Mar 3, 2023 - Food and Drink

Where to find the best, most interesting burgers in D.C.

Illustration of a double cheeseburger being eaten in reverse.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

👋🏼 Cuneyt here. I was recently on a mission to find the most interesting burgers in D.C. (and spike my blood pressure in the process).

  • Here are three hotspots to grab something more than just a classic patty and cheese.
Hill East Burger
The Puebla. Photo: Cuneyt Dil/Axios

🔥 Hill East Burger

Dubbed a “smoked burger saloon,” Hill East Burger has owners with Texas roots, including ties to Tex-Mex restaurant Republic Cantina.

Try: The Puebla — a “smoky poblano burger.”

  • Served with poblano relish, smoked cheddar, beefonaise, mustard, and arugula.

My take: It’s got a playful sweet and spicy taste. Order up to three patties to dial up the messiness.

Pairs with: Chili cheese fries with poblano relish and crema.

Ghostburger
La hamburguesa. Photo: Cuneyt Dil/Axios

👻 Ghostburger

Joe and Kamala played it safe, opting for classic cheeseburgers for their recent Ghostburger order. But if you visit the downtown burger joint, I daresay you should live a little!

Try: La hamburguesa

  • Topped with queso Oaxaca, peanut Macha, smoked tomatillo, and cilantro.

My take: You know when you bite into a perfect slice of pizza, and it produces a stretchy ribbon of mozzarella? That’s how fun it was eating this burger, thanks to the gooey cheese and mix of sweet and savory toppings.

Must pair: Philly fry — seriously crispy crinkle-cut fries with shaved ribeye, onions, and whiz cheese.

Alfies bun. Photo: Cuneyt Dil/Axios

🍀 Lucky Buns

With outposts in Adams Morgan and Union Market and coming soon to The Wharf, Lucky Buns prides itself on “juicy stacks.”

Try: Alfies bun — an Aussie burger.

My take: There’s no shortage of ingredients here — double Creekstone beef patties with a runny egg, gouda, pickled beetroot, grilled pineapple, arugula, griddled red onion … and lucky sauce!

  • But under all that load, the buns inevitably became soaked like pancakes, and then scraps of beet and pineapple ejected all over my plate. Still, it was tasty.

Must pair: Crispy brussels sprouts fried and served with Thai fish sauce vinaigrette, pickled chilis, peanuts, and herbs.

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