The Best Burger in America. Where would you expect it to be? If you said Grand Rapids’ own arcade/restaurant/bar/vegetarian and vegan haven, Stella’s Lounge, you’d be right! Having just received the honor from July’s issue of GQ Magazine, the local prestige of Stella’s unique atmosphere can’t be overestimated.
GQ Deputy Editor, Michael Hainey, announced it on MSNBC just weeks ago. If you’re ready to run and try one, you should be aware that owner Mark Sellers is pretty sure it’s the Stella Blue that won Stella’s the honor; stuffed with bleu cheese and bacon, it’s hands down the most popular burger at the bar. Sellers said to The Rapidian, “We haven’t changed the recipe since we opened in May 2010,” adding that “The beef has no additives or preservatives, is 100% black angus, and comes from farms in Michigan and Ohio. We hand-form the patties ourselves in our kitchen, rather than buying frozen pre-formed patties. We infuse the burgers with cheese and spices before cooking, and it oozes out all over when it’s hot. The burgers are stuffed.” Some of the other stuffings include white cheddar, jalapenos, and all manner of delicious local options that just taste better stuffed inside a beef patty.
Nestled just behind Grand Rapid’s bar star scene on Ionia St., Stella’s Lounge is recognizable by the eclectic artwork on the outside of the building, an assortment of macabre graffiti that draws a variety of patrons. But it’s the inside that keeps customers coming back on a regular basis; old school video games, throw-back music, over 200 whiskeys to sit and slurp, beers and a menu that satisfies carnivores and vegans alike.
Stella’s is open 4pm-2am on weekdays and 12pm-2am on weekends. Their event schedule stays fresh with things like Gamer battles, Rehab Sunday Brunch, and Sh*t Show Sunday Nights with karaoke and drink specials. Even the daily happy hour is designed to snag regulars- $6 stuffed burgers, $1.25 beer cans, $8 pitchers of Sangria! All nine epic varieties of Stella’s burgers are served with Chronic Fries and pair best with both a cheap beer and a 2oz. pour of whichever whiskey catches your eye.
Although Grand Rapids is proud of the recognition they’ve engendered, we are featuring Stella’s for more than just their national popularity. One of the coolest things about Stella’s is their focus on buying local food and supporting neighboring businesses. As the West Michigan community gravitates towards such noble endeavors, it’s easy to see why Stella’s has been and shall remain such a Grand Rapids favorite. GQ chose their Best Burger in America Winner wisely! Stop in and taste for yourself!