vegan ciabatta bun. Yet The Royale succeeds in elevating a somewhat common dish to a pretty gratifying level. Unlike other restaurants that either overreached or fell short, The Royale’s classic preparation really hits the mark – especially when served alongside a Bell’s Oberon or a Boulevard Tank 7.

Adam Rothbarth is a freelance writer and editor in St. Louis.