Restaurant of the Week: Sonic Drive-In

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Sonic Drive-In, 11370 4th St. (at Milliken), Rancho Cucamonga

Sonic Drive-In opened its first Inland Valley location in June across from Ontario Mills — it’s in Rancho Cucamonga, as only the south side of 4th Street is in Ontario — and the place proved an immediate hit. There’s a drive-thru, a drive-in with car hop service (!) and patio seating, but no indoor seating.

I went on a recent evening with a friend whose family is from Oklahoma, where Sonic is based. Sonic, Dairy Queen and Braum’s ice cream are ubiquitous regional chains in Oklahoma and Texas, he says, comparing their popularity to In N Out here.

He’s become a regular at this Sonic. I’d never been to one. (Our RC Now blog beat me there.)

We grabbed the only available drive-in slot. We got footlong Coney dogs with chili, mustard and onion as combos with tater tots rather than fries and cherry limeades ($5.69 for a medium combo, $6.19 for a large).

Ordering is done via speaker and perhaps 10 minutes later the food was delivered by a young man on in-line skates. Pleasant service.

The food was okay, nothing special, and the whole thing is, let’s face it, a watered-down version of the “Happy Days” experience.

That said, even this pale version is fun, and the options (tater tots, Coney dogs, various limeades) are a break from the fast-food norm. And Sonic is open until midnight Monday to Thursday and until 1 a.m. Friday through Sunday.

Have you tried Sonic?

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  • David

    Sonic has a “happy hour” every day. Half-priced drinks and slushes from 2pm-4pm.

    [Huh! — DA]

  • JC

    Food quality — In-N-Out wins, easily. Sonic is great for variety, great drinks and fun experience/hang-out location.

  • Bob Terry

    I ate once at a Sonic in NW Arkansas, a beautiful part of the country but Sonic was so-so. Now, get me a Waffle House out here (minus Kid Rock…google it) and that would be worth writing about.

    [Yeah! Or how about a Cracker Barrel? — DA]

  • Annie

    Yawn… Wake me up when Five Guys Burgers and Fries opens locally. They’re coming…

  • Bob House

    I got all excited when Five Guys came to Phoenix, where I’m living. Raced out to try it shortly after they opened. More expensive than In N Out and not as good. No reason to go back.

  • Bob Terry

    DA, you’re right on! That same trip we ate at a Cracker Barrel in Springfield. One guy in our group had to hold this, hold that and his meal might have well been a TV dinner…Cracker Barrel rules!

  • Dean

    I saw a Cracker Barrel big rig on the 210 the other day and I thought that was odd. I guess my mom saw it too and she was all flustered. (I’ve never had the pleasure of eating there, but my mom does when she visits my aunt in Illinois.)

    [I’ve only been to a couple, one of them on the 10 just west of Phoenix. — DA]

  • Animal-Style

    Hey Annie, wake up!

    Five Guys is merely a rip-off of the beloved Baldwin Park-based In-N-Out.

    I don’t think taking In-N-Out’s concept and menu and moving it to Virginia in 1986 resulted in any major improvements.

  • the new all-beef dogs at SONIC are considerably better than the foot-long variety (pork & beef & ?) that you tried.

    the drinks stand out, although the fritos chili cheese pie is also spectacular.

    click my link above if you want more SONIC tips, tricks, gimmicks and madness.