In Search of DC’s Best Burger….


It all started when the Boy and I aimlessly wandered into Trio on 17th Street in DC. I wasn’t really expecting much from the joint…it was just a compromise decision because we were both very hungry. I usually don’t eat a lot of red meat (or any meat for that matter…especially if you take a look at my new recipe index), but that night I really, really wanted a burger. I ordered the bacon cheeseburger (because everything tastes better with bacon…and uhmm we all know my unholy love for cheese), thinking I could at least get a burger better than McDonald’s at a local joint. What was placed before me, however, was ohhhhh soooo much more.

The burger was amazing…excellent flavor, perfectly cooked with wonderfully crisp bacon. We were both surprised at the lovely melding of beef, bacon and cheese and really loved the fact that the burger came with mayonnaise on the side (usually I have to ask for mayo when I order a burger…yes, I put mayo on my burger. Don’t judge). I could tell the burger was made from fresh ground beef and not a frozen patty dethawed and thrown on the grill. Lightly seasoned, the patties were thick without being too chewy and although I order my burgers well done, it didn’t have a charred taste to it. In other words, it was fucking fantastic

Since that fateful encounter, I have been mulling over in my mind if Trio could in fact have the best burger in DC. Because of my fierce integrity and loyalty to you the readers, I have opted to sacrifice myself on the alter of beef in search of the best burger in DC. My research has already begun with a New Year’s Day trip to Annie’s Paramount Steak and Seafood with our friends Carmen and Aster. Carmen loves their sliders and several other foodies have extolled the virtues of “Annie’s Famous Burgers”, so I was curious to see how they stacked up. While the burgers were good, they weren’t as good as Trio’s. Blasphemy to some, I know, but this is my search not yours. Like Trio, I could tell the patties were made fresh but there wasn’t as much flavor to them. Had I not had the burgers at Trio first, I would have loved Annie’s burgers. However, the damage had already been done and the bar had been raised.

Someone suggested I consult local food sites, the Post and the Washingtonian to get their advice on the best burgers in DC. But I have decided to pick places at random and on a whim to keep my opinion unbiased. And no, I’m not going to Fuddrucker’s…or any other chain for that matter (and that includes Five Guys…I lived in North Carolina for seven years and still don’t understand the hype surrounding that place). I’m sticking to local restaurants in and around the DC metro area. If you have any suggestions, let me know and I’ll give them a whirl! But next up? Stoney’s Bar and Grill in Logan Circle….stay tuned!

UPDATE:  Based on some suggestions, I am adding Clyde’s, District Chophouse and Palena to my list of burgers to try.  Keep the suggestions coming!  Remember, help me help you!


Filed under Restaurants

10 responses to “In Search of DC’s Best Burger….

  1. I think Palena has the best high-priced burger in DC. And I don’t care how 1999 this comment may be, Five Guys makes a damn fine burger for five bucks, and it’s just as good as when they had two stores.

  2. Alex in Shaw

    I’m also surprised at your experience at Trio — the place is fun, but for drinks and outdoor space first, food second. Their frangelico vanilla milkshake is pretty transcendental.
    My favorite burger is at the District Chophouse in ChinaTown. Tender, drippy goodness with that melding of flavors that always manages to pleasantly surprise me from something as humble as a hamburger.

  3. @ Jamie – I will have to put Palena on my rotation. As for Five Guys, I stand by what I said. The times I have gone, the burgers have been so greasy, I couldn’t eat them all. The patties had no flavor and once, it was so underdone, I’m almost positive it told me it’s name was Elsie.

    @ Alex – I have been to the District Chophouse but haven’t had their burgers. Adding it to my list! Thanks for the suggestion!

    @ Rickbman – We will probably be hitting one of these places this weekend, so bring your appetite!

  4. Well I can tell you who doesn’t have the best burgers in DC. That Good Stuff Eatery or whatever it was called. Trios’ burgers were really damn good though.

  5. Your article resonated with me, as I was just thinking about burgers this morning (actually, crepes, but I’d segued to the whole idea of simple, flavorful food). I think that a good burger can be a sublime experience. I’m not a fan of the piled-high burger, as in your picture, though; I simply want a crisp bun, some raw onion, and that’s it. Oh, and mayo – yes, that’s excellent — I’ve been having it that way literally for decades.

  6. @ Bill – I am not a fan of the piled high burger either but I liked the composition of the photo. And yayyyy for mayo on a burger! If you are in the DC area, feel free to offer burger joint suggestions!

  7. Colleen

    What did you think of Stoneys…as a Logan Circle girl, that is my favorite spot for a good burger!!! I recently tried Commissary…yuk. The burger was sooo dry!

    • @ Colleen – This week was a bit hectic, so I haven’t made it to Stoney’s yet. It’s on my “to-do” list for this weekend! Will post about it next week, so stay tuned!

  8. Nice! I appreciate your field work searching for DC’s best burger, and I will definitely be getting a burger next time I find myself ordering food at Trio. I like mayo on my burger too.

  9. dirk d

    I actually like BGR:The Burger joint in Bethesda. Burgers are fresh, big, juicy and are cooked to order.

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