Sorry, vegans and anyone else who abstains from the use of animal products in his/her diet and rejects the commodity status of sentient animals, but we just picked out our top five favorite burgers in all of this great District, and they're pretty damn fantastic. Now go have these cows, man:
No. 5: The Apache Sweat Lodge
Burger, Tap & Shake
2200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW; Foggy Bottom; 202.408.0201
Even though it sounds like a 3-step from Fat Joe, the burger at this Jeff Tunk spot actually features ground-in-house beef that's "char-griddled" (given the open-flame treatment, then thrown on the griddle), then topped with fire-roasted green chilies and habanero Jack.
No. 4: Double Cheeseburger with Shack Sauce
800 F St NW; F Street; 202.800.9930
When this NYC staple moved to town, people had their reservations, but people are idiots because, 1) they don't take reservations, and 2) New Yorkers don't stand in line for just anything, but they do for these delicious Angus beef double stacks w/ cheese, lettuce, tomato, and Shack Sauce. Pro Tip: Hit the new F St spot for the Astro Doughnut-collab concrete.
No. 3: Ray's Hell Burger
Ray's to the Third
1650 Wilson Blvd; Arlington; 703.974.7171
Remember when this place was good, and then it closed and moved across the street -- after OBAMA went there? THANKS, OBAMA. Ray's 100% premium steak (aged in-house) burgers are stand-alone delicious, but it never hurts to touch 'em up with toppings like Ray's Heck Sauce, charred jalapeños, or some seared foie gras with truffle oil.
No. 2: The Cheeseburger
3529 Connecticut Ave NW; Cleveland Park; 202.537.9250
James Beard Award-winning Palena drops in w/ their cheeseburger: an Angus beef patty on a home-baked toasted brioche bun smothered in a house mayonnaise and finished with melty cheese only a James Beard Award-winner would choose: "Sottocenere al Tartufo."
No. 1: The Cheeseburger
Bourbon Steak at the Four Seasons
2800 Pennsylvania Ave; Georgetown; 202.944.2026
This 80/20 dry-aged mix of New York strip & beef is topped with toasted sesame seed buns, Cabot Clothbound cheddar, housemade pickles, and their secret sauce, which's got a bit more than four seasonings (BOOM!). You'll have to swallow a Jackson ($19) in the process, but it's an indulgence Andrew would likely be OK with.
2. Burger, Tap & Shake
2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037
A Washington Circle counter-orderer describing itself as "no-nonsense", BT&S eschews rubber chickens and flower lapels that shoot water at you in favor of rough-hewn reclaimed wood, a giant multi-color wall with George Washington's portrait (by noted urban street artist Jazi Rock), and tabletops made from sugarcane.
3. Ray's To The Third
1650 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22209
Proving that the only thing he has more of than delicious steaks & burgers is clever puns, Michael Landrum's Ray's To The Third: a minimalist Arlington eatery (granite bar, basic wood tables) that lets the mouth-watering steak frites do the talking, especially if you get them ultra, ultra rare.
3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
Stop by Palena for casual Italian eats -- roasted cauliflower, hog loin steak, fried fish -- on Connecticut. Don't miss the market on your way out for baked goods and fancy olive oils.