The world’s first drive-in chain, The Pig Stand, was founded in Texas in 1921. The popular BBQ joint served food in an innovative fashion, clipping meals to the front windows of customer’s vehicles. The drive-in was born, and the fad spread across America. To this day, it remains one of the most convenient and affordable ways to enjoy a freshly cooked meal with your dog for company. Cruise with your pooch to these nine pet-friendly eateries that offer a nostalgic throwback and treats worth going out to fetch.
Posted by Billy Francis
1. Dick's Drive-In
Since its first location opened in 1954, Dick’s Drive-In has provided Seattleites with a place to park easily, get food in a hurry, and pay less than the usual sit-down joints. If Fido’s drooling at the sight of your Deluxe with fries and a shake, Dick’s recommends you split a plain hamburger patty with him. Check out one of the old-school locations across the city to see why local pups keep coming back for refills.
2. Westside Drive-In
The neon lights and monster burgers at Westside Drive In have fulfilled the folks of Boise since 1957. Yes, the burgers may have gone up in price from the 15 cents people paid back then, but they’re still an affordable way of feeding your two- and four-legged family. While you’re chowing down and slurping on a shake, your furry friend can devour an ice cream with dog biscuits sprinkled on top.
3. The Varsity
Established in 1928, The Varsity in downtown Atlanta is the oldest drive-in restaurant on our list, and perhaps the most well known. The ATL institution sprawls over two city blocks and welcomes dogs and their owners to dine in style, the same way people have for almost a century, in the comfort of their vehicles. No trip to Hotlanta is complete without a hot dog and shake from The Varsity!
4. Sonic Drive-In
With locations in 46 states, it’s hard to imagine Sonic Drive-In’s humble beginnings as a one-off restaurant in Oklahoma called Top Hat Drive-In. The secret canine menu varies at each location and can include a whipped cream dessert, a small scoop of vanilla ice cream or even a pooch-friendly burger patty. Sonic Drive-In off US 40 in Oakley, KS even has an attached dog park for road trippin’ pups to use during stops.
5. Kiltie Drive-In
Experience old-school car-hopping at the Kiltie Drive-In, where servers in kilts deliver homemade frozen custard to your car door. The Swingin’ Sixties are still very much alive at this iconic Oconomowoc eatery. Four-legged customers can enjoy one of Kiltie’s trademark dog sundaes when they pull up.
6. Classic 50's Drive-In
Owned and operated by one family for more than 60 years, Classic 50’s Drive-In is a wistful road trip down memory lane. Park and put up your pooch’s paws as you select from a menu full of classic diner dishes. Don’t drive off without grabbing yourself a Sprittle for the road. This colorful concoction is a mixture of Sprite and Skittles you never knew you needed in your life.
7. Mel's Drive-In
Mel’s Drive-In first sprouted to life in San Francisco at the start of the Golden Age for drive-in dining in 1947. Nowadays, diners can enjoy Mel’s on wheels across California. At all locations, you can indulge in a nutrient-packed liquid breakfast from Erik’s Juice and Smoothie Bar, and order classic American comfort food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
8. Burger Master Drive In
Burger Master Drive In is known to local old-timers as “The Chalet,” which was its name when J.C. Morgan opened it in 1967. The business has passed through many different owners over the years, finally settling back with Morgan’s grandson in 2016. Distract your canine copilot with an ice cream-covered dog treat while you devour a hickory burger and a delicious dipped cone.
9. Vicco’s Charcoal Burger Drive-In
Vicco’s Charcoal Burger Drive-In is home to a collection of memorabilia that will transport any visitor back to opening day in 1953, including original gas pumps, classic cars and other gleefully restored items. Charcoal chefs recommend a plain patty for peckish pups.
Have you and Fido visited any of these pet-friendly drive-in restaurants? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!
BringFido is committed to providing authentic dog-friendly content that our readers will love. We may at times receive compensation from our partners or use affiliate links to promote products and services featured on our blog. Banner photo by @thatdoodsquad.