Good Food Near Parks

Tekwardo's avatar

I saw something similar elsewhere at a more regional park site, thought it might be good for here.

Has anybody discovered any good places to eat outside of parks when on a park trip? Perhaps a regional chain or local restaurant?

For example, and this was something that made me happy, there is a Culvers just outside of Carowinds now. There are tons of other places in Charlotte, since I'm here all the time, I don't want to make a huge list.

So what places are good to eat close to your home park(s)?

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Jeff's avatar

I'll get Chet & Matt's out of the way near CP.

Orlando probably doesn't count, because obviously in a tourist town of this scale, there will be a ton.

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Dianna's Deli and Restaurant, 3002 Milan, just a few minutes from CP. Open 24/7. "Best breakfast in town" and they aren't kidding. The lunch and dinner menu is also very good. And decent prices.

My name is Mike, and I'm a coasterholic.

Tekwardo's avatar

If you're in the mood for Pizza in Charlotte, and I know it's a smaller chain, but Mellow Mushroom has a lot of good pizza and tons of good beer.

And if you're in the Charlotte area for more than just Carowinds, the food at the White Water Center is amazing (My sister in law, the Chef, did some temp work there, everything is made from scratch and it was all great, even the veggy burgers).

Plus you can't go wrong in NoDa, the arts district of Charlotte.

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slithernoggin's avatar

A visit to Orlando is not complete without lunch at Beefy King (Bumby Ave.): the roast beef sandwiches are delicious.

Back in the day, on family trips to Cedar Point, we always ate at the now-closed Cedar Villa Italian restaurant. These days, my friend Mark and I will usually drive over to the Quaker Steak in Vermillion -- we don't have any in Chicago, and the service there has always been exemplary.

If Mark and I are headed out east, we detour through Conneaut, Ohio for the White Turkey Drive-In.

I think I got this tip from another thread on here, but Troegs Brewery next to Hershey Park has outstanding food, and good beer too. I've been once, and I plan to go every time I'm at Hershey now.

rollergator's avatar

Jeff said:

Orlando probably doesn't count, because obviously in a tourist town of this scale, there will be a ton.

Directly across the street from Fun Spot - no need to re-park your car ....Sweet Tomatoes! ;~P

rollergator's avatar

Cliff's, Albuquerque. Go to Cecilia's Cafe, about 2 miles down the road near the center of town. A "Triple-D" favorite, with some fantastic food (and red chili hot enough to strip the paint off your car)'ve been warned! :~)

WildStangAlex's avatar

If you're in Chicago to visit Great America, be sure to stop by the In-Laws directly across Milwaukee Ave (Rte 21) from Great America. They have all you can eat pizza (Chicago Style Thin Crust) served fresh out of the oven to your table for $ 3.99 with any beverage purchase. (Yes, even Pop or Tea). The pizza isn't the best you can find in Chicagoland, however it is still better than just about any pizza outside the area, and the price cannot be beaten.

"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."
-Joseph Campbell

If you're a hot dog lover, I'm a fan of Yoccos a mile or two down the road from Dorney (on Hamilton Blvd). Also, Cali Burrito makes some great food as well. In nearby Whitehall, there is a Burger Shack (bacon cheddar burger stuffed with bacon and cheddar, anyone?). For fancier food options, Center Valley has a Shula's, a gorgeous Italian restaurant called Melt, and a Mediterranean and Spanish inspired restaurant called Pacifico, and a Japanese place called Kome (I believe the chef trained under Iron Chef Morimoto, and in any case, they have the best sushi I've ever had by a long shot). Bethlehem has an Italian Emeril's restaurant AND Emeril's steak house, as well as a huge variety of microbrew and independent restaurant options. Not to mention there are about a million chain restaurants in close proximity. You wanna eat well when visiting Dorney? You're in luck!!

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TTD-120-420's avatar

Toft's on Route 6 in Sandusky is the best ice cream that I've ever had.

If you are at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Cook-Out is cheap and delicious. For more of a sit down restaurant, Red Hot & Blue is a good BBQ place.

