With spring right around the corner, it’s time to gear up for drive-in season! From frosty root beers to ooey-gooey chili dogs to burgers and malts, drive-in food sure is delicious. Minnesota has plenty of these all-American restaurants to check out as the weather gets warmer. Although most of these establishments are only open seasonally, people come in droves as soon as they open their doors. Take a look:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Dari-ette Drive In - St. Paul
It’s rare that drive-in restaurants serve anything other than all-American burgers. But Dari-ette may surprise you. This seasonal drive-in serves up delicious meatball sandwiches and mouth-watering Italian style chicken breast fillet sandwiches. This small drive-in has been delivering service with a smile since it first opened more than 60 years ago. No matter what you get, be sure to wash it all down with a sweet treat!
Address: 1440 Minnehaha Avenue East, St. Paul, MN.
2. Wagner's Drive In - Brooklyn Park
This drive-in located in the outskirts of the Twin Cities is a must-visit next time you’re craving a burger and fries. Mondays are the premier night to hit the town and head to Wagner’s. On those warm summer evenings, cruise on over to this drive-in joint. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped right out of the ‘50s or ‘60s. The Wag-Niters Car Club can be seen grabbing meals to eat in their classic rides. So come on down for a night of tasty treats and old-fashioned fun!
Address: 7000 W Broadway Avenue, Brooklyn Park, MN.
3. Peppermint Twist Drive-In - Delano
Family-owned and operated since 1982, this charming drive-in restaurant is a great place to bring the whole family. With enough menu choices to satisfy even the pickiest eaters, the menu will surely satisfy. It’s full of burgers, chicken, and other great American fare. After you eat, take the kids into the Teddy Bear Park for fun on the wooden train, the wishing well, and plenty of fun games. You don’t want to miss this charming, bright drive-in in Delano.
Address: 115 Babcock Boulevard, Delano, MN.
4. Gordy's Hi-Hat - Cloquet
No trip up north is complete without a stop to the famous Gordy’s Hi-Hat! Since it first opened in 1960, many families have made this drive-in restaurant a family tradition. The parking lot is always overflowing with vehicles coming from all over for the amazing hand-pattied burgers and delicious breaded and fried cheese curds. Not a burgers and fries kind of person? Their menu also includes soups, salads, and fish. Top if off with a scrumptious strawberry shake!
Address: 415 Sunnyside Drive, Cloquet, MN.
5. The Drive In - Taylors Falls
Eating at the Drive In in Taylors Falls is quite the experience! From the moment you arrive in town, you’re sure to spot the giant frosty root beer sign twirling in the sky. Not much has changed since this spot opening in 1956. You’re sure to find the same quality food and service at the Drive In. After snagging a burger and fries from the waitstaff in poodle skirts, skip over to the on-site mini golf. The ponds, streams, and waterfalls will surely make this 18-hole attraction is sure to be a family favorite.
Address: 572 Bench Street, Taylors Falls, MN.
6. Barney's Drive In - Waseca
Located along the shores of Clear Lake, this iconic drive-in restaurant has been around since 1949, when a steak burger was just 20 cents! Their menu is still serving up classic drive-in fare, such as coney dogs and homemade root beer. Get here early, though, because the best parking places at Barney’s have views of the lake. Be sure to snap a family picture by the giant chicken before you leave. This charming spot is one place you won’t soon forget.
Address: 1300 E Elm Avenue, Waseca, MN.
7. Sue's Drive In - Pierz
This quaint drive-in has become a traditional detour for northbound travels. That’s in part thanks to its delectable food, as well as its amazing fantastic staff. Always serving up smiles with every order, the staff here uses locally supplied beef and bacon to cook up every order. We hear the mac-n-cheese bites are so good you’ll need at least two orders. Time to swing in to Sue’s Drive In to start some new family traditions.
Address: 425 Main Street South, Pierz, MN.
8. Roscoe's Root Beer & Ribs - Rochester
BBQ is probably not the first type of cuisine you’d think of when you hear about a drive-in. But Roscoe’s Root Beer & Ribs will not fail to amaze you. The barbeque ribs and chicken may take the cake here, but you can still find a burger and fries on the menu. Pair it with tasty JoJo potatoes and a serving of divine baked beans to make your taste buds come alive!
Address: 603 4th Street Southeast, Rochester, MN.
9. The Country Drive In - Winthrop
This old-fashioned drive-in restaurant specializes in juicy burgers, homemade ice cream treats, and even fried chicken. Located in the small town of Winthrop, the Country Drive In is a local favorite. Since its opening more than 50 years ago, people have flocked in from all over for a bite of their tasty cuisine. The pizza burger, with cheese in the middle, is a favorite for many. Upgrade your burger to a meal if you crave crispy fries and a salted caramel shake!
Address: 802 5th Street West, Winthrop, MN.
10. Earl's Drive-In - Roseau
Perhaps one of the first drive-in restaurants in Minnesota, Earl’s opened their doors in the 1940. Nearly 100 years later, Earl’s continues to deliver exceptional food and service. You’ll be hard pressed to find another drive-in this quaint anywhere else. Its charming red-and-white checked exterior looks like it’s straight out of the past. If you’re at a loss for what to get, try the Hiboy. This decadent sandwich will fill you up for the rest of the day!
Address: 1001 3rd Street Northeast, Roseau, MN.
Do you have any other favorite drive-in restaurants in Minnesota? Leave a comment below to let us know what we missed!