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Penguin Drive-In

(Now Closed)
Burger Joint, Diner, and American Restaurant$$$$
91 Tips and reviews
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  • Katie
    KatieMay 1, 2013
    Fried pickles are definitely great. They are a little spicy with almost a hushpuppie flavor. The chili queso dog is also great with a little spice. Had a taste of their burgers and it was great too!
  • Josh D.
    Josh DuVallAugust 17, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    Everything on the menu is good, so don't overlook the less traditional menu items! They have excellent Pimento Cheese, so I recommend the Winky Dinky Dog and the Plaza Pimento Cheese sandwich.
  • Claire W.
    Claire WeingartenJune 19, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    $2 ALL drafts on Tuesdays and $3 Whiskey on Wednesdays...... ANY KIND!!!! Fireball, makers, you name it!!!.now thats hard to beat!
  • Kenzie J.
    Kenzie JeffcoatSeptember 30, 2010
    Southern style cheeseburger was amazing! Atmosphere was awesome. People were down-to-earth. The half hour wait didn't even bother me...just a cool place to be.
  • Danielle W.
    Danielle WasserJuly 13, 2013
    Omg. Seriously. Amazing homemade food. Great atmosphere. Hush puppies and ranch hello! Burgers enuf said!
  • Samantha L.
    Samantha LaineFebruary 15, 2010
    Go to Penguin Drive-in. Have anything on menu. Resist onion rings though are heavenly. Draft beer on special always. LoveIt. 50s diner meets Texas honky tonk. No colors, no patches but pjs allowed. Read more
  • Anthony H.
    Anthony HendersonOctober 17, 2011
    Good food, just get the take out.. Its not really a attractive place to eat inside unless your a big fan of Red diners
  • Lexie L.
    Lexie LongstreetFebruary 1, 2010
    Have the Hemi-burger, Southern style (chili, slaw, mustard, onion) with cheese and the fried pickles. Best lunch but go early or late or you'll have to wait.
  • Stephen B.
    Stephen BJuly 18, 2010
    The food is great. Expect a wait. It will be worth it. If you enjoy a good beer, chat up a local and see what they suggest.
  • Sarah F.
    Sarah FFebruary 11, 2013
    One hour for the cook to prepare two burgers. Fries were fantastic. So was the banana pudding. Management wanted to give us free merchandise instead of a discount on our meal. Disappointing.
  • Jenna
    JennaAugust 18, 2010
    Get the soy dog with chili, onions, and a side of crinkle fries which you should then dress with salt and pepper. Voila!
  • Jake B.
    Jake BockNovember 25, 2009
    Been here 25+ times
    Go to The Penguin and eat a Full Hemi burger if you're hungry. It's intense but worth it - the best burger in Charlotte. Pair it with cheap Shock Top pints!
  • Amanda
    AmandaJuly 3, 2010
    go early to avoid a wait... order the fried pickles to share. Get a block burger for yourself and always get ranch to dip pickles and fries in!
  • Eric D.
    Eric D-JDecember 27, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Always check your to go bag. Its wrong every time. Last time no sauce for sweet potato fries, this time a fry missing, cole slaw, bbq sauce and the dip for the funnel fries. This sucks
  • Kristen H.
    Kristen HillDecember 11, 2011
    The fried pickles are to die for if you eat them with someone else!
  • Sean L.
    Sean LombardiJune 10, 2013
    Must get Fried pickles! Burgers are Great as well.
  • Marett M.
    Marett MattoxJanuary 26, 2014
    Great food...worst service I've ever received. Sat in a nearly empty restaurant waiting to place order get drinks check out everything seemed to be a 30 minute process.
  • Anita B.
    Anita BlanchardJanuary 12, 2013
    The drink prices for tea and lemonade are outrageous!!
  • Alegandra P.
    Alegandra PerezJanuary 21, 2013
    Used to be one of my favorite burger places but after today, I doubt I'll come back. The queso dip looked (and tasted) like rubber chili dip and the burgers were overcooked and dry. Svc was bad too.
  • Matt F.
    Matt FrazierJune 11, 2013
    First time visit and thoroughly disappointed. Pittsburger was good, but fries made it soggy. Service was terrible. There were about 13 tables with 2-4 people at each. Only 1 waitress and 1 cook.
  • Michael W.
