Ranked – The Best Burger Joints in Rhode Island you NEED to try!

by Victor Martelle
Updated:

Having participated in several “best burger competitions” in Rhode Island with friends over the years, as well as hunting for burgers we haven’t tried, these are the places we thought are worth checking out if you’re hungry!

These establishments were graded by myself with the thoughts of those I brought along with me. We took into account burgers, fries, and their prices, as well as the service we received, and the overall experience. Other food that was ordered also played a small role.

We had a tough time deciding the order of the top three and felt that each offers their own unique experience and great food! These three places are in a tier of their own and were so good, we visited several times and plan to come back for even more!

For bakeries you need to try, click here.

1. BunFun

Update: Physical shop closed May 2022. BunFun is now a food truck and does popup events. Click to see the news.

Summary: A small new restaurant with MASSIVE burgers that pack flavor. Sliders and tenders were equally big and tasty. Loaded french fries were overstuffed full of toppings and tasted amazing. Wonderful, talkative, and friendly staff. Also has nifty, unique burger related art. We visited twice!

Order: “Porker” burger with pulled pork and beef patty, “The Coop” chicken sandwich “burger”, “Fire in the Hole” jalapeno burger, street corn fries, loaded “heart stopper fries”, Nashville and regular sliders, Asian chilli tenders
Burgers: 9 / 10 — overall very good burgers, chicken sandwich burger needs work, huge portions
Fries: 10 / 10 — crunchy, had perfect seasoning and a huge amount of toppings
Price: 8 / 10 — really good prices for what you get
Service: 10/10 — very friendly and attentive staff, talkative, always looking to improve their menu

BunFun is a recently opened small burger joint located in the bustling downtown Providence. They pride themselves on having big burgers and offering a modern dining experience by catering to a more “hip” crowd – just look at their name! Indeed, their name sounds intriguing and alluring, which is why when I saw it, I knew this had to be the first played we ventured to, and boy, was it an experience!

When entering, you’re immediately greeted with questionably inappropriate burger related art, at least, I wouldn’t recommend taking your child here if you’re a super strict parent! Personally, myself and those I was with really enjoyed it and had some good laughs and photo ops. But, back on topic! Taking our seats, we were given a small menu and left alone to decide. We chose to go with their Porker Burger and Coop. The Porker is a bacon cheeseburger topped with pulled pork while the Coop is a chicken sandwich (they call it a burger though). We also ordered their Mexican street corn fries.

Some time passes and we all notice it… the kitchen door opens and we see from across the room, two giant sandwiches sitting on our server’s serving trey as she walks towards us. They looked like two little mountains! The burgers were absolutely MASSIVE. The Porker housed a massive beef patty with a generous helping of pulled pork on the top that was drowned in sauce. The Coop is two huge chicken breasts stacked on one another sandwiched between a bun. It was so big, the bun was irrelevant – it’s just two giant damn pieces of chicken! The fries came on an extra large serving plate and were glittered with a variety of street corn toppings. All of it looked absolutely amazing.

We had an issue though! Even if opened our mouths as big as we could, they were too big to even take a single bite! But after some cleverness and cutting, we were able to get a taste. The Porker was as good as it looked. Bold and tasty flavor, the right amount of juiciness, nearly flawless. The Coop however, was a bit bland and on the dry side due to being a bit overcooked, perhaps a little more sauce to compliment the huge amounts of chicken might fix it though! Nonetheless, it was still pretty good. The fries matched the experience, they were tasty, and crunchy despite all the toppings on them.

We went again a few weeks later and got their Fire in the Hole jalapeno burger, sliders, heart stopper fries, and some tenders. Once again, all of their portions were massive – even their tenders were huge! The fries were so loaded to a point where you need to ask if you’re eating fries or just toppings! The sliders were so tall they were essentially regular burgers! We felt like this would be one of the places we will continually go back to if we eat out. And if you want the biggest portions of food you can get, this is the first place you need to go. Not to mention, the art, atmosphere, and friendly staff made it all the better. This place may be the only burger joint you’ll ever need to satisfy your burger and french fry cravings.


2. Dr. Duffs Lost and Found Project

Summary: Weird, dark, and fun restaurant. MASSIVE burgers that are flavored to perfection and priced extremely cheap. Waffle fries and nachos were also seasoned very well. Drinks were unique and tasty. Good, accommodating service.

