legendary
Worth driving from anywhere!

Schwabl's is a tavern restaurant that serves that great Buffalo specialty, beef on weck, at its best. It just might be America's #1 roast beef sandwich. Continue reading Schwabl’s

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  • Swan Street Diner

    Buffalo, New York

    Buffalo’s Swan St. Diner is an impeccably restored 1937 Sterling dining car serving hash house classics made with 21st century brio. Must-eat: hot mini-donuts.

  • Ted’s Hot Dogs

    Buffalo, New York

    Ted’s is a Buffalo, New York, treasure, its charcoal-grilled hot dogs with hot sauce, a side of O-rings, and a loganberry a great American meal.

  • Condrell’s Candies & Ice Cream

    Kenmore, New York

    Condrell’s sundaes are a Buffalo best: house-made ice cream and toppings, fresh whipped cream, and crisp toasted nuts. Plus fantastic chocolates of all kind.

  • Sophia’s Restaurant

    Buffalo, New York

    Terrific from-scratch cooking and a full bar attract hungry (and thirsty) Buffalonians from all walks of life to Sophia’s, where friendly diner spirit reigns.

  • Bar-Bill Tavern

    East Aurora, New York

    Gorgeous (and delicious) Buffalo wings and masterfully built beef on weck sandwiches put Bar-Bill Tavern on the must-eat list of western New York.

  • Antoinette’s

    Depew, New York

    Antoinette’s is one of the candy shop / ice cream parlors that make Buffalo, New York, a sweet-tooth’s paradise. Everything is made here, from scratch.

excellent
Worth a detour

Cousin Jenny’s is a modern Traverse City, Michigan cafeteria that serves old-fashioned (and newfangled) pasties for both breakfast and lunch. Continue reading Cousin Jenny’s

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  • Cherry Hut

    Beulah, Michigan

    The Cherry Hut is a Michigan restaurant serving some of the best cherry pie anywhere– sweet and a little tart, with flaky crust that adds a savory note.

  • Moomer’s

    Traverse City, Michigan

    Surrounded by Michigan farmland were cows graze across the grass, Moomer’s is an ideal place to eat some of the best ice cream in the Midwest.

  • Friske Orchards

    Ellsworth, Michigan

    Friske’s Orchard’s cafe offers apple brats with kraut and apple relish, a (Michigan) cherry brat, and, of course four-star apple pie.

  • Don’s Drive-In

    Traverse City, Michigan

    A pink building with a bright neon sign, Don’s of Traverse City is a big slice of Americana – a burger-&-malt drive-in dating back to 1958.

legendary
Worth driving from anywhere!

Camp Washington makes the best 5-Way chili in Cincinnati. Open round the clock, it also offers great chili-cheese Coneys and mile-high double-decker sandwiches. Continue reading Camp Washington Chili Parlor

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  • Aglamesis Bros.

    Cincinnati, Ohio

    A century-old sweet shop with an all-pink dining room, Cincinnati’s Aglamesis Bros. makes great, unique-flavor ice creams and memorable sundae toppings.

  • Tucker’s

    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Tucker’s is an urban hash house that cooks the old-fashioned way: buys meat from a local butcher, peels potatoes for hash browns and cooks everything to order.

  • Eckerlin Meats

    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Eckerlin is an old-time Cincinnati butcher shop that mostly sells meats to cook at home. But you can get a goetta sandwich, and Eckerlin’s goetta is the best.

  • Blue Ash Chili

    Blue Ash, Ohio

    Blue Ash is one of Cincinnati, Ohio’s great chili parlors, serving bountiful layered plates of 3 to 5 way. Double-deck sandwiches are some of the best in town.

  • Avril-Bleh & Sons

    Cincinnati, Ohio

    A full-service Cincinnati butcher shop with a charcoal grill on the sidewalk in front of the store, Avril-Bleh cooks some of the best wursts anywhere.

  • Terry’s Turf Club

    Cincinnati, Ohio

    In this raucous Cincinnati tavern, fabulous, full-flavored hamburgers come plain, with cheese, or topped with mushrooms or bacon or even scallops.

Memorable
One of the best

Kennedy's is a tiny eat-shack in Ohio with a short sandwich menu of BBQ ham, pork, turkey, & beef topped with famous proprietary relish. Continue reading Kennedy’s B.B.Q.

