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A Break from Red Meat: 12 Non-Beef Burgers to Try

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Sometimes it's time to switch up the burger routine and step away from the beef. From burgers made from poultry to those featuring morsels of the sea, here are some unique burger choices on area menus — no cows allowed. Is a shrimp burger really a burger? It's open to debate, but here are some options for the non-purists.
—Shayla Martin

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Good Stuff Eatery

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The burger: The Michelle Melt, a free range turkey burger with caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, tomato, lettuce and Southlawn Herb Garden mayo on a wheat bun.
Chef Spike Mendlesohn just opened a location of the family-run Good Stuff Eatery in Crystal City but the Capitol Hill location is still a favorite. Pair a turkey burger with sides such as fries and a Salty Caramel Kiss milkshake.

Burger Tap & Shake (BTS)

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The burger: The Badger, a pork and veal bratwurst burger topped with Sauerkraut, Beer mustard and baby Swiss cheese
This no-frills Foggy Bottom burger joint offers a variety of proteins besides beef for their delicious burgers. If pork and veal aren't calling, try the High Thigh chicken burger or the Haight-Ashbury, a crispy falafel patty with pickled vegetables, Feta and Cilantro Raita

Bayou Bakery

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The burger: A shrimp burger with house-made Tartar sauce and baby arugula on a sesame potato roll
Chef David Gaus' Cajun eatery introduced a shrimp burger for “Fish Fridays” during the Lenten season and decided to keep it on the menu due to its popularity. It's worth the trip across the pond to try this pescetarian-friendly burger.

The Gryphon

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The burger: A Blackened Bison Burger topped with a house sauce.
This new DuPont Circle hotspot is getting more attention for its nightlife offerings than its food, but the menu deserves a second look for those hunting for non-beef burgers. Upscale bar food includes the super lean Bison burger — try one paired with barbacoa tater tots con queso.

Daily Grill - Georgetown

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The burger: Pan-seared salmon burger with arugula, tomato and remoulade.
The best part about this burger is that it's part of the $4 burger Happy Hour special on Mondays from 4-7 p.m. Also: this entire dish (servedwith grilled asparagus) is under 600 calories.

Del Frisco's Grille

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The burger: A classic Mediterranean combination of ground lamb with house-made tatziki, arugula androasted tomato.
Go Greek at this classic restaurant favorite for locals and visitors alike. Now that the weather has finally cracked, enjoy this Mediterranean-inspired burger alfresco along with the people watching along Pennsylvania Avenue.

Belga Cafe

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The burger: The LAMSBURGER, a lamb and chorizo burger with garlic sauce served on a multi-grainbun.
Gone are the days of Belgian food simply meaning mussels and frites. Chef Bart Vandaele has been opening the minds and palates of DC residents to Belgian cuisine since 2004 and offers this tasty burger on the lunch menu.

BGR - The Burger Joint

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The burger: Turkey burger freshly ground and blended with Portobello mushroom and Gorgonzolacheese, served on a butter-toasted brioche bun.This burger is cooked sous-vide, and the low and slow heat make for an impossibly juicy burger. Not an easy feat to conquer when it comes to turkey.

Big Buns

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The burger: This build your own burger joint offers tons of protein options including turkey, chicken and salmon burgers.
Nine types of cheese, 21 toppings and five sauce options should be more than enough choices at Big Buns. The diet conscious can try the “Skinny Bun” that's trimmed from the top and bottom or in a bowl served on a bed of greens.

Trummer's on Main

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The burger: Chesapeake shrimp burger topped with bell pepper and old bay
The elegant Trummer's on Main introduced The Burger Bar last week; a pop-up burger bar that features a menu of specially crafted burgers in the Gallery Room Tuesdays through Thursdays from 5-10 p.m. The Chesapeake shrimp burger offers a lighter option — also keep in mind the Notorious P.I.G. with pork, pork sausage and bacon. The bar runs through May 2.

The Burger: The shrimp burger with jalapeno, shaved cucumber, cilantro, pickled daikon & carrots
Proof's Shrimp Burger, inspired by Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, has a deserved cult following. It's on the lunch menu for $16.

Et Voila!

