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Experience Nostalgia & Devour Good Eats at These AWESOME Drive-in Restaurants in Michigan

If you love a good meal, a friendly atmosphere, and a sprinkle or two of nostalgia, drive-in restaurants in Michigan are the best spots to get all three at once!

Drive-in restaurants offer a chance to take a trip back to simpler times. Drive-thrus may offer convenience, but drive-ins offer the chance to enjoy burgers, hot dogs, and other good food — served carhop style, of course — from the comfort of your car.

Did you know?!? The first drive-in in the United States was opened in Dallas Texas in 1921, and the restaurants reached a heyday in the ’50s and ’60s before the rise of drive-thrus in the ’70s and ’80s.

Michiganders and visitors looking for the familiar taste of drive-in food and the atmosphere of a drive-in restaurant can visit more than a dozen Mitten State eateries.

A&W | photo via ryanrichards92

A&W | Standish, Ortonville, & Rockwood

Multiple Locations

Founded in 1919, A&W restaurants used to be popular all over Michigan for their carhop food service and frosty mugs of root beer.

While only three of the Michigan A&W restaurants still offer drive-in service (Standish, Ortonville, & Rockwood), Michiganders needing a root beer fix with a mama or papa burger can visit one of more than three dozen locations in the state:

Baraga Drive-in | Baraga

1156 S Superior Ave, Baraga, MI 49908

A drive-in experience on the shores of Lake Superior? That’s exactly what hungry customers will find at Baraga Drive-in. Visitors can stop by for a patty melt, coney, pizza, and more. This Baraga spot also has special events throughout the summer, including car shows and live music — the perfect complement to a drive-in meal.

Bill's Hot Dog Stand-Ypsilanti
Bill’s Hot Dog Stand | photo via cookiesandcreamdetroit

Bill’s Hot Dog Stand | Ypsilanti

1292 E Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti, MI 48198

This little piece of history in Ypsilanti has been dishing out root beer, floats, chili dogs, and all sorts of delectable eats for more than 50 years. Bill’s Drive-In doesn’t have a menu — just hot dogs, burgers, and chili dogs — but the simple menu is served to perfection and keeps customers coming back.

Clyde’s Drive In | St. Ignace & Sault Ste. Marie

178 U.S. Rte 2, St Ignace, MI 49781 & 1425 Riverside Dr, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783

With offerings like the 3/4-pound Big C burger and the zesty jalapeno burger, it’s easy to see why Pure Michigan named Clyde’s in St. Ignace as having the best cheeseburger in Michigan for 2023.

Locals and visitors alike love coming to Clyde’s for unforgettable burgers, and with so many options, every customer will walk away happy. Plus, it has a location in Sault Ste. Marie.

Clyde's Drive In-St. Ignace
Clyde’s Drive In | photo via kimkam97

Corky’s Drive-In | Allegan

1299 Lincoln Rd, Allegan, MI 49010

This eatery is renowned for its chili and root beer, and customers can enjoy both in their cars or at picnic tables outside. Go for a burger or a hot dog, or order a bucket of Corky’s juicy broaster chicken. Fans of Corky’s can even buy root beer by the gallon and chili by the pound to enjoy at home.

Daly Drive-In | Livonia

31500 Plymouth Rd, Livonia, MI 48150

Daly’s once had more than a dozen Metro Detroit locations, but the last one remaining is on Plymouth Rd in Livonia. Hungry customers have, for decades, enjoyed Dalyburgers, footlong DalyDogs, and a slew of other options. The menu has grown over the years, but the commitment to good food and good service has remained the same.

Don's Drive-In-Traverse City
Don’s Drive-in | photo via amynicole0603

Don’s Drive-in | Traverse City

2030 US-31, Traverse City, MI 49686

For more than 60 years, Don’s has offered an authentic 50s-style dining experience in Traverse City with scrumptious coney dogs, burgers, milkshakes, and more. The food is so good that you may be tempted to throw on your saddle shoes, fedora, or poodle skirt the next time you visit.

Eddie’s Drive-In | Harrison Township

36111 Jefferson Ave, Harrison Twp, MI 48045

For more than 30 years, Eddie’s Drive-In has been committed to offering ’50s-style dining, complete with car-side service and great comfort food. Customers can cruise to Eddie’s to enjoy juicy burgers, plump hot dogs, and specialties like cod or pulled pork sandwiches. Make sure to save room for a thick, delicious milkshake.

