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Looking for old fashioned drive-in restaurants.

I'm in the lowell/nashua area, but i'll take suggestions for anywhere in new england. Roller-skating car hops are a plus!

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  1. Boy, that brings back the memories of A&W back in the 60s. What are your other criteria. My husband usually heads for "the yellow light places". Cremeland in Manchester would be an example. We go to the tiny Dipsy Doodle in Northfield NH (next to Tilton) for lobster rolls with sweet potato fries and/or onion rings. I think the Ice House in New Castle would also count. They have a small dining room but in good weather you eat at picnic tables. We stopped going to the Tamarack near Weirs Beach/Lake Winnipesaukee when the lobster rolls seemed to be mostly langostinos. We liked Red Hill Dairy near Moultonboro until the Dipsy Doodle opened (much closer to home) but our criteria in addition to yellow lights is a good lobster roll and great onion rings and maybe a half pint of fried clams.

    6 Replies
    1. re: dfrostnh

      I"m surprised we don't run into each other: me too - Cremeland in Manch is fantastic, everything. Dipsy Doodle fantastic too. I like Red Hill and agree with you on Tamarack. I live in the Lowell area and most driveins in this area are ice cream stand type. There is another one outside Derry that many talk about - "Clam Haven".

      1. re: lexpatti

        It's funny, our son and DIL always have a long wait with apologies when they go to the Dipsy Doodle so it's not their favorite place. We liked Cremeland food but not the location. The Tamarack has the ideal set up with picnic tables under the pines so I was hoping the food had improved.

        1. re: dfrostnh

          Yes, cremeland can be a hmmmmm "low life hang out" for Manch. It's the only negative, ice cream is fantastic too

          1. re: lexpatti

            It's all the pavement around Cremeland that's the turn off. We need grass and pine trees. At least the Dipsy Doodle has the park across the road. There's not as much traffic so less problems with exhaust.
            There's a small, new farm stand in Boscawen NH on Water St that is supposed to have ice cream made at their other place in Massachusetts. The name of the place is Richardson's but it's no relation to the famous Richardson's (can't remember the location but used to get ice cream there 50 years ago). The people bought an old farm and are really farming it having added an orchard etc. Not sure if they'll be selling cones or just half gallons. Heard they have frozen pudding. My DIL is trying to talk them into making a peanut butter ice cream. Cremeland's new flavors tempt me to visit esp since I hear Merrivale hasn't opened up yet.

            1. re: dfrostnh

              Was it Richardson's in Dracut?? I remember as a kid somewhere in lynn or saugus Ma. a Richelson's (I think) - have to double check with Dad.

              If you love pistachio - cremelands is really fantastic.

            2. re: lexpatti

              It is because of the area. Last time I went was the last time I went. While the food is really good, the atmosphere makes me edgy.

      2. Although a chain, Sonic is coming to Peabody. MA.

        1 Reply
        1. re: catsmeow

          Personally, I'm not impressed with Sonic. Their food tastes like it was all made in advance, then microwaved when you order it. I'm a native New Englander, and there's no way I'd choose Sonic over a local, independent place. To the OP, here are some suggestions if you feel like traveling. Kelly's roast beef in Revere, MA, Harry's place, Colchester, CT, The Sea Swirl, Mystic, CT. Route 1 in CT has all kinds of little joints along the shoreline.

        2. Fat Boys in Brunswick ME still has carhops.

          -----
          Fat Boy Drive In
          111 Bath Rd, Brunswick, ME

          3 Replies
          1. re: HDinCentralME

            Give me the little lobster roll, not the "Whoper"!
            HD, what's the seafood drive-in (Morse's?), same road, opposite side heading back to Bowdoin, from Fat Boy's? They have curb service as well.

              1. re: HDinCentralME

                They have car service too, but by downeast standards the seafood id dear.
                Went to Tracey's last night, very cheap. Two crab rolls for $9, 2 lobster rolls $12 and excellent mess of fried clams. Tab for 4? $57. Check it out on What did you eat for Dinner thread.
                Carpe Chow.
                If you ever visit the Ellsworth area, shoot me an email.

          2. It's a hike, but the Sycamore in Bethel CT has car hop service and hasn't changed much since 1948.
            http://www.sycamoredrivein.com/

            1. It's far from you, but there's an A&W in Middlebury VT -- complete with roller-skating carhops.

              1 Reply
              1. I haven't been in years, but The Redwood on Route 16(Uxbridge Road) in Mendon used to have the BEST fried clams, and those awesome stringy onion rings that come out in one big tangled, tasty mess. Some of my favorite memories are of summer nights going to the Redwood for dinner and then the Mendon Drive In for a double feature.

                2 Replies
                1. re: JRicher

                  It's now known as George's Surf and Turf.

                2. No car-hops, but full of nostalgia if you grew up in this area, is Skip's Snack Bar on 110 in Merrimac MA. Good burgers, curly fries, etc......car shows, picnic tables to eat outside.

                  1. Try Val's Rootbeer in Lewiston, ME. They have 1950s style hamburgers, friendly carhops, and frosty mugs of homeade rootbeer!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: radnor784

                      In Smithfield Rhode Island..route 44..there's an A&W drive-in..been there for years, and I think in warm weather, car hops on roller skates...