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The burger: Mussels burger
This Belgian neighborhood favorite is always experimenting with non-beef burgers like lobster and shrimp. The mussels burger, served with sweet potato fries and aoli, is here to stay, and is one of the city's most unique burgers.

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Good Stuff Eatery

The burger: The Michelle Melt, a free range turkey burger with caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, tomato, lettuce and Southlawn Herb Garden mayo on a wheat bun.
Chef Spike Mendlesohn just opened a location of the family-run Good Stuff Eatery in Crystal City but the Capitol Hill location is still a favorite. Pair a turkey burger with sides such as fries and a Salty Caramel Kiss milkshake.

Burger Tap & Shake (BTS)

The burger: The Badger, a pork and veal bratwurst burger topped with Sauerkraut, Beer mustard and baby Swiss cheese
This no-frills Foggy Bottom burger joint offers a variety of proteins besides beef for their delicious burgers. If pork and veal aren't calling, try the High Thigh chicken burger or the Haight-Ashbury, a crispy falafel patty with pickled vegetables, Feta and Cilantro Raita

Bayou Bakery

The burger: A shrimp burger with house-made Tartar sauce and baby arugula on a sesame potato roll
Chef David Gaus' Cajun eatery introduced a shrimp burger for “Fish Fridays” during the Lenten season and decided to keep it on the menu due to its popularity. It's worth the trip across the pond to try this pescetarian-friendly burger.

The Gryphon

The burger: A Blackened Bison Burger topped with a house sauce.
This new DuPont Circle hotspot is getting more attention for its nightlife offerings than its food, but the menu deserves a second look for those hunting for non-beef burgers. Upscale bar food includes the super lean Bison burger — try one paired with barbacoa tater tots con queso.

Daily Grill - Georgetown

The burger: Pan-seared salmon burger with arugula, tomato and remoulade.
The best part about this burger is that it's part of the $4 burger Happy Hour special on Mondays from 4-7 p.m. Also: this entire dish (servedwith grilled asparagus) is under 600 calories.

Del Frisco's Grille

The burger: A classic Mediterranean combination of ground lamb with house-made tatziki, arugula androasted tomato.
Go Greek at this classic restaurant favorite for locals and visitors alike. Now that the weather has finally cracked, enjoy this Mediterranean-inspired burger alfresco along with the people watching along Pennsylvania Avenue.

Belga Cafe

The burger: The LAMSBURGER, a lamb and chorizo burger with garlic sauce served on a multi-grainbun.
Gone are the days of Belgian food simply meaning mussels and frites. Chef Bart Vandaele has been opening the minds and palates of DC residents to Belgian cuisine since 2004 and offers this tasty burger on the lunch menu.

BGR - The Burger Joint

The burger: Turkey burger freshly ground and blended with Portobello mushroom and Gorgonzolacheese, served on a butter-toasted brioche bun.This burger is cooked sous-vide, and the low and slow heat make for an impossibly juicy burger. Not an easy feat to conquer when it comes to turkey.

Big Buns

The burger: This build your own burger joint offers tons of protein options including turkey, chicken and salmon burgers.
Nine types of cheese, 21 toppings and five sauce options should be more than enough choices at Big Buns. The diet conscious can try the “Skinny Bun” that's trimmed from the top and bottom or in a bowl served on a bed of greens.

Trummer's on Main

The burger: Chesapeake shrimp burger topped with bell pepper and old bay
The elegant Trummer's on Main introduced The Burger Bar last week; a pop-up burger bar that features a menu of specially crafted burgers in the Gallery Room Tuesdays through Thursdays from 5-10 p.m. The Chesapeake shrimp burger offers a lighter option — also keep in mind the Notorious P.I.G. with pork, pork sausage and bacon. The bar runs through May 2.

Proof

The Burger: The shrimp burger with jalapeno, shaved cucumber, cilantro, pickled daikon & carrots
Proof's Shrimp Burger, inspired by Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, has a deserved cult following. It's on the lunch menu for $16.

Et Voila!

The burger: Mussels burger
This Belgian neighborhood favorite is always experimenting with non-beef burgers like lobster and shrimp. The mussels burger, served with sweet potato fries and aoli, is here to stay, and is one of the city's most unique burgers.

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