Now that my girls are two, I am beginning to realize that I can’t do it all. It’s just not possible to run all of the errands like I used to, getting them in and out of the car has become more challenging, and often turns into a parking lot negotiation to strap the girls into their car seats.
Couple this with what seems like the girls falling asleep just as we hit the road, and it feels like I am trapped in the car. We get out of the house, but we can’t get out of the car. So it’s my mission to see how much I can accomplish without leaving my car and disturbing the girls restful sleep, while still feeling productive.
Here’s a list of unique drive-thru services in San Diego County. Some of them I’ve tried, some I will be trying in the near future. And yes, I intentionally left off the typical fast food windows, drive-in movie theatres, Starbucks drive-thrus, and financial institution drive-up ATMs to focus on the most interesting in the area, presented here in no particular order:
Ocean Cleaners: For weeks I might have clothes that need to be dropped off at the cleaners. But is it worth unloading the girls and wait in line to see my friendly neighborhood gentleman who owns our local cleaners? While I enjoy chatting with John, and they know me by name, it’s just not possible to make this happen with the girls. When I’m desperate, I’ll drive down to Pacific Beach and drop off the laundry at Ocean Cleaners. When I pick up my order, they will place it in my trunk for me. LOVE. IT. Ocean Cleaners is located at 1186 Garnet Avenue in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego.
Better Buzz Coffee: Also in Pacific Beach is Better Buzz Coffee. Their mochas are awesome and service is pretty quick. If you’re looking to venture out from the Starbucks Drive-Thru, then drop in to Better Buzz Coffee. They have a drive-thru location in San Marcos too!
Evolution Fast Food: The website boasts this restaurant is the only San Diego drive-thru restaurant offering a healthy, delicious, vegetarian menu. I am not a vegetarian, but it’s nice to know there is a low-fat burger option available, and I don’t need to leave the car! Evolution Fast Food is located at the corner of Quince and Fifth in the Hillcrest neighborhood in San Diego.
Winchell’s Donut House: I love donuts. Luckily this little donut shop is on our way to and from the after-hours pediatrician, which we seem to frequent about once a month. Instead of retail therapy, I stop by for some donut therapy. I guess it reminds me of my childhood, when it seemed like there was a Winchell’s on every corner. Now in San Diego County, there are only two. Winchell’s is located at 6912 Miramar Road (92121). Tip: Donut shops are often cash only, this one accepts credit/ATM cards.
Alta-Dena Drive-Thru Dairy: THIS. PLACE. IS. AWESOME. According to their website, the company opened their first drive-thru dairy when Harry S. Truman was president more than 60 years ago. Just roll right up through the garage door, and tell the clerk what you want. This is especially convenient when you need to pick up milk for the kiddos, or maybe a bottle of wine for after the kiddos go to bed. One Yelp user writes, This place is a “LIFESAVER.” The San Diego area drive-thru dairy is located in the Clairemont neighborhood, at 6426 Mt. Ada Road, tucked away off of the busy artery of Balboa Avenue.
A little bit of history: According to this Wikipedia article, Jack In The Box was the first major restaurant specifically designed as a drive-thru, featuring a two-way intercom. So apparently, drive-thrus are near and dear to the hearts of San Diegans.
I’m always on the look out for fun places to drive-thru. What are some of your favorites here in San Diego County? Remember, they need to be unique, rather than a mass chain location. Share them below! Who knows? If I get more suggestions, we may need to write another blog post! Thanks in advance.