The 4 Best Types of Lettuce for Wraps and Burgers


Lettuce wraps are a savior if you still want to eat burgers and wraps while watching your calories.

They don’t work as well as bread does, but some types of lettuce are better than others.

After eating dozens of wraps over the years, and trying many types of lettuce, here are my top 4 from best to worst.

1. Butter Lettuce

butter lettuce head

It’s not always easy to find, but if you have access to butter lettuce, it’s the best option for wraps.

The leaves are both long and broad, most closely resembling a circle of any lettuce type.

Also, the leaves are relatively strong, they won’t fall apart when you start eating unless you’re rough with them.

2. Red/Green Leaf Lettuce

red leaf lettuce

You can find red or green leaf lettuce in almost every grocery store.

It’s comparable to romaine, but I feel like it’s a bit better for wraps for 2 main reasons:

  1. It’s fairly broad, so you can fit a decent amount of food inside.
  2. It’s more flexible, you can wrap red or green leaf lettuce and it will rarely crack or tear.

Still, there’s a bit of crunch, and this is my go-to option when butter lettuce isn’t available.

3. Romaine

romaine lettuce

Romaine is best used for “boats”, but not for wraps.

It’s an okay option, but only the outer leaves are good for wraps, and even then they are pretty narrow, limiting the amount of food you can actually wrap.

While the crunch of romaine is nice texture-wise, it often snaps when you try to fold it around food.

4. Iceberg

iceberg lettuce

If you’re really in a pinch, iceberg can be used for wraps, but it should really be a last resort.

The pieces of iceberg lettuce are big and round, which is the perfect shape for a wrap, but they’re very fragile. It typically tears when you try to roll it up. If you do go with iceberg, wrap very slowly and carefully.

A Better Option Than Lettuce?

What I’ve found through trial and error is that the best plant wrap isn’t actually lettuce.

Instead, try one of the following 3 alternatives:

  • Swiss chard
  • Collards
  • Savoy cabbage.

All of these are stronger than lettuce, but still relatively flexible without as big of a risk of tearing.

It will change the taste of your wraps a bit, but not necessarily in a bad way.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.