Announcing Washingtonian’s Great Burger Battle

March Madness for burger fans has begun.

It’s that time of year again: Washingtonian’s annual March Madness-style competition, where we pick a favorite dish and pit local purveyors against one another in a fierce food fight. Last year Taylor Gourmet claimed the big win in the Sandwich Smackdown. This year we’re swapping subs for burgers to find out who makes the juiciest, cheesiest, most crave-worthy patty in game.

Washingtonians love their burgers—thick and skinny, beefy and vegetarian, cheap and splurge-worthy. This competition isn’t meant to be an all-inclusive lineup of all the city’s best—we’d be playing until next March—but we’ve selected 16 strong contenders from various regions: nationals chains like Shake Shack alongside local shops like Good Stuff Eatery, dive joints like the Tune Inn and finer dining restaurants such as Central. All of them delicious in their own ways.

Here’s how it works: each weekday, starting Friday, March 13, we’ll publish a voting page with two competing eateries from the bracket (see the full lineup below). The public can cast their ballot online between 9 and 4 each day, and we’ll announce the winner by 5. The victor goes on to the next round, and eventually the finals. The ultimate winner of the Burger Battle gets major bragging rights, and a trophy pickle.

Get ready to vote in tomorrow’s first match: the Obama-approved Good Stuff Eatery versus Holy Cow, home of the mighty jalapeño popper patty.

May the best burger win.

Let the Voting Begin:

Ray’s Hellburger vs. BGR

City Burger vs. Bourbon Steak Lounge

Shake Shack vs. Elevation Burger

Central vs. Burger Tap & Shake

Smashburger vs. Z-Burger

Five Guys vs. Tune Inn

Good Stuff Eatvery vs. Holy Cow

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.