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.
The Wedgwood location of QFC is smaller than some among this grocery chain’s portfolio, but with friendly staff and late hours it fulfills shoppers needs for organics, staples and healthy foods. Everything is in its place at this well-designed store, with long aisles that stock the basics, though a full-service bakery, deli with prepared meals, butcher department, coffee bar, and an extensive beer and wine department all hug the exterior walls, making for next-level shopping that supplies more than just the usual canned goods and prepackaged breads. A colorful floral department offers seasonal features like seeds and plants for the yard in summer and festive plants for the winter holidays. And if you’re picking up a bottle of wine and premade meal for dinner with a loved one, grab a DVD from the Redbox inside to complete the night.