Washington’s food scene is growing rapidly with burger options. As the burger scene continues to grow, options can be overwhelming, with excellent choices near campus like The Tombs or Good Stuff Eatery making leaving the comforts of Georgetown increasingly difficult. Despite this, Lucky Buns in Adams Morgan offers an array of exciting options that can make a commute fun and delicious. This small restaurant and bar just off 18th Street and Florida Avenue is loud and crowded daily. Cold bar stools, small tables and a perpetually dark atmosphere define this rising star in a bar environment that has captivated local food critics and restaurant-goers since it opened in 2016.
What Lucky Buns lacks in comfort due to their small space, they make up for in quality. Head Chef Alex McCoy draws on British and Asian flavors as well as local ingredients to construct towering, flavor-packed burgers. Freshly baked brioche buns and locally sourced patties from Creekstone Farms come with every order. Popular items such as the “Bogan Bun” and the “El Jefe Bun” seamlessly merge traditional and unconventional flavors into one full burger. Lucky Buns distinguishes itself with a variety of flavor-packed sauces like their South Asian inspired “lucky sauce,” green chili relish, shark sriracha or Sichuan peppercorn.
Those looking for traditional burgers and modern twists alike will find themselves leaving Lucky Buns satisfied. Furthermore, those uninterested in a beef burger will discover they have some of the best chicken sandwiches in the city. Their “Dirty Bird Bun” comes with a massive fried chicken thigh that shocks with its crispiness, size and flavor. Likewise, the “Chicky Bun” comes complete with a tender piece of grilled tandoori chicken that puts a basic chicken sandwich to shame. Even vegetarian diners looking for a burger fix will leave full. Their “Crunchy Bun” consists of a large, lentil-based vegetarian patty, melted gouda cheese and onions. All burgers are available on a traditional brioche bun, lettuce or over a salad bowl.
Lucky Buns also offers an array of exciting sides that add flair to traditional bar food favorites. One can get a standard order of freshly cut fries, or for an extra dollar, make them curry fries for a great salty, savory mix. Similarly, their crispy tater tots come topped with cheese curds and a flavor-packed romesco sauce that makes them enticing and addictive. Diners strong enough to resist their starchy options will enjoy the “Thai Cucumber Salad” with chilis and peanuts. This hidden gem of the diverse menu is a crispy and flavorful side that compliments their burger well.
Lucky Buns goes well beyond the scope of your typical burger place. Their sandwiches, sides and flavors are wide-ranging, ensuring the desires of every pallet are fulfilled. This diversity in taste embodies the spirit of Adams Morgan. Though Washington’s food scene has undergone a tremendous transformation over the last several decades, Adams Morgan has long stood as an area of tremendous culinary diversity. Making your way along 18th Street from Dupont Circle to Adams Morgan, you will find food options from every corner of the world. Flavors ranging from Asian to African can be found side-by-side in this stirring area just north of Dupont Circle. Unlike much of D.C, Adams Morgan is exciting at nearly every hour of the day, giving the neighborhood a lively vibe and vitality that is often lost across the nation’s capital.
After a burger, walking through Adams Morgan will prove to be an entertaining and exciting stroll. This animated atmosphere quickly dissipates, however, upon entering Meridian Hill Park. For those looking to walk off a colossal burger, this surprisingly elaborate and well-maintained park in Adams Morgan is bound to impress.
The U.S. Congress commissioned the park in 1910 with the intention of emulating many of the grand public spaces of Europe on a smaller scale. Such influences are apparent when walking through the French Baroque garden or the magnificent 13-basin Renaissance cascade fountain. Statues accentuate this European influence, and the symmetry in the park gives the space a classical regality that can’t be found elsewhere in Washington.
Large trees line the borders of the park in perfect rows, making it feel remarkably isolated despite its urban setting. Benches are plotted along the sidewalks and ample green space in the center of the park make it a popular gathering space on nice days. Any excursion that consists of a fantastic burger and bar food at Lucky Buns and a walk through Meridian Hill Park will guarantee a flavorful and exciting experience that only Adams Morgan can offer.
Hal Rogers is a sophomore in the College. Exploring Eateries will appear in print and online every other Friday.