Jon’s Country Burgers | Mt. Pleasant

1030 S Mission St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858

For more than 60 years, customers have loved frequenting Jon’s in Mt. Pleasant for its friendly atmosphere, burgers, tasty basket meals, and so much more.

Drive up to see for yourself what all the fuss is about. You’ll know just how great Jon’s is once you taste the delicious food.

Mikey’s Drive-In | Bridgeman

9096 Red Arrow Hwy, Bridgman, MI 49106

Made-to-order burgers? Tasty malts and ice cream treats? Customers can find all that and more at Mikey’s, which is a perfect spot to visit any day of the week. Start with a delicious burger, and save room for dessert in the form of a shake or novelty ice cream snack.

Old Town Drive-In-Saginaw
Old Town Drive-in | photo via randall2.jpg

Monroe’s Original Hot Dog Drive-In | Monroe

If a hot dog is your favorite snack to get from a drive-in, you’re in luck because these might be the best hot dogs you’ll ever have! For more than 80 years, Monroe’s has been slinging hot dogs slathered in meaty coney sauce so good that we bet you can’t eat just one!

Old Town Drive-in | Saginaw

807 S Granger St, Saginaw, MI 48602

First opened as an A&W in 1941, Old Town is still a Saginaw institution. Customers love coming back again and again for its award-winning coneys, draft root beer, and classic drive-in experience. It’s the perfect place for lunch or dinner and is a great spot for an affordable meal too.

Red's Root Beer-Paw Paw
Red’s Root Beer | photo via little_moore_travel

Red’s Root Beer | Paw Paw

813 S Kalamazoo St, Paw Paw, MI 49079

Red’s is all about dishing out service with a smile, and that’s exactly what customers will be doing when they leave here. Start with a chilled mug of homemade root beer. Then, pair it with a delicious specialty basket meal — like a corn dog, a bacon cheeseburger, an Italian beef sandwich, and so much more.

Roy’s Squeeze Inn | Ypsilanti

1315 E Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti, MI 48198

Come to Roy’s and treat yourself to the best burger in town! The menu is simple — customers can choose from a big squeeze burger, a little squeeze, and a quarter squeeze — as well as sandwiches, hot dogs, and fried sides. It’s simple but effective and keeps hungry customers coming back.

Rudy’s Drive-In | Michigan Center

4061 Page Ave, Michigan Center, MI 49254

If you’re looking for a heavy dose of drive-thru nostalgia, you’ll find it right here. Since 1967, Rudy’s has served scrumptious coneys, burgers, frosty mugs of root beer, and more carhop style. Rudy’s offerings are guaranteed to put customers in a good mood, so you owe it to yourself to come here.

Shorts Rootbeer Drive-In-Coldwater
Shorts Rootbeer Drive-In | photo via capnsean

Short’s Rootbeer Drive-In | Coldwater

378 W Chicago St, Coldwater, MI 49036

Residents and out-of-state visitors alike love visiting this cozy Southern Michigan drive-in for classic comfort food. Stop by for enormous grilled cheese sandwiches, massive footlongs, double cheeseburgers, fish baskets, and more.

Make sure to order a root beer too. It’s cold, it’s delicious, it’s sweet, and the perfect drink to enjoy with your meal.

Vince’s W. Elm Drive In | Monroe

1305 W Elm Ave, Monroe, MI 48162

Serving Monroe since 1955, customers love coming to Vince’s for its friendly service and classic menu offerings — like chili dogs, burgers, cheese fries, onion rings, sandwiches, and more. Everyone can find something they like, and prices are affordable, so it’s the perfect spot for a family night out.

West Pier Drive-In | Sault Ste. Marie

849 W Pier Dr, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783

A trip over the Mackinac Bridge is fun for any Michigander, and this is the perfect spot for hungry travelers on a road trip. Customers can nosh on drive-in staples — like burgers, sub sandwiches, and mozzarella sticks — but there are also some unique offerings — like deep-fried pickles and walleye fingers.

Clyde's Drive In-St. Ignace
Clyde’s Drive In | photo via xflowgolf

Take a Tour of Drive-In Restaurants in Michigan This Year

Whether you’re on a first date or family outing, or you’re just looking for a good meal, drive-in restaurants in Michigan offer fantastic experiences.

They’re a far cry from the clinking of utensils and sit-down experience of a steakhouse, but drive-ins are simple, friendly, and committed to putting smiles on customers’ faces with amazing, old-fashioned food.

That’s why they work so well and appeal to customers of all ages. So, take a trip back in time, and sink your teeth into a coney dog, a juicy burger, or a sweet root beer float. No matter what, it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

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