Washington DC is not only known for its rich history and iconic monuments but also for its diverse food scene. Among the many culinary delights, the city offers a wide variety of burger joints that cater to different tastes and preferences. From classic burgers to unique gourmet creations with creative toppings, there’s a burger for everyone in the nation’s capital.
Best Burgers In DC: Classic Burger Joints
The restaurants below offer a classic burger in a casual environment. When it comes to solid American food, the restaurants below do not disappoint.
Duke’s Grocery – Top Pick
A local favorite is Duke’s Grocery, an establishment inspired by cafes and pubs throughout East London. The original location is in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, while the second location is in Foggy Bottom. The restaurant’s name is a nod to the founder’s grandfather, who ran a grocery store in London’s East End. Duke’s Grocery is known for its creative takes on classic British pub fare.
They offer one of the best burgers in DC, dubbed The Proper Burger, which sources ingredients from local farms and has a double patty. The Proper Burger is made with two beef patties, beer-soaked onions, and Montgomery cheddar cheese, and a Scotch Egg, a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage and breadcrumbs. The restaurant also offers a range of sandwiches, salads, and sides, as well as an extensive beer and cocktail list.
Good Stuff Eatery
Good Stuff Eatery is a popular fast-casual restaurant in Washington, D.C. that specializes in gourmet burgers, fries, and milkshakes. The restaurant was founded by Chef Spike Mendelsohn, who gained national recognition on the reality cooking show Top Chef.
The signature burger at Good Stuff Eatery is called the “Spike’s Sunnyside,” and it is a fan favorite. The burger is made with a juicy beef patty, melted muenster cheese, a runny fried egg, and applewood-smoked bacon, all served on a freshly baked bun. The burger is topped with the restaurant’s “Good Stuff Sauce,” which is a tangy and slightly spicy condiment made with mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, and pickles.
Union Market Lucky Buns
Lucky Buns in Union Market is known for serving delicious burgers with bold and exciting flavors. They offer a variety of burgers on their menu, including the “Hot Tiger Bun” which is a popular dish according to Yelp. They also serve chicken sandwiches and breakfast burritos
Best Burgers In DC: Gourmet Burger Restaurants
If you’re looking for a gourmet experience with high quality of beef, check out the restaurants below for the very best burgers.
Le Diplomat – Top Pick
Le Diplomate is a French restaurant that is primarily known for its classic French cuisine. It has a buzzy French bistro vibe on the inside and generous space for outdoor dining as well. While they have a variety of delicious dishes on their menu, their burger is a standout item that has become quite popular.
The Le Diplomate Burger is made with a juicy beef patty, caramelized onions, cornichons, dijon mustard, and melted comté cheese, all served on a brioche bun. The burger is served with a side of pommes frites (French fries).
While the burger may seem simple, each component is carefully selected and prepared to ensure that the flavors and textures work perfectly together. The patty is made with high-quality beef and cooked to order, resulting in a juicy and flavorful burger. The caramelized onions add a sweetness that complements the tanginess of the cornichons and the sharpness of the dijon mustard. The comté cheese, which is a type of French cheese, adds a nutty and slightly sweet flavor that ties everything together.
Blue Duck Tavern
The Blue Duck Tavern Burger is made with a juicy beef patty that is ground in-house and cooked to order. The patty is topped with melted cheddar cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, pickles, and a tangy mustard aioli. The burger is served on a freshly baked brioche bun that is soft and slightly sweet.
What sets the Blue Duck Tavern Burger apart is the attention to detail and quality of ingredients. The beef is sourced from local farms and is ground fresh daily, resulting in a flavorful and juicy patty. The bacon is thick and smoky, and the mustard aioli adds a tangy and slightly spicy kick. This restaurant is a great spot for a great night out.
The Capital Burger is known for serving “luxe burgers” and has a high rating on Yelp with 4.5 stars. The Capital Burger has caramelized onions, Wisconsin grand cru gruyère, and a creamy shallot aioli. If you want to dress up the burger even more you can add aged balsamic mushrooms, and a friend organic egg. If you are allergic to gluten you can replace the bun with a gluten-sensitive bun. Overall, Capital Burger offers a fine dining experience with a focus on high-quality burgers and upscale comfort food. The prices are on the higher side, but the quality of the food and service makes it a worthwhile splurge for a special occasion or a fancy night out
The Unconventional Diner is a modern American diner located in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C. that serves creative and innovative twists on classic diner dishes. The diner’s signature burger is called the “Unconventional Burger,” and it is a popular menu item.
The Unconventional Burger is made with a juicy beef patty topped with melted American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a special “UD sauce” that includes pickles, mustard, and mayonnaise. The burger is served on a house-made brioche bun that is soft and slightly sweet. The patty is cooked to order and has a good balance of meatiness and juiciness.
Best Burgers In DC: Veggie Burgers
If you are looking for delicious burgers made with a vegetarian patty, here are the best options to satisfy your taste buds.
In addition to the classic Unconventional Burger, the diner also offers a vegetarian version made with a patty of portobello mushrooms and lentils, and a vegan version made with a patty of black beans and quinoa. Both options are topped with vegan cheese and a variety of fresh and flavorful toppings.
Blue Duck Tavern
Blue Duck Tavern is an American restaurant in the West End neighborhood of Washington DC. In addition to the Blue Duck Tavern Burger, the restaurant also offers a vegetarian burger made with a patty of roasted mushrooms and lentils, topped with Swiss cheese, arugula, and herb aioli. The burger is served on a whole wheat bun that is nutty and slightly sweet.
Bourbon Steak is an upscale steakhouse in the Four Seasons Hotel. While the restaurant is known for its prime cuts of beef, they also offer a delicious vegetarian burger called the “Farmer’s Market Veggie Burger.” Bourbon Steak takes pride in using fresh, local ingredients in its dishes, and the Farmer’s Market Veggie Burger is no exception. The hand-cut fries at Bourbon Steak are also quick famous and make a great addition to any burger you order.
The Farmer’s Market Veggie Burger is made with a patty of grilled portobello mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and quinoa, and is served on a brioche bun with arugula, tomato, and herbmayonnaise. The burger is topped with melted fontina cheese and has a smoky, savory flavor that is sure to satisfy.
Good Stuff Eatery
In addition to the Spike’s Sunnyside, Good Stuff Eatery also offers several other burger options, including a veggie burger made with a patty of quinoa and black beans, and a turkey burger made with all-natural turkey meat.
Best Burgers In DC
Whether you are looking for an American classic cheeseburger or a quick burger joint, there are many D.C. restaurants that can help you find your fix. For a casual quick burger, check out Good Stuff Eatery which, in addition to a classic burger, also has a veggie burger option. For a fancy experience, check out Le Diplomat, a popular restaurant on 14th street in Washington DC. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a good burger and a great vibe. There are also many places that make veggie burgers as well, though you may have to specially request it.