It seems like Washington DC has a new restaurant opening every week. With all the new culinary options, it is hard to pick one to visit. So we want to help you, our readers, with your choice of hamburger.

There are really two different types of hamburgers, the “basic” burger and the “gourmet” burger. The “basic” burgers are the cheap, a little messy, usually made with thinner patties and a higher fat to meat ratio (somewhere around the 80% meat to 20% fat ratio). These hamburgers are cooked with brevity in mind and they are flattened on the grill to cook faster so they can serve them fast. The gourmet burgers are usually a thicker pattie with a higher meat to fat ratio (somewhere around 85% meat to 15% fat ratio). These hamburgers are usually accompanied with fancy extras like caramelized onions, a flaky-crust bun, arugula or fontina cheese. Theses hamburgers, the chef takes much pleasure in a slower cooking process and checking the temperature with a thermometer to make sure the burger is just right.

Here are the restaurants that really stand out from the crowd that take the extra step to create (or give you the option to create) the perfect Hamburger.

These are The Best Burgers in DC

Five Guys

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Before the burger craze took over Washington, D.C. one of the first established burger shops was Five Guys. The Murrell family opened the doors of the first Five Guys in 1986. Their vision was to serve a quality hamburger that you can take on the go. This custom burger shop makes the burgers the way you want, with mushrooms, BBQ sauce and diced onions just to name a few options. You can not go wrong with your creation. Whether you add the basic condiments to your Five Guys burger or load it up with every messy extra and cheesy goodness to make this hamburger finger licking good.

Burger Tap and Shake

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Burger Tap and Shake is located near foggy bottom and it is a unique burger joint. The hamburgers here are a true gem and they even serve $5 hamburgers for breakfast. On their specialty menu, you can get hamburgers minus the moo. Their specialty creations include hamburgers made out of chicken, veggie, and pork and veal. You can also choose to build your own with extras like smoked bacon or fire roasted green chiles. Burgers here are cooked to your liking and perfect for the tastes of the businessmen/women and the college kids that populate the area.


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A DC favorite! Z-Burger, just as the name says is grilled to perfection. Z-Burger serves 75 different types of milkshakes and made to order hamburgers that can give you the meat sweats, all in a fun futuristic yet old fashion diner. It is not your typical burger shop. The buns are super-fresh, the veggies are crisp, and the beef patty have a straight from the backyard grill flavor. With crispy french fries, the combo will keep you well feed for the whole day.

Shake Shack

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The Shake Shack, a popular New York burger restaurant, has finally transplanted a location to DC. The Shake Shack began in 2004 as a simple hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in Manhattan and has now exploded to 14 locations on the east coast and two locations in in the Middle East. Everything connected to the burger is impeccable. The bread is soft and inviting. The pickles are perfectly seasoned. The Veggies are fresh and tasty. The crinkle-cut fries were are surprisingly soft and moist on the inside but with a good amount of crunch on the outside.

Rays Hell Burger

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Ray’s Hell Burger is Presidential Approved. In a city like DC where gourmet burgers are a dime of dozen, Ray’s is always the exception. With a decent price and a knack for burgers, Ray’s Hell Burger will put you in food heaven. The sheer size of the hamburger will amaze you, not to mention the endless combinations of additives, all of which compliment this burger extremely well.

Good Stuff Eatery

Best Burgers in DC
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Good Stuff Eatery is owned by celebrity Chef Spike Mendelsohn. After Mendelsohn appeared on Top Chef Season 4 he came home to open up a burger restaurant to serve the best of America’s nostalgic foods, hamburgers, french fries and shakes. A frequent visitor of the Good Stuff Eatery is First Lady Michelle Obama. This “eatery” is also a capitol hill favorite and it is filled with Hill staffers everyday at lunch. Our readers voted (with over 50% of the vote) this as their number one burger spot.

Spike has a magic touch with his burgers. Try combining a Good Stuff Burger with the rosemary french fries, the contrast is amazing.

Other Suggestions by Friends and Contributors:

Arnie – Everyday Mentor

Out of all of them, my favorite burger resides in two places (not totally inexpensive but really good) is the one at Bistro Bis (huge and a full meal) and the one at the lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

The Hungry Lobbyist (THL)

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For my money, the best burger in DC is at Thunder Burger. This biker bar gone chic look has a great vibe in an historic building in Georgetown. The burgers are always moist and cooked perfectly and the ability to fully customize ones burger with over 2 dozen complimentary and paid-for toppings truly makes it a dinning experience. Treat yourself to the Big Pimpin burger made with Kobe and seared Foie Gras at least once in your life.

The burger’s more manageable younger brother, The Slider, should not be overlooked! DC has many great slider options. While Morton’s remains a classic DC staple for sliders, a newcomer to DC, PJ Clarke’s, is throwing down some serious slider goodness!

Bluto – ClotureClub Contributor

I am a nostalgic burger eater. My favorite burger in DC is a toss up between Five Guys and Ray’s Hell Burger.

Five Guys reminds me of eating at a diner or local burger joint but on the go. The quality of the Five Guys fast food hamburger has no match and the amount of food you get for the price is amazing. That grease soaked bag full with a mountain of french fries on top of a made to order hamburger is the envy of all your coworkers as I walk through the door. Carrying that burger makes you feel like you are hoisting the Stanley Cup of hamburgers!

Ray’s Hell Burger, with its no frills restaurant, is a hamburger that I have to take the time to sit down and eat. The size of this hamburger without the necessary sides and additions is a feat to finish all on its own. The staff at Ray’s Hell Burger seems to love what they do, so it makes the burger experience even better. I work in DC and it is not easy to get to their location over the river during my short window for lunch during the week. But at least three times a year I take the pilgrimage to Arlington, Virginia during my lunch break just to get one of their delicious hamburgers.

Jack P – ClotureClub Contributor

Hand’s off it’s Kitchen 2404. Their Kitchen burger is half off on Tuesdays I think and it’s incredible. Pair it with their great mac and cheese.

Best Burgers in DC, want more reviews, check this out!

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