Lekka Burger Opens in Tribeca, from Amanda Cohen, chef of Dirt Candy

|Updated Jan 31, 2020

The next time you're in the mood for vegan comfort food, or have a hankering for a Shake Shack like experience in a cooler, downtown space, head on over to Lekka Burger, the vegan fast-casual restaurant from Amanda Cohen, the chef-owner of Dirt Candy. Cohen and her business partner Andrea Kerzner named the place after the South African slang for the word "cool and tasty" which this eatery definitely is.

Tribeca has become something of a restaurant mecca -- no surprise considering the number of major companies headquartered there, and the new condo developments sprouting up on every corner. Lekka just opened but don't be surprised if the place is packed, considering the owner's reputation for treating vegan eaters to a taste of their favorite foods but plant-based and healthier, and more creative than most of their competitors.

No "Impossible" or "Beyond" meats, here, Cohen prides herself in originality and innovation: the burger is made of a mixture of oils, plants, beans and mushrooms, and other natural ingredients, and the bun is a home-made vegan milk bread. Unlike when you order an alternative burger at fast food joints and have to ask them to hold the sauce, cheese and accouterments, this one comes with vegan mayo, you can add vegan cheese and of course, vegan tomato ketchup.

They serve a mix of fun cocktails including hard kombucha, Five-Boroughs Beer and Lekka carrot punch, with carrot juice, pineapple, and rum. Everything in the place has a purpose to it: The walls are decorated with designs created by students from Kerzner's charity in South Africa, which benefits "at-risk" students, and the stools are created of recycled materials, while the merchandise sales benefit GrowNYC. Kerzner says she and Cohen hope to expand the franchise to 10 restaurants around the city in the coming years.

Lekka Burger is at 81 Warren Street,(between Greenwich and West Broadway streets) and open from 11 a.m. until 10 pm on weeknights and Saturdays and 9 p.m. Sundays. We hope to see you there.