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 Milkshake, and Best Drivethru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through its program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
Bub-Ba-Q founder William "Bubba" Latimer is no stranger to the art of Southern barbecue. He has earned Grand Champion titles in barbecue contests, and serves his well-honed recipes at three locations throughout Georgia. Diners feast on succulent beef brisket, tender chicken, racks of juicy ribs, and pulled-pork sandwiches, accompanied by traditional garnishes such as Brunswick stew, mac and cheese, corn fritters, and fried okra. The Brunswick stew serves as a topper to the mighty Hog-A-Chong-A—highlighted on the Travel Channel—a deep-fried tortilla stuffed with seasoned meat, sauce, beans, and pepper jack cheese. Bub-Ba-Q's participation in barbecue contests across the country has also graced television screens on Food Network's Great American BBQ Showdown and TLC's BBQ Pitmasters.
Bub-Ba-Q's Savannah location, opened in November 2013, boasts a full bar and a large outdoor area with live musical acts.
The year was 1977, and the world was changing. Star Wars opened in theatres, snow fell for the first time in Miami?s recorded history, and in Charlotte, North Carolina, Jack Fulk and Richard Thomas teamed up to fulfill their culinary dreams. Bojangles? quickly developed a loyal following thanks to its founders? dedication to flavorful, high-quality noshes forged from scratch and served in a festive environment. Decades and 500 cross-country locations later, the menu has evolved but remains largely unchanged, still sporting its lineup of freshly baked biscuits, fried chicken, and savory sides made from scratch according to recipes honed over more than 30 years. Inside bustling kitchens, chefs fuel mealtimes or chicken-powered engines with legs and wings gilded in a signature blend of seasonings, while sides such as dirty rice, Cajun pintos, and mashed potatoes and gravy round out meal plates.
Stu and Donald Card didn’t always have time to meander down low-country roads, stopping to snack on barbecue and pralines and chat with the local bullfrogs. One brother was a partner at a national law firm, the other a media coordinator for NFL championships and international sporting events. But they found that something was missing from their fast-paced careers—something delicious. Deciding to make culinary pleasure their business, they founded tour company Savannah Taste Experience on a tripod of family, food, and friends. Their flagship tour showcases Savannah’s unique contributions to the culinary world—such as shrimp and grits, fried oysters, and the gourmet honeys of the Savannah Bee Company—through the town’s historic squares, while other routes travel off the beaten path to favorite local hangouts.
House coffee roasted locally by Cup to Cup Coffee Roasters complements the vegan-friendly, Southern-tinged menu at Café Florie, which rotates daily save for a single mainstay of made-to-order fried chicken. Chefs rely heavily on organic ingredients as they craft innovative dishes that have ranged from stacks of banana-ginger pancakes to salmon patties with grits to fruit-flecked chicken-salad sandwiches. Spiced lemonade and organic teas from the fluctuating drinks menu splash palates with unexpected flavors, and the ever-changing Carb of the Day and Hot Plate of the Day specials help patrons mark the passage of time without needing to use their frilly toothpicks as sundials.
The delighted shrieks lead straight to Saddle Bags, where a bucking mechanical bull sends riders tumbling to the cushioned ground. Inside, boots scuffle against the hardwood floors of the expansive dance floor during free line dance lessons, and billiard balls clatter on pool tables like boulders on really, really big pool tables. Garbed in cowgirl boots, bartenders and servers dole out mugs of beer along with plates of southern-style finger foods and dinners. The bar hosts regular special events, including a Wednesday night bull-riding contest and monthly "Best Chest in the West" and "Boots and Bikinis" competitions with cash prizes.