These days, an increasing number of the population is switching over to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Some do it by personal choice while others (for health reasons, let's say) have to make the switch due to certain dietary restrictions.

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The point is, whatever the reason behind the dietary switch, it doesn't have to be a bad thing. Take the veggie burger, for instance. Sure, back in the late 80s and early 90s (the "early days" of the mass-produced veggie burger), they could be bland and tasteless, but --news flash-- those days are long gone.

Not to mention, think of the positive impact that plant-based foods have on us as well as Mother Earth. Recently, in honor of National Veggie Burger Day (June 5), I decided to take a look at the best places in the vicinity to feast on a veggie burger.

And, as they often do, Yelp, the ratings and reviews website, provided me with the sought-after answers I was looking for. According to Yelp here are the top 10 places to get a veggie burger in western Massachusetts (and I'm happy to report that 3 of them are right here in Berkshire County!):

  1. Local Burger - Northampton
  2. Pulse Cafe - Hadley
  3. Nosh Restaurant & Cafe - Springfield
  4. Eat - Springfield
  5. Thrive Diner - 145 Wahconah St., Pittsfield
  6. Johnny's Tavern - Amherst
  7. Alta Restaurant & Wine Bar - 34 Church St., Lenox
  8. Plan B Burger Bar - Springfield
  9. Foxtown Diner - Shelburne Falls
  10. 51 Park Restaurant & Tavern - 51 Park St., Lee

A hearty round of congratulations to our three local establishments that landed in the top 10! Nice job! Also, two more Berkshire eateries made it into the top 20: Water St. Grille, 123 Water St. in Williamstown, just missed the top 10 landing at #14. And the Freight Yard Pub, 1 Furnace St. in North Adams hit the #16 spot.

Yelp put together the list by evaluating all of the western Massachusetts restaurants that serve veggie burgers on its platform on several factors. Take a look at the full list by visiting Yelp's website here.

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