Bycarolina is meant|September 22, 2020 3:45 PM EST
There are plenty of purely American restaurants: fast food joints, hot dog stands, and evenold fashioned steakhousesThey cook their meat to perfection. But what could be more iconic than pulling into a parking lot, being served by a waiter through the driver's side window, and eating a burger right there in your car?
Drive-thru restaurants have experienced a resurgence since the onset of COVID-19, offering a happy medium between eating out and still being safe and comfortable in your own car. For a bit of nostalgia, we searched for drive-through restaurants across the country that are still operating and thriving today. Please note that some restaurants may be seasonal and hours and conditions of operation may be different due to the coronavirus pandemic, so call ahead before browsing.
Ammons Drive Inn & Dairy Bar (Waynesville, Carolina del Norte)
It's easy to get a vintage feel at a drive-in, but it's actually much harder.get vintage price. At Ammons Drive Inn & Dairy Bar in Waynesville, North Carolina, you can still get a cheeseburger for just $2. A side of fries will set you back $1.75. If you still have room after all that, you can get the cobbler, with two flavors rotating every night.
Ardy & Ed's Drive In (Oshkosh, Wisconsin)
Skate carhops will serve up burgers and fries at Ardy & Ed's Drive In. It's been around forever, opening in 1948 as an A&W drive-in. Ardy & Ed's became independent and got its current name in the 1970s, but the beer on tap remains the same, which is perhaps why this place is better known. Make sure you order something or whatfavorite childhood dessert, a root beer float, as you roll and travel through time.
Avi's Screamers Drive In (Wickenburg, Arizona)
Avi's Screamers Drive In in Wickenburg, Arizona is best known for its Screamer Burger, which is cooked fresh and best eaten with a large helping of seasoned fries. If you wanteat like a local, ask yourself the Green Chili Burger, which has the spiciness you are looking for.
Bar-B-Q King (Charlotte, North Carolina)
The South is known for its fried chicken and itswith a pair, but it can be hard to decide between the two. Well, if you're at the Bar-B-Q King in Charlotte, North Carolina, you don't have to. This restaurant's signature menu item is BBQ sauce-soaked fried chicken with wonderfully crispy skin and spectacular sauce. (Be sure to ask for more on the side for dipping.) If you're not in the mood for chicken, patrons at this old-school drive-in also rave about the grilled pulled pork, house-made sausage, and onion rings.
Beacon Drive-In (Spartanburg, Carolina del Sur)
The Beacon Drive-In opened in 1946, and thissouthern classichas been serving fast food to drivers (and customers in interior booths) ever since. Perhaps he's best known for the "hearty" option, which means his meal will come with loads of sweet onion rings and fries. Like any truly southern place, this place serves their must-try sweet tea, very sweet.
Autocine de Bill (Ypsilanti, Michigan)
You go to Bill's Drive-In in Ypsilanti, Michigan for a hot dog. You can dress your dog however you want, but if you want to eat like a true Michiganer, get the coney dog. This cash-only establishment seems stuck in time, not only because of the workshops, but also because of the prices. You can get a hot dog for $1.75 and a pint of homemade root beer is only 80 cents.
Bobo's Drive In (Topeka, Kansas)
For more than 50 years, Bobo's Drive In has served customers classic American fare like burgers, coney dogs, onion rings and chili. What really sets this drive-in apart is its iconic Spanish burger. Served with one or two patties, this cheeseburger is smothered in a tangy and slightly spicy house-made hot sauce.
Autocine de Boomer (Bellingham, Washington)
Big juicy Boomer's Drive-Inhas burgers. You can't go wrong with the classic Big Boom, which features a pound of ground beef and American cheese. But this place also offers interesting options, like the teriyaki burger with grilled pineapple rings, Swiss cheese and teriyaki sauce or the Cajun Inferno Burger topped with sliced jalapeños, pepper jack cheese and akick cajun sauce.
