4466 Kent Rd.
Stow, OH 44224
websiteA drive-in chain popular in the Akron area in northeast Ohio, Swenson’s is a relic of an older era, a drive-in where you park your car, hit the lights, and a runner comes to your door with a menu full of classic American cuisine. Burgers, hot dogs, the kinds of convenient foods that evoke the golden days of the manufacturing roots of the city. Those days have passed, but the food has remained a mainstay here, with the popularity of the place bringing people back on weekends, no matter the weather.
The food is classic drive-in cuisine, all of it pretty simple stuff. Among my favorites:
- Burgers: Also known as “hamburgs” or “cheeseburgs,” these quarter pounder patties are cooked up griddle-style and topped with mustard, pickles, and onion. Toss some lettuce, tomato or cheese on each burger for a few cents extra. These burgers are just fantastic; a crisp crust on the outside and a juicy burger within. Yes, it’s worth the wait.
- Hot dog with coney sauce: This dog is just fantastic. The bun itself is buttered and grilled until it’s crispy, and the dog itself is grilled separately and sliced open to maximize the juiciness. Good by itself, but then you can add some coney sauce to make it a chili dog. The savory, meaty chili atop the dog will give it a bit of a kick, the chili powder makes it a very tasty dish indeed.
- Fries: Classic fries, of course, with a very crunchy outside and soft potato inside. These come out fresh hot every time, so look out!
There’s a reason this small Akron chain has been in business since the 1930s; because the experience is always amazing. You drive in and park at the restaurant and eat in your car. The servers run, not walk, to your car as soon as you pull up and your food is delivered to you within minutes. It’s a different kind of experience that you’re used to in this day in age.
The stand isn’t expensive, and that service is just great every time. It’s hard not to like a place like this, because what it offers is just so unique. Drive ins are a rare breed, and a really unique experience. This one is definitely a worthwhile experience. Worth a special trip.
- The chain is well known for its burgers, and whatever you get I highly recommend this is one of the first things you try.
- Swenson’s is a drive-in; you don’t walk into a restaurant, instead you eat in your car and let the service run to you. The place is good no matter the weather.
- Milkshakes are also on the menu here if you’re looking for them, seasonal ones being very popular.