Big Buns really is damn good

Ballston burger joint offers great burgers and fun ambience


Here stands the monstrous Anniversary Burger. Loaded with angus beef, extra sharp cheddar, bacon, lettuce, and grain mustard aioli, this delicious burger will always stand out in a crowd.

Nicky Varela, Managing Editor

First things first, I want to get this statement out of the way: cheeseburgers are my favorite food. So, this review means a lot to me. Please excuse me if it seems like I’m taking this too seriously.

Recently, I’ve been getting bored of the typical food scene offered in the McLean area (Chipotle, Cava, etc.). Realizing that most Arlington restaurants often went unnoticed by the majority of McLean students, including myself, I searched for a fun spot that could satisfy an end to my boredom. That’s when I stumbled upon one of the highest rated burger restaurants in the area (along with the best name of all time): Big Buns Damn Good Burgers.

Big Buns, opened in 2007 by Craig Carey, has three franchises to their name, with two located in Arlington and one in Reston. They specialize in burgers, burger bowls, milkshakes, and alcoholic beverages. Focusing on creating a party-like atmosphere within their restaurants, it is definitely the place to go when you’re feeling like having a fun night out.

Burgers range in price from $8.99 to $15, with fries costing $3.49 and fountain drinks available at $2.99. The cost was very reasonable, and didn’t differ much from what a normal burger is worth in the NOVA area.

I, alongside fellow journalist and burger lover Jack Shields, ventured to the Arlington franchise situated in Ballston. From McLean, it took about 10-15 minutes to reach the restaurant, so the commute is pretty manageable, and definitely not out of the way. Also, there happens to be a parking garage right around the corner, so for someone like me who doesn’t actually know how to parallel park, parking wasn’t an issue either.

The Look/”Vibe”

The modern style offered by this place looked pretty nice. Now, with COVID-19 protocols still in place, the restaurant looked a little different than it did from the pictures, but the franchise did a solid job at making sure it still looked appealing. The advertised “party” vibe was not disturbed either, and I really felt like I was at home.

The Burgers

I ordered the “Anniversary Burger,” which highlights included two-year old aged cheddar and applewood smoked bacon, while Jack purchased the “Peppercorn Steakhouse,” with gruyère cheese and peppercorn mayo. It took about seven minutes for the burgers to be delivered to our seats.

My burger was stacked incredibly high, and if I were not as experienced in the burger field as I am, I would be confused as to how I was supposed to eat this monstrosity. Once I had my first bite, I noticed how the patty was cooked to perfection, and the ingredients melded together extremely well. I finished my burger much faster than Jack could, probably because a) I was starving and b) the burger was incredibly delicious.

The Fries

I ordered fries alongside my burger in order to get a full scope of what Big Buns had to offer. They were good, yeah, but not exactly mind-blowing. It was your average everyday French fry, surely not amongst the greats such as Five Guys or McDonald’s.

However, my order also came with a signature sauce that redeemed their seemingly average tasting fries. My coworker shared this same sentiment, and he was so enthralled with the sauce that he dumped a large dollop onto his burger. 10/10.


Overall, we both wholeheartedly loved this place. With great burgers, easy accessibility, and mouth-watering sauce, Big Buns Damn Good Burgers should be on top of everybody’s lists for the premier local burger spot.

4.5/5 Stars