Restaurants in East Florence

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Originally branded as the Top Hat Drive-In, Sonic Drive In didn’t acquire its nationally recognized name until 1959—six years after its inception in 1953. Today, the franchise operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic Drive In specializes in made-to-order American classics, including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and Ford Thunderbolts—which customers order and receive without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.

Sonic Drive In’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top five fast-food restaurants in three categories: best value menu, best milk shake, and best drive-thru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.

9102 Highway 20
Summertown,
TN
US

At Suzanne's Bakery & Eatery, Suzanne and her friend and co-owner Dee Dee satisfy both sweet and savory cravings. The lunch menu includes daily-changing specials such as poppy seed chicken or lasagna casserole, as well as a number of sandwiches and cold salads. Dessert, meanwhile might include Elvis cake and strawberry pretzel salad. Of course, Suzanne and Dee Dee are best known for their creative and tasty layer cakes. In the past, they've designed everything from fire engine cakes to cartoon-character cakes.

1207 E Forrest St
Athens,
AL
US

Fulin's Asian Cuisine is home to a diverse spread of Asian dishes, from Japanese sashimi to Thai curry. Still, the world's most populous country also populates much of the menu here. Traditional Chinese dishes include spicy kung pao shrimp and Szechuan eggplant?both fine choices, though you'll want to save some room for chef's specialties such as the savory boneless duck and zesty orange beef.

1241 Point Mallard Pkwy SE
Decatur,
AL
US

There’s no shortage of renowned oyster establishments in the South. But tripsmarter.com pegged Wintzell’s Oyster House as its No. 1 destination for the specialty.

“Fried, stewed, or nude”: the Oysters are served every way imaginable at Wintzell’s, where oysters are, unsurprisingly, the trademark dish. And they’ve been the trademark dish since the eatery’s flagship location opened in 1938. Regional seafood favorites also dominate the menu, from low-country boils to Cajun seafood fettuccine and bacon-wrapped shrimp.

Though the original location became something of a landmark in historic Mobile, the restaurant has since expanded to multiple locations perfect for catching oysters in the nude, served Rockefeller style, or wearing their favorite pajama pants. Still, each eatery retains the original’s decorative signature: several dozen whimsical signs on the walls. The website even features some of their slogans, including: “Never kick a man when he is down—he may get up.”

1208 Beltline Rd SW
Decatur,
AL
US

The smell of chocolate-chip cookies baking in the oven has a tendency to unleash waves of childhood memories, especially when those cookies are iconic Nestl? Toll House creations. At Nestl? Toll House Caf? by Chip, passionate bakers coax out these memories by using Nestl? products to create decadent desserts that taste just as satisfying as they did years ago.

The bakery's signature Toll House cookies appear prominently on the menu, with oversized versions serving as customizable cookie cakes. However, there's also an indulgent selection of oven-fresh brownies, macaroons, cupcakes, chocolate-dipped fruit, and ice cream sundaes, as well as other homestyle treats. Beverages, meanwhile, run the gamut from milkshakes to piping-hot espresso drinks made using premium coffees and steam harvested from Old Faithful. Whatever they choose, Nestl? Toll House Caf? by Chip encourages visitors to settle in, relax, and treat themselves for just a little bit.

1260 Highway 72 E
Athens,
AL
US

Zen Beri's nonfat, low-fat, and no-sugar-added frozen yogurt—in flavors such as cheesecake, dark chocolate, and blueberry tart—brims with certified live active cultures. Its self-serve machines bestow gobs of these sweet treats, as well as dairy-free sorbets, on bowls. Guests can then heap on more than 50 toppings, such as candies, fruits, and nuts, to customize their dessert creations. Staff members also skillfully craft tempting sundaes, smoothies, and coffee drinks from Zen Beri's signature frozen-treats menu. They can also tightly pack quarts of take-home treats so that guests can indulge their sweet tooths during Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory marathons.

1241 Point Mallard Pkwy SE
Decatur,
AL
US