Sycamore Drive-In | Car Hops Burgers and Root Beer

Review by: Michael Stern

Welcome to the 1950s

Are you hunting a taste of vintage Americana? Come to Bethel, Connecticut. Pull up to the Sycamore Drive-In, home of car hops burgers and root beer. Yes, you can dine indoors. Booths and counters provide a taste of mid-50s malt shop ambience. Or simply blink your lights. A car hop with come to your car window to take an order. Dine off a tray hung on the car window.

French-Style Burgers

The Sycamore makes hamburgers using a method they call “French style.” The grill man slaps a 2.5 ounce sphere of beef onto the grill. He uses his spatula to flatten it out so far that the edges of the resulting circle are nearly paper thin. As the burger cooks, the middle stays juicy. The circumference turns into a crusty web of beef. You can get it plain, doubled, or topped with all sorts of ingredients. It is very similar to what folks in central Illinois know as a smashed crispyburger, as served at Green Gables in the town of Hudson.

Connoisseurs choose a Dagwood burger. The menu describes it thusly: “5 ozs. ground steak meat topped with a slice of melted American cheese, served with mustard, ketchup, pickle, onion, tomato slices, crispy lettuce and just a touch of mayonnaise to enhance the flavor and make this a special treat. (You’re just gonna love it!)”

Wild Wieners

Beyond hamburgers, the Sycamore also offers frankfurters. They taste good. But franks ‘n’ beans takes ordinary hot dogs to the next level. The cook juliennes the hot dogs and plants them in a pot of sweet baked beans. They rise up from the beans like porky tentacles.

Root Beer is the Drive-In Beverage

The Sycamore is proud of its root beer. They make it here using a top-secret recipe and they serve it in frosty glass mugs. It forms the basis of a wonderful root beer float.

Car hops burgers and root beer! The Sycamore Drive-In is a true blast from the past.

What To Eat

Dagwood burger

Root Beer

Franks & Beans


Root Beer Float

Potato Chips

Blondie Burger


Sycamore Drive-In | Car Hops Burgers and Root Beer Recipes


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