Central Falls Burger Joint Earns Honor For Rhode Island’s Best Burger
When it comes to figuring out where to grab the best burger, let's be honest: It can get a little overwhelming. I mean, just think about how many restaurants offer burgers on their menu, and then, of course, everyone has their own opinions and taste buds. But 50 iconic restaurants across the United States just earned the right to the "best burger" title thanks to a prestigious new list from Food & Wine.
The publication released a list of one restaurant in each state with the most delicious burgers, and the Rhode Island winner is an 89-year-old community staple less than an hour's drive from the SouthCoast.
Stanley's Famous Hamburgers has been in the Central Falls community on Dexter Street since 1932, when Polish immigrant Stanley F. Kryla opened his restaurant full of delicious comfort food. Of course, 1932 was the heart of the Great Depression, but Kryla soldiered on, determined to make food that was "home-cooked, full of flavor and affordable – everything folks needed during that challenging time in history."
Nearly a century later, cooks are still serving up Stanley's burgers. But this time last year, it almost seemed as though Rhode Island's best burger joint wasn't going to be able to hang on any longer. The COVID pandemic hit Rhode Island in March, causing Stanley's to go strictly-takeout, which according to owner Louis Augusta, "crushed" the business. After managing to stay afloat during the first lockdown, Augusta started a GoFundMe for the restaurant last fall, worried they would not be able to weather the storm of a second lockdown.
"Now we are in November and we are going back to takeout due to an executive order from the mayor which is going to totally have a huge impact on us as we have not been able to come out of this hardship since the beginning of this pandemic," Augusta wrote. "LET’S KEEP STANLEY’S ALIVE!!!!"
The public responded, and Stanley's customers showed up for their favorite community burger biz, raising over $19 thousand to save the restaurant.
Now, Stanley Kryla's legacy still lives on, officially named as Rhode Island's Best Burger. Although some things, like the classic Stanley Burger and Stanley's incredibly affordable prices, will always stay the same, other things, like its menu are always expanding. Stanley's Famous Hamburgers also offers everything from sandwiches and seafood to beer and wine.
Looking to go a bit further and support the restaurant with the burger that Food & Wine named Massachusetts' best? Check out Craigie on Main in Cambridge.