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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.

1. Good Stuff Eatery

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303 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 543-8222
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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.

2. Burger Tap & Shake (BTS)

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2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20052
(202) 587-6258
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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

3. Bayou Bakery

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1515 N Courthouse Rd.
Arlington, VA 22209
(703) 243-2410
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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.

4. The Gryphon

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1337 Connecticut Avenue
Washington, DC 20036
(703) 509-4444
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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.

5. Daily Grill - Georgetown

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1310 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 337-4900
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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 (served with grilled asparagus) is under 600 calories.

6. Del Frisco's Grille

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1201 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 450-4686
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The burger: A classic Mediterranean combination of ground lamb with house-made tatziki, arugula and roasted 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.

7. Belga Cafe

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514 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 544-0100
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The burger: The LAMSBURGER, a lamb and chorizo burger with garlic sauce served on a multi-grain bun.
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.

8. BGR - The Burger Joint

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1514 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 299-1071
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The burger: Turkey burger freshly ground and blended with Portobello mushroom and Gorgonzola cheese, 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.

9. Big Buns

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4401 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 276-3032
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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.

10. Trummer's on Main

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7134 Main St.
Clifton, VA 20124
(703) 266-1623
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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.

11. Proof

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775 G St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 737-7663
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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.

12. Et Voila!

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5120 MacArthur Boulevard Northwest
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 237-2300
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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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1. Good Stuff Eatery

303 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003
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.
303 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20003

2. Burger Tap & Shake (BTS)

2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20052
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
2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20052

3. Bayou Bakery

1515 N Courthouse Rd., Arlington, VA 22209
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.
1515 N Courthouse Rd.
Arlington, VA 22209

4. The Gryphon

1337 Connecticut Avenue, Washington, DC 20036
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.
1337 Connecticut Avenue
Washington, DC 20036

5. Daily Grill - Georgetown

1310 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
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 (served with grilled asparagus) is under 600 calories.
1310 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

6. Del Frisco's Grille

1201 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004
The burger: A classic Mediterranean combination of ground lamb with house-made tatziki, arugula and roasted 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.
1201 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004

7. Belga Cafe

514 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
The burger: The LAMSBURGER, a lamb and chorizo burger with garlic sauce served on a multi-grain bun.
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.
514 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003

8. BGR - The Burger Joint

1514 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036
The burger: Turkey burger freshly ground and blended with Portobello mushroom and Gorgonzola cheese, 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.
1514 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036

9. Big Buns

4401 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203
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.
4401 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22203

10. Trummer's on Main

7134 Main St., Clifton, VA 20124
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.
7134 Main St.
Clifton, VA 20124

11. Proof

775 G St NW, Washington, DC 20001
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.
775 G St NW
Washington, DC 20001

12. Et Voila!

5120 MacArthur Boulevard Northwest, Washington, DC 20016
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.
5120 MacArthur Boulevard Northwest
Washington, DC 20016

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