Charcoal Pit

Drive-In | Hamburgers | Sandwich Shop
Worth a detour

We were tipped off to the Charcoal Pit by a roadfooder named Amy, originally from Delaware, who accused us of missing what she called “the most Roadfood-esque place in the state”: the Charcoal Pit. Amy told us that she took friends from all over the country to the Pit and they loved it … and we would too! After Amy’s note, we got another strong suggestion from Steven Green that we needed to try this place. Steven said, “Everything has all the cholesterol (and taste) from the old days”; he recommended the burgers, French fries, and malts.

Sure enough, a Charcoal Pit burger exudes mid-century Americana: a modest patty with a charcoal taste served on a spongy bun either plain or in the deluxe configuration, which adds lettuce, tomato and pickle. For those who crave extra meat, there is also a double-size eight-ounce hamburger. French fries are normal-size twigs with a tough skin and soft potato flavor. Milk shakes come in silver beakers that hold at least two glasses full. (The shakes are so thick that a long-handled spoon is provided to help you get it from the beaker into your glass.) We even enjoyed the crab cakes, which were a couple of hardball-shaped spheres with crusty outsides and a fair measure of crab filling the interior.

It’s an old-fashioned kind of place with comfy maroon booths and vintage menus decorating the wall. Waitresses go about their job with aplomb and attitude that make customers feel part of a cheap-eats ritual that has gone on forever.

There are other Charcoal Pits at 5200 Pike Creek, in the Fox Run Shopping Center, and in Prices Corner at Kirkwood Highway and Greenbank Road.

What to Eat
Charcoal Pit, Bacon Cheeseburger
Bacon Cheeseburger
A bacon cheeseburger becomes a sandwich tower when all the garnishes are applied.
Charcoal Pit, Milk Shake
Milk Shake
The shakes are classics, accompanied by their icy cold steel mixing vessels.
Charcoal Pit, hamburger
A classic Deluxe Cheeseburger. This is the standard four-ouncer. A double-size half-pound hamburger is also available. The fries, by the way, are excellent.
Charcoal Pit, malt
This is the way we like to see a milk shake presented: in a tall silver beaker that holds at least two servings. In the glass are a straw (useless) and a spoon for scooping the extra-thick shake from its icy vessel.
Charcoal Pit, Hot Dog
Hot Dog
The dogs are OK (shown here with a little cup of hot sauce) but we prefer the burgers.
Charcoal Pit, Onion Rings
Onion Rings
Onion rings are of the large hoop variety.
Charcoal Pit, Hot Fudge Sundae
Hot Fudge Sundae
A small hot fudge sundae, in a glass tulip dish, follows a burger nicely.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday11am - 10pm
Monday11am - 10pm
Tuesday11am - 10pm
Wednesday11am - 10pm
Thursday11am - 10pm
Friday11am - 11pm
Saturday11am - 11pm
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Broom’s Bloom Dairy

    Bel Air, Maryland

    Ice cream stars at Broom’s Bloom Dairy; lunch is great, too, especially gooey grilled cheese and smoky mac n cheese made with cheddar and gouda.

  • John’s Roast Pork

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    John’s is a humble restaurant serving some of the best roast pork sandwiches and cheese steaks in Philadelphia and therefore the world.

  • High Street on Market

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Sourdough waffles with malted butter, breakfast sandwiches with a twist, & iced cardamom coffee pay homage to Philly ingredients at High Street on Market.

  • Mama’s Pizzeria

    Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania

    Mama’s is a humble, out-of-the-way restaurant serving some of the best cheese steaks and Italian hoagies in Philadelphia.

  • Lucky’s Coffee Shop

    Wilmington, Delaware

    Lucky’s is a well-crafted coffee-shop / restaurant / diner in Wilmington, Delaware. The menu is broad and breakfast stars.

  • Famous Fourth Street Delicatessen

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    A classic kosher-style city delicatessen, 4th Street is famous for huge sandwiches, Jewish comfort food, and chocolate chip cookies. A Philadelphia best!