The Ten: Best Burgers

So many choices, so little time. The Ten is your guide to the best of the best that D.C. has to offer.

This time around, we tackle one of the greatest American inventions of all time. No, not the iPhone or the light bulb – the burger. Though we will never stop loving the classic configuration, we always appreciate creativity. Here’s a rundown of our favorite prime patties around town. Spoiler alert: they aren’t all made with beef.


Ray’s Hell Burger

This Arlington institution sets the gold standard. Get the Big Punisher – a hand-ground 10-ounce patty infused with fiery chipotle chilies that’s topped with a melted slab of Pepper Jack, blackened jalapenos, strings of grilled onions, and spicy house-made Piranha sauce.

Shake Shack

We almost didn’t want to believe the hype when this NYC favorite set up an outlet in Dupont Circle. Then we tried the Double SmokeShack – two patties crowned with cheese, applewood smoked bacon, secret sauce, and cherry peppers. Suddenly, we were spouting more than our fair share of hyperbole.

Burger, Tap & Shake

If you’re in Foggy Bottom in the morning, then pull into this gluttonous pit stop for the best breakfast burger around. The Five Buck Chuck is actually a pork sausage patty that sports melted American cheese and an over easy egg. That’s the story, morning glory.

Green Pig Bistro

Chef-owner Scott Harlan is a mad genius. His bacon burger is two parts beef ground with one part bacon, so you never get a pork-free bite. It’s finished off with a gooey slab of hefeweizen spiked cheese that melts like American, but tastes like smoked gouda mixed with aged cheddar.


The signature burgers at this Falls Church favorite are only available at lunch or at the bar. The best of the three is the Daffy, a rich duck patty unrepentantly capped with foie gras and a rustic sweet ‘n’ sour onion jam.

Find out the other top five by clicking over to CityEats’ Plate blog now.


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