Best Drive-in Restaurant - 2009
Many things on the East Side of St. Paul look like they haven't changed in 50 years—the old-guy bars, carpet shops, and "safety shoes" stores are the essence of old-school. And in the emerging Dayton's Bluff neighborhood is one prized piece of nostalgia—a genuine 1950s drive-in diner, the kind where you order through a speaker and eat in your car. At the Dari-ette, you know you are pulling up to the real deal when you see the giant vintage soft-serve ice cream cone on the sign. Featured on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-in's & Dives, the Dari-ette is third-generation Italian-owned and operated, which is why along with hamburgers, malts, and onion rings you can also order spaghetti or a hot dago sandwich. In Dayton's Bluff the neighbors rejoice each spring when the Dari-ette opens for the season (April to October), just as they have for 54 years.