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Where To Try The Faux-Meat Impossible Burger in the Bay Area

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It’s been more than a year since Impossible Foods rolled out its first faux-meat Impossible Burger to the public, presenting it in dramatic fashion at Momofuku Nishi in New York City. But that was the tip of the imitation meat iceberg.

The burger, which purports to cook, char, and taste like the real, beefy thing, is making its way to larger markets, and Impossible Foods is expanding rapidly with an Oakland production facility underway. Founded in Redwood City by Stanford biochemistry professor Patrick Brown, the Impossible Burger’s secret sauce is its use of heme, a molecule present in blood and some plants.

As other purveyors experiment to recreate the taste (and popularity) of meat without the disastrous effects of industrial agriculture — and, for many, the perceived cruelty of slaughtering animals — the Impossible Burger is blazing a trail at the below restaurants. While it won’t satisfy every meat lover, and could even gross out some longtime vegetarians who would prefer their veggie burger taste nothing like beef, the item’s increasing popularity is a testament to huge public curiosity.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Acacia House by Chris Cosentino

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Cockscomb chef Chris Cosentino, a noted meat fanatic, was an early adopter of the Impossible Burger at his flagship restaurant. He’s since brought the option along with him to his new St. Helena restaurant Acacia House, which opened this spring with partner Oliver Wharton inside the Las Alcobas luxury hotel. You don’t have to get a room (from $695 to over $3,000 per night) to give the burger a whirl. Still it qualifies as a luxury item, served at lunch for $20 with lettuce, dijon mustard, gruyere, caramelized onions, and bread and butter pickles, the same formula as at Cockscomb.

Transit Cafe

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Presidio refueling station Transit Cafe has taken to flipping Impossible Burgers, served with roasted tomato, lettuce, and aioli on a Firebrand burger bun. The cafe is a three-way intersection between stakeholders the Presidio Trust, Bon Appétit management company, and Traci Des Jardins, an ambassador for the Impossible Burger which has been such a hit for her at Jardinière.

Phoebe Papademetriou

Umami Burger Marina

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Umami Burger’s take on the Impossible Burger is a double patty concoction that debuted in Southern California before heading north just this past week. It’s garnished with caramelized onions, miso-mustard, house spread, dill pickles, lettuce, tomato, and American cheese on the restaurant’s signature Umami branded bun. It costs $16, and it’s available at all Umami’s Bay Area locations, which are — in addition to the Marina — SoMa, Oakland, and Palo Alto.

Jardinière

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Jardinière chef/owner Traci Des Jardins served as consulting chef with Impossible Foods as they developed their burger, giving her a head start in devising the recipe for her restaurant’s version. It’s served at the Jardinière lounge starting at 7 p.m. on a first come, first served basis, for $16, with avocado, caramelized onion, little gems, “dijonnaise,” and fries. It’s also cooked slightly “rare” in the middle to show off the blood-red character of the faux meat. The item has a been a huge success for Des Jardins: In a recent interview, the chef called the Impossible Burger her restaurant’s “silver bullet,” bringing in crowds the likes of which she hadn’t seen in a decade.

Cockscomb

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Serving the Impossible Burger at Cockscomb was quite the coup. Its very presence on the menu seemed to say that if this non-meat is good enough for Chris “Offal for Life” Cosentino, it’s good enough for anyone. Now it’s reportedly one of the most-ordered items at the establishment, where it’s served at lunch for $19 like it is at Acacia house, with lettuce, dijon, gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, and bread and butter pickles.

Public House

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The spot to try an Impossible Burger near the ballpark is Public House, which is affiliated with Traci Des Jardins. Public House serves theirs for $14 with “smoke and spice” sauce, caramelized onions, and melted provolone cheese on a sesame bun with a side of homemade potato chips. It’s the same price for their “House Burger” with the real thing. Like Des Jardins’s version at her eponymous restaurant, it’s served rarer than some other versions.

Gott's Roadside

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At (growing) locations from its St. Helena flagship to its spot in Napa’s Oxbow Public Market, in San Francisco’s Ferry Building, and in downtown Palo Alto, Gott’s is bringing the Impossible Burger to customers at the more mass-market price of $10.99 a burger. It’s cooked what would be called “well done,” with American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and Gott’s “secret sauce” on toasted egg bun.

Gott’s Roadside

KronnerBurger

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Kronnerburger chef/owner Chris Kronner lent his burger credibility to the Impossible Burger this spring by including it on a menu mostly geared toward meat like veal sweetbread, bone marrow, and salty, rare beef. Kronner’s Impossible Burger is served with vegan mayo, charred onion, dill pickles, and lettuce on potato pain de mie. Whether it lives up to his juicy flagship Kronnerburger is up for debate, but it probably won’t require as many napkins.

