Summer Burgers al Fresco

by Michael Stern
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Hamburgers are good year-around, but there’s special pleasure in having one en plein air on a summer day. For open-sky ambience and excellent burgers, check out these dozen Roadfood favorites.

1

White Cottage

White Cottage's breezy tables are right for made-to-order hamburgers and foot-long hot dogs longs served Yankee-style in grilled rolls. A summer-in-Vermont treat.

Must Eats
Foot Long Dog
2

Clamp’s Hamburger Stand

Clamp's is a favorite hamburger drive-in restaurant for Connecticut summer people and year-rounders. Best condiment: fried onions, cooked until caramel-sweet.

Must Eats
3

Harry’s Place

Hamburgers at Harry's are overwhelmingly juicy. Hot dogs are plump and tasty, too, especially satisfying when bedded with a serving of spicy chili sauce.

4

Laura’s Little Burger Joint

Laura's Little Burger Joint is a rural burger stand in southwest Michigan with folksy charm and excellent big burgers.

5

Mug ‘N’ Bun Drive-In

Delicious root beer, dark and full of character, comes in frosty mugs alongside burgers, hot dogs, and pork tenderloin sandwiches at Indianapolis' Mug N Bun.

6

Lankford Grocery

Hamburgers at Lankford Grocery are some of Houston's best: gnarled, uneven circles with crunchy crust and juices that ooze. Breakfasts are excellent, too.

7

Billy’s on Burnet

Billy's is an Austin favorite restaurant where wings are superb and the Uptown Burger, topped with bacon marmalade, avocado and blue cheese, is unforgettable.

8

Santacafé

Brilliant southwestern flavors fuse with the cuisines of the world in the stylish Santacafe, one of the best Santa Fe restaurants.

9

Old Tin Can

A gleaming silver food truck parked at Sandpoint's Oak Street Court, the Old Tin Can is a jolly source of handsome burgers and hand-cut French fries.

10

Whitey’s Jolly Kone

West Sacramento's Whitey's is a jolly drive-in serving burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, deep-fried appetizers, and a small assortment of Mexican food.

11

Damburger

Damburger, open since 1938, is a good way to prepare for a day of hiking and exploring Lake Shasta and the variety of historical and natural wonders nearby.

Pick Quick Drive-In
Fife, wa
12

Pick Quick Drive-In

Fife, Washington's Pick Quick Drive-In is a roadside blast from the past, great for double bacon cheeseburgers, fries & shakes, all for about $10.