Mac’s Drive-In Waterloo, NY

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Now in its fifty-seventh year, on Routes 5 & 20, one-half mile west of the village of Waterloo, lies a family-owned burger joint, known for classic all-American comfort food, nostalgic service, and community.

Mac’s Drive-In is one of the only remaining restaurants in the area that I know of, that still offers car-hop service. My husband and I have always wanted to check out this burger joint, and after a canceled softball game at Waterloo, we were finally able to.

I have a fondness for drive-ins, having grown up on a steady supply of Orbaker’s Cheeseburgers and milkshakes in Williamson, I could not wait to check out this classic burger joint. I was happy with our visit, it was a fun experience for the family, and we had a nice dinner.  I love to see these establishments not only survive, but thrive, which Mac’s seems to be doing with their classic food offerings, unique dining experience, and nostalgic appeal.

The restaurant offers both carhop and in-house service. Menu items are all-American genuine, old style short-order food cooked on a flat top right in front of you, and include hot dogs, hamburgers, fried fish platters, pizza and hot-fudge sundaes, all dispensed with the restaurant’s signature service and classic vibe.

When we went the Drive-in area was full, so we grabbed a seat at the counter. Our food was average, I would classify it as a step up from your standard fast food chain, but for the prices, no one was complaining. The cheeseburgers (priced at $2.50) were good but not as good as some other local joints. The honey buns are tube refrigerated biscuits that have been deep fried and smothered in honey.  The root beer is the signature menu item, Mac’s has been making up root beer in the same root beer barrel they first used back in 1961, it is definitely worth getting a root beer float!

My burger and fries.
A standard order of honey buns ($1.00)

The classic Americana vibe and nostalgic atmosphere at Mac’s Drive-in are what makes this restaurant worth visiting. This is a great family-owned joint, with a cult-like following locally, add it to your summer bucket list to see what all the buzz is about!

If you go there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • It is cash only.
  • The restaurant is only open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 10:30 am-10 pm. from early April to early September.
  • This place is hopping, be prepared to wait for a seat if you go during peak hours.
  • Skip the honey buns (commercially prepared tube biscuits) and get the root beer float (made with in-house made root beer).

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