Cameron Lobster House (Brunswick, Maine)
not alwaysthink about shellfishwhen you think of drive-ins, but Cameron's Lobster House in Brunswick, Maine brings seafood right to the driver's seat. It offers a variety of fried seafood baskets including haddock, juicy shrimp, and flavored scallops. Of course, this is a lobster house, so the best things to get at this restaurant are the hot, buttery lobster rolls. True to its name, Cameron's has other seafood specialties including lobster stew, lobster BLT wraps, and lobster salad.
Charlie's Drive-In (Hortonville, Wisconsin)
Nothing says it's summer in Hortonville, Wisconsin like a meal at Charlie's Drive-In. For more than 50 years, this slice of Americana has servedMidwest Classicssuch as fried mushrooms, cheese curds, hot dogs, and hamburgers. Playing on the vintage vibes of a drive-in diner, Charlie's will be hosting classic car nights all summer long.
Classic 1950s Drive-In (Norman, Oklahoma)
Classic 50's Drive-In has been a Norman, Oklahoma landmark for over 60 years. This family owned and operated restaurant has all the staples you could want: old-fashioned burgers, onion rings, Tater Tots, and hot dogs. Possibly the most interesting offering you'll find here is the Sprittle, Skittles-infused Sprite, which comes in original and bitter. It's a sugary soda dream come true.
Dandy's Drive-In (Bend, Oregon)
Skating workshops really make you feel like you havewent back in timeat Dandy's Drive-in in Bend, Oregon. Head to this popular spot for not only some classic burgers, but also old-school classics like chocolate malt and pineapple shakes. The tots are crispy and the shakes are cold. What is there to complain about?
Autocine Dari-ette (Saint Paul, Minnesota)
Normally you think of burgers and fries at a drive-in, but at Dari-ette Drive-In, you'll findauthentic italian food. Okay, you'll find burgers too, but the real stars of this family-run restaurant are the meatball sandwich, spaghetti, and other Italian specialties. Due to its snowy location in Saint Paul, this drive-in is not open year-round, so be sure to stop by when the weather is warm.
Autocine de Dick (Seattle, Washington)
There are few more iconic burger joints in Seattle than those you'll find at Dick's Drive-In's seven locations. For around $2 you get a small but mighty burger with a slice of classic American cheese. Like any good drive-in, Dick's has a fewdreamy creamy shakes, but the menu is simple: three flavors (vanilla, chocolate or strawberry) and one size fits all.
Autocine de Dilly (Akron, Ohio)
Pickle lovers will love Dilly's Drive-In Restaurant, which has two locations in Northeast Ohio (one in Akron and one on the Peninsula). This drive-in's signature menu item is the Double Dilly burger, which comes with two sauces and plenty of pickles. There is even a spike at the top of the casing.
Dizzy Whiz (Louisville, Kentucky)
Dizzy Whiz has been a true family-owned establishment since it opened its doors in the late 1940s. This Louisville favorite has curbside service, where you can order classic fare like steak sandwiches,fried chicken sandwichesand tuna salad. The signature Whizburger comes complete with two patties, special sauce, lettuce, and cheese.
Dog House Drive-In (Albuquerque, Novo México)
Fans of "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul" may already be familiar with Dog House, which wasHe appears in various scenes on a couple of AMC shows.. And while he won't find the fictional Jesse Pinkman there, he will find foot-long hot dogs and other drive-thru classics like Frito pie, burgers and shakes. Be sure to top your hot dog or burger with their signature chili; It's a little spicy, but it's worth it.
Don's Drive In (Traverse City, Michigan)
While eating and drinking in Traverse City, Michigan, be sure to drive over to Don's Drive In. This drive-in really feels like it's back in the 1950s, complete with food delivery workshops. It serves up all the diner classics like burgers, fries, and patty melts. The children in the back seat will be delighted with the children's meals, which are served in an old cardboard cart.
Doumar's Cones and Barbecue (Norfolk, Virgínia)
Every day is National Ice Cream Day at Doumar Grill and cones. The restaurant's founder, Abe Doumar, claims to have created the first ice cream cone in 1904, and this Virginia staple still uses what he claims is the world's first four-iron waffle maker, so this place is just down the road. the height ofAmerica's Best Ice Cream Stands.