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  • Strickland’s

    Akron, Ohio

    Strickland’s custard is dense, thick and full-flavored, a Midwest best in Akron, Ohio. Plain chocolate and vanilla are both superb, as is the turtle sundae.

  • Al’s Corner Restaurant

    Barberton, Ohio

    Roadfood paydirt in Barberton, Ohio. Al’s is a hospitable restaurant serving from-scratch Hungarian plate lunch at low prices. Service is cafeteria style.

  • Little Polish Diner

    Parma, Ohio

    Little Polish Diner daily specials include bigos (hunter’s stew), chicken paprikash, and Friday lake perch. Pierogi and kielbasi always are available.

  • Giannamore’s Pizza

    Wintersville, Ohio

    Giannamore’s serves up the local regional specialty pizza, where the toppings are added after it has come out of the oven.

  • Swensons

    Akron, Ohio

    A genuine car-service drive-in restaurant, Swensons serves handsome burgers on butter-toasted buns. Best bet: Galley Boy double cheeseburger, fully dressed.

  • Belgrade Gardens

    Barberton, Ohio

    Barberton chicken, cooked in lard, has an unspeakably luxurious red gold crust; Belgrade Gardens invented it, and serves it as part of a full, fabulous meal.

excellent
Worth a detour

Kroll's West is loved by fans of the Green Bay Packers (whose home field is directly across the street). Signature dish: a deliciously sloppy butter burger. Continue reading Kroll’s West

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  • White Gull Inn

    Fish Creek, Wisconsin

    The Door County, Wisconsin fish boil — whitefish and red potatoes followed by cherry pie — is at its best at the White Gull Inn restaurant in Fish Creek.

  • Basil’s II

    Denmark, Wisconsin

    Well out in the country in north Wisconsin, Basil’s II serves some of the most buttery butter burgers in the state. On the side: cheese curds!

  • Beerntsen’s Confectionery

    Manitowoc, Wisconsin

    Beerntsen’s is a glorious little Wisconsin candy store where you can have a nice, inexpensive lunch and spoon into expertly-made sundaes.

  • Kurtz’s Pub & Deli

    Two Rivers, Wisconsin

    Kurtz’s is a German-style delicatessen where you can count on excellent sandwiches and great imported beers and ales on tap.

legendary
Worth driving from anywhere!

Turtle Alley's various chocolate turtles are inventive & delicious. The delightful Gloucester, Massachusetts store makes a full range of barks & bon bons. Continue reading Turtle Alley

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  • Bob’s Clam Hut

    Kittery, Maine

    Maine shoreline summertime seafood, eat-in-the-rough style. Bob’s clam plates and clam rolls, scallops, shrimp, and lobster rolls are Yankee bests.

  • Kelly’s Roast Beef

    Revere, Massachusetts

    Kelly’s roast beef — soft, pink, piled high on a butter-toasted bun — is a legend north of Boston. The Revere Beach location is a happy waterside picnic.

  • Wright’s Farm

    Burrillville, Rhode Island

    One of the biggest restaurants on earth, Wright’s Farm serves a classic Rhode Island Blackstone Valley chicken dinner with fixin’s, all-you-can-eat.

  • Santarpio’s Pizza

    Boston, Massachusetts

    Santarpio’s thin-crust pizza is a long-standing Boston highlight. Also on the menu: BBQ, which actually is charcoal-cooked sausage and lamb. Delicious!

  • All Star Sandwich Bar

    Cambridge, Massachusetts

    All Star is a casual shop serving all-American sandwiches from Buffalo beef on weck to a New Orleans muffaletta. French fries are great, too.

  • Rye Harbor Lobster Pound

    Rye, New Hampshire

    A minimal menu features lobster at its best, including sherry-scented lobster rolls and fluffy chowder, which is a swirl of butter, cream, and sweet crustacean.

Memorable
One of the best

Enjoy superb Maine seafood at a picnic table overlooking Freeport's harbor with a glorious view. Specialties: boiled-to-order lobster; Whoopie Pie dessert. Continue reading Harraseeket Lobster

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  • Bob’s Clam Hut

    Kittery, Maine

    Maine shoreline summertime seafood, eat-in-the-rough style. Bob’s clam plates and clam rolls, scallops, shrimp, and lobster rolls are Yankee bests.

