America's Best Drive Thrus Slideshow
June 10, 2011
Drive-Thru Veggies: CSA California
Community Supported Agriculture cooperatives (or CSAs) are popping up in more cities across the U.S., but leave it to busy Angelenos to combine car culture and healthy living. Thanks to the CSA's drive-through setup at Multeepurpose Café (pictured, left) in Little Tokyo, members of CSA California who pick up produce at the downtown L.A. location needn't leave their cars.
Drive-Thru Donuts: The Donut Hole
Dunkin' Donuts has its fair share of drive-through locations across the country, but at none do you literally drive through a donut. For that curious experience, fried-dough fans must cruise over to The Donut Hole in La Puente, Calif., a beloved local landmark since 1968.
Drive-Thru Dairy Products: The Dairy Barn
In the late 1950s, when Americans no longer wanted bottles of milk delivered to their doorsteps, a dairy farmer named Dieter Cosman jumped on the drive-through craze. Goodbye milkman, hello drive-thru. In 1961, the first Dairy Barn opened, complete with red barn doors and a red silo. Today, more than two dozen Dairy Barns continue to provide busy car-bound Long Islanders with fresh, locally produced dairy products.
Drive-Thru Farm-Fresh Meat and Eggs: Barstow's Longview Farm
At family-owned and operated Barstow's Longview Farm in Hadley, Mass., the motto is "Absolutely local, absolutely delicious." Thanks to the farm's drive-through window, discerning carnivores needn't leave the car when stocking up for their next BBQ. But don't forget about Fido: Dog bones are also available to drive-through customers (as are chili, quiche, and eggs).
Drive-Thru Lattes: Hot Chick-a-Latté
Outside of America's cities, it's not unusual to find drive-through windows at coffee shops. Even Starbucks — famous for inviting struggling writers to sit around all day, nursing their venti soy mochas for hours — has plenty of drive-thrus. But their baristas can't compete with the saucy java slingers at Denver's Hot Chick-a-Latté, where your latte comes with a little sass.
Drive-Thru BBQ: Company 7 BBQ
Ever wanted to combine great barbecue with the fun of being a fireman? Stop by Company 7 BBQ, in Englewood, Ohio. It was founded by a crew of real firefighters who wanted to recreate the special "firehouse feel" for laypeople. If you don't have time to join the brigade inside, the crew's full menu is available at the drive-through window 'til 9 p.m. Brave 'cuers should ask for their "6th Alarm Commissioner Burns" hot sauce.
Drive-Thru Convenience Store: Brew Thru
Brew Thru in North Carolina's Outer Banks originally served exactly what it sounds like — six-packs, cases, and kegs of beer, as well as typical convenience store goodies like chips, pretzels, and candy. But the place became such a phenomenon (with six locations) that they also do a fast business in T-shirts, mugs, and other collectibles.
Drive-Thru Vegan Food: Plant Food for People
America's original drive-thrus served burgers to meat-hungry suburban families, but convenient in-car ordering is no longer the exclusive right of carnivores. According to Eater, coming soon to Los Angeles' Highland Park neighborhood: Plant Food for People, a drive-through all-vegan restaurant. Their goal? To give fast food "a vegan makeover." This drive-thru hasn't opened yet, but we predict it's going to be revolutionary.
Drive-Thru Hot Dogs: Portillo’s
A hallmark Chicago dog shack, Portillo’s has expanded to multiple states from California to Indiana. Each of the 45 outposts has a different theme, whether ‘20s gangster or ‘30s Prohibition. Still, the W. Ontario flagship in Chicago offers a drive-through so you can get a classic dog on the run, piled high with mustard, relish, onions, tomatoes, pickle, and sport peppers on a poppy seed bun.