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Carlson's Drive In

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118 W Coolspring Ave, Michigan City, IN 46360-6166
219-872-0331
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Dining options: Dinner

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 51 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 24
    Excellent
  • 23
    Very good
  • 2
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4.5 of 5 stars
Great Nostalgic Drive-In

This is our go to place for a hot dog and homemade root beer when in Michigan City. They have a huge menu, but we usually get the all beef dog, onion rings and diet root beer. The employees are quick, friendly, and the food reminds you of another time. There are picnic tables or you can eat in... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed May 20, 2015
Nancy S
,
Indianapolis, Indiana
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51 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2015 NEW

We use to love coming here but last year we gave them 3 chances and all 3 times, the hot dogs were cold. Root beer is good, cold. We tried chili dogs the last time, thinking that they would surely have to be hot with hot chili on them. Gross! Terrible food, nothing on the menu that is even close... More 

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Indianapolis, Indiana
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2015 NEW

This is our go to place for a hot dog and homemade root beer when in Michigan City. They have a huge menu, but we usually get the all beef dog, onion rings and diet root beer. The employees are quick, friendly, and the food reminds you of another time. There are picnic tables or you can eat in your... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Alabama
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2015

Root Beer & Hamburgers!!! First visit back to Michigan City in over 16 yrs. and visiting Carlson was on my list to do with my family and yes still as awesome as I remember - making new memories! Staff still as friendly as ever.... :) Wishing you much continue success with your family business. Thank you, Pamela L.

Review collected in partnership with Country Inns & Suites By Carlson

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Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2015

I've been eating at Carlson's for the past 10 or so years when my church group travels to the Michigan City area for a Habitat for Humanity build. HFH arranges for meals to be brought in by different groups to feed the volunteers. The owner of Carlson's (John Herrman) donates at least one meal for our group every summer. In... More 

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Michigan City, Indiana
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2015

I have been going to this wonderful Rootbeer stand since I was a teenager. The food is delicious. Favorites are: Chili-cheese hotdogs, Hamburgers, Pizzaburgers, Frenchfries, Fried Zuchinni, Fried Cauliflower and Pork Tenderloins. This place also makes it's own Rootbeer which is Fantastic!!!!! They have recently started making a sugar free Rootbeer which is very good!!! I highly recommend this quaint... More 

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Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

Make sure you have cash when you go here!! Carlson's is the best drive in food that I've had in this town. Everything is delicious including their own root beer. However it is a bit pricey for one or two people, so make sure you share the fries and mozzarella sticks.

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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2014 via mobile

Kids loved the place.great root beer..good bathrooms..thick napkins...could eat them morning..noon. night..yum..yum..yum..yummy

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Poplarville
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2014

awesome dogs! & they make their own root beer! Root beer float was great. Great service & friendly staff

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Mattoon, Illinois
Top Contributor
364 reviews 364 reviews
323 restaurant reviews
217 helpful votes 217 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2014

Dinner on the next to last day of our vacation was as at Carlson’s Drive Inn - TripAdvisor’s number 6 (out of 120) and recommended by RoadFood.com as well. They still have carhops (but not on roller skates - like Rudy's in La Crosse, Wisconsin). Rather than eat in our vehicle we chose to sit at one of the picnic... More 

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washington,dc
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014

It's an old drive-in - it's been around since 1947. The service was prompt and friendly - definitely try the fried veggies - it's a great combination of cauliflower and mushrooms and zucchini and onion rings - perfectly fried and crunchy and good. The Chicago dog was good, but would've been tastier had it been grilled. The pork tenderloin sandwich... More 

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 118 W Coolspring Ave, Michigan City, IN 46360-6166
  • Location: United States  >  Indiana (IN)  >  Michigan City
  • Phone Number: 219-872-0331

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Carlson's Drive In staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?