It’s tough to beat a good burger – especially here in southern California where some burger chains originated. Sometimes you’re in the mood for a burger made with something other than beef. From lamb to vegan options, you’ll find plenty of non-beef burgers in Orange County that are worth your while. Try these the next time you’re in the mood for a burger other than the standard beef.

Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine and Cocktails
2607 Main St.
Irvine, CA 92614
(949) 387-8887

Andrei’s is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a burger that is not made of beef. The lamb burger (on the lunch menu) is spiced with cumin, then topped with arugula, tomato, cucumber, and feta cheese. The salty flavor of the feta adds a wonderful dimension to a burger that is already tasty. The burger is served with tzatziki. Don’t let that tzatziki go to waste. Use it liberally on the burger for some extra flavor.

14413 Culver Drive
Irvine, CA 92604
(949) 392-5995

Burntzilla is what happened when two popular Orange County food trucks came together in a brick-and-mortar location. Once you try some of the sliders here, you’ll be happy they did. One slider is fried mozzarella topped with basil aioli and tomato jam. the flavors blend together to give you something that is one part grilled cheese and one part pizza. Another non-beef slider here is the fried chicken topped with garlic mashed potatoes and gravy. It’s like something your mom might make – only smaller.

201 E 4th St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 602-8220

One of the great items on the menu here is the breakfast burger. Don’t let your mother tell you that you can’t eat a burger for breakfast because then you’d miss out on this. The patty is made with sausage, then topped with eggs and hash browns. It is a delicious self-contained breakfast that might become a favorite. This burger is good anytime, but it will be especially good for those days when you drank a little too much the previous night.

2222 Michelson Drive
Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 932-0420

Considering that Butterleaf is a vegan restaurant, you may not expect to find a good burger here. The burger here is made with black beans and quinoa, which makes for a hearty patty. It is topped with lettuce, tomato, and avocado and two sauces: kimchi mayonnaise and banana ketchup. Yes, you read that correctly. The kimchi mayonnaise gives the burger a nice kick that isn’t overpowering. Grab a couple napkins when you order this burger. You’ll need them.

Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern
25001 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 388-8900

It’s tough to beat Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern for location. This place is also pretty good for non-beef burgers. One option is the Nashville hot fried-chicken sandwich (available on the lunch menu). When this is placed on the table, you might wonder what you’re supposed to do with something so large. It features two pieces of chicken breast, both fried with a spicy, crispy breading. Then it is topped with cole slaw, pickles, and tomatoes. Even if you have to share it, this is a worthwhile lunch.

By Gary Schwind


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