Route 59 Grill owner George Tsakanikas and his staff of grub gurus char traditional, Chicago-centric plates of burgers, hot dogs, ribs, and fish in a drive-in themed setting replete with antique road signs, car memorabilia, and a drive-thru window. Windy City hot dogs arrive at tables decorated with a collage of classic condiments, including mustard, relish, pickles, and disdain for ketchup ($2.45), while gyros sandwiches ($4.90) and dinners ($7.95) pair up with piles of onions and pots of homemade tzatziki sauce. Temporarily unhinge jaws before sinking teeth into an overstuffed burger ($3.95+) or treat tongues to a savory, smoky symphony with a slab of baby back ribs ($10.95+). Plentiful piles of perch ($7.65) swim amid sides of fries, bread, and slaw, while a selection of kids' menu items and value meals, padded with fries and a soft drink, cater to appetites of all sizes.
The kitchen magicians at Cozy Corner conjure up an expansive, just-revamped menu of American breakfast favorites, savory sandwiches, and Mediterranean-inspired entrees. Treat hardworking nocturnal counting-sheep to a hearty breakfast of fluffy frittatas whipped with three eggs and layered with hash browns, veggies, and cheese ($9.75), or a delicate crepe as comfortingly stuffed with fresh strawberries, bananas, and sweetened cream cheese as a sleeping bag with pillows ($8.25). At lunch or dinner, eight kinds of burgers head a formidable pack of sandwiches, including tender gyros on pita bread with tzatziki sauce, onions, and tomatoes ($7.95), and the restaurant's namesake melt with a half-pound of beef served on marbled rye ($7.25¬–$8.75). A Grecian-style half chicken emerges from the broiler decked in Athenian sauce, roasted potatoes, and greek salad ($13.25).
Unsurprisingly, beer plays a big role at Nevin's Brewing Company. Their brewmeisters craft a panoply of suds that range from an IPA to a rich, hearty stout. When they finish a batch of ale, they could easily throw their spent grains away–unceremoniously in the garbage or ceremoniously on their 3,000th customer. Instead, they take their used barley and hops to local farmers, who use the nutrient-rich grains as compost for their fields and feed for their livestock. Later on, Nevin's chefs return to the very farms they nourished to buy beef and vegetables to make sustainably-crafted burgers, ribs, and salads that can be washed down with cool, refreshing beer.
The 50 flavors of frozen yogurt at Yumz are packed with bold flavors and healthful probiotics. They are also made with fat-free, natural ingredients, yielding healthful treats that mimic sensations ranging from biting into a slice of watermelon to eating the huge red velvet cake that toppled onto your legs and trapped you in the kitchen. The selection of more than 70 toppings includes strawberries, brownies, Snickers, cheesecake bites, and Oreos, and patrons can also build their own combinations for the world to see with an online platform.
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.