There is something nostalgic about a seasonal roadside meal, especially during the summer. It feels humble, like dining in another era and honoring more simple times. While they may have been created for the hurried traveler, they often have the opposite appeal. These are places you want to linger. Maybe it because they are only open for a short few months. And when they close for the season, we know the cold months are ahead and we will crave their food.
Whether it's for a cold custard treat, a juicy burger, or a lobster roll, pull over to the side of the road for these six authentic American food stands that chefs love.
MIDWEST | Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
Ted Drewes opened his first ice cream store in Florida in 1929 and in 1931 he opened in St. Louis. The custard is different from traditional ice cream because of the butterfat, egg yolk, and amount of air which gives it a more silky and smooth texture.
"The concretes (ultra thick milk shakes) always put a smile on my face."
FED Pro > Chef Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Cafe in St. Louis
4224 S Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63111 | T: 314.352.7376
6726 Chippewa Street, St. Louis, MO 63109 | T: 314.481.2652
MID-ATLANTIC | Crabbs Tropical Treat
"It's an amazing drive-in. It’s only open from mid-March until the early Fall and they have a sandwich called the Fat Boy which could be described as the Big Mac's much better tasting cousin. Once March comes rolling around, I start to crave the opening of 'The Treat' and my first Fat Boy of the year."
FED Pro > Chef Andrew Little of Josephine in Nashville
Mid-March thru late September
2279 Carlisle Pike, Hanover, PA 17331
THE BERKSHIRES | The Bistro Box
Opened by CIA (Culinary Institute of America) grads, they serve American fare made with premiere ingredients from a roadside stand.
"This is a gem. A next-level roadside shack, they serve up some super tasty food. I love their falafel burger and they make killer truffle fries. Locals love this spot, so come early to claim a picnic table."
FED Pro > Bartender Jane Burns Allium Restaurant + Bar in Great Barrington
“It's all outdoor dining with great roadside food.”
FED Pro > Chef Jeremy Stanton of The Meat Market in Great Barrington
April thru October
937 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230
T: 413.717.5958 | www.thebistrobox.rocks
MARTHA'S VINEYARD | The Bite
Opened in 1988, this little hut near the docks features a chalkboard listing the day’s fresh seafood. Watch the fishermen bring in their catch while you snack on fried clams, oysters or Quahog chowder.
"For fried clams and New England clam chowder."
Chef Tony Maws of Craigie on Main, Kirkland Tap & Tavern in Boston
May thru October
29 Basin Road, Menemsha, MA 02552
MAINE | Red’s Eats
They’ve been feeding locals and tourists since 1938. Each lobster roll contains a pound of fresh lobster and melted butter or mayo is your call. Recommended by Susan Povich (Red Hook Lobster Pound) who spent her summers here eating their famous lobster rolls.
Mid-April thru mid-October
41 Water Street, Wiscasset, ME 04578
T: 207.882.6128 | www.redseatsmaine.com
HAMPTONS | The Clam Bar
"This is definitely that classic Long Island experience of lobster rolls, bisque, and whole lobsters. You can sit outside, eat lunch, and enjoy the sunshine."
FED Pro > Chef Chris Rendell of Surf Lodge in Montauk and Flinders Lane in NYC
"It's so unpretentious and just easy. Sit outside, have some really great clams on the half shell, or one of my favorites, the fried clam sandwich."
FED Pro > Chef Joe Realmuto of Nick & Toni's in East Hampton
"We always come here for lunch. The steamers are my favorite thing on the menu and the raw oysters are really good as well."
FED Pro > Chef Marc Murphy of LandMarc, Ditch Plains in NYC
March thru October
2025 Montauk Highway, Amagansett, NY 11930
T: 631.267.6348 | www.clambaronline.com
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