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Bites Nearby: Creamy Cones and a Scoop of Nostalgia at Highland Queen Drive-In

For over 50 years, this “Happy Days” throwback has been serving up classic American fare.

If you want a piece of 1950’s Americana, step right up to the Highland Queen Drive-In at 1511 W. 55th Street, La Grange Highlands.

Soft-serve ice-cream cones are my weakness and they do a great job serving up huge peaks of creamy swirls. The flavor combinations of malted milkshakes and ice cream sundaes are limitless. No wonder the Highland Queen is usually jam packed after children’s sporting events.

The décor is retro, but I have a feeling if you grew up in the area, you may have a problem with an overall renovation…old school charm truly works for this local favorite... I say don’t change a thing! Plus, you’ve got to love the mini-arcade in the back. Always a kids-pleasing sight to see video games!

The burgers are pretty basic, but to a hungry kid whose palate has yet to reach its full maturity… they’re delicious. Order a burger with “everything” and you’re going to get ketchup, mustard and a pickle…seriously, only one pickle slice. Lettuce and tomato are extra. If you’re famished (or weigh over 100 pounds), I would highly recommend getting the double cheeseburger, because the single burger, in my book, would be more like an appetizer.

Not really sure if I visited there on an “off day”, but the fries had a heavy oil taste. Although, Highland Queen is very generous with the amount of fries they give you, I’ve had better. The cheese fries are a big seller and a crowd-pleaser among regulars.

Opened in 1954, the family-owned and -operated Highland Queen Drive-In has fast and friendly service. The outdoor seating is great on a beautiful summer evening and based on its popularity in the area, it’s sure to be here in another 50 years.

Michael Sewall August 11, 2011 at 10:42 PM
I love Highland Queen, especially the ice cream and the chicken nuggets.
Larry Taggart August 13, 2011 at 04:53 PM
I grew up going to Highland Queen, their is nothing finer then a banana split in a cup. I was a firefighter in the area for a long time and made many a pick-up run to the QUEEN for many a delight.
Matthew Hendrickson August 13, 2011 at 05:58 PM
Love the memories, Larry. Thanks for sharing!
Heather Tomko August 16, 2011 at 03:54 PM
I worked at the Highland Queen for one summer after my freshman year at LT and it was a blast. The homemade egg salad sandwich is delicious and I have never had a better coffee shake anywhere!! Unfortunetly, I haven't been back in a while, but I hope they still have the crunch coating for the ice cream cones. Fantastic!

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