    Michael WicenciakSeptember 11, 2014
    You ain't leaving till you fix this penguin dude!
  • Jonathan J.
    Jonathan JohnsonAugust 22, 2011
    Honey Chipotle BBQ Wings are insane! Most premium wing you'll taste.
  • Derek K.
    Derek KramerOctober 6, 2012
    Try the black bean burger. Messy but delicious.
  • TV Food Maps
    TV Food MapsAugust 26, 2014
    Check out The Penguin as seen on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives , Man vs Food Nation Read more
  • Jae C.
    Jae CashApril 25, 2010
    Go to the Penguin and try the Brunswick Stew.... Right up there with the Fried Pickles!
  • Kat
    KatOctober 12, 2011
    The banana pudding is some of the best I've ever had!
  • Joshua G.
    Joshua GreeneFebruary 29, 2012
    try the grilled chicken cesar wrap...its really good
  • Adam H.
    Adam Holden-BacheNovember 20, 2009
    The fried pickles and cheap beer are the attraction at this wonderful grease joint. Go early to avoid lines.
  • Angel T.
    Angel TruesdaleOctober 4, 2012
    Awful...just awful. First time trying since reopen and service was horrid. Chili cheese fries were inedible. Burnt hushpuppies. Dry food and overcooked. Also the sauces were bland...not ok.
  • Jamie J.
    Jamie JoyceNovember 3, 2011
    Eat at the bar and look for Al Pacino. He's there.. I promise.
  • Kelly A.
    Kelly AllisonApril 13, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    $2 PBR tall boys everyday! Get on that! :)
  • Brian S.
    Brian SchindlerOctober 12, 2010
    Best burger in town without argument. Definitely a favorite place of mine.
  • Lauren M.
    Lauren MerrillNovember 4, 2013
    Bad Grandpa filmed here! must see this movie!
  • Jon E.
    Jon EdgeMay 15, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    I like the Pimento Cheese Burger.
  • Adrienne H.
    Adrienne HinesSeptember 30, 2012
    Food was good. Very good service.
  • Vishrut C.
    Vishrut ChowdaryApril 27, 2010
    very nice place.....excellent food....just that we need to wait long.......
  • Cameron P.
    Cameron PaigeJuly 14, 2013
    Get the fried bologna sw & fried mushrooms!!!!
  • Hermione M.
    Hermione MaloneDecember 29, 2011
    Get the fried pickles. Without a doubt.
  • Steve K.
    Steve KnightDecember 8, 2009
    Just remember: The kitchen closes at 11 p.m. on Sunday nights (most nights?). So don't expect a burger at 11:30. And they don't have coffee at that hour either.
  • Darrell P.
    Darrell PriceJune 8, 2010
    Great place to sit down with friends. Famous for their fried pickles.
  • Genevieve C.
    Genevieve CorderyNovember 18, 2013
    I was disappointed. Our server was rude and despite the tastiness of our food, she poured the entire salt shaker over on my fries...I couldn't eat them.
  • Cody S.
    Cody ShipmanMarch 10, 2013
    The Chin Strap burger. For real.
  • Stephanie W.
    Stephanie WilliamsJune 28, 2010
    MY new favorite restaurant and burger joint...FRIED PICKLES are the BOMB!
  • Denny H.
    Denny HeaberlinDecember 14, 2009
    Go to The Penguin, and see if you can take down the Big Block. It is absolutely the best burger in Charlotte!
  • Jaye H.
    Jaye HJuly 20, 2013
    Try the Yellow Eyed Burger
  • Tracy B.
    Tracy BeauregardMarch 3, 2010
    I was apprehensive about the fried pickles, but really enjoyed them!
  • Anna R.
    Anna RugilaMay 6, 2010
    The Boss Hog here is AMAZING! I love getting that with their sweet potato fries!
  • Laurie H.
    Laurie HaganJuly 24, 2013
    Awesome fried Mac n cheese
  • Kimberly K.
    Kimberly KayeApril 3, 2010
    All I can say is Southern style all the way. Share the fries. Worth the wait in line!
  • Brittany W.
    Brittany WintersAugust 10, 2010
    Fried pickles, black bean burger, and some banana pudding! MMMM.
  • Tommy K.
    Tommy Kocyba IIDecember 6, 2013
    Out of Pepsi and chicken tenders. Not the same since it was taken over by new owners.
  • Topaz W.
