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Wright's Dairy Rite

346 Greenville Ave., Staunton, VA - (540) 886-0435
Posted By Michael Stern on December 25, 2009 7:20 AM
Three years before Ray Kroc began franchising McDonald’s, Wright’s Dairy Rite of Staunton, Virginia, started serving Superburgers. Two beef patties with cheese and lettuce, topped with special sauce and layered in a triple-decker bun, this monumental hamburger is still served as it was in 1952 – by car hops at the window of your vehicle in a car slip at the side of the restaurant. Wright’s added a dining room in 1989, so it is possible to eat inside, where décor includes a handsome Wurlitzer juke box (with compact discs rather than 45s) and vintage Wright’s menus from the 1950s and 1960s.

If really hungry and in search of juiciness, we forgo the Superburger for a Monsterburger. That is one-half pound of beef barely sandwiched in a bun, available in a basket, with French fries or, better yet, with Wright’s homemade onion rings. To drink with this festive heap of food, one needs a shake. At Wright’s, milk shakes are the real thing, available in chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla, as well as with real bananas or strawberries (mmmm!), and with or without malted milk for additional richness. While on the subject of dairy products, we should also note that this place knows how to make a fine banana split, a float (a big blob of ice cream set adrift in the soda pop of your choice), and a flurry (candy and/or cookies blended into soft-serve ice cream).

Wright’s serves three meals a day, and the menu goes well beyond burgers. There are regular and foot-long hot dogs, pork barbecue on a bun, sandwich baskets with potato chips and a pickle, whole submarines, hearty chili with beans, and even some recently added low-fat wraps. In addition to milk shakes and soda pop, the beverage list includes that drink known to connoisseurs of Dixie mixology as the champagne of the South – pre-sweetened ice tea, served in cups that range up to one-quart size.
4 star rating
Overall Rating
Milk Shake
Monsterburger
Superburger

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Posted By Patricia Beninato on July 14, 2014 7:52 PM
Living in Richmond as I do, I don't often get the chance to make my way to the western part of Virginia--until my sister-in-law and her husband moved to Charleston, West Virginia. It's a pretty trip down Interstate 64, which happens to go through Staunton, which in turn invites a detour to Wright's Dairy Rite, about ten minutes off the interstate.

Although Wright's has made steps into the modern age--it offers free WiFi, for instance--I imagine it looks much the same as it did in the fifties, a place where high school kids came after the football game and couples grabbed burgers after a movie. Yes, you can still place an order from your car, but eating inside is nice too. These days you can place your order at the counter or give it to a server depending on where you sit. All the food is made fresh to order--while the Superburger might look like a Big Mac, this place isn't assembly-line McDonald's.

I was going to go with a Superburger and fries, but a side item caught my eye--tater tots. It's pretty rare to see them anywhere (and because it offers them is about the only reason I hit up the Sonic chain from time to time) so I had to order them. The Superburger was several steps up from a Big Mac, fresh and hot and beefy. But the tots. THE TOTS. My husband tried one and I had to threaten to sit at another table because he would have eaten them all. Light and crispy and perfectly salty, they complemented the burger better than fries.

Yes, most come here for the Superburger or Monsterburger, but don't overlook the sausage cheeseburger or the mushroom Swiss burger. And here's a semi-secret--their egg salad sandwich is pretty solid. Don't forget to get a milkshake for dessert. I love that Wright's offers fruit milkshakes, and while I have tried sips of others I keep coming back to pineapple. Staunton is a pretty town, and a stop at Wright's Dairy Rite will make you forget the chains that loom over the interstate.
4 star rating
Overall Rating
Tater Tots
Sausage Cheeseburger
Mushroom Swiss Burger

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Posted By Steven Green on January 22, 2013 3:49 PM
Used to visit Wright's whenever I drove from Texas to NYC on I-81. Stopped there long before there ever was a Roadfood.com. This place fits Roadfood.com perfectly. Have not done the trip in many years. Miss eating there.
2 star rating
Overall Rating

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Posted By Ken Farr on January 9, 2011 1:09 PM
Stopped by this place, as I have driven by it twice, while in the area. Very nice, the people who work there are very friendly and helpful. We had the pleasure of speaking with the owner, and he was a very gracious man and proud of his establishment.

I enjoyed my meal, burger, fries and malt. While not the absolute pinacle, it was very good and worth a drive. When I'm back in Va. I will make a point to stop by.

You really need to support this sort of place before they disappear and all that is left is Cracker Barrel, Mickey D's etc.

Worth the drive.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
Superburger
Milk Shake

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Posted By Peter Roaman on November 15, 2005 9:15 PM
I've been to Wright's a number of times. First time, I stumbled across it 'cause I like to take Route 11 rather than the interstate, and it blew me away finding an actual old style drive-in with curbside service. But after a few visits the novelty wore off.

The burgers and shakes are real good, but a lot of the other items are rather ordinary and the BBQ was not very good at all. Still I always like to stop there just 'cause it's such a cool experience.
5 star rating
Overall Rating

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