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Rico's Pizzeria: a Local Legend in Walpole, Massachusetts

Rico's, Walpole, Massachusetts

by Eric Hurwitz. Article updated on 11/01/16

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Rico's Pizzeria in Walpole, Massachusetts is one of those restaurants that has become a local legend.  It didn't happen by accident.

The Stathakis family -- owners of the restaurant -- has been heavily involved with giving back to the community for years and locals have appreciated the generosity by reciprocating with frequent lines often lining up outside the doors.  Not your basic pizza and sub shop, Rico's goes beyond just having a helping heart -- the food is flat-out fantastic.

Tasos Stathakis brought his culinary passions from native Greece many years ago, favoring ingredients like lemon, olive oil and key herbs and spices in the right combination to bring out the flavors -- and making it liked his mom would have in the family's kitchen. A great example: the beyond tasty chicken kabob in the form of dinner, sub or salad that are off the charts great. Thank goodness the portions are big so that the flavors can be savored many times over!

Rico's chicken kebob sandwich
Chicken kabob salad from Rico's in Walpole.

Rico's makes its delicious Greek-style pizza as well as calzones with fresh dough daily, while the mouthwatering gyros wrap or dinner plate are better than anything I've had at similar pizza and sub shops, full-service restaurants and at local fairs.

What really puts Rico's over the top, however, is an original: the BJ Wrap made with a huge serving of chicken fingers, bacon, mozzarella, fries, and “Rebel Sauce” (a homemade honey barbecue sauce) within a wrap. Rico’s sells this specialty dish to as many as 200 customers on the busiest days.

Rico's BJ Wrap  from Rico's Pizzeria in Walpole MA
The legendary BJ Wrap from Rico's in Walpole.

The BJ name started many years ago as two local high school graduates, Brandon and Johnny, put fries in the Rebel Wrap,” according to Peter Stathakis, general manager of Rico’s.

The Rebel sauce also remains wildly popular on its own. Rico’s features a “Rebel Corner” section of the menu where customers order the sauce on pizza, calzones, wraps, and subs.

Rico's has been in business since 1999, and actually has become better through the years. Located in a postage-sized stamp storefront up until a few years ago, Rico's moved across the street to a more larger space with a state-of-the-art kitchen, which has allowed Tasos, son Peter and staff to become more efficient, creative and productive.The new location looks much nicer, seating approximately 30 with a waiting area, two televisions, a digital menu, restrooms, as well as a “high stool area” where people can enjoy a quick bite. The wall photos of school teams prominently remain from the past location, while the tables have subtle blue and orange specks that represent the Walpole Rebel colors.

Rico's Pizzeria dining room, Walpole MA
Updated dining room -- and walls lined up with local sports teams photos.

Peter, a highly intelligent individual working on a masters degree in business from Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts, works many hours -- as many as 80 a week -- and makes sure that nothing gets past his or another managers' eyes without it meeting high standards. The customer ultimately benefits.

Tasos and Peter Stahtakis of Rico's Pizzeria, Walpole MA
Father and son: Tasos and Peter Stathakis, of Rico's in Walpole.

Best known for supporting local sports teams, Rico's is itself a hall-of-fame caliber pizza and sub shop. If I had to choose five great restaurants of this genre in the Boston area, Rico's would be on that list. It's just a joy to see the community come out in crowds and to taste made-from-scratch foods that clearly go way beyond what you'd expect at this type of eatery.

Rico’s is located at 1351 Main St. in Walpole. Telephone: 508-668-0700. Website: http://www.ricoswalpole.com/. Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/Ricos-Pizza-Walpole-195951010416145/


Editor's note: VisitingNewEngland business partnerships started on Jan. 30, 2017, and differ than feature articles previously posted on VisitingNewEngland. Businesses pay a small, one-time fee to have pages like this appear, and first must be accepted by VisitingNewEngland.com editor and publisher, Eric Hurwitz, as a business he approves as part of "real New England travel" to keep the integrity of the site. Businesses that sign up for business partnerships receive priority by receiving more social media exposure and link placement on VisitingNewEngland.com. Contact me if interested in forming a business partnership.


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