Your Guide to Authentic Regional Eats
Sign In | Register for Free!
Restaurants Recipes Forums Eating Tours Merchandise FAQ Maps Insider

Dude's Drive-In

1505 Roanoke St., Christiansburg, VA - (540) 382-7901
Posted By Michael Stern on May 27, 2006 11:22 PM
Pull up, study the menu written on the wall of the small restaurant (no seating inside), and toot your horn. A car hop will be at the driver’s side window ready to take your order.

The menu is a long one, including sandwiches of fish, barbecue, and chicken, dinners of fried shrimp and oysters, half-pound hamburger steaks, and fried chicken fingers. There is a long and intriguing list of hot dogs that range from plain ones with cheese and/or slaw to chili-slaw foot-longs, corn dogs, and hot-dogless hot dogs that consist of nothing but chili topping in a bun!

King of the menu is the Dude Burger. A nice-sized patty formed by hand from quality meat that is just fatty enough to be really luscious, the Dude burger is a royal configuration of meat, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise on a soft bun. American Cheese is optional. One Dude and an order of French fries, with a Dr. Pepper on the side, makes an outstanding drive-in meal. Meat-hungry eaters can get a double Dude, and those of meager appetite can get an ordinary hamburger (without all the garnishes on top) made from the same high-quality beef.

Car hop service is available for breakfast, too, but much of Dude’s morning business is in the drive-through lane, which is unlike most fast-food windows in that you actually deal with a human being rather than a microphone. If you are in a hurry traveling along I-81, Dude’s is an especially good place to know about for breakfast as an alternative to McSameness. Just minutes from the interstate, it is an opportunity to grab breakfast on the go without ever having to shut off your engine or leave the car. The breakfast menu is basically egg sandwiches and sausage sandwiches; the sleeper here is country ham – the real stuff, good and salty.
4 star rating
Overall Rating

26 out of 26 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes
Posted By J. Andrew Rhea on August 17, 2011 1:12 PM
Service is great: there's a carhop at your car within one minute, most times and there is never a long wait for food. The foot-long hot dogs and midget burger with cheese (with mustard, chili, and onions) have been a favorite of mine for many years. Dude's food is terrific! It is a step back into the past since few drive-ins exist anymore. Well worth the trip.
4 star rating
Overall Rating
Footlong Hotdog
Dude Burger

2 out of 2 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes
Posted By Brad Cooper on June 12, 2007 8:03 PM
Most of us here are in agreement that American Roadfood is among the world's finest cuisines, if that word is applicable in such a context. Each region is blessed with specialties and environments not found in other areas of the country, and Appalachia remains a prime example.

In the hills of northern Virginia, within sight of the US-11/US-460 exit, sits Dude's Drive-In, a full-service traditional drive-in featuring a variety of sandwiches and plate dinners straight from the 50s and 60s when such establishments were far more common.

With the menu printed on a large board atop the building, service time is no doubt a priority. Within two minutes of parking, an attendant was at the window, pen and paper in hand, ready to answer questions and take our order. But even more suprising, and a pleasant surprise I might add, is the turnaround time. Within five minutes, the enormous burgers and orders of fries were bagged and handed to us.

The Double Dude burger, their largest (which weighs in at half a pound), is a sight to behold. Fresh beef, thick strips of bacon, and super-fast service that ensures you get it while it's piping hot. I ordered mine as I order all of my burgers, with mayonnaise and ketchup in addition to the cheese and bacon; but with lettuce, tomato, and other traditional condiments, the Double Dude is a lot of food by itself. The fries arrived in similar style, fresh out of the fryer.

Presentation? It's a drive-in. It's Roadfood. This isn't a trendy New York restaurant frequented by A-list society. Wrapped neatly and placed in a bag, telling the customer to judge the food on the merits of taste and nothing else... Dude's is just the way it should be.

We drove 90+ miles from Southern West Virginia just to give Dude's a try and it was well worth the trip, a trip that will be made again in the future.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
Dude Burger

14 out of 14 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes

What is Roadfood?  |   Submit Content  |   Privacy Policy  |   Contact Roadfood.com   Copyright - Roadfood.com