Favorite Michigan Drive Ins and Diners Chosen By Locals | 42+ Unique Restaurants in Michigan | Craving the Best Hot Dogs, Root Beer, Milkshakes, Juicy Burgers This Summer?

Michigan Drive Ins | Unique Restaurants in Michigan | Craving the Best Hot Dogs, Root Beer, Milkshakes, Juicy Burgers This Summer?

By: Sherry Trautman | Travel-Mi.com | Last updated: July 1, 2023

These tried-and-true Michigan Drive in's and diners are the favorite picks by Michigan locals.  If you crave real milkshakes, cold root beer served in frosty mugs and creamy hand-dipped ice cream served right to your car by friendly car hops, we've got you!

FYI, many Michigan Drive In's are open seasonally, so be sure to check their website or Facebook page before visiting for their open hours, location, specials, menu and any other bits of information. 

If you love Drive In's check out our list of Guy Fieri's favorite Michigan Diner's, Drive-in's and Dives! 


  • Best Michigan Drive Ins in:
  • Upper Peninsula
  • Northern Michigan | Traverse City, Ludington, Cheboygan
  • Central-Mid Michigan | Mount Pleasant, Saginaw, Clare, Farwell
  • South Michigan | Coldwater, Marshall, Lansing, Jackson
  • Southwest Michigan | Grand Rapids, South Haven, Kalamazoo, Paw Paw, Grand Haven, Allegan
  • Southeast Region | Detroit and Ann Arbor (Ypsilanti)

Map of Our Favorite Michigan Drive Ins!

Drive In Restaurant

Best Michigan Drive Ins | Upper Peninsula

Clyde's Drive In - Two super popular Michigan drive ins!  Locals say they have the best onion rings, chicken sandwiches and well, you gotta order the Big C burger!  Clyde's Drive In is located in St. Ignace at 178 U.S. Rte 2, St Ignace, MI and also 201 Chippewa Ave, Manistique, MI. FYI, they are cash only. Open seasonally in April

West Pier Drive In - 849 W Pier Dr, Sault Ste. Marie, MI. Open seasonally in April

Baraga Drive In - 1156 S Superior Ave, Baraga, MI. If you are looking for a classic drive-in experience on the shores of Lake Superior, this is it!  Chris and I have stopped here while driving to the Keweenaw peninsula. We enjoyed their burgers.  Oh and they have two new flavors of ice cream: Sugar Cookie Cheesecake, Peppermint Cheesecake!

Best Michigan Drive Ins in Northern Michigan | Traverse City, Ludington, Cheboygan

Don's Drive In - 2030 US-31, Traverse City, Michigan. So when asked, "What's your favorite Northern Michigan Drive-in," locals resoundingly screamed, DON'S! It must be their juicy burgers, real hand dipped milkshakes, and real malts, brought right to your car by a car hop.  So, be sure to add this '50s carhop to your Michigan Drive ins road trip across Michigan! 

Bortell's Fisheries - 5510 S Lakeshore Dr, Ludington, MI. Open seasonally, beginning in May.  NOT a drive in but a fun walk up to get fish and see the lake. 

Yeck Family Drive-In Restaurant - 1304 Mackinaw Ave, Cheboygan, MI 49721. I hear their strawberry shortcake, when in season, is fantastic!  OH and the olive burgers...ooh yeah. 

Best Michigan Drive Ins in Central-Mid Michigan | Mount Pleasant, Saginaw, Clare, Farwell

The White House - So guys, if you want to experience a true Diner, Drive-In or Dive then visit the Whitehouse. Please note it is NOT a drive in but was worth mentioning as it is a very popular place for locals with great fresh made burgers and made to order omelets. 

Big R's Hogs & Dogs- 1876 W Ludington Dr, Farwell, MI. Open for the summer.

Jon's Country Burgers Drive In - 1030 S Mission St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858. This lovely traditional drive in restaurant has been going strong since 1957! Their shakes, malts and sundaes are fantastic!  They also have soups, sandwiches, seafood dinners and more!

Old Town Drive-In - 807 S Granger St, Saginaw, MI 48602. Old-timey standby with car-side service and indoor seating for award-winning Coney-style hot dogs & draft root beer.  Some come on out and experience a meal served carhop style by a family-owned and operated Saginaw Michigan business!

I mean it has to be good as they have been rocking it since 1940 with their original recipes, friendly service and fabulous old-time atmosphere. Still family-owned and operated!

Leftys Drive In Bay Port - Located in the thumb. 9505 Port Austin Rd, Bay Port, MI 48720. Burgers, fish, hand dipped ice cream!

Mishler's Drive In - 728 W 7th St, Evart, MI 49631

Dairy Phil - 1131 N McEwan St, Clare, MI 48617. Not a drive-in but servers (dressed in 50's style poodle skirts) will bring the food out to your car. Home smoked BBQ sandwiches, good burgers and ice cream.  You can also eat outside on picnic tables. 

Drive In Restaurant

Best Michigan Drive Ins in South Michigan | Coldwater, Marshall, Lansing, Jackson

Shorts Root Beer Stand Drive In - 378 W Chicago St, Coldwater, MI 49036. We love this drive in! Get their Patty Melt paired with some yummy deep fried mushrooms and a frosty mug of root beer!  So this is a fun idea: Take your food and head to the drive in theatre for a full night of drive in experiences!

Hi-Lite - 1005 E Michigan Ave, Marshall, MI 49068. Seasonal. They offer root beer, hot dogs, malts and shakes. Oh, and you can enjoy your frosty root beer out on their patio!

