Set in a quaint, late 19th-century building in downtown Freeport, 9 East Coffee pays homage to its vintage surrounds by doing things the old-fashioned way. That means that, in addition to treating guests to rich Intelligentsia coffee, the staff here take the time and care to craft all their delicious pastries, pies, and savory wraps and sandwiches from scratch. That same attention to detail extends right down to the smoothies, which are blended using fresh, plump berries, and to the fresh soups and salads, for which the staff hand-chop vegetables each day. The atmosphere, meanwhile, is just as charming, complete with chalkboard menus, a sunny outdoor patio, and steam-powered Wi-Fi.
Originally opened as the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, Sonic has grown into a burger-franchise mecca that today operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic specializes in made-to-order American classics—including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and marshmallow 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’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 their program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
For more than 30 years, Quiznos has toasted its submarine sandwiches to bring out the hidden flavors found in butcher-quality meats, cheese, and artisan breads. Its classic and signature subs take on a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles ranging from the prime-rib with mushrooms and swiss to the classic italian, which dons black olives, mozzarella, red-wine vinaigrette, and plentiful sliced meats. Those closely monitoring their waistlines can take unabashed bites of sandwiches that have fewer than 500 calories, such as the bourbon chicken and Baja-chicken subs. A selection of grilled flatbreads, soups, and salads round out Quiznos' varied menu.
Chefs at Izakaya 88 specialize in Japanese-style tapas, which they create alongside eclectic international dishes such as soft shell crab BLTs and fresh sashimi crowned with sizzling sesame oil. Seated next to tall botanical sculptures or beneath a grid of organically-arranged lights, guests dig into plates of slow-roasted pork belly, sipping on mai tais or beers from the bar. On Friday and Saturday nights, visitors can lend an ear to fellow diners, who belt out karaoke classics beneath the glow of multi-colored lights and the distant gaze of glowering, music-hating deities.
At Tom & Jerry’s three locations, which offer takeout, drive-thru, and delivery in addition to dining in, the extensive menu options are constantly competing for your attention. The self-proclaimed “king of the gyros” specializes in plenty of other Greek options, too, including spinach pies and steak fajitas piled into pitas. The eatery also offers a variety of American favorites, from burgers crowned with mushrooms and swiss cheese to Chicago-style beef dogs smothered in chili and cheese.
At Quick Wok, the kitchen staff whips up an array of Chinese favorites. That includes everything from general tso's chicken to mongolian beef, but there are also less traditional dishes on the menu. For example, one of the chef's specialties is the seafood delight. It features a mix of lobster tail, scallops, shrimp, and vegetables simmered in a delicate white sauce, which is technically just a sauce made of all sauce colors.