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The 15 best burgers in DC

From hamburgers to veggie burgers, the quest for the best burgers in DC takes us to local spots serving top patties

Photograph: Shutterstock
By Scott Rodd |

A thoroughly challenging (though very tasty) list to compile, the selection of the best burgers in DC takes us to some of the most delicious local eateries, serving all kinds of cheeseburgers, veggie burgers and hamburgers. After all, although the best hot dogs in DC, the best pizza in Washington DC and the best sushi in DC are perfectly acceptable (and delicious) meals, sometimes all you’re really craving is a carefully contructed patty.

Best burgers in DC

Carving Room
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Carving Room

Carving Room burger at Carving Room

icon-location-pin Chinatown

Carving Room is known for its finely crafted sandwiches made with high quality meats—and its signature burger is no exception. Made from ground brisket and piled high with mixed greens, bacon onion compote and sriracha mayo, this burger is a spicy, flavorful delight. It’s served on a brioche bun and comes with fries or a side salad. Carving Room’s rotating draft list, low-key ambiance and solid happy hour make it a go-to spot to blow off some steam after work. It’s no surprise, then, that the venue has garnered some attention in recent years, including a spot on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-In, and Dives.

Time Out says
Uniontown Bar and Grill
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Mo A.

Uniontown burger at Uniontown Bar and Grill

icon-location-pin Southeast

Balanced seasoning and fresh angus beef make the burger at Uniontown Bar and Grill a go-to. The historic building that houses Uniontown—with its high ceilings and solid acoustics for live performances on weekends—also adds to the dining experience. Our only criticism is that the burger plays it a little on the safe side. Bacon, cheese, grilled onions and tomatoes make for fine additions—but, given the bold flavors of some of the entrée options, we’re certain that a little more adventurousness would bring this burger to the next level.

Time Out says
Red Apron
Photograph: Scott Rodd
Restaurants, Sandwich shops

Triple stack burger at Red Apron

icon-location-pin Penn Quarter

This guy is a formidable wall of meat—not overwhelming, but it definitely packs in the protein. Expect two parenthetical beef patties with a smoky chorizo patty in between, all locally sourced from farms in the DMV. The spicy chorizo is nicely complemented by a cool tomato aioli. While the burger can be a little salty, the caramelized onion and bacon marmalade help keep it balanced.

Time Out says
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Scott K.

Double pimento burger at EatBar

icon-location-pin Capitol Hill

If you’re looking for a burger with a kick, this one’s for you. The pimento cheese gives it a smoky-spice and the San Marzano tomato jam brings some additional zing. The jam, however, can be a little overpowering—even the biggest spicy food lover won't want the flavor of the burger itself to be masked. The atmosphere at EatBar is pretty unbeatable—any spot that has Bad Brains, De La Soul and Devo on the same jukebox automatically earns our respect.

Time Out says
Red Derby
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Tiziana B.
Bars, Rooftop bars

Bacon cheddar burger at Red Derby

icon-location-pin Columbia Heights

The Red Derby bacon cheddar burger is a very solid option—filling, flavorful and juicy. It may not offer the bells and whistles of other burgers on this list, but it holds its own. And at $6 on Monday nights, there’s no better bang for your buck in town. To wash it all down, you can choose from a wide selection of beers—from $2 Natty Bohs to rich imperial stouts—or leave it up to the bartender for a $10 dealer’s choice beer/shot combo (“no bitchin’, no moanin’, no refund”).

Time Out says