The Drive-In (Taylor Falls, Minnesota)
What drive-in? Good,ODrive to Taylors Falls, Minnesota. Although this place has an old fashioned vibe with carhops in poodle skirts and old looking menus,food is in fashion today. Dishes are made with local meat, local roasts, and local organic milk. Even the root beer is brewed on site every day.
Ed Walker's Drive-In and Restaurant (Fort Smith, Arkansas)
The sign at Ed Walker's Drive-In & Restaurant in Fort Smith, Arkansas announces one thing:Sandwiches with French Sauce. It's what the restaurant is famous for, and one bite of the tender and generously served sandwich will show why.
Autocine de Evelyn (Tiverton, Rhode Island)
If you're eating at an East Coast drive-in, I hope seafood is on the menu. At Evelyn's Drive-In in Tiverton, Rhode Island, you'll find local favorites like crab cakes, lobster rolls,Lula in Rhode Island fashionwith chili rings and garlic butter and a chow mein sandwich.
Falafel Drive-In (San Jose, California)
When Anton and Zahie Nijmeh opened their drive-in in 1966, they started out by selling staples like cheeseburgers. And while they're still on the menu at Falafel's Drive-In today, the eponymous menu item, falafel, is what makes this San Jose, California location stand out. It is available as a salad and in a pita.
Frisco's Carhops Diner (Ciudad Industrial, California)
You go to Friso's Carhops Diner for the food, but stick with the kitschy carhops decked out in bright pink skirts and roller skates. When you get drive-thru, you can order classic burgers on a Parmesan sourdough bun, pastrami sandwiches, and a side of delicious chili cheese fries.
El autocine de Hop 50 (Maryville, Tennessee)
Hop 50's Drive-In / Yelp
You'll feel transported back in time in Maryville, Tennessee, the Drive-In institution of The Hop 50. Carhops serves up large portions of classics like patty melts, grilled bologna sandwiches and, of course, burgers. If you have space after all that, make sure you get theclassic dessert, an old-fashioned banana split, complete with three types of ice cream, pineapple topping, hot sauce, strawberries, walnuts, whipped cream, and a cherry.
Jerry's Curbside Service (Beaver, Pennsylvania)
Gaelyn Z. / Yelp
A true local restaurant, Jerry's Curb Service doesn't have many frills. You'll find burgers, chicken and steak sandwiches, chicken tenders, breaded mushrooms and other classics. Whatever you order, be sure to dunk your food in Jerry's sauce, a kind of twist on themayonnaisewith additional seasonings.
Johnnie's Drive In (Tupelo, Mississippi)
Elvis fans must stop at Johnnie's Drive In. It is located just five minutes from the King's birthplace and is one of 12 significant sites in Elvis' formative years in Tupelo, Mississippi. Even if you're not into old-school rock 'n' roll, Johnnie's Drive In offers battered burgers, a Mississippi twist on the burger, where ground beef is mixed with fillers like potato chips, breadcrumbs or flour. Of course they also have beef burgers.
Keller's Drive-In (Dallas, Texas)
Take a cruise to Dallas to visit Keller's Drive-In. For more than 50 years, this traditional establishment has offered affordable meals without skimping on flavor. The most popular item is the special No. 5, a double beef burger with cheese, lettuce, tomato and special sauce on a poppy seed bun. Don't be afraid to take that baby withroasted onionalso. They come free on any sandwich.
Autocine del Rey Louie (Wood River, Illinois)
Beth Anne S./Yelp
Residents of Wood River, Illinois flock to King Louie's Drive-In for the burgers, like the King Louie Burger, which comes with all the classic trimmings. fried steak and some classic fries. If you dare, you can try the King of the Jungle Challenge, which consists of a 2-pound burger, loaded potato boards, and a 32-ounce soft drink of your choice. If you finish the monster's food in 30 minutes, you'll get your photo on the wall and a free t-shirt.
King Tut Drive-In (Beckley, Virgínia Occidental)
Many drive-ins close when it's cold, but the King Tut Drive-In in Beckley, West Virginia,increaseyour menu by addingclassic comfort soupssuch as potato soup, vegetable soup and peppers on their winter menu.
