This collaboration between Kramerbooks and Federalist Pig (one of our favorite BBQ spots in the city) led to a major win for burger lovers right when we needed it the most, opening in April 2020 just after COVID-19 lockdowns went into place. The ghost kitchen operates out of the bookstore’s Afterwords Cafe, where pitmaster Rob Sonderman pulled together a menu of cheesesteaks, fried chicken sandwiches, and an epic smash burger topped with melty American cheese, shredded lettuce, pickles, and a special sauce.
Another delivery-only burger joint opened to serve Northern Virginia and DC in April 2021. This concept from Brendan L’Etoile, the chef behind popular bistros Chez Billy Sud and Café Colline, serves up burgers topped with Swiss cheese and mushrooms, bacon and BBQ sauce, and more. The signature Oh Gee is a fast-food style burger with American cheese, bibb lettuce, and herby pickles, while more out of the box options like the Gee Washington Carver challenge you to try a burger smothered with peanut butter, bacon, and fried shallots.
At this pandemic-born ghost kitchen by the folks behind Espita Mezcaleria, the burgers range from a classic option, to a “Reuben-esque” version with pickled red cabbage and mushrooms, to the La Hamburguesa with Queso Oaxaca and smoked tomatillo relish. In addition to the to-go option, the Ghostburger menu is also available at Espita, so sip a mezcal cocktail on the side for maximum enjoyment.
At this playful all-day cafe, Erik Bruner Yang and chef Armani Johnson offer up a small but mighty menu of burgers and sides. The AJ (Johnson’s namesake) tops a beef patty with crab dip, Old Bay onions, and lettuce, whereas the EBY (named after Bruner-Yang) comes with char-siu bacon and smoked aioli. Customers can also build their own burgers with toppings ranging from the basic like lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and pickles, to handcrafted, creative toppings like bleu cheese aioli and chili crisp ranch.
Chef Geoff’s popular and reliable CG Burger—topped with crispy bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, and chipotle aioli—has been a happy hour favorite in the city for years. And now that there are two locations, in Cathedral Heights and the West End, you can get this DC staple whether you’re downtown or a bit further from the Mall.
At Shaw’s Convivial, you’ll find French bistro classics like trout almondine, cassoulet, and beef bourguignon. But it’s hard to go wrong with the burger. The double patty burger comes topped with American cheese, bacon, and a side of fries. It’s a classic that’s served during dinner and brunch services.