Order: House burger, Firecracker burger, General Tso Chicken Sandwich, nachos, waffle fries, various cocktails
Burgers: 10 / 10 — very good burgers and chicken sandwich, well seasoned and tons of flavor, huge portions
Fries: 7 / 10 — well seasoned and crunchy
Price: 10 / 10 — extremely generous burger and sandwich portions for the price, could charge more
Service: 9 / 10 — friendly and attentive staff, fast service, let us use coupons on a day they weren’t accepting them

A sister restaurant of Camp Nowhere, Dr. Duffs Lost and Found Project is not only more quirky, it displays itself as the cool uncle, boasting itself as having some of the largest alcohol collections around. Its quirkiness is defined as having a weird, retro punk, hip, atmosphere, as well as right in the name!

When we arrived, we immediately noticed the crazy art painted on the building as well as a bench made from the back of a Ford truck. As soon as we opened the door, we noticed every single inch of the entire restaurant is decorated with all types of stickers. The atmosphere is dark and the music was booming, playing 2000s rap and rock music. There were bathtubs cut in half and placed in front of tables under a faux lighten tree. It was a surreal experience to say the least.

Atmosphere aside, the food is why we’re here! We were quickly greeted and sat at a small high table. It would later become clear that this table just wasn’t enough. We ordered a few burgers, a “small” sized chicken sandwich, nachos, waffle fries, and some drinks. We also noticed there was a warning on the menu stating their “large” chicken sandwiches are actually larger than one might think. The nachos and drinks were made quickly and arrived first. Drinks were unique tasting (in a good way) and the nachos were decent alongside the housemade salsa. As quick as we devoured them, the other food came right out.

The burgers arrived and we already had a problem. They were so big that they didn’t fit on the table! We had to use a nearby table to help organize. Even as a big guy myself, I had a hard time picking them up – they were just too big and easily weighed several pounds each. The “small” chicken sandwich was equally big and I honestly couldn’t picture a chicken sandwich any bigger.

The size matched the eating experience. The burgers were cooked perfectly, seasoned very well, juicy, and loaded with sauces and toppings. It was burger heaven! The chicken sandwich was the best chicken sandwich we’ve ever eaten! It was drowned in sauce and so tender! The entire eating experience coupled with the crazy atmosphere was something that made us decide that this spot easily slots into the top three. Personally, I want to see how large their “large” chicken sandwich is!


3. Arooga’s

Summary: A large open restaurant with an equally large menu that offers unique burgers and other foods at good prices. Homemade, unique, tasty sauces come with lots of their foods. Offers a variety of table sized housemade pretzels. Unfortunately, service is nonexistent. We visited twice!

Order: (2 visits) Donut burger, pb&J burger, gouda burger, appetizer sampler, Beyond Meat nachos, french fries with housemade sauce flight, cinnamon dessert pretzel, regular pretzel
Burgers: 10 / 10 — great tasting burgers with interesting combinations that work perfectly, good portion sizes
Fries: 10 / 10 — well seasoned, crunchy, housemade sauce flight is wonderful
Price: 8 / 10 — prices are very reasonable
Service: 1 / 10 — extremely slow service, staff was completely inattentive, server was nonexistent

We weren’t expecting much when we pulled up to Arooga’s and we definitely expected even less when we were sat. Google reviewers hound Arooga’s for slow service and various food issues, and after being sat down, this seemed like no more than a typical mediocre sports bar restaurant that has too many TVs.

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Arooga’s service is horrendously terrible. In both of our visits (we visited twice), the restaurant was empty and had plenty of servers doing busy work but yet it took almost 45 minutes each time for even one of them to approach our table. Afterwards, food was brought out by a kitchen staff member because our server would disappear and the others servers ignored us. But yet, we still list this as top three, why?

The reason why Arooga’s is still a must visit is because of the food and prices. In both of our visits, the food was simply a 10/10 and worth the frustration. The burgers were always cooked perfectly, but more importantly, the weird combinations worked extremely well together and really elevated the burger to the next level. Donuts for buns, who would have thought something could work so perfectly?! And don’t get me started on how mouthwatering their pb&j burger was – the peanut butter was just oozing out! It was so rich and filling! The crispy french fries paired perfectly with their thick, cheesy, housemade sauces. And the pretzels? These housemade pretzels were nearly the size of the table! They were so soft and warm, not to mention that once again, the sauces complimented them perfectly!

