DC has no shortage of outstanding burgers. Actually, it must have had a shortage, because these eight beautiful beef-creations have recently been introduced to the DC area, and it's now impossible to imagine the burger landscape without them. It is impossible to achieve a burger surplus. There are never enough. Get ready to eat...
B Side (address and info)
Did you think that famous meat-monger, Nathan Anda, would stop at putting just one kind of protein on his latest meat-sterpiece? If so, you don’t deserve the Smokehouse Burger, piled high with pulled pork, red cabbage slaw, and American cheese. What makes the burger sing (like a B-side track) is smoked BBQ aioli. Anda smokes Duke’s mayo over high heat and lets it re-emulsify.
Pinea (address and info)
We’ll get to the patty, but the polenta fries must be addressed immediately. They’re liquid gold. In fact, they’re worth their weight in gold, and you wouldn’t believe how hard they are to make, so savor every nibble. Back to the main attraction: an expertly seasoned, gamey lamb burger made bolder by harissa, feta, and cucumber yogurt. It’s a tall stack, so open wide. The good news is you can get this knockout plate at brunch, lunch, or dinner.
Satellite Room (address and info)
The Satellite Room is serving up a burger topped with the greatest gift our neighbor to the North has given us: poutine. Well, that’s if you don't count Evangeline Lilly. Canada’s concoction of French fries, gravy, and cheese curds come on top of your burger, not beside it, which is so much better. The music-obsessed bar named the burger after Henry Rollins because he helped shape the DC punk music scene of the '80s.
Second State (address and info)
You don’t have to like Philly fans, Yuengling suds, or Sidney Crosby to dig the Keystone Burger at this Pennsylvania-themed restaurant. You don’t even have to like Pittsburgh’s Heinz ketchup, because Second State makes its own. The Keystone features an 8oz coffee-rubbed beef patty, aged sharp cheddar, crispy bacon, and red wine shallot aioli -- because you fancy.
The Cuban Burger
Plan B Burger Bar (address and info)
In celebration of our newfound relations with Cuba, try this ground pork burger with the fixings of a proper Cubano sandwich: bacon, spicy mustard, cheddar cheese, and pickles. Get a giant one just for you, or try it in Plan B’s burger flight (which gets you three sliders). Joining the Cuban Burger are The Italian Job and the classic Tavern Burger. You may end up putting mustard on your burger for the rest of time.
Smoked Kobe-Style Burger
Station 4 (address and info)
Wagyu beef is between the brioche buns, so you can expect an extra-rich burger experience at Station 4. They get their Kobe-style beef from Snake River Farm (like some Michelin-starred restaurants) and top it with stinky Stilton blue cheese, grilled onions, Boston lettuce, and mayo. Just in case your cardiologist wasn’t already concerned, it comes with a side of duck fat fries. This burger is worth its Andrew Jackson price tag.
DC9 (address and info)
Stop pretending you go to DC9 for the music or the dancing. You go for the burgers. There’s a new one to add to your roster: The Irish Channel burger, named after the New Orleans neighborhood. It’s 8oz of all-natural beef wearing Guinness caramelized onions, white cheddar cheese, and house-made Creole mustard. Of course it comes with their crave-worthy garlic fries (and house-made pickles).
Citizen Burger (address and info)
Clarendon just got a Charlottesville, VA transplant in the form of Citizen Burger. The farm-forward burger joint only puts the best ingredients on a bun. Take The Executive for example: truffled brioche plays home to an 8oz Timbercreek patty hiding under decadent layers of foie gras bites, Nueske’s bacon, black onion, fried farm egg, and garlic aioli. It’s a flavor-bomb you won’t soon forget, and the branded bun will remind you where you got it. Word has it, they’re currently looking for space to expand into DC proper.
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1. B Side8298 Glass Alley, Fairfax
2. Pinea515 15th St NW, Washington
3. Satellite Room2047 9th St NW, Washington
4. Second State1831 M St NW, Washington
5. Plan B Burger Bar801 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington
6. Station 41101 4th St SW, Washington
7. DC9 Nightclub1940 9th St NW, Washington
8. Citizen Burger Bar1051 North Highland S, Arlington
From meat-monger Nathan Anda, this Mosaic District neighborhood bar and restaurant serves a nice array of bar snacks and main dishes, including rotisifried chicken, steak frites, and the Mosaic Burger: a double patty with Italian beef, provolone, and giardiniere.
Pinea is a chic spot for Mediterranean dishes and snacks. Be sure to try the lamb burger, available at brunch, lunch, or dinner.
This diner-bar has some classic American favorites with a Mexican flair. There's chorizo and potato hash, build-your-own burgers, and spiked shakes, like the Hollywood-inspired Vincent Vega, a creamy vanilla and Bulleit bourbon fusion that should become a routine nightcap.
This Pennsylvania-focused restaurant in the former Mighty Pint space offers a rye-driven cocktail menu, including the Second Statement (with Wigle rye, PA raw honey, Absinthe, and aromatic bitters served on fancy ice). What you won’t find on the menu is beer produced anywhere but Pennsylvania. They’re not kidding about this theme. Bites include a foie gras-topped burger with caramelized onions and banana jam (available at lunch), cheddar pierogies, and a coffee-cocoa-rubbed venison chop. Also heed the sign posted in the bar: Enjoy your food, not your phone.
Plan B Burger Bar is a small Connecticut-based chain, and this DC outpost is the first to open its doors outside of New England. The burgers here are as good as it gets: fresh, never frozen, wet-aged whole chucks that are hand-ground in-house several times a day. And it doesn't hurt to have your patty paired with the addictive "blue" chips (potato chips slathered with warm blue cheese sauce, tomatoes, bacon, red onion, and jalapeños).
Anchoring the Southwest Waterfront Station, 4's a swanky bistro serving up "global cuisine" from a chef late of Barcelona's molecular gastronomy standout El Bulli, and boasts a 40ft gold-painted bar, columns and walls shimmering with black river stones, pushpin leather couches, and teardrop-crystal chandeliers, meaning they've done horrible, horrible things to less murderous chandeliers.
DC9 is a club with great live music and a nice rooftop bar, but it also has fantastic food, including some of DC's best burgers.
A Charlottesville, VA transplant, Citizen Burger, is a farm-forward burger joint that only puts the best ingredients on a bun. Take The Executive for example: truffled brioche plays home to an 8oz Timbercreek patty hiding under decadent layers of foie gras bites, Nueske’s bacon, black onion, fried farm egg and garlic aioli. It’s a flavor bomb you won’t soon forget, and the branded bun will remind you where you got it.