Haven't you always wanted to have a list of awesome drive-thrus that are locally owned and operated? Yeah, we did, too. So we came up with our own list. Some require you to order ahead of time and some just need you to roll up to the window. Either way, don't forget to keep a copy in your glove box.
Phoenix 32 Shea There's a whole lot going on in this colorful petite restaurant serving up a full coffee bar, smoothies, breakfast sandwiches/burritos or Nutella on toast (yum), hot sandwiches, cold salads, lavosh pizza, mango shrimp, wine and they're dog friendly. Take a cruise over to 32 Shea take advantage of all this variety straight from your car.
Mary Coyle Mary Coyle has been taking the edge off the heat since 1951 and was saved last year from extinction. With a revamped menu and better service, we'll be heading to Mary Coyle's drive-thru at Seventh Avenue and Missouri for one of their shakes or multi-scoop dips/bowls. Their drive-thru is pretty much the ice cream menu, but they do serve their whole menu at the window. Just make sure to call 10 to 15 minutes ahead if you are wanting some of the hot stuff, too.
Copper Star Coffee Make it a nifty '50s afternoon and finish off your ice cream with a coffee at Copper Star housed in an old gas station where instead of full-service fueling, you'll receive full service food. Pull up to the drive-thru and your car will drive over a strip that rings a bell in the full service coffee shop that also serves sandwiches and salads. One of the servers will come out to your car with a menu and help you choose the right items for your cravings. Orders here take usually about five to seven minutes depending on your order and how busy they are inside.
Sa Bai Modern Thai Behind the tinted windows of a former Wendy's, there's some stellar Thai cuisine being prepared. A year and a half ago, the owners opened Sai Bai and wanted to take advantage of the traditional drive thru window. Awesome Thai from a drive-thru window -- yes, please. Also, keep in mind that the food is all made to order and will probably take 10 to 20 minutes. Don't fret, sa bai (which means relax), get a drink and flip on that book on tape you've been meaning to "read."
Z's Greek If you're around 40th Street and Indian School and have a hankering for some Mediterranean fare, you've hit gold. Z's Greek has it all. Order one of the gyros or pitas with chicken or lamb with a side salad with feta, tomatoes and oregano dressing. Maybe you're in search of a drive thru because you've been hit with the latest virus and you're trying to avoid human contact. A hot bowl of avgolemono or lentils should do the trick and get you back to tip top shape. Depending on what you order, your wait should be no more than a speedy three to four minutes. They tell us the only things that might take a few more minutes are the moussaka, spanakopita, lamb souvlaki, or chicken souvlaki platter.
Circle H BBQ The same folks who own Copper Star Coffee have another spot, except this spot is barbecue. Circle H is fairly new with huge juicy burgers and smoked meats. This spot is in an old Taco Cabana. Instead of doing a major remodel, they've wisely made the old drive-thru window a pickup window. Call them ahead of time with your order and they'll gladly package it up for you and hand it off to you in your car.
Crooked Sky Farms Sure you love to stroll through any of the many farmers markets but sometimes you just don't have it in you to find a parking space and leisurely peruse and sometimes wait in line. Locally grown produce is available during the week by calling the farm 30 minutes to a few hours ahead (depending on the size of your order) and then swinging by the fields where it was grown near 19th Ave and I-17. There's no need to get your high heels or sneakers muddy, they'll bring it right to your car. (Full disclosure: Jennifer Woods works for Crooked Sky.)
Scottsdale/Tempe D'lish Drive Thru Hungry in Old Town but don't have time to lounge on one of the many patios? You're next thought should be to check out D'lish drive thru with its super-healthful menu and full coffee bar. If you're eating in the car, maybe grab a wrap. Or, if you're headed to the park or office, a loaded kitchen sink salad, burger or bowl might satisfy. We see there's a new location open in Tempe near Apache and Rural.
Chandler/Gilbert Someburros Sure there are 'Bertos on every corner, we wanted to find a family owned Mexican restaurant serving up some consistently good family recipes. If you live in the East Valley, Someburros is where it's at. You must call ahead at any of the pick up windows that are built into every single location of Someburros. We've enjoyed the sauce topped Burracho Burro served in one of those round tins with white paper lids from our car many a time. We're happy to report that the aluminum container is sturdy enough to handle the plastic fork and knife treatment.
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BLD BLD has the highest-end drive-thru menu we've found. Anything from their regular menu can be wrapped up to go. That includes their crab cakes or filet mignon. This is where we'd want to go for some major picnic food. Running super-late for that hot date and you forgot to shop and cook? Carefully transfer your BLD order to your best dinner plates and serve with a smile. Your date with just think you're an amazing cook and you get all the credit. They have a full coffee bar with smoothies, protein shakes, and pastries. Those are all quick and easy choices that are available for drive-up customers. Due to the prep time for the other menu items, they do ask that you call 10 minutes ahead so that they can have it ready for you when you get there.
If we neglected to list your favorite drive-thru, we're sorry. Let us know where you like to go in the comments below.
All our favorites lists also are available on our Best Of app -- see it in action here. And check out our other lists: 10 Favorite Spots for Guacamole 10 Favorite Theme Restaurants 15 Favorite Late Night Eats 10 Favorite Summer Foods 7 Favorite Soul Food Places 10 Favorite Sangrias 7 Favorite Paleteria 10 Favorite Breakfast Places 10 Favorite International Markets 10 Favorite Spots for Crepes in Greater Phoenix 11 Favorite Phoenix Beers 10 Favorite Spots for Seafood in Greater Phoenix 10 Favorite Gelato Spots 10 Favorite Burrito Joints in Metro Phoenix 10 Favorite Spots for Wings in Metro Phoenix 11 Things to Eat and Drink Before You Leave Phoenix Ten Favorite Phoenix Hot Sauces and Salsas Top Ten Spots for Mac 'n' Cheese in the Valley Three Favorite Espresso Shots in Metro Phoenix Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Farmers' Markets Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Eleven Favorite Favorite Places for Sushi in the Valley Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Cupcakes Eleven Favorite Barbecue Joints in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Wine Bars Ten Favorite Phoenix Irish Restaurant & Pubs Six Favorite Specialty Cocktails in Phoenix Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Craft Beer Bars Ten Favorite Gourmet Pizza Shops in the Valley Five Favorite Japanese Restaurants in Phoenix Ten Favorite Margaritas in Metro Phoenix Ten Favorite Coffee Shops in Phoenix Five Favorite Thai Restaurants in Metro Phoenix Eleven Favorite Ice Cream Shops in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Phoenix Happy Hours Five Favorite Sonoran Dogs in the Valley Ten Favorite Hot Dogs in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Desserts in Phoenix Ten Favorite First Date Restaurants Ten Favorite Burgers in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Downtown Phoenix Restaurants for Late Night Dining Ten Favorite Vegetarian Entrees in Metro Phoenix Ten Favorite Chinese Restaurants in Greater Phoenix