  • Marcy’s Diner

    Portland, Maine

    At the well-worn counter of Marcy’s Diner in Portland, Maine, tuck into hearty plates of corned beef hash, pancakes & chili cheese omelets. Good muffins, too.

  • Hodgman’s Frozen Custard

    New Gloucester, Maine

    Few sweet things are more satisfying on a warm summer day in Maine than a cool cone or cup of Hodgman’s freshly made frozen custard.

  • Lobster Shack

    Cape Elizabeth, Maine

    Here is the most dramatic possible setting for lobster-eating – the water’s edge, framed by a pair of lighthouses at the entrance to Casco Bay, Maine.

  • Shade

    Scarborough, Maine

    Shade is the restaurant in the charming old (but newly renovated) Higgins Beach Inn. It’s great for late afternoon cocktails and stylish Maine seafood meals.

  • Ken’s Place

    Scarborough, Maine

    Ken’s is a rollicking eat-in-the-rough Maine drive-in restaurant with fried clams, haddock, scallops & shrimp plus whole lobsters. A local fave since 1927.

Memorable
One of the best

Thomason's of Henderson, Kentucky, barbecues all meats: pork, mutton, beef, etc. Beans are magnificent – rich and smoky, laced with shreds of BBQ. Continue reading Thomason’s Barbecue

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  • Bell’s Drug Store

    Sebree, Kentucky

    Bell’s is a Sebree, Kentucky pharmacy with a soda fountain where milk shakes are whirled and sundaes built. Best drink: tart, brilliant, salted lemon ice.

  • Moonlite Bar-B-Q

    Owensboro, Kentucky

    Owensboro, Kentucky considers itself the BBQ capital of the world. Among the best restaurants in town is the Moonlite, where mutton is king on a vast buffet.

  • Peak Bros. Bar-B-Que

    Waverly, Kentucky

    Peak Bros. is one of the best western-Kentucky sources for BBQ, especially mutton, which comes sliced or chipped, the latter meaning very well-chopped.

  • Marion Pit Bar-B-Q

    Marion, Kentucky

    Marion Pit pork shoulders bask in hickory smoke for 17 hours. The result is unspeakably tender meat, some of the best BBQ in Kentucky.

  • Mr. D’s

    Henderson, Kentucky

    Mr. D’s is a Henderson, Kentucky drive-in serving vividly spicy chicken made from a recipe popularized decades ago by legendary chicken man Colonel Jim.

  • Main Cafe

    New Harmony, Indiana

    The Main is a town cafe in New Harmony, Indiana where the table-to-table conversations are lively and breakfast and lunch are country cooking at low prices.

Memorable
One of the best

Much of the Buckhorn menu is devoted to ostentatiously Old-West cuisine: Rocky Mountain oysters, bison, rattlesnake. But "ordinary" steaks are Denver's best. Continue reading Buckhorn Exchange

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  • La Fogata

    Denver, Colorado

    La Fogata is a fun place to enjoy such traditional Tex-Mex staples as chilies rellenos and tamales as well as weekend menudo and ceviche tostadas.

  • Bud’s Cafe & Bar

    Sedalia, Colorado

    For 60+ years, Bud’s has earned a reputation as the Denver area’s go-to tavern for no-frills cheeseburgers and low-priced beer. Do not ask for French fries!

  • Biker Jim’s

    Denver, Colorado

    A Denver must, Biker Jim’s serves a dazzling array of plain & fancy sausages and hot dogs with an even more spectacular choice of toppings and condiments.

  • Johnson’s Corner

    Johnstown, Colorado

    Johnson’s Corner north of Denver, Colorado, is famous for its immense cinnamon roll, but it is a full-menu, three-meal-a-day truck stop with hearty fare.

  • The Duffeyroll Cafe

    Denver, Colorado

    A Duffeyroll cinnamon roll is as light as a croissant, crisp and finely veined with cinnamon and sugar. It’s a pastry best-bet in Denver, Colorado.

  • Village Coffee Shop

    Boulder, Colorado

    Low prices, welcoming service and excellent large breakfasts make the Village Coffee Shop popular among blue and white collar workers and university students.