If you've never been to Gilley's Diner in Portsmouth, you are missing out.  That place has probably saved my life a time or two.  I'll tell you that story below.  It's been around for decades, and now, LoveFood has named Gilley's as the home of the most delicious hamburger in the state.

Facebook/Gilley's diner
Facebook/Gilley's diner

Worcester, Massachusetts, Birthplace of American Diner

Gilley's Lunch cart was built in 1940 by the famous Worcester Diner Company of Worcester Massachusetts, according to the Gilley's website.  It used to be a cart that was hauled into Market Square by horse in front of the North Church to feed its hungry patrons, but in June of 1974, it was moved to its permanent location on Fleet Street.

To this day, many fixtures are original, like the porcelain trim and fixtures and some original oak.  In fact, the truck that eventually replaced the horse to tow the diner into town is still attached to the front of the diner.  You can see the wheels underneath the skirting to this day, according to the website. 

RELATED:  This New England City is the Birthplace of the American Diner

Gilley Was a Real Person

Gilley's is named after a longtime employee named Ralph "Gilley" Gilbert, known to be very kind and have a flawless memory.  Gilley died in 1986.  However, his name lives on.

Gilley's Diner Still Stays Open Late

Gilley's is the place where we used to go after we were carousing in downtown Portsmouth back in the day.  The late hours that they kept were (quite literally) life-saving, because after a big of carousing, Gilley's not only gave me the sustenance that I needed, but also time to remember that I left my car at home and it was time to call a cab (there was no such thing as Uber or Lyft back then).  The diner is still open from 9pm-1am on Friday and Saturday nights to this day.  Bless them and their delicious burgers.

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Gallery Credit: Megan Murphy

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