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“What a great burger joint!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ray's To The Third

Ray's To The Third
1650 Wilson Blvd, On The Corner Of N. Quinn Street, Arlington, VA 22209
703-974-7171
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Ranked #31 of 692 Restaurants in Arlington
Price range: $0 - $15
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Takeout, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Takeout, Late Night
Scouseville
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“What a great burger joint!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

It's no wonder that Pres. Obama took Vladimir Putin here for lunch couple years ago! The quality of the burgers was sublime, and the beef itself was absolutely first class. I was a little confused about how to order at the beginning, however I didn't get my food ordered and delivered to my table. I was lucky enough to find somewhere to sit as it is a small place, especially during the winter when the patio isn't open.

There's a map on the wall showing what nations people have come from and eaten at this burger joint. It is amazing to see! And it is no wonder that they come here, based on the quality of food. I would highly recommend that you make a stop here when in DC or Virginia - treat yourself to a little unhealthy food, but at least you know it's the best around!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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Gaithersburg, MD
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“The BEST burger joint you can find in the DC metro area. (PERIOD!)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

Okay so I like burgers, and I've had many-a-burger in my time but I have never had a burger as distinctive and wonderful tasting as the burgers at Ray's. For about a year I worked about two blocks away from this place. My boss took me to it when I first started working in the area. It is a dumpy looking strip-mall location that I wouldn't give a second look to under normal circumstances. You know its special though when you see a line of people out the door during lunch time to order a burger.

After going once I was hooked. It is so good that almost every opportunity I got to eat out this would be the place I would go. Every time I would take someone else here who hadn't been before they would leave raving about the burgers and wanted to go back when we'd get together for lunch in the future.

We all know burgers are simple food. Usually there's not much that can be done to make one burger significantly different from another. So what makes Ray's amazing is that they take a simple food and just make it taste gourmet and amazing. The burgers are huge and thick. You would think that it might be hard to get them cooked properly. Despite this, the cooks at Ray's have managed to master cooking them so they turn out exactly as ordered every time whether you asked for rare, medium, or well.

Ray's toppings are what make the burgers so amazing. They have a wide range of toppings from the mundane to the "foo-foo gourmet" but the selection they have works amazingly well when put together into different combinations. They have a number of different pre-configured burgers and they are all excellent. If you really want to though, you can always put together your own combination.

Ray's also stands out for its sides. I am particularly fond of their sweet potato fries and their mac-n-cheese. While their burgers are big and filling I really recommend adding one of their sides to make it a complete meal.

Like every restaurant there are a couple of down-sides to Ray's. The first is that they don't take credit cards. They have an ATM in the restaurant so you can always get cash but your best off coming in the door with cash in your pocket.

The other annoying thing about Ray's is that there are little things about it that are always changing from month to month. I've read the owner is a quite a character in the local restaurant scene and is known for being eccentric. For some reason this guy seems unable to leave a perfect formula alone. Every time I go they seem to have changed something in the menu, the building, or the look of the place. The guy who owns this place needs to just recognize he got it right on the first try and leave it be. Sometimes there really isn't anything that needs to be improved.

Overall Ray's is perfection when it comes to hamburgers. Anyone who lives or visits the DC metro area owes it to themselves to pay this place a visit. There really is nothing else like it and it really shows how even simple foods can be taken to extreme levels of delight.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Annandale, Virginia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Ray's III good intro to Ray's empire”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

Hidden on Wilson Blvd Ray's III is a great intro to his food/approach. Great shakes, chicken and of course beef. No coffee service to keep up turnover but go across street for that.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Great food and shakes, reservations meaningless”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013 via mobile

All of our sandwiches were great; between the 5 of us we had fried chicken, blackened beef, and steak and cheese and there wasn't a bad choice on the table. The fries were average and reminded me of McDonalds. Milkshakes were fantastic. One caveat I have is that the hostess was rude to everyone who walked in the door and treated my party like idiots for checking in on whether our table was ready. We were ultimately seated at 8:55 for an 8:30 reservation, same 25 min wait time as the party that came in without one.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
545 reviews 545 reviews
301 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 148 cities Reviews in 148 cities
244 helpful votes 244 helpful votes
“Ray's Greatest Hits”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

Rays to the third has some of the Ray's chains greatest dishes. You can get a Ray's Hell Burger, a Steak and Cheese, seafood or, of course steak. The combination of all these places in one small, somewhat confusing space, is interesting. You can either get counter service for burgers and steak and cheese sandwiches, or table service for the same, plus everything else. If you just want the burger, get the counter service. The burger is, as they describe it, loose packed, so beware when eating it chunks of meat my fall out. The meat on the burger is seasoned well, and has good flavor, the fries are pretty average, and I like getting tater tots because, well, when can you get tater tots? The toppings are very interesting, and not very cheap. I recommend doing some homework on the menu before getting in line and trying to decide what you want without 10 people behind you wondering why you are holding up the line. Medium rare is a bit more towards medium than I see at other places, which is ok. It was still a well cooked, juicy burger. Overall the experience was very good, not excellent.

It will be interesting to see what happens to the old spaces across the street and what the next chapter of Ray's brings.

Visited January 2013
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