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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.
  • 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!
  • 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!
  • 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
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • Sean L.
    Sean LombardiJune 10, 2013
    Must get Fried pickles! Burgers are Great as well.
  • Kristen H.
    Kristen HillDecember 11, 2011
    The fried pickles are to die for if you eat them with someone else!
  • 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.
  • Anita B.
    Anita BlanchardJanuary 12, 2013
    The drink prices for tea and lemonade are outrageous!!
  • 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.
  • Jae C.
    Jae CashApril 25, 2010
    Go to the Penguin and try the Brunswick Stew.... Right up there with the Fried Pickles!
  • 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
  • Kat
    KatOctober 12, 2011
    The banana pudding is some of the best I've ever had!
  • Jamie J.
    Jamie JoyceNovember 3, 2011
    Eat at the bar and look for Al Pacino. He's there.. I promise.
  • Joshua G.
    Joshua GreeneFebruary 29, 2012
    try the grilled chicken cesar wrap...its really good
  • Brian S.
    Brian SchindlerOctober 12, 2010
    Best burger in town without argument. Definitely a favorite place of mine.
  • Kelly A.
    Kelly AllisonApril 13, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    $2 PBR tall boys everyday! Get on that! :)
  • 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.
  • Jon E.
    Jon EdgeMay 15, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    I like the Pimento Cheese Burger.
  • Lauren M.
    Lauren MerrillNovember 4, 2013
    Bad Grandpa filmed here! must see this movie!
  • Vishrut C.
    Vishrut ChowdaryApril 27, 2010
    very nice place.....excellent food....just that we need to wait long.......
  • 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.
  • Adrienne H.
    Adrienne HinesSeptember 30, 2012
    Food was good. Very good service.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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!
  • Tracy B.
    Tracy BeauregardMarch 3, 2010
    I was apprehensive about the fried pickles, but really enjoyed them!
  • Jaye H.
    Jaye HJuly 20, 2013
    Try the Yellow Eyed Burger
  • Anna R.
    Anna RugilaMay 6, 2010
    The Boss Hog here is AMAZING! I love getting that with their sweet potato fries!
  • 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.
  • Laurie H.
    Laurie HaganJuly 24, 2013
    Awesome fried Mac n cheese
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