Drive-In de Mac (McCook, Nebraska)
Although Mac's Drive-In has indoor seating, for a more fun experience, you must eat in your vehicle and have your food delivered at a repair shop. The food is fresh and local, with Nebraska beef and breaded onion rings. Mac fans are raving about the pizza burger, a hybrid of two ofAmerica's Favorite Fast Food Meals.
Mac's Steak in the Rough (Albuquerque, Novo México)
You'd normally expect to see burgers and fries at a drive-in, and while Mac's Steak in the Rough in Albuquerque, New Mexico has these offerings, you'll want to stop there for the taquitas, best eaten dipped inguacamole. The menu item of the same name, Steak in the Rough, is also a must-try experience. These freshly cut and breaded steaks are served with salsa, French fries and coleslaw.
Autocine Moonlight (Titusville, Florida)
Mitch L. / Yelp
The Moonlight Drive-In's name is no coincidence; is close to one ofFlorida's Top Attractions, Kennedy Space Center, and tourists flock to this vintage restaurant for an affordable meal delivered by carhops after a day exploring the headquarters. When it comes to food, you'll find restaurant classics like burgers, chicken tenders, and hot dogs. Save room for dessert: there's a chocolate peanut butter shake.
Mugs Up Drive In (Independencia, Misuri)
If you want two things from a classic drive-in, it's a cheap burger and a top-shelf beer. Fortunately, Mugs Up Drive In in Independence, Missouri has both. Like a true Missouri local, he specializes in loose meat sandwiches topped with only the best Cheez Whiz cheese. you can get itmidwestern specialtyfor less than $3. Wash it down with a homemade root beer.
Parkette Drive-In (Lexington, Kentucky)
Jacob D. / Yelp
Joe Smiley opened Parkette on November 11, 1951 and it has been a Kentucky institution ever since. His signature burger is the Poor Boy, which features two 4-ounce Angus beef patties, American cheese, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mustard and signature parkette sauce on a toasted double-deck bun. In addition to a selection of classic and specialty burgers, Parkette's serves up a fried chicken that rivalsthe best fried chicken in the country.
Rainbow Drive-In (Honolulu, Havaí)
Josué B. / Yelp
If you're looking for a charming old fashioned drive-in restaurant in Hawaii, there's Honolulu's Rainbow Drive-In. Head here for Hawaiian specialties like Spam Sandwiches and Loco Moco, a burger served with sweet whole-grain sauce, rice, andegg.
Red Rabbit Drive In (Duncannon, Pensilvania)
Head to the Red Rabbit Drive In in Duncannon, Pennsylvania and grab a Bunny Burger with beef, smoked bacon, cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions and special sauce, all on a poppy seed roll. As you get your food delivered right to your car, don't forget to order fries with rabbit powder, a much-loved spice mix.
Rudy's Drive-In (La Crosse, Wisconsin)
Autocine de Rudy / Yelp
Nothing says drive-in like a menu packed with burgers, hot dogs and root beer, and that's exactly what you'll find at Rudy's Drive-In. This classic spot started out as an A&W in 1933, and Rudy's fans will tell you it still has the best root beer you'll find, plus one of theAmerica's most iconic foods: Wisconsin cheese curds.
Skyway (Fairlawn, Ohio)
Kevin S. / Yelp
There has been a longstanding debate in the Akron, Ohio area: which burger is better, Skyway or Swensons? Both are delivered through the aisles to your car door and both serve lightly sweetened burgers with some of the greasiest and most delicious onion rings and fries you will ever come across. Skyway fans will tell you that their Sky-Hi burger, with its creamy and spicy Sky-Hi sauce, is a cut above Swenson's. And you'll be hard-pressed to find better sauerkraut balls.
Autocine Swensons (Akron, Ohio)
While Skyway has its fans, Swensons is the most common drive-in chain in all of Buckeye. There are 10 locations in the Northeast Ohio area and four in Columbus, and they serve up "burgers," potato puffs, onion rings, and 17 different flavors of shakes, including different variations like coffee, pineapple, blueberry, and grape. The highlight is the Galley Boy, a brown sugar-sweetened double cheeseburg, topped with not one, butof thesauces and a salty green olive. This deeply flavorful burg lives up toAmerica's Best Burgers.
