SONIC is the largest chain of drive-in restaurants in America. With modest roots as a hamburger and root beer stand founded in 1953 in Shawnee, Okla., called Top Hat Drive-In, the name was changed to SONIC in 1959. The first drive-in to adopt the SONIC name is still serving customers in Stillwater, Okla. and today the chain
Diners enjoy a menu laden with victual victory while Canucks games play out on the 10 high definition TVs scattered throughout Cats Socialhouse. Duel hunger with crunchy yam fry spears ($7) while evaluating entree options. Out of shape pizzas transform into Cats' lineup of savoury flatbreads, such as the Biltmore, stacked with pesto, shrimp, sundried tomatoes, and mozzarella ($13). Traditionalists can choose from six hand-pressed burgers such as the hickory burger, whose smoky eyes melt cheddar cheese under a thatched quilt of bacon and barbecue sauce ($13). A selection of healthy social bowls gives health consciousness the strength it needs to defeat the dark magic of the meatball subconscious and includes potato-crusted halibut with a tartar sauce wading pool ($15). Salute your peninsular getaway with a Granville Island Pale Ale ($5.95) and prepare stomachs for an end to the delicious downpour with a final shower of house-made key lime pie and fresh whipped cream ($6).
In 1999, Freshslice Pizza founder Ray Russell had a great idea—not only would he offer pizza delivered by the slice, but also a healthier, lower calorie pizza crafted with multigrain dough. Freshslice Pizza was such a success that by 2010, more than 70 locations had blossomed in British Columbia and Ontario.
Freshslice's pizzas come in regular or thin crust varieties, with tomato, white, or pesto sauce. They are freshly baked or ready to cook in ovens at home. The company makes nutrition information readily available on its website, unlike its competitors, who don't even have the decency to print it on the bottom of their slices.
A chain of restaurants founded in 1952, Fatburger’s team of skilled grillsmiths tirelessly bustles about kitchens across the continent whipping up platefuls of fresh, cooked-to-order diner fare. Upon receiving each patron’s order, chefs spring into action meticulously preparing feasts from the finest of ingredients including AAA Alberta beef, hand-picked produce, and cholesterol-free oil. Frozen treat specialists plunge scoops into ice cream containers, extracting creamy orbs to be transformed into milkshakes so old fashioned that they only enter the straw after donning a set of pearls. Fostering an authentic atmosphere, each Fatburger location features retro decor and enforces a strict poodle-skirt-only dress code for all diners.
At three locations across Vancouver, Samz Neighbourhood Pub invites patrons to hobnob with friends and enjoy a menu of classic pub favourites. As TVs broadcast UFC events and Vancouver Canucks’ slumber parties, cooks dish up everything from fish ’n’ chips and chorizo mac ’n’ cheese to pierogies stuffed with cheese and potato. Among more than a dozen burgers and sandwiches, the salmon burger—stacked with tartar sauce, pickles, and onion—stands out as an uncommon option.
Nando's Flame-Grilled Chicken, founded in South Africa in 1987, brings Portugal's peri-peri flame-grilled chicken to the Vancouver area with only the bare minimum of laser lights and smoke-shrouded, two-way mirrors. Discovered by Portuguese explorers in Africa in the distant days of maritime exploration, peri-peri is a fiery chili pepper that adds a kick of capsaicin to any cuisine, clucker-related or not. Nando's fresh chicken breasts luxuriate in their peri-peri marinade for 24 hours, resulting in dishes with a slate of Scoville-scale-scorching spice levels—mild lemon and herb, medium, hot, and the daredevil-only extra hot. Step up to Nando's counter to order from the menu of sandwiches, pitas, wraps, salads, and peri-peri chicken. Enjoy a grilled-to-order peri-peri half-chicken with a side ($11.39) such as spiced rice or hearty coleslaw, or bite around basted bones with a dozen peri-peri chicken wings with a side ($9.99). Nando's also sports peri-peri chicken breast sandwiches or pitas ($8.49–$10.79), chicken or veggie whole wheat wraps with a side ($8.49–10.79), and veggie burgers or pitas ($8.49–$10.79), as well as salads and salad meals ($3.99–$9.99) for lovers of leaves of lettuce.