How to Make the Dishes Seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Take a culinary tour around the country without leaving your kitchen with these recipes from Guy's favorite stops.

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Photo By: Citizen Pictures ©2800 Speer Blvd Denver CO 80211

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Jo's Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

Jo's Diner was originally a French bistro, so when owner Ric Libiran decided to switch up the menu, he kept the upscale bistro attitude. Guy fell hard for the meatloaf made grass-fed ground beef and wrapped in applewood-smoked bacon. “That’s some of the most-tender, moist meatloaf I’ve tried,” raved Guy.

Get the Recipe: Jo's Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

Garlic Furikake Chicken

Chef Robin Ganir and his wife Jean Nguyen are mashing up Filipino and Hawaiian flavors into new sensations at Broke Da Mouth Grindz. The Garlic Furikake Chicken has outstanding over-the-top crunch and the contrasting sauces make it sing.

Get the Recipe: Da Famous "Broke Da Mouth" Garlic Furikake Chicken

Crab Burgers with Tiger Slaw

Inspired by Singaporean cuisine, Chef Gina Galvan of Chomp Chomp Nation is cooking up some "exotic tropical Chinese food" in a food truck. Guy loved the crunchy, sweet and salty crab cake topped with slaw and spicy ketchup.

Get the Recipe: Crab Burgers with Tiger Slaw

Beef Chow Fung

The Beef Chow Fung from Sun Wah BBQ in Chicago has incredible house-made rice noodles. Check out the recipe below to make them at home.

Get the Recipe: Beef Chow Fun

K-Town Chicken Wings

Del Seoul is owned by a brother and sister team who turn out creative Korean cuisine with California influences in Chicago. Be careful, you might start dreaming about the crispy K-Town Chicken Wings.

Get the Recipe: K-Town Wings

Hot Mushroom

Tucked away in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood, Tiger!Tiger! is a farm-to-table pub that serves a variety of local beers and a diverse rotating menu. You won’t miss the meat in entrees like the Hot Mushroom Sandwich: A head of beech mushrooms is deep fried and topped with scallion aioli and house-made pickled celery and cabbage slaw. “I could eat one of these every day!” Guy said.

Get the Recipe: Hot Mushroom

Monte Cristo Sandwich

This take on the classic sandwich from Storm Castle Café in Bozeman, Montana is one of the best breakfast dishes Guy has ever had on DDD.

Get the Recipe: Monte Cristo

Soujouk Flatbread

Alforon serves traditional Lebanese dishes in San Diego. Locals flock here for the delicious flatbreads, like the one topped with Soujouk: a cumin-heavy blend of spices and ground meat topped with white Lebanese cheese. “I could have a hundred of those,” Guy said after just one bite.

Get the Recipe: Soujouk Flatbread

Po Campo/Pork Carnitas

The star of this dish, from Storm Castle Café in Bozeman, Montana, is the slow-roasted pork leg which is combined with breakfast potatoes and cheese in a tortilla and then deep fried. Serve it with fire roasted salsa and homemade queso.

Get the Recipe: Po Campo/Pork Carnitas

Pernil Al Horno

It takes six to seven hours to make this slow-roasted Venezuelan dish from La Terraza Rum & Lounge in Little Rock, but it is worth it. Serve it with beans and rice and fried plantains for an authentic experience.

Get the Recipe: Pernil al Horno

Braised Short Rib French Dip

Jo's Diner was originally a French bistro, so when owner Ric Libiran decided to switch up the menu, he kept the upscale bistro attitude. Guy loved the Short Rib French Dip, which is served with decadent jus made from more than four hours of braising: “The only problem with this is that you didn’t serve it in a kiddie pool so I can get in with the sandwich and the jus,” he said.

Get the Recipe: Braised Short Rib French Dip

Gumbo Cheese Fries

Chef Georgina Jones, from Flyaway Brewing Company in Little Rock, makes a thick and spicy gumbo packed with shrimp, crawfish, chicken and sausage and ladles it over crispy cheese fries.