Snow White Drive In (Lebanon, Tennessee)
Snow White Drive In is a true Lebanon, Tennessee classic. It is loved for desserts like its hot chocolate cake and banana split. The restaurant serves up all the dinner classics, but this is the South after all, so be sure to try some regional specialties like barbecue baskets and fried okra.
South 21 Drive In (Charlotte, NC)
Since 1955, South 21 Drive In has been serving up classic drive-in food to the people of Charlotte, North Carolina. The star dish is the Super Boy burger, which comes with two freshly prepared beef patties, mustard, onion, lettuce and tomato. South 21 Drive In also serves fried chicken if you're looking for something more comforting.
Sumburger (Chilicothe, Ohio)
Randy G. / Yelp
In true old-fashioned fashion, you grab a phone and place your order at Sumburger Drive-In in Chillicothe, Ohio. Their star dish is the aptly named Double Sumburger. This "meal on a bun" burger features two fresh meat patties, two slices of melted cheese, lettuce and signature Sumburger sauce. It is freshly prepared and is the perfect nostalgia bite.
Autocine Sycamore (Bethel, Connecticut)
The Sycamore Drive-In in Bethel, Connecticut serves breakfast, specialty salads and fast food classics like chicken, but is best known for its French-style steaks. The "ultimate answer to the burger" Dagwood Burger includes melted American cheese, mustard, ketchup, pickles, onion, tomato slices, lettuce, and mayonnaise.
The Varsity (Atlanta, Georgia)
Varsity has five drive-in locations in Georgia (and two more at the airport), but if you want to eat there, be sure to head to the main Atlanta location; It claims to be the largest fast food restaurant in the world. The location is a must-visit historical place, even if the food isn't fancy. Whether you order a hamburger on a steamed bun, fries, or a hot dog, be sure to have your item covered at The Varsity's "world famous."Pepper.
Wagner's Drive-In Restaurant (Brooklyn Park, Minnesota)
For nearly 40 years, Wagner's Drive-In has served some of thebest guilty pleasure foodin the Twin Cities. Chili cheeseburgers, fried chicken and pork chop sandwiches are just a few of the menu highlights.
Wayne's Drive Inn (Lawton, Oklahoma)
Chris C. / Yelp
Wayne's Drive Inn has been in the Wayne Abshere family since the 1950s, when the restaurant started out as Wayne's Burger Bar in an alleyway. Wayne's specializes in fried foods like fried pickles, cheese sticks, and onion rings. EITHERdelicious friedit doesn't end there. There is a steak, fish and chips dinner and a fried chicken board.
Weber's Drive In (Pennsauken, NJ)
You'll find Weber's Drive In in Pennsauken, New Jersey by its bright orange building and metal canopy that covers cars that pull in for valet parking. Root beer is the must-have menu item; it's made to a traditional recipe and is so popular that Weber's sells it by the gallon to go. As for the food, well, order a pulled pork roll and cheese sandwich. It's aregional breakfast dish that you have to try.
Autocine Westside (Boise, Idaho)
A vintage neon sign welcomes drivers and patrons to Boise's Westside Drive-In. There's filet mignon with fries, homemade lasagna, and "world" ribs on Fridays and Saturdays. Of course, no Idaho drive-in would be complete without a fries and ice cream. Thankfully, this isn't frozen mashed potatoes, but rather vanilla ice cream topped with cocoa powder and whipped cream cleverly crafted to look like a loaded baked potato. Is one ofAmerica's Most Iconic Desserts.
Autocine Superdawg, (Chicago, Illinois)
Superdawg is a Chicago institution, and it's hard to miss with all the giant hot dogs on the roof with glowing eyes. The all-beef hot dogs have that perfect crispy skin, and you'd be crazy not to order them with all the traditional Chicago hot dog toppings (yellow mustard, white onion, sweet pickles, sport peppers, tomatoes, kosher dill pickles, and salt). of celery). If you haven't tried it yet, you have to. A Chicago dog is amongAmerica's 101 Most Iconic Restaurant Dishes.
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