The Best Burgers On Capitol HillIf you're craving a burger and happen to be on the hill, this guide is specifically designed for you.
Capitol Hill is overflowing with great places to eat and drink—and anywhere there's a surplus of restaurants and bars, you better believe that there's a surplus of burgers. This neighborhood is stacked (no pun intended) with steakhouse fatties, paper-thin smashed beef lace, and everything in between.
This is the anatomically perfect burger you’d choose over your naked significant other. The patty is substantially sized, freshly ground from really good beef, and topped with caramelized onion jam and garlic aioli on a challah bun that’s equal parts squishy and toasty. It’s $20 a la carte, and it’s all we want. You won’t crave cheese, hydroponic baby arugula, or even human companionship when you have the best burger you’ll ever find in Seattle.
Lettuce, tomato, and onion have their rightful spot in the burger topping Hall of Fame. But Taurus Ox, a Lao, proves that things like taro stem, spicy lemongrassy pork skin mayo, jowl bacon, and cilantro deserve a place as well. In addition to all those Lao ingredients, this double cheeseburger also has a bunch of provolone and gets served on a soft pub bun. The result is a f*cking amazing burger that gives you fresh herbs, nuttiness, and just enough pork fat.
The Julio Rodriguez burger (formerly named the Russell Wilson) at The Roanoke is an absolute classic pub snack that should be required eating for all Seattleites. This thing only has american cheese, pink burger sauce, and a mound of beef perfectly charred on the outside but medium rare on the inside—as it turns out, that’s all you need. Skip the nachos here and get a Julio. It’s required, after all.
Normally, you’d hit up Bait Shop for fish sandwiches and the best fries in the city, but don’t you dare ignore the double cheeseburger, which is exactly what you want while drinking your weight in frozen cocktails. If you’re splitting the burger with someone, they’ll even cut it in half for you, which is super thoughtful considering you’d likely cause an avalanche of lettuce and special sauce if you tried to do it yourself.
No, it’s not technically a burger by design, but Foreign National’s cheeseburger bao is one of the neighborhood’s best regardless. On the outside, this just looks like a bun with sesame seeds on top, but inside there’s a drippy ball of savory seasoned ground beef, plus molten cheese and pork floss that only tastes better dunked in the accompanying special sauce dip.
The burger at Boat Bar is like the Bateau burger’s little sister. It’s from the same team, and it’s smaller, not quite as impressive, and is probably super jealous of the older sibling for being more popular. But while you could fit the whole thing in the palm of your hand, every element (from the onion jam to the tiny seeded bun) packs a tasty punch.
Harry’s serves a textbook cheeseburger. It looks like an emoji stacked with the usual suspects, and the bun is toasted just right. And somehow, the not-so-compact texture of the patty makes us feel like we’re eating an old-school burger from a ’50s diner. We like it best with a negroni on the side.
Some little-known Seattle trivia: The original owner of Sam’s Tavern went on to found a national chain of burger restaurants called Red Robin. Sam’s 50 burger is kind of like a Red Robin burger, only a million times better, and you don’t have to eat it next to a child sticking a crayon up their parent’s nose. It comes topped with bacon, avocado, gouda, and a creamy bacon ranch, and just in case there wasn’t enough bacon, there’s some blended in the patty for good measure. As an homage to Red Robin, you get bottomless steak fries with this beautiful thing.
Sometimes, the occasion calls for a deep-fried burger, and that’s exactly the main objective at Katsu Burger. These panko-dredged patties sound like greasy overkill, but they’re consistently crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside, complete with a handful of shaved cabbage and sticky tonkatsu sauce to balance the breading.