Street's Eats - 704 S Main St, Olivet, MI 49076. Drive in style restaurant, with outdoor seating.

Rudy's Drive In - 4061 Page Ave, Michigan Center, MI (Jackson Michigan). This drive in does it right with juicy burgers, coneys + their own coney sauce!  They also make their own root beer daily!  Rudy's Drive In have been rockin' since 1967! Cash only. 

Nip and Sip - 2603 N East St, Lansing, MI 48906. Fan favorite Lansing Michigan Drive in!  Chicken dinners, sandwiches, salads, malts and more! Their triple burgers on a bun are very popular!

Best Michigan Drive Ins in Southwest Michigan | Grand Rapids, South Haven, Kalamazoo, Paw Paw, Grand Haven, Allegan

Corky's Drive-In Restaurant - 1299 Lincoln Rd, Allegan, MI 49010. Heralded as a local gem, be sure to get their homemade root beer.  Then explore the riverfront and downtown Allegan.  By the way, Corky's Drive in won First Place in West Michigan for a great burger! 

Eddie's Drive In - So, the story goes, "in 1987, Eddie wanted a place with 50's style roller skating carhops, old-fashioned food, and a place where anyone and everyone could hang out." Grab burgers, baskets, fries and old fashioned shakes at 5036 Paw Paw Lake Rd, Coloma, MI.

Mikey's Drive In - 9096 Red Arrow Hwy, Bridgman, MI 49106. Known for their footlong hot dogs and traditional drive in experience.  Mikey's Drive In also has made to order hamburgers, a variety of fries, ice cream and malts.

50's Drive-In - 8510 M-140, South Haven, MI. This Michigan Drive Ins is so cute!

Lutz's Drive In - 28102 M-152, Dowagiac, MI 49047. They are open all year! Pizzas, burgers, fries, baskets and more! Plus they have cute Halloween events too! Lutz's Drive-in was built in 1962.

The Root Beer Stand Westnedge - 4400 S Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49008.  So, this is one of our favorite Michigan Drive-ins as they serve yummy coney dogs, popcorn, and root beer that you can enjoy right from your vehicle!

Ray's Drive-In - 20 N Beacon Blvd, Grand Haven, MI 49417. The triple burgers, perch sandwiches and cod sandwiches are yummy!  You can get perch, chicken and shrimp dinners, too!  Open year round since 1960! If you love simple and fresh ingredients, Ray’s “beefburger” is  legend in Grand Haven!

Cooks Hot Dog Drive In - 6874 Hammond Ave SE, Caledonia, Michigan. Cooks offers over 20 hot dog choices, homemade root beer, hand dipped malts, root beer floats, shakes, cones and Italian sodas! How can you ever choose?

Best Michigan Drive Ins in Southeast Region | Detroit and Ann Arbor (Ypsilanti)

Eddie's Drive In - So, the story goes, "in 1987, Eddie wanted a place with 50's style roller skating carhops, old-fashioned food, and a place where anyone and everyone could hang out." Grab burgers, baskets, fries and old fashioned shakes at 36111 Jefferson Ave, Harrison Twp, MI 48045

A and W Restaurant - 470 South St, Ortonville, MI! Pub style baskets, burgers, chicken, hot dogs and of course, A and W root beer!

A and W Restaurant - 21 Lake St, Frankfort, MI. So this one was worth mentioning this one as we here they still has a drive in with car hops on roller skates.  You could take your treats and go see the Point Betsie Lighthouse and then later head east up US-31 towards Honor to see a movie at the Cherry Bowl Drive-in Theater!  More things to do in Frankfort, MI!

A and W - 5309 Main St, Lexington, MI. Pub style baskets, burgers, chicken, hot dogs and of course, A and W root beer!

Big Dip Burgers - 725 E Walled Lake Dr, Walled Lake, MI 48390. A Big Dip burger is waiting for you! Specialty burgers, hot dogs, chicken, soup, salad. Eat outside in the beautiful Walled Lake breeze along the beach. Currently a drive up.

Daly Drive-In - 31500 Plymouth Rd, Livonia, MI. Try the Daly burger and a strawberry milkshake! Due to an accident, this is currently a drive up but may be changed back to a drive in. 

The Hot Dog Stand - 11338 S Saginaw St, Grand Blanc, MI. Super cute drive in with coney dogs, chili dogs and of course, root beer!  For the past 50 years they have been the "Home of the Original Red Sauce." A favorite Michigan drive ins for sure!

Vince's West Elm Drive-In Inc. - 1305 W Elm Ave, Monroe, MI 48162. Great traditional drive in with hot dogs, soda and sides. 

Flushing A - 200 S Cherry St, Flushing, MI. Ordering a hot dog with red sauce and a cold mug of root beer is what summer is made of! They have classic car cruise-ins every month in the summer.

Monroe's Original Hot Dog - Drive in - Toted as The Best Dog Around. 1111 W Front St Monroe, MI 48161 You can buy chili dogs and chili by the quart! Open seasonally. Super cute.

Chick-Inn Drive In - 501 Holmes Rd, Ypsilanti, MI. So, I hear the Paul Bunyan Burgers, sloppy joes and fried onion rings are the bomb! Oh, and their milkshakes!

Bill's Drive In - 1292 E Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti, MI. You can't miss their super cute bright yellow building!  Drive in and walk up hot dog stand - yummy root beer!

Love Juicy Burgers? Check out the Best Burgers in Michigan!

Check out our list VOTED by Michiganders...The Best Burgers in Michigan!

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

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We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "Travel-mi.com." A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of Travel-MI.com. This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

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