5 DC-Area Bar Burgers That You Can Eat Al Fresco

Equal parts messy and delicious.

Burgers at Lucky Buns. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Open-Air Dining

The height of a DC summer isn’t when we’d typically put together a guide to eating alfresco. Nowadays, though, a restaurant’s plant-filled rooftop or charming patio feels as important as its food. If you’re ready to get out, here are 77 favorite ways to dine under the sun, shade, and stars (and stay six feet apart!) right this very moment.

Part of our series of 77 favorite ways to dine under the sun, shade, and stars (and stay six feet apart!).

1. Dogfish Head Alehouse (Gaithersburg, Fairfax, and Falls Church)

Go for the double patty basted in barbecue sauce and amped up with bacon, cheddar, and onion rings.

2. Garden District (1801 14th St., NW)

The snug beer garden’s classic, just-messy-enough cheeseburger is a candidate for best in town. Don’t forget the fried pickles, too.

3. Green Pig (1025 N. Fillmore St., Arlington)

The secret to this cheeseburger’s decadence? Bacon is ground into the patty—and served on top of it.

4. Lucky Buns (2000 18th St., NW)

The Southwestern-style El Jefe’s hatch-green-chili relish is mellowed by shredded lettuce and Gouda and cotija cheeses.

5. Red Derby (3718 14th St., NW)

This Columbia Heights hangout serves the quintessential bar burger, with standard-issue condiments but a juicy and thick patty.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

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.