    Topaz WoodruffNovember 16, 2011
  • Topaz W.
    Topaz WoodruffNovember 16, 2011
    I can hear you getting fatter hot dog.
  • Jess ⚓
    Jess ⚓September 1, 2013
    Out of black bean patties AND soy dogs?! WTF am I supposed to eat??
    LiveUptownNow.comAugust 3, 2011
    Try the fried pickles! Good stuff!
  • Jenine G.
    Jenine GatewoodJuly 30, 2014
    Great burgers!
  • Ryan E.
    Ryan EdgeAugust 16, 2014
    Funnel cake fries
  • Charlotte E.
    Charlotte Events.netOctober 16, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Always $2 24 oz pbr!!
  • Kat S.
    Kat SmithApril 23, 2013
    Fried pickles are the nomage
  • Mike R.
    Mike RaedyJune 28, 2010
    Treat yourself to a Black Bean burger and some sweet potato fries!
  • Blu A.
    Blu AssassinJanuary 19, 2013
    Service was very slow. I waited 25 minutes just for cheese fries.
  • Emily T.
    Emily TurnerMarch 17, 2010
    Winky Dinky Dog with Fried Pickles, and Sweet Potato FFs!
  • Patrick H.
    Patrick HeltonOctober 11, 2013
    Very slow.. Been here 30 min and still waiting on fried pickles. My first time in and I'm a Charlotte native. Pretty disappointing.
  • Emily B.
    Emily BirckheadAugust 20, 2011
    The sweet potato fries... O.M.G
  • Micah S.
    Micah SpicerOctober 8, 2012
    Republicans Rock!!!
  • Norman N.
    Norman NewburnMay 19, 2013
    Do not get the queso cheese...on anything!!! Gross ;(
  • Michele
    MicheleNovember 11, 2013
    This is not the DDD spot
  • nerd E.
    nerd EMarch 23, 2013
    People here are so nice.
  • Callie H.
    Callie HolstonDecember 14, 2011
    Best sweet tea :))
  • BlondeBites
    BlondeBitesMarch 16, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    The bloody Marys are awesome here!
  • Kenny C.
    Kenny ClarkSeptember 5, 2011
    New penguin is so much better.
  • Jesse
    JesseSeptember 1, 2010
    Penguin carries Whynatte! Try one.
  • Kayla R.
    Kayla ReilandAugust 31, 2013
    Food takes forever. They don't clean the tables. Poor environment. Very disappointed.
  • Michael T.
    Michael ThompsonJuly 18, 2010
    Some of the best burgers ever!
  • Trey R.
    Trey RawlsNovember 8, 2013
    Closing down soon!! O_o
  • David J.
    David J.August 4, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    Banana pudding rocks!
  • Patrick M.
    Patrick McGintyNovember 25, 2009
    Big block southern style and fried pickles... yum!
  • becca g.
    becca gibsonAugust 8, 2014
    No way Jose.
  • yomike
    yomikeMarch 31, 2010
    Been here 10+ times
    Dixie Chicken Sandwich...nuff said!
  • Jackie Q.
    Jackie QuirosNovember 23, 2013
    No...just no. Don't do it.
  • Sam S.
    Sam StalderSeptember 1, 2013
    Awful. If this place gets on another TV show it better be Bar Rescue.
  • Stephen F.
    Stephen FoggJanuary 20, 2010
    Must get Fried pickles
  • Shelley O.
    Shelley OrrNovember 24, 2009
    Single block. All the way.
  • Abigail D.
    Abigail DerrNovember 13, 2011
    Chili was extra oily tonight. Gross.
  • Joel B.
    Joel BonaseraDecember 2, 2009
    Have fried pickles. They're soaked in buttermilk...
  • Greg C.
    Greg CorrinNovember 20, 2009
    Fried pickles extra dip.
  • J.R. R.
    J.R. RiceApril 27, 2010
    Just go eat here. Period. Read more
  • Landon M.
    Landon MasseyDecember 29, 2009
    Fried pickles FTW!
  • Jarrett C.
    Jarrett CreswellJanuary 15, 2011
    Don't go
  • Erik M.
    Erik MinmanFebruary 16, 2011
    Way to fuck up a good thing guys. What happened to my shuffletown bbq plate? :(
  • Luther M.
    Luther MontroseFebruary 15, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Not the same, don't even go.
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