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Providence-In Search of The Best Burger

  • j

Does anyone have any suggestions on where to find the best burger in Providence and/or surrounding areas?
Thanks in advance...

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  1. Depends on what type of experience you're looking for. The burger at La Laiterie is very good, but fairly high-end, certainly, so it depends on if that's what you're going for. But it's a huge ball of very high quality Vermont beef with a slice of some incredible cheese (type changes--blue was great) and, if you so desire, slices of house made dry cured bacon. Plus pickled onions on the side. Yum. Only downside is that their polenta fries are fine, but not as good as, well, fries.

    At a more reasonable price, but still not cheap, Meeting St Cafe makes a pretty good burger, although I think I remember it being a big low on fat for my taste... also no fries, which is a bummer. Again, good quality natural meats, if that matters to you.

    I don't know of a great rich, fatty "normal" burger though--I'd love to know who makes a great one as well.

    1. I'd recommend the Ivy Tavern on Hope St. They make a big, juicy burger, and lightly grill the bun with butter. It is excellent, my favorite so far in Providence. Had the burger at La Laiterie but they slightly over cooked it, so that kind of ruined it. Fries at the Ivy are just so-so, though.

      1 Reply
      1. For an "upscale" burger, I'd recommend the one at Red Stripe. I've had it a couple of times, large, juicy, cooked just right, and great fries (with aioli!).

        For a cheap, fun, burger experience, I'd recommend Stanley's in Central Falls. It's a real throw back, 50's type atmosphere, thin burger, grilled onions, good fries, very inexpensive.

        1. i completely agree with la laiterie, red stripe, and ivy tavern. i would actually add the burgers at paragon to the list, both because i really like the fries and because the burgers themselves are really wonderfully charred on the outside, juicy on the inside, and the toppings are all quite yummy.
          the eponymous burger at jake's is also quite good.
          whatever you do, don't believe the stupid johnny rockets people when they tell you they make the best burger in rhode island. it's awful.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ginqueen

            Oh yeah, I totally forgot because I dislike the place itself so much, but the burgers at Paragon are indeed pretty perfect, and their fries are probablyt the best in Providence. I haven't been there in a minute, but I might have to brave it sometime soon..

          2. If your looking for a greasy spoon, burger joint, you can't beat Stanley's:


            8 Replies
            1. re: Sean

              Anyone know if Stanley's second location (Jewelry district - near Jake's) had opened yet?

              1. re: a l i c e

                I have not been down that way in a while. I know that they were supposed to be opening in the jewelry district in Providence. There is no mention of it on their website.

                1. re: a l i c e

                  Not yet. Not even close either. Construction is progressing slowly from what I can tell.

                  1. re: a l i c e

                    It seems that Stanley's PVD is now open (across from Rick's Roadhouse i the Jewelry District). Anyone been yet?

                    1. re: digga

                      Went the other night. Can't comment about the burgers, since my husband and I got veggie burgers. Great, bitter homemade lemonade, meh onion rings, good veggie burgers,bad service.

                      The whole experience was kind of odd. The place was dead, the waitress was wacky, we waited a long time for the food and onion rings came out a good ten minutes before the burgers (which we saw sitting on the line being ignored by the waitress for a few minutes). Strangely, we got the bill before the food. We wanted to add grapenut pudding, but the waitress seemed so frazzled we just left.

                      The music and decor are off, too. We hit a block of Elton John ballads while we were there, which seemed strange. They're really trying to hard on the decor, too. It's all tacky-cartoony. <Shrugs>

                      1. re: invinotheresverde

                        That's really disappointing to hear, esp from a trusted RI hound. Well, I suppose we'll give it a whirl anyway. It's great to know that they have veggie burgers (were they any good?) since I don't eat red meat but my DC does. I think the original CF location is known for their French fries. I wonder if they are still good at the PVD location? Anyway, a quick burger at Stanley's followed by beer and pool at Rick's across the street...you could have worse nights than that!

                        1. re: digga

                          The burgers were Morning Star, I believe. My issues with Morning Star products aside, the burgers were pretty good. I agree it's a plus that they offer a veggie burger at all.

                          I think our real issue was with the service. We were literally the only table in the place and the waitress just seemed so frazzled. She truly was either on drugs or insane. I also don't understand why she'd give us the bill before we got the food. I understand this isn't fine dining, but it IS a sitdown restaurant. I'm sure people get dessert, or another side order of fries/rings, etc. Dropping off the bill that early seems counterproductive and really gives off an unwelcoming vibe.

