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Nov 20, 1999 04:49 PM

Drive-ins with carhops?

  • p

Can anyone recommend good, non-chain drive-in restaurants with car service and a little character anywhere in the midwest? I can offer SuperDawg in Chicago, or The Penquin in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

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  1. Check Pal's Diner in Grand Rapids, MI.
    Real chow, with carhops in the summer.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Ed Delana

      Years ago there was a Dog 'N Suds (however they spelled it) in my hometown, Highland, IN. Carhops, hot dogs and root beer in a real mug.

      1. re: Jim Dorsch

        In Joliet, Il, there is a great place called Ace
        Drive-in. They have car hops, some on roller skates...Excellent root beer in mugs and their food is pretty good too!! It's about 2 miles off of I80 and I55

        1. re: Julie

          Ace is on Route 30 in Joliet. It doesn't sound as cool as some of the others mentioned, but it is old-fashioned. It is only open in the summer. BTW I've never seen any of the carhops on roller skates (the parking lot is gravel!).

        2. re: Jim Dorsch
          Dave Markovits

          Funny enough, I grew up in Highland, Indiana as well.

          You have to check out the Blue Top. A drive-in restaurant that has been there since the 40's. Burger's, prok tenderloins, vanilla cokes etc. They serve all year, Saturday nights people show off their rides.

          Romano's (Home of the Hoagie) Ridge Rd.

          Romano's does hoagies and pizza. Real famous for grilled ham and cheese hoagie on French Bread, god steak hoagie as well and malts.

          1. re: Dave Markovits

            I never frequented Blue Top, though I lived a few blocks from it and went to school with the owner's son. I drove by there recently on a rare trip home and saw it's still there.

            I was a Miner Dunn guy. I also used to enjoy the roast beef sandwich on French bread from the tavern next to the Ken-Ridge Drug Store. Schoop's Hamburgers in Munster (and several other communities these days) was grand. And Zel's in Hammond does a fine Italian beef sandwich.

          2. re: Jim Dorsch
            Frosted Mug Drive In

            This is the only Drive in with Carhops in the ChicagoLand Area.
            11541 S Pulaski
            Alsip, IL 60803
            708 371-3383


            1. re: Frosted Mug Drive In
              Vital Information

              There is a pretty decent drive-in just off of the road leading through Michigan City Indiana on the way to the outlet mall (how's that for directions). The drive-in is near the high school?

              We always eat there when visiting the shops. I wish I could remeber its name. Great sandwiches and battered fried vegetables!


        3. Try the Wheel Inn in Sedalia, MO - great gooberbergers (with peanut butter on them) - car hops at all times!

          1. There's a place in Kenosha, WI called The Spot. It's a drive-in with carhop service. Good burgers, shakes, root beer and more. Feels like something out of Happy Days but then this close to Milwaukee.

            1. One of the best I've found is the Mug 'n Bun
              on the west side of Indianapolis (actually in
              the town of Speedway) - on west 10th street.
              It's open year-round. Extensive menu -
              corndogs to BBQ to catfish to anything fried.
              Great homemade rootbeer. Another great one,
              only open seasonally though, is in NW Indiana -
              Valparaiso. It's called Hannons. Probably the
              best rootbeer anywhere.

              1. Well, it is a chain, but in our town, Berkley (MI)--about 20 minutes from Detroit)there's an original drive-in A&W spot--open almost all year long, even in cold weather. Not the sanitized boxy "New"A&W, but has the drive in spots under a 60's flaring roof,cars park at jaunty angles underneath, walk-to-the-car service. Also picnic tables right next to the street. Fab rootbeer--the best on draft (and I drink diet!), coneydogs, etc. The real deal. In nice weather (and not so nice) folks like to drive vintage cars there and park and snack and show off (after all it is Motown.)

                2 Replies
                1. re: berkleybabe

                  Ah, Berkleybabe you read my mind!

                  Saturday night's alright for cruisin, and they even have a special cheap menu if you drive a classic car, like 50 cent coneys and 25 cent root beers.

                  1. re: berkleybabe

                    Yeah, we have an original A&W, with carhops, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.