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Lunch Break: 5 Healthy Burgers in Washington

Tasty options from local burger joints that won’t leave you feeling too guilty.

Burgers in general may not be the healthiest, but there are a few that are more nutritious than others. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user _mogi.

The words “healthy” and “burger” don’t often go together, especially when said burger is topped with cheese and fried onion straws on a thick bun. But sometimes you just can’t resist a juicy beefwich. Lucky for all of us, local burger joints are beginning to recognize the need for healthy menu options. We rounded up some of nutrition experts’ top picks for burgers in Washington that you—and your waistline—can feel good about.

The Ahi Tuna Burger at BGR 
If you’re watching your weight, try this option from BGR: sushi-grade tuna topped with grilled pineapple and pickled ginger. The tuna provides heart-healthy fats and a wealth of protein.

Single Burger at Shake Shack 
While your very best bet is Shake Shack’s chicken, apple, and sage sausage, a single burger is a decent option. One burger clocks in at 360 calories and 26 grams of protein. If you’re being extra diligent, skip the cheese.

The Little Hamburger at Five Guys 
You’re better off saying no to the cheese, bacon, mayo, and barbecue sauce and asking for ketchup, mustard, and some veggies instead. Vegetarian folks should order the veggie sandwich, with your choice of Five Guys’ vegetable toppings.

Fish Burger at Westend Bistro
Our food experts at The Washingtonian have deemed this burger one of the best items on the menu at Westend Bistro. It’s made from ground and diced wild-striped bass, topped with antioxidant-rich fennel, heart-healthy tomatoes, and saffron aïoli. 

Veggie Burger at Energy Kitchen
Like all menu items at Energy Kitchen, the veggie burger is less than 500 calories and the exact item registered dietitian Tanya Halliday would order off the menu. With a side of black bean salsa, you’ll get a nice dose of protein and fiber in one meal. 

Did we miss one of your favorite burger joints in Washington? Leave a comment and we’ll scope out their menu for a future post in our Lunch Break series.

  • M. Michelle

    I'm sorry but I think this article is highly mis-represented. When I think of burgers, I think of true beef burgers and there's only one true beef burger on this list. I think it's really a stretch to substitute a "sausage link" for a burger - no comparison. let's try this again Washingtonian.

  • EK

    I could not agree more. A burger consists of a patty. Most of these are just sandwiches.

  • commander crabb

    Try Silver Diner's Bison Burger - Awesome!

  • swmluvah

    You shouldn't be allowed to call just anything on a bun a "burger".

  • Burger Days

    This is 100% correct.

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