Get the Recipe: Gina's Gumbo Cheese Fries

Torta Kataifi

“Not your average Greek restaurant by any means,” Guy declared of Axios in Denver, where owner Telly Topakas draws on traditional recipes from the motherland and tweaks them with modern touches (think lighter dishes without so much oil). Torta Kataifi is their take on a Greek ricotta cheesecake topped with toasted shredded filo pastry, pistachios and drizzled with an orange syrup.

Get the Recipe: Torta Kataifi

Jimmy's Wrigleyville Grill San Antonio Italian Beef

At Wrigleyville Grill in San Antonio, Chef Demetrios Tingas, aka Jimmy, spent 41 years in Chicago and brought his hometown staples with him when he moved south. “That’s as close as it is to the original,” Guy said between bites of the Famous Italian Beef.

Get the Recipe: Jimmy's Wrigleyville Grill San Antonio Italian Beef

Beef Braciole

Mrs. Robino's, an old school Italian joint ,has been serving up homemade ravioli for five generations. Owner Andrea Wakefield still follows the same red sauce recipe that her great grandmother used in the 1940s. Guy was blown away by the Beef Braciole, which is braised in the oven for three hours and served with a side house-made spaghetti. The meat is so tender, Guy could cut it with a fork. “Tender, it pulls apart, crazy,” he said.

Get the Recipe: Beef Braciole

Porcini Noodles in the Style of Stroganoff

The homemade noodles for this dish are infused with umami-rich porcini powder. High-quality local mushrooms and creamy goat cheese add richness to this pasta creation from Zazu Kitchen and Farm in Sebastopol, California.

Get the Recipe: Porcini Noodles in the Style of Stroganoff

Pork Rinds with Chile-Lime Salt

These house-made pork rinds from Highland Tavern in Denver are coated in an addciting chile-lime salt. Guy said were the best he has ever had.

Get the Recipe: Pork Rinds with Chile Lime Salt

Reuben Fritters

At Kitty Hoynes in Syracuse, NY, Chef Damien Brownlow serves up pub food with a twist. Guy loved the Reuben fritters because of their creamy "melt-in-your-mouth" flavor and the accompanying honey mustard horseradish.

Get the Recipe: Reuben Fritters

Dragon Eggs

The Wild Thaiger is a Thai restaurant in Phoenix that gets playful with spicy flavors and classic preparations. Their striking Dragon Eggz are acutally pork, crab and shrimp dumplings.

Get the Recipe: Dragon Eggs

Bok a Bok Sesame Garlic Chicken Sandwich

New York chef Brian O'Conner trained in classic cuisine but ended up falling for fried chicken. The dishes at Bok A Bok Fried Chicken & Biscuits highlight his love for the bird. The Soy Sesame Garlic Sandwich is fried up until potato chip crispy, topped with sweet soy sauce and arugula and served on a roll spread with lemon aioli.

Get the Recipe: Bok a Bok Sesame Garlic Chicken Sandwich

K-Town Wings

Del Seoul is owned by a brother and sister team who turn out creative Korean cuisine with California influences in Chicago. Be careful, you might start dreaming about the crispy K-Town Chicken Wings.

Get the Recipe: K-Town Wings

Parisienne Gnocchi with Bacon and Tarragon

Ruins is Tony Brown’s own personal culinary Disneyland in Spokane, Washington. The menu is constantly changing but seek out the Dirty Fries and the Parisian-style gnocchi, made with a pate a choux dough instead of potato and then crisped up and tossed with Gruyere and tarragon.

Get the Recipe: Parisienne Gnocchi with Bacon and Tarragon

Burnt End Melt

Dignowity Meats is what happens when an East Coast boy moves San Antonio, Texas and falls in love with barbecue but misses his classic deli sandwiches. Chef Andrew Samia merges these two into his Burnt End Melt. Guy called the combo of hickory smoked prime angus brisket, mac and cheese, sliced pear and cheddar cheese, “a lethal weapon.” “You’d have to register this in Flavortown,” he mused.

Get the Recipe: Burnt End Melt Sandwich

Reuben Sandwich

Dignowity Meats is what happens when an East Coast boy moