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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!
  • Danielle W.
    Danielle WasserJuly 13, 2013
    Omg. Seriously. Amazing homemade food. Great atmosphere. Hush puppies and ranch hello! Burgers enuf said!
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Derek K.
    Derek KramerOctober 6, 2012
    Try the black bean burger. Messy but delicious.
  • Jonathan J.
    Jonathan JohnsonAugust 22, 2011
    Honey Chipotle BBQ Wings are insane! Most premium wing you'll taste.
  • Jamie J.
    Jamie JoyceNovember 3, 2011
    Eat at the bar and look for Al Pacino. He's there.. I promise.
  • Kat
    KatOctober 12, 2011
    The banana pudding is some of the best I've ever had!
  • Jae C.
    Jae CashApril 25, 2010
    Go to the Penguin and try the Brunswick Stew.... Right up there with the Fried Pickles!
  • Joshua G.
    Joshua GreeneFebruary 29, 2012
    try the grilled chicken cesar wrap...its really good
  • Lauren M.
    Lauren MerrillNovember 4, 2013
    Bad Grandpa filmed here! must see this movie!
  • Kelly A.
    Kelly AllisonApril 13, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    $2 PBR tall boys everyday! Get on that! :)
  • 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.
  • Brian S.
    Brian SchindlerOctober 12, 2010
    Best burger in town without argument. Definitely a favorite place of mine.
  • Cameron P.
    Cameron PaigeJuly 14, 2013
    Get the fried bologna sw & fried mushrooms!!!!
  • Adrienne H.
    Adrienne HinesSeptember 30, 2012
    Food was good. Very good service.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Michael W.
    Michael WicenciakSeptember 11, 2014
    You ain't leaving till you fix this penguin dude!
  • Hermione M.
    Hermione MaloneDecember 29, 2011
    Get the fried pickles. Without a doubt.
  • Cody S.
    Cody ShipmanMarch 10, 2013
    The Chin Strap burger. For real.
  • Vishrut C.
    Vishrut ChowdaryApril 27, 2010
    very nice place.....excellent food....just that we need to wait long.......
  • Jaye H.
    Jaye HJuly 20, 2013
    Try the Yellow Eyed Burger
  • 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.
  • Thomas K.
    Thomas Kocyba IIDecember 6, 2013
    Out of Pepsi and chicken tenders. Not the same since it was taken over by new owners.
  • Laurie H.
    Laurie HaganJuly 24, 2013
    Awesome fried Mac n cheese
  • 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!
  • Jess ⚓
    Jess ⚓September 1, 2013
    Out of black bean patties AND soy dogs?! WTF am I supposed to eat??
  • Stephanie W.
    Stephanie WilliamsJune 28, 2010
    MY new favorite restaurant and burger joint...FRIED PICKLES are the BOMB!
  • Jenine G.
    Jenine GatewoodJuly 30, 2014
    Great burgers!
  • Ryan E.
    Ryan EdgeAugust 16, 2014
    Funnel cake fries
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