America's backyard grub: Tastiest food for the Fourth Here are my personal picks for the best all-American eats worth traveling for. Budget Travel Thursday, Jul 1, 2010, 2:45 PM (Courtesy kgailitis/myBudgetTravel) Budget Travel LLC, 2016

Budget Travel's Blog

The latest travel news, vacation tips & advice, travel apps, and more

jul 01 2010

America's backyard grub: Tastiest food for the Fourth

When I think of the Fourth of July, yes, I think about Betsy Ross and fireworks and the Declaration of Independence. But mostly I just think about hamburgers and hot dogs—and Friendly's Wattamelon Roll. Sure, you could stay home and grill up some burgers and dogs in your own backyard, but this is a travel blog, so where's the fun in that? Here are my personal picks for the best all-American eats worth traveling for. (Feel free to chime in with your own faves in the comments.)

Fave hot dog place:
Mel's Hot Dogs in Tampa, Fla.
Red vinyl booths and the snappiest dogs in the South make this nostalgic joint a winner. Less than five minutes from the local Busch Gardens theme park, this hometown favorite was founded by Chicago-born traveling musician Mel Lohn in 1973. Don't miss the famous Chicago-style dog, with mustard, relish, pickles, tomatoes, celery salt, and hot sport peppers served on a steamed poppy seed bun. It's the tastiest version below the Illinois state line.

Fave hamburger place:
Shake Shack in New York City and Miami Beach.
Started by renowned New York restaurateur Danny Meyer, Shake Shack is a celebration of all-American classics like burgers, fries, frozen custard, and the eponymous milkshake. As the sometimes hours-long lines out front can attest, this pick is far from a secret find. It has quickly become a New York institution. The true test of quality? The winding queue usually contains just as many picky, food-savvy locals as it does tourists. I can't say if the burgers are juicier or cheesier or meatier. They're just perfect-er.

Now it's your turn: what is your favorite all-American hotspot to grab a hamburger or hot dog? (And, no, your backyard does not count!)

Get Inspired with more from

Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.


Loading Comments...

Our newsletter delivers vacation inspiration straight to your inbox.

Check Prices