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Best Burger

Washington D.C.

Everyone has a go-to burger, whether it's from a greasy spoon or a fine-dining restaurant, cheap or expensive, bare-bones or fully loaded. We asked Washingtonians to tell us their favorites — read on to find out which burgers came out on top.

Ratings are out of 30. Key to ratings

Hamburgers are rated in three categories — flavor, ingredients and value — on a 30-point scale.

26–30Extraordinary to perfection
21–25Very good to excellent
16–20Good to very good
11–15Fair to good
0–10Poor to fair

Ratings have been rounded to the nearest whole number, but the top burger rankings are calculated using the non-rounded scores.

  • Overall
  • Flavor
  • Value
  • Ingred.
  • Ingredients
  • Le Diplomate

    Burger Americain

    • 26
    • 29
    • 20
    • 29
    #1

    This Logan Circle bistro offers a stack of two special-blend Pat LaFrieda patties topped with American, pickle chips and onion on a housemade sesame brioche bun. Of course, there's also a special sauce. While one commenter deemed the $15 burger too pricey, another seems to think it’s worth it, calling it a "huge, delicious burger.” Read more about Le Diplomate on Zagat.

    lediplomatedc.com

  • Ray's to the Third

    Soul Burger Number One

    • 25
    • 27
    • 21
    • 26
    #2

    Michael Landrum's ground-steak champ (six-oz. for $9.99; 10-oz. for $13.99) won praise for its "exceptional toppings" — bacon, Swiss, cognac-sherry mushrooms and grilled onion. But don't discount the patty, filled with ground chuck, sirloin and leftover steak cuts from Ray's the Steaks, or the potato roll that's soft yet sturdy enough to hold up this hulking burger. Read more about Ray's to the Third on Zagat.

    www.raystothethird.com

    Photo by Rina Rapuano

  • Bourbon Steak DC

    Oak-Fired Prime Dry-Aged Steak Burger

    • 24
    • 29
    • 15
    • 28
    #3

    Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get a bit messy in this tony Georgetown dining room. Order the outstanding burger ($19) topped with sour pickles, cheddar and “secret sauce,” and you won’t be sorry. Voters agree it's even "better than the filet.” Read more about Bourbon Steak DC on Zagat.

    www.bourbonsteakdc.com

  • Good Stuff Eatery

    Spike's Sunnyside

    • 23
    • 25
    • 21
    • 25
    #4

    Chef-owner Spike Mendelsohn of <i>Top Chef</i> fame excels at breakfast for dinner with this bacon- and egg-topped cheeseburger ($6.98) enhanced with Good Stuff sauce — a mix of mayo, ketchup, molasses and rice vinegar — on a soft brioche bun. One fan gushes, “it delivers on a number of levels." (Plus, you might see Obama.) Read more about Good Stuff Eatery on Zagat.

    www.goodstuffeatery.com

  • Burger Tap & Shake

    Six Buck Chuck

    • 23
    • 23
    • 22
    • 24
    #5

    As you may be able to tell from the rest of the list, there aren’t a lot of quality $6 burgers in town — especially one crafted from aged, local and natural beef chuck and brisket. This one needs only the basics plus a blend of just about all the traditional condiments. “Good burger. Good parts. Good value,” says one voter. Read more about Burger Tap & Shake on Zagat.

    www.burgertapshake.com

    Photo by Scott Suchman

  • Shake Shack

    ShackBurger

    • 21
    • 21
    • 21
    • 21
    #6

    It's hard to believe a humanely raised, all-natural burger could go for such a low price ($4.85 for a single; $7.40 for a double), but New York chef Danny Meyer pulls it off. “It's everything you want from a burger," claims one voter. Aside from the meat, we credit the slightly smoky-spicy secret ShackSauce and soft potato roll. Read more about Shake Shack on Zagat.

    www.shakeshack.com

  • Central Michel Richard

    Hamburger

    • 21
    • 22
    • 17
    • 23
    #7

    When Michel Richard makes a burger, it’s somehow nostalgic and mind-blowing all at once — one voter calls it "outstanding." A buttery brioche bun sandwiches a juicy patty ($18 with "top-notch" fries or salad) and a stack of potato tuiles for crunch. Add cheddar and bacon to this tall, perfect burger to really gild the lily. Read more about Central Michel Richard on Zagat.

    www.centralmichelrichard.com

  • Black & Orange

    The Rogue State

    • 20
    • 22
    • 18
    • 21
    #8

    This combo ($5.95 for a quarter pound; $7.95 for a half pound) — seasoned with a house spice blend, chipotle and cilantro — is this chef-owned burger chainlet's biggest seller. Toppings like cheese, bacon and mushrooms add up, but one commenter says this is “one of the most underrated burger places in DC.” Soft buns come from renowned Baguette Republic. Read more about Black & Orange on Zagat.

    www.blackandorangeburger.com

  • Five Guys

    Cheeseburger

    • 20
    • 20
    • 21
    • 19
    #9

    This mega chain remains a hometown favorite, keeping quality and consistency even after franchising. It starts with "expertly cooked," never-frozen burgers ($5.29 for a single; $7.19 for a double) with unlimited toppings, making it well liked “for a chain." Heaping portions of boardwalk-style fries cooked in peanut oil are just as beloved. Read more about Five Guys on Zagat.

    www.fiveguys.com

  • Ben's Chili Bowl

    1/2 lb. Gourmet Burger

    • 19
    • 19
    • 21
    • 17
    #10

    This historic U Street mainstay is known for its half smokes and its famous visitors (Bill Cosby! Obama!), but our voters had a lot of love for the half-pound burger ($6.95), which one dubbed a “good burger at a good price.” Add chili to these fresh-meat, made-to-order patties for the quintessential Ben's experience. Read more about Ben's Chili Bowl on Zagat.

    benschilibowl.com

Ratings are out of 30. Key to ratings

Hamburgers are rated in three categories — flavor, ingredients and value — on a 30-point scale.

26–30Extraordinary to perfection
21–25Very good to excellent
16–20Good to very good
11–15Fair to good
0–10Poor to fair

Ratings have been rounded to the nearest whole number, but the top burger rankings are calculated using the non-rounded scores.

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