If you’re patient enough to deal with the complete lack of service and get perhaps the best tasting food you’ve ever experienced, this is your place. The variety of food and prices make it a place if you’re not only a picky eater, but also someone who wants something they’ve never had before. You can’t go wrong trying their insane burger combinations and huge pretzels!


*The rest of the places are tiers below the top three so I have decided not to write up full accounts or include pictures.


4. Harry’s Bar & Burger

Summary: Small cozy bar restaurant with great tasting and well seasoned slider burgers and fries at fair prices. Friendly and very fast service. They advertise “boozy stuffed shakes” but unfortunately don’t actually serve them as advertised.

Order: Slider cheeseburgers, french fries, nachos, boozy stuffed Oreo and Twinkie shakes
Burgers: 8 /10 — well seasoned slider burgers and good flavor despite lack of toppings
Fries: 8 / 10 — well seasoned, crunchy
Price: 6 / 10 — prices are fair
Service: 6 / 10 — fast and friendly service, drinks are falsely advertised


5. 133 Ladder Kitchen & Social

Summary: Large restaurant with old fire station decorations and vibes. Solid burgers with good portion size. Average service and prices.

Order: Southwest egg and avocado burger, cheeseburger, french fries
Burgers: 8 / 10 — good burgers with nice toppings, good portion size
Fries: 5 / 10 — could use more seasoning but still decent
Price: 6 / 10 — prices are fair
Service: 5 / 10 — OK service


6. The Abbey

Summary: Typical bar joint that has tasty, averaged sized burgers with some unique toppings and seasonings at fair prices. Very slow service as one server was working the entire resturaunt, little regard to covid restrictions.

Order: Irish and Cajun seasoned burgers, french fries
Burgers: 7 / 10 — tasty burgers with unique toppings, average portion size
Fries: 5 / 10 — decent french fries
Price: 6 / 10 — prices are fair
Service: 3 / 10 — very slow but friendly service


7. Tomaselli’s at Lincoln Country Club (Lincoln Location Closed)

Summary: Well sized burgers and french fries that tasted great at fair prices. Average service. Awesome views on patio that overlooks golf course.

Order: Tomaselli’s bacon burger, bouryaki burger, cheeseburger, buffalo and honey mustard hot fries,
Burgers: 7 / 10 — reasonably seasoned and sized burgers, bouryaki burger sauce is wonderful, good portion size
Fries: 6 / 10 — decent fries with toppings although needed more seasoning
Price: 6 / 10 — prices are fair
Service: 5 / 10 — OK service


8. Shake Shack

Summary: A typical burger you’d find at a BBQ, average. Fries are average but the cheese sauce elevates it. Milkshakes are above average. Serving size and prices are good, service varies by the day.

Order: Shack burger, cheese fries, milkshake
Burgers: 5 / 10 — average
Fries: 6 / 10 — average fries with tasty cheese sauce
Price: 7 / 10 — prices are good for portion size
Service: 5 / 10 — OK service depending on day


9. Burgundian

Summary: Small new takeout place with great tasting burgers and fries. Unfortunately, all of their other food was expensive and aside from their burgers, portions were small and didn’t taste great. Service is can be very friendly or exact opposite.

Order: Cheeseburgers, french fries, Korean vegetable slaw, parisian salad, Belgian waffle with fruit and sweet toppings, banana bread waffle pudding
Burgers: 7 / 10 — tasty burgers, average portion size
Fries: 7 / 10 — well seasoned and crunchy fries, small portion size
Price: 3 / 10 — expensive, small portion sizes
Service: 4 / 10 service can be polar opposites


10. Laura’s Bar and Grill

Summary: Typical American style restaurant with mediocre burgers and fries that needed more seasoning and toppings. Possibly best desserts and drinks in the state, especially their weekly homemade specials. Friendly service.