LostKause's avatar

Jeff beat me to it. Chet and Matt's is my favorite place to eat. I just ate there for the first time in years this weekend. YUM!

Tekwardo's avatar

Mmmmm... Cook out. I live in the land of Cook out and love it.

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I've said it before and I'll say it again. If you like Chet & Matt's, then you need to try Cameo Pizza in Sandusky. It is the original recipe that Chet & Matt took to start their place after a family dispute. C&M may have the advertising edge, but Cameo beats them on taste!

If you're into Vietnamese cuisine, try Mekong on 250 in front of the Sandusky Mall. I have never had a bad meal there and they carry over 100 beers!

For those willing to to head to Downtown Sandusky. There is growing culinary community with cool restaurants, Zinc, Crush, J Bistro and Water Street Cafe. Along with coffee shops, pizza parlors and a gourmet hot dog place.

There is definitely more than the usual Applebees, Red Lobster, Chili's, etc. for the adventurous diner.

I will also give a nod to Chet & Matt's near CP. Will have to try Cameo sometime.

Will also give a nod to White Turkey in Conneaut, Ohio. About a half hour west of Waldameer on Route 5.

Jeff's avatar

Cameo is not all that distinguishable from C&M. That, and C&M was a fantastic host for PointBuzz, so they win for me.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

Just an assorted list:

Worlds of Fun/Kansas City - (1) Oklahoma Joe's BBQ. Deserves all of the accolades it gets. The brisket and ribs are excellent, the sides all above average and the fries as addictive as they come. They also have the best BBQ sauce I've tasted. (2) Velvet Creme Popcorn. I highly recommend the honey cinnamon almonds and the white chocolate almond popcorn.

Six Flags St. Louis - Gelato di Riso. The gelato here is good but the sorbettos - particularly the lemon, blueberry and orange - are outstanding.

Kings Dominion/Richmond - (1) Helen's in The Fan district. Great locally sourced food. The Kobe burger here is one of the best I've had. (2) Deluca Gelato. Fantastic gelato all the way around here - particularly the pistachio and pina colada varieties.

Dollywood/Knoxville - (1) Puleo's Grille. This is a regional chain that does American, Southern and Italian but the food here is reasonably priced and always very good. One of the best house salads anywhere. (2) Chandler's Deli. It's a few miles away from the University of Tennessee campus and has really good soul food. My friend - a huge catfish fan - says it's done the best here. (3) Cities Cupcakes. The best cupcakes I've ever tasted. It's one of the very few places I'll intentionally adjust my travel schedule to make sure I visit when they're open.

There are a couple of other places I wanted to mention that aren't necessarily near parks but are along routes many here might be using: (1) Meadowthorpe Cafe in Lexington, KY. Their pancakes are simply outstanding, but their signature item is a burger with cheese, fried egg, bacon all sandwiched between two halves of a glazed donut. Just delicious. (2) Sweet Life Bakery in Indianapolis. The pies here are no joke. I personally prefer the pecan and coconut creme varieties but this is absolutely a can't miss stop if you're in the Indianapolis area.

Want to eat some good food while visiting Fun Spot? Right across the street is Vittorios, an all-you-can-eat Brazilian Cafe. You like Guarana (The Nectar of the Gods)? The store next door sells the stuff.

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tambo said:

If you're into Vietnamese cuisine, try Mekong on 250 in front of the Sandusky Mall. I have never had a bad meal there and they carry over 100 beers!

I will give your post a +1 just for this. We went there for dinner the day before CMania with EchoVictor and had a MARVELOUS dinner there!

My wife (not a coaster fanatic) joked that maybe we'll make a trip to Mekong for dinner and I can spend the day at CP... LOL ;)

--George H

A couple of blocks from Elitch Gardens is My Brothers Bar, need to know where it is since there is no sign, but the JCB or Johnny Burger are the best burgers to ever go in my mouth. The blend of jalapenos and cream cheese is absolutely perfect and their draft selection is impressive.

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