This past Saturday, April 22, New Paltz, got an exciting addition to its downtown: A Moonburger chain! The all vegetarian fast food style eatery first came to existence a couple years back with the opening of its first location in Kingston, NY. The location in Kingston is drive-through only, and features a simple but yummy menu of vegetarian and vegan burgers, fries, shakes and sodas, all at cheap fast food prices. The store was a huge success, and its location right off of Route 87 gave travelers and locals alike easy access to it. Following this success, Moonburger decided to open a second location, right here in New Paltz! The new Moonburger took over the old location of Mexicali Blu on Main Street, a beloved local Mexican eatery that recently closed.
After an invitation-only soft launch with local businesses, Moonburger opened its doors this past weekend. I was able to try it out right after the lunch rush this past Sunday. The narrow storefront is stark white with red lettering and a bench placed out front. Entering, you are hit with the classic burger joint atmosphere: frying oil, melting cheese and the whir of a milkshake blender. With a sea of bright-red-clad employees and the prompt greeting from the cheery cashier the experience neared sensory overload. Without the space for a dining area, the company has opted for a text based system to notify you when the order is ready. The whole experience of ordering and getting your food was made easy and simple by the minimal menu and helpful counter person.
Moonburger’s menu is only a page long but has everything you need. It exclusively offers plant-based burgers (starting at $6.89!) with the option for dairy cheese or vegan cheese, which is a dollar upcharge, and offers milkshakes with plant based milks.
Opting for the combo and hot fries, the whole thing came to just $11.95 before tip. Waiting outside on the street with the other milling customers, I eagerly anticipated the meal. Despite being told a 10-15 minute wait, the order was ready in seven. With order in hand I made my way down Main Street to enjoy the meal on a Rail Trail bench. The fries (with ketchup automatically included) were the standout: Fresh, crisp, with a satisfying heat. The soda came in a can (my favorite), and the burger met all expectations, though did not necessarily exceed them. The Impossible patty delivered what you would expect, the veggies were relatively fresh, and the cheese was melted to perfection. When compared to a bill of up to $20 for a similar meal at a chain like Five Guys or the equivalent Impossible Burger at Burger King, our local joint shined. The price, ease and locality of Moonbuger made for an absolutely delightful experience!
Moonburger can be found at @moon.burger on instagram. Their bio reads, “A burger stop made for now- and made for everyone.”