I really enjoy discovering quirky little restaurants and drive-ins. My latest discovery is Alpen Drive-In in Sultan. I actually heard about Alpen Drive-In through a friend, but I had never tried it out myself. It’s a small fast food restaurant with a huge menu. It’s a bit of a trek from downtown Seattle, but it’s a great pit stop if you find yourself traveling along Highway 2.
Alpen Drive-In is located nearly an hour away from Seattle. The official address is 36023 State Rt 2, but you won’t need it. The drive-in is located right along the highway and it’s very hard to miss. Dubbed as a “quality old fashion drive-in,” the Alpen Drive-In opened up shop in 1961 and has been serving customers ever since.
While it may be a little restaurant, the options at Alpen Drive-In seem endless. There are a number of burgers, including the Alpen Burger (comes with two 1/4 lb patties), Bacon Burger, Buffalo Burger, Cowboy Burger (comes with bacon, jalapenos, onion rings and BBQ sauce), Elk Burger, Veggie Burger and many, many, more! But the menu doesn’t stop there. You’ll also see sandwiches (including a BLT, Grilled Cheese, Cod Fillet Sandwich, Patty Melt and Philly Cheese), as well as chicken and seafood plates (including Chicken Tenders & Chips, Clam Strips & Chips, and Coconut Prawns & Chips). There are also lots of side dishes (Corn Dog Pups, French Fries, Fried Mozzarella Sticks, Fried Mushrooms, Fried Zucchini and Jalapeno Poppers). Alpen Drive-In caters to little ones as well with a fun Kid’s Menu.
Inside scoop: Be sure to order the Alpen Dipping sauce. It’s a little extra, but it’s totally worth it. The gal behind the counter explained it’s a secret recipe that they’ve been making it for years. After tasting it, I believe it’s some sort of mayo and BBQ sauce combination. While it doesn’t sound fancy, it’s great on a burger and to dip your french fries in.
The options are also endless for dessert at Alpen Drive-In. They have more than 30 different kinds of milkshakes, including chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, blueberry, huckleberry, pineapple, kiwi, peanut butter, marshmallow, watermelon, root beer, and cinnamon (again, those are just a few of the flavors). In the summer months, they use fresh berries so the milkshakes are even tastier.
Alpen Drive-In is open seven days a week from 11am-8pm during the summer (May-October). In the winter (November-April), it’s open every day from 11am-7pm. The restaurant is closed every Tuesday between November 1st – December 15th. You can either order your food to go through the drive-in window, or park your car and order at the stand-up window. There are numerous picnic tables surrounding the drive-in which are perfect during the summer months. There is also a small heated building for people to eat inside when it’s cold. The customer service is friendly and they do a good job of helping you narrow down your choices (for those of us who tend to be indecisive).
As I mentioned, Alpen Drive-In is a bit of a drive from town. However, there are a lot of places worth visiting near the restaurant, including the Reptile Zoo, Stevens Pass, and hiking trails. Also, Highway 2 is a major road to get to and from Leavenworth. I highly recommend making a stop at Alpen Drive-In whenever you’re in the area. It’s totally worth a visit!
Have you ever stopped at Alpen Drive-In? What is your favorite item on the menu? We’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more great places to eat and drink in the great Northwest.