Order: Rodeo burgers, french fries, passionfruit mango cake, strawberry cannoli cheesecake, churro martini
Burgers: 4 / 10 — burgers needed more seasoning and were lackluster, average portion size
Fries: 5 / 10 — OK fries, needed seasoning
Price: 5 / 10 — burgers are a bit pricey, other food is fair
Service: 6 / 10 — semi-fast and friendly service


11. Boomerangs Roadhouse

Summary: Typical bar restaurant that has very juicy burgers, OK french fries. A bit pricey for what’s offered. Service was slightly slow and inattentive.

Order: Cheeseburgers, French fries
Burgers: 6 / 10 — very juicy burgers that tasted decent, average portion
Fries: 5 / 10 — average fries
Price: 3 / 10 — on the pricey side
Service: 4 / 10 — slightly slow service and inattentive


12. The Trap Box Providence Food Truck

Summary: Latin based food truck serving food with a Latin twist. Burgers and chicken sandwich were average along with portion size. Extremely expensive food and drinks. Friendly and accommodating service.

Order: Cheeseburger, chicken sandwich, passionfruit juice
Burgers: 5 / 10 — average burger and chicken sandwich with average portions
Fries: N / A — didn’t get any
Price: 1 / 10 — extremely expensive food and drinks for what’s offered
Service: 8 / 10 — friendly and accommodating, let us use a burger ticket for a chicken sandwich


13. A&W

Summary: Takeout place with OK burgers and fast service. Desserts were mostly a letdown due to portion size and lack of toppings. Food was a bit pricey.

Order: Mushrooms burgers, Oreo and Reese Polar Swirl, blended soda float
Burgers: 5 / 10 — tasted like typical fast food burgers, slightly small portion size
Fries: N / A — didn’t get any
Price: 3 / 10 — prices are fairly expensive
Service: 5 / 10 — fast service


14. Stanley’s Famous Hamburgers

Summary: Old diner with typical diner food. Burgers and french fries were very plain despite having a variety of toppings. Desserts and prices were just OK. Friendly and semi-fast service.

Order: Burgers with variety of toppings, french fries, poutine fries, cheese fries, strawberry and chocolate milkshakes, apple crisp
Burgers: 2 / 10 — plain burgers with no seasoning, slightly small portions
Fries: 2 / 10 — plain, unseasoned, and soggy
Price: 4 / 10 — prices could be better for what is offered
Service: 6 / 10 — semi-fast and friendly service


15. Chelo’s Hometown Bar & Grille

Summary: Standard American style restaurant. Burgers had stale, flaky buns that fell apart which made eating them near impossible. All of the food and drinks were bland. Friendly and semi-fast service. Pricey.

Order: Beyond burger, bourbon burger, appetizer sampler, nachos, almond joy frozen cocktail
Burgers: 2 / 10 — difficult to eat due to stale buns, unseasoned burgers, no flavor, decent portion size
Fries: 4 / 10 — could be better with seasoning
Price: 4 / 10 — on the pricey side
Service: 6 / 10 — semi-fast and friendly service


16. Beef Barn

Summary: Restaurant with a barn-like aesthetic. Burgers and fries had no seasoning or flavor. Crushed food littered all of the floor. Server abandoned us after serving food. OK prices.

Order: Cheeseburgers, french fries, house made chips
Burgers: 2 /10 — no flavor, unseasoned, OK portion size
Fries: 3 / 10 — no flavor or seasoning
Price: 5 / 10 — OK prices
Service: 2 / 10 — server abandoned us after serving food


17. Rhode Island Billiard, Bar & Bistro

Summary: Open American style bar restaurant housing several billiard tables. Cheeseburgers were very bland and the buns were dry. Very slow and inattentive service. Fairly high prices.

Order: Cheeseburgers
Burgers: 1 / 10 — very bland burgers, dry bun, average portion size
Fries: N / A — didn’t get any
Price: 3 / 10 — expensive burgers
Service: 2 / 10 — extremely slow and inattentive


18. Providence Burger Bar

Summary: Typical American style restaurant. Cheeseburgers were mediocre. We were told they couldn’t make us drinks because they were too busy. Wouldn’t let us take food. Extremely slow and inattentive service. High prices. No response to emails or messages on social media.

Order: Cheeseburgers
Burgers: 3 / 10 – mediocre, small portion size
Fries: N / A — didn’t get any
Price: 3 / 10 — expensive burgers
Service: 1 / 10 — extremely slow, inattentive, wouldn’t let us takeout food or make us drinks


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