Wright’s Dairy Rite

Review by: Michael Stern

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 CDs rather than 45s) and vintage Wright’s menus from the 1950s and 1960s.

What to eat at Wright’s Dairy Rite in Staunton, VA

If you are really hungry and in search of juiciness, 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, 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, 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 a few 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.

What To Eat



Milk Shake

Carolina Burger

Onion Rings

Pork BBQ Sandwich

Tater Tots

Sausage Cheeseburger

Mushroom Swiss Burger


Wright’s Dairy Rite Recipes


What do you think of Wright’s Dairy Rite?

6 Responses to “Wright’s Dairy Rite”

Patricia Beninato

July 14th, 2014

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.


Steven Green

January 22nd, 2013

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.


Ken Farr

January 9th, 2011

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.


Peter Roaman

November 15th, 2005

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.


    Jeff Moore

    July 1st, 2023

    Wrights and I are the age. I moved to California for 15years and then I moved back to the Staunton area. Whenever we came back on vacation before we moved back, a trip wasn’t complete without going to Wrights. Their steak subs are excellent. The only thing that would make it better is if anyone born in Staunton in 1952 would get a free meal for their birthday



      July 5th, 2023

      That would be an awesome perk!


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