Vina Enoteca

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Vina Enoteca’s presentation of the Impossible Burger encourages sharing: Instead of a single burger, it comes as two sliders for $18, with spicy mayonnaise, red onion, tomato, and lettuce on poppy seed potato buns and with a side of potatoes. And hey, what better place is there enjoy faux agricultural splendor in the form of synthetic “meat” than in the rustic-chic of the old Stanford Barn that houses this restaurant?

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Acacia House by Chris Cosentino

Cockscomb chef Chris Cosentino, a noted meat fanatic, was an early adopter of the Impossible Burger at his flagship restaurant. He’s since brought the option along with him to his new St. Helena restaurant Acacia House, which opened this spring with partner Oliver Wharton inside the Las Alcobas luxury hotel. You don’t have to get a room (from $695 to over $3,000 per night) to give the burger a whirl. Still it qualifies as a luxury item, served at lunch for $20 with lettuce, dijon mustard, gruyere, caramelized onions, and bread and butter pickles, the same formula as at Cockscomb.

Transit Cafe

Phoebe Papademetriou

Presidio refueling station Transit Cafe has taken to flipping Impossible Burgers, served with roasted tomato, lettuce, and aioli on a Firebrand burger bun. The cafe is a three-way intersection between stakeholders the Presidio Trust, Bon Appétit management company, and Traci Des Jardins, an ambassador for the Impossible Burger which has been such a hit for her at Jardinière.

Phoebe Papademetriou

Umami Burger Marina

Umami Burger’s take on the Impossible Burger is a double patty concoction that debuted in Southern California before heading north just this past week. It’s garnished with caramelized onions, miso-mustard, house spread, dill pickles, lettuce, tomato, and American cheese on the restaurant’s signature Umami branded bun. It costs $16, and it’s available at all Umami’s Bay Area locations, which are — in addition to the Marina — SoMa, Oakland, and Palo Alto.

Jardinière

Jardinière chef/owner Traci Des Jardins served as consulting chef with Impossible Foods as they developed their burger, giving her a head start in devising the recipe for her restaurant’s version. It’s served at the Jardinière lounge starting at 7 p.m. on a first come, first served basis, for $16, with avocado, caramelized onion, little gems, “dijonnaise,” and fries. It’s also cooked slightly “rare” in the middle to show off the blood-red character of the faux meat. The item has a been a huge success for Des Jardins: In a recent interview, the chef called the Impossible Burger her restaurant’s “silver bullet,” bringing in crowds the likes of which she hadn’t seen in a decade.

Cockscomb

Serving the Impossible Burger at Cockscomb was quite the coup. Its very presence on the menu seemed to say that if this non-meat is good enough for Chris “Offal for Life” Cosentino, it’s good enough for anyone. Now it’s reportedly one of the most-ordered items at the establishment, where it’s served at lunch for $19 like it is at Acacia house, with lettuce, dijon, gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, and bread and butter pickles.

Public House

The spot to try an Impossible Burger near the ballpark is Public House, which is affiliated with Traci Des Jardins. Public House serves theirs for $14 with “smoke and spice” sauce, caramelized onions, and melted provolone cheese on a sesame bun with a side of homemade potato chips. It’s the same price for their “House Burger” with the real thing. Like Des Jardins’s version at her eponymous restaurant, it’s served rarer than some other versions.

Gott's Roadside

Gott’s Roadside

At (growing) locations from its St. Helena flagship to its spot in Napa’s Oxbow Public Market, in San Francisco’s Ferry Building, and in downtown Palo Alto, Gott’s is bringing the Impossible Burger to customers at the more mass-market price of $10.99 a burger. It’s cooked what would be called “well done,” with American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and Gott’s “secret sauce” on toasted egg bun.

Gott’s Roadside

KronnerBurger

Kronnerburger chef/owner Chris Kronner lent his burger credibility to the Impossible Burger this spring by including it on a menu mostly geared toward meat like veal sweetbread, bone marrow, and salty, rare beef. Kronner’s Impossible Burger is served with vegan mayo, charred onion, dill pickles, and lettuce on potato pain de mie. Whether it lives up to his juicy flagship Kronnerburger is up for debate, but it probably won’t require as many napkins.

Vina Enoteca

Vina Enoteca’s presentation of the Impossible Burger encourages sharing: Instead of a single burger, it comes as two sliders for $18, with spicy mayonnaise, red onion, tomato, and lettuce on poppy seed potato buns and with a side of potatoes. And hey, what better place is there enjoy faux agricultural splendor in the form of synthetic “meat” than in the rustic-chic of the old Stanford Barn that houses this restaurant?

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