One of the best

Dukes is an Aiken, South Carolina all-you-can-eat BBQ buffet, featuring pulled pork plus terrific fried chicken and a couple dozen exemplary side dishes. Continue reading Dukes

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  • Humanitree House

    Augusta, Georgia

    Humanitree’s vegan menu includes sandwiches as well as cold-pressed juices & smoothies with superfood add-ins. Its vibe is laid-back, artistic, counter-culture.

  • Freeman’s Bar-B-Q

    Beech Island, South Carolina

    A third-generation BBQ serving superb South Carolina-style ‘cue, Freeman’s has ribs, chopped or sliced pork, and chicken — all with wickedly flavorful sauce.

  • Feel Good Food Truck

    Aiken, South Carolina

    Feel Good Food Truck is a high-spirited enterprise serving spectacular hamburgers, outlandish grilled cheese and beer-battered French fries. Seats outside & in.

  • Carolina Buffet

    West Columbia, South Carolina

    A no-frills but big-flavored southern-style buffet featuring great fried chicken, vegetables, and banana pudding and/or peach cobbler for dessert.

  • Ray’s Smokehouse BBQ

    Augusta, Georgia

    Ray’s is a welcoming, low-key BBQ with blues music in the background and excellent meats on plates & sandwiches. Ribs are superb. Sauce is bright, tangy, sweet.

  • Ray’s Tavern

    Aiken, South Carolina

    Ray’s is a dark and smoky Aiken tavern known for hefty half-pound hamburgers and fine all-beef chili dogs. And, of course, beer.

One of the best

Lone Pine's Frosty Chalet is an updated Frosty stand serving some of the best little burgers in California. Continue reading Frosty Chalet

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  • Alabama Hills Cafe and Bakery

    Lone Pine, California

    With a breathtaking view of the Alabama Hills, this small town café serves cinnamon swirl French toast, massive Mountain Man Burgers & homemade pies and cakes.

  • Wuksachi Lodge Dining Room

    Sequoia National Park, California

    For vegetarians and salad lovers, Waksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park is a best bet. Filet mignon, BBQ tri-tip, and ribeye also are good.

One of the best

Texas' legendary Round Rock Donuts are more substantial than evaporative Krispy Kremes, yet not the least bit heavy like the more dunkable cake donuts. Continue reading Round Rock Donuts

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  • Louie Mueller Barbecue

    Taylor, Texas

    Louie Mueller’s brisket is the best BBQ in Texas, maybe best on earth. Also try sausage that virtually explodes with juice when its natural casing is severed.

  • Hill Country Cupboard

    Johnson City, Texas

    Texas Hill Country is is home of some superb chicken-fried steaks; this spacious restaurant in Johnson City is a contender for the blue ribbon best.

  • Blanco Bowling Club Café

    Blanco, Texas

    If you are a pie fancier, put Blanco Bowling Club Cafe on your must-eat list. Meringues rise high, cream fillings are outlandishly creamy. Some of Texas’ best.

  • Texan Cafe

    Hutto, Texas

    Texan Café classics include hunks of meat that range from basic burgers and chicken-fried steak to mighty sirloins, plus fine pies for dessert.

  • Texas Pie Company

    Kyle, Texas

    The Texas Pie Company bakes individual as well as full-size pies. Lemon chess is a standout, as is strawberry cake crowned with fruit-flavored frosting.

  • Summermoon Coffee

    Austin, Texas

    An Austin, Texas, coffee house that is quaint and stress-free, Summermoon wood-roasts its beans and offers a unique sweetener/creamer known as moon milk.

Worth driving from anywhere!

Loncheria Otro Rollo is a tiny red trailer in a gas station parking lot that serves authentic Guadalajaran sandwiches drowned in fiery sauce. Continue reading Loncheria Otro Rollo

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  • Noriega Hotel

    Bakersfield, California

    A pillar of the California Basque community in Bakersfield, Noriega Hotel is an old boarding house that still serves three family-style meals a day.

  • Dewar’s Candy Shop

    Bakersfield, California

    Dewar’s of Bakersfield, California, is home to popular little candies known as taffy chews. It also creates beautiful sundaes with house-made ice cream.

One of the best

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

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ice House

    Rye, New Hampshire

    For casual summertime food eaten under a sunny sky, a picnic table at The Ice House is the right spot: burgers, fried clams, chowder, & ice cream star.

  • 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.

One of the best

Pizza at Connecticut's Colony Grill is so thin it's brittle. There is real oomph to the crust, and luscious crunch unlike any other pizza. Try hot oil topping! Continue reading Colony Grill

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  • Pommes Frites

    New York, New York

    Pommes Frites is a New York City Belgian-style frites shop with a long history of serving one of the best versions of this late-night street food.

  • Denmo’s Snack & Dairy Bar

    Southbury, Connecticut

    Denmo’s is a happy Connecticut drive-in restaurant serving excellent fried seafood & hot lobster rolls as well as beautiful foot long hot dogs with hot relish.

  • Clamp’s Hamburger Stand

    New Milford, Connecticut

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

  • Amigo’s Deli

    Danbury, Connecticut

    Amigo’s Deli in Danbury, Connecticut is a short-order Latin-American diner & grocery store. Highlights: gorgeous rotisserie chicken; a super Cuban sandwich.

  • Lubins-N-Links

    Tarrytown, New York

    A tiny Tarrytown restaurant with minimal seating, Lubins-N-Links makes hot dogs with countless toppings plus Lubins, which is a proprietary form of roast beef.

  • Burgers, Shakes & Fries

    Greenwich, Connecticut

    Hamburgers in this Greenwich, Connecticut, restaurant are big and full-flavored. They come on thick toast that is buttered and grilled to add extra savor.

One of the best

Juicy steaks, golden French fries, and a warm welcome make this dive-y steakhouse a Redding, California, neighborhood gem. Continue reading Jack’s Bar & Grill

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  • Damburger

    Redding, California

    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.