Sometimes you just want a really good burger -- one that you can savor -- one that you can "mm-hmm" about after every bite. And surprisingly, the best burger in D.C. isn’t actually at a burger place.The best burger in D.C. can be found at this little restaurant (and little only in size, not in attitude) called Duke’s Grocery. This place is vastly popular among the millennial crowd, and getting a table is truly the definition of struggle! Located in a converted rowhouse on 17th Street, between Dupont and Logan Circles, it’s got that historic charm that you can’t re-create at these newer developments and pop-up shops literally popping up all over town. It fits right into the backdrop of the treelined 17th Street, with almost sickeningly sweet store fronts and local neighborhood restaurants. As mentioned before, the place is small -- when you walk in, you find a cozy bar, a couple tables by the window, and a staircase leading up to a second floor. The second floor also has seating, but not much more than the first. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="3756,3755"]
But the best part by far, in terms of restaurant layout, is the patio. The three large wooden tables with bench seating are great for communal dining and people-watching, which adds to the character and really makes you feel like you’re in a neighborhood and not in the middle of a large city. Patio seating is the most coveted, though, and happy hour starts at 3 p.m., so plan ahead, especially as the beautiful fall weather nears and literally everyone you know will want to eat, sleep, and live outside. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="3835,3837"] But back to this burger. Called the Proper Burger, it’s the only one on the menu, so you won’t miss it. When it comes out, perfectly cooked every time to your desired temperature (best enjoyed at medium rare) and on a (not to keep repeating the word) perfectly toasted brioche bun, you can feel in your heart that you made the right decision to order it. The burger features a slice of melted gouda cheese, dill pickles, a little spice thai sweet chili, garlic aoli, charred red onion, and if you want, you can add an egg. Which you absolutely should. The portion size isn’t massive, but it will definitely fill you up. Duke’s Grocery gets "Best Burger in D.C." status because the combination of flavors, the attention to detail, and the careful mastery of cooking the patty just can’t be beat. Eating a burger at Duke’s Grocery is an experience, and in this city, we’re all about experiences with our food. A bonus is that as mentioned before, happy hour starts at 3 p.m. and goes until 7 p.m. and features great wine and beer specials. So imagine a place where you can sit on a beautiful patio, enjoy the people and neighborhood, enjoy a burger that makes you make a sound after every bite, and then finish it off with a most refreshing glass of white wine. This is how all evenings should be. Visit Duke's Grocery at 1513 17th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036, and tell us what you think! Check out their website or Facebook page for more information and mouth-watering pictures!