                          1. re: invinotheresverde

                            Morningstar? Oh boy...I bet we have the same issues. I guess it was too much to hope that they made their own veggie burgers. sigh....thanks for elaborating. The service issues are weird, too.

                2. I'm partial to the burgers at the East Ave. Cafe in Pawtucket. Good solid 1/2 pound pub burger that will be cooked as you specify- (my dear friend will only have them extemely extemely rare and they do accommodate) ... it is what I want when I am craving a hunk or red meat.

                  1. 3 Steeple Street, just below The First Baptist Church in America, near the intersection of North Main, and South Main Street has an awesome burger ... Boursin ... juicy .....great atmosphere with reasonable prices ... One of the few upscale dining experiences that has great service for dinner at the bar, if you are alone .....

                    1. Crazy Burger in Narragansett----well worth the schlep. Agree on Red Stripe and Ivy Tavern burgers---they're great.

                      But---if the ambience can be wicked kitschy and you don't mind a little drive and you don't need the glammah----BEEF BARN in N. Smithfield. Straight up 146 and onto 146A---it's right after Park Square in Woonsocket. Very inexpensive, freshly grilled and excellent. Some people go there for the roast beef, which is also supposed to be great, but I've only ever had burgers there (and I've had many!).

                      Too bad the Madhouse Cafe in Pawt closed (I've heard they may regroup and come back)---connected w/the Crazy Burger, their burgers were excellent.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Moonpie1

                        I agree with Beef Barn. They make a really good burger with the charred flavor of flame-broiled. The Galley (little clam shack on the pier in narragansett) is another joint that has a very char-broiled taste to it's burgers, I hit that all the time during the summer season. IMO there is no better burger than one you can eat plian with only cheese, adding condiments would only diminish the char-broiled flavor.

                      2. Love the Beef Barn. The roast beef sandwich is so tender and they are real generous about piling on that beef. Nothing else comes close.

                        1. Thanks for all your responses. La Laiterie has been on our list to try for quite some time now, just haven't had a chance to get there. Have eaten other things at Red Stripe, but never their burger. We have to agree with 3 Steeple St. The Beef Barn...we have been alot, but always eat the Roast Beef Sandwich...yummm. Will have to try Ivy Tavern.
                          On another note we tried Vintage in Woonsocket for lunch last week. One of us had the regular cheeseburger ($8.00 with the cheese, $7.00 without) and one of us had the American Kobe Beef cheeseburger ($12.00), both were very good but also different from each other. If you should go at night, the bar menu only serves the American Kobe Beef burger not the regular burger.
                          Looking forward to trying Stanley's also. We stopped by the one near Jake's in Providence but it was not open yet....

                          1. I live very close to La Laiterie and am a known cheese lover, and still have never been. It's beginning to piss me off. I didn't even realize they had a burger. I'd be more likely to just get a bunch of cheese there than a burger.

                            Had heard about Vintage in Woonsocket, but had no idea if it was any good. Will add it to the list now, as Woonsocket is in our Path of Convenience very often.

                            1. Had completely forgotten about XO. Aren't/weren't they known for their burger?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Moonpie1

                                I went there with a friend who after the burger, but then as it turns out it's no longer on the menu.

                              2. Of all of the places I've tried, to me, the best burger in Providence, so far, is The Irish Pub Burger at Twist On Angell (in Wayland Square). It came as a surprise to me, too.

                                It's absolutely delicious, especially the Red Onion Marmalade they put on it. It's all so tender and juicy and flavorful; melt-in-your-mouth good. One note: they tend to cook it a bit more than what you order, so if you want it cooked medium, tell them medium-rare, etc.

                                1. I won't claim it's the best, but damn damn good.....Icon Cafe on Valley St. A perfect, classic American burger. With FRESH french fries - the whole thing is heaven on a plate.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: JaneRI

                                    Whenever I want a real deliciou burger I always head over to Rue de l'espoir (on Hope Street, of course!). Their burgers are nothing less than perfection and mouthwatering.

                                    1. re: JaneRI

                                      Another awesome burger (haven't had one there in 6-8 mo, things could have changed), the Brickhouse Bar & Grill on Diamond Hill Rd in Woonsocket.

                                    2. I had a horrendous burger at Twist on Angell a few days ago-- stale, non-descript bun, way overdone, odd tasting meat (ordered medium rare and arrived gray and sort of chewy throughout). I ate maybe two bites and simply couldn't choke it down.

                                      Ivy Tavern is always a good bet.