by Moses Y. Bension
The first thing you notice when you walk into the Rugby Cafe in Georgetown is how much it looks like a Rugby store. The decor is unmistakably Ralph Lauren. The walls are cluttered with antique mirrors and an assortment of Americana; a Betsy Ross flag hangs from the ceiling. The first thing you notice when you bite into one of their burgers is that the Rugby Cafe is more than just décor. The menu features signature burgers that are out to prove that a restaurant that borrows its name from a clothing brand can still rival the best in our nation’s capital. Enjoy it with a cold beer from local brewery Flying Dog, whose tap handles adorn the painted‐black wood‐paneled bar.
Photographed in Washington, D.C.
We recommend the Holden Burger (named after the Pencey Prep expellee), a medium rare hamburger of Colorado prime Angus beef topped with smoked bacon, caramelized onions, a house barbecue sauce, locally grown beefsteak tomato, greens, and a slice of white cheddar cheese all on a brioche bun with a side of freshly cut French fries in a display of “top shelf gastronomic brilliance.” F.E. Castleberry tells the story of how, “at the end of one dinner I saddled up at the bar, and the bartender, some staff, and I lined up some shots after closing and just spent the night talking life. The vibe was extremely laid back.”
Take a train into Washington’s Union Station and catch the bus to M Street & Wisconsin Ave in Georgetown. Walk 243 feet south. Limited sidewalk seating is available during the summer.