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Best burger inside the beltway in Virginia

I live in the burger wasteland of North Carolina (the law is that they must be cooked to welldone) and I will be visiting friends in Arlington next month. I am looking for a great char grilled cooked to order burger. Any suggestions?

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  1. Few suggestions: Ray's Hell Burger (though no fries, God knows why); Five Guys; Harry's Tap Room. I'm sure you'll get other views as well!

    2 Replies
    1. re: sfernando

      Five Guys burgers are not char grilled and they are all cooked to well-done.

      1. re: sfernando

        It should be pointed out that, while Five Guys' burgers are great, they also cook them to well done. Since you're in Arlington, you might also try Ted's (beef or bison) or Whitlow's. I'm not sure whether Big Buns will cook the burger less than well done, but if that's not a deal killer, the burgers are good, and the fries are outstanding. Plus, unlike Five Guys, they serve beer.

      2. Ray's Hellburger is the best burger in all of the area. And if there is a wait and you start to waiver, don't, it's worth it. They grind up their own meat, it's cooked how you like, awesome toppings. It is seriously the best. Search for it on the threads.

        1. Ray's Hell Burger is the only answer to this question. They have a $10 meal (includes side and drink) which is hard to pass up. Go for the corn or mac n' cheese. The tater tots are tasteless.

          1. Thanks for the replies. Anyone know Spider Kelly's?

            1 Reply
            1. re: little debbie

              i like SK, but it's really better for drinks than food....the burgers are pretty good but i had some gritty asparagus and rancid chive butter on a steak. Definitely, definitely go with ray's hell burger. Then if you want another one later on during your trip go to Whitlow's.

            2. Ray's Hell burger is by FAR your best bet. You are lucky enough to already be in Arlington (I drive from 40 min North to eat here, somewhat regularly) and they have an amazing burger, and an excellent compliment of free toppings.

              1. if ray's isn't available, whitlow's on wilson has a **very** good burger --- and esp. on mondays (half-price)!

                1. I can't believe you're even asking this question! You must be from seriously out of the area, the country, the continent if you haven't heard that Ray's Hellburger is the President's choice, most everyone on Chowhound's choice, the planet's choice for best burger :o).

                  Seriously though, get yourself to Ray's SOON! You'll be SO glad you did. I'd walk a mile for a Hellburger.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: stever500

                    Well, in his defense the President went to 5 Guys the following week. So how is he to know which is the "President's choice?"

                    The answer to your question is Rays Hell Burger, and it's not even close.

                    1. re: jaydreb

                      i wish the president had stayed away from ray's. after all, he can get kobe burgers at his own place.

                    2. re: stever500

                      If you read the OP, poster IS from out of the area, North Carolina, but your winning enthusiasm corrects your oversight.

                    3. Ray's is NOT the best burger in the area. It's the best burger ANYWHERE.

                      Try the Au Poivre with Gruyere. Wow.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: biscuit

                        Another vote for Ray's Hell Burger - there is no competition. At all. I'd advise you to not go too nuts on getting too many toppings though, which is hard to do because there are so many that sound -- and are -- wonderful. But the meat is the star here, so it's best to keep the toppings simple.

                        1. re: woodleyparkhound

                          I say no toppings, no cheese, no nothing, unless you've eaten here at least twice. After that, mix it up all you want.

                      2. I think we all believe you should go to Ray's. Its frankly a wonderful burger. Eatbar in arlington puts out one of the best burgers in town. Elevation burger and Big Buns are better than most burgers (both in arlington), but they are a def notch below the burgers mentioned before. I do like Five Guys as well and I put it at the same level IMHO.

                        BGR: the burger joint is opening in Old town early next month and is highly regarded, tho I still have yet to try it and you may not be around when it is open.

                        And there are several great options in DC and Md. We've really turned into a great burger town in the last few years.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: chaofun

                          BGR Joint iN Bethesda is fantastic...

                          1. re: chaofun

                            Yes BGR in Bethesda is great. Their Wellington burger is totally divine. Looking forward to the new location!

                          2. All roads lead to Rays. A truly platonic dish. Bring cash, they don't take plastic. They also don't serve beer. Or fries.

                            So good you'd slap your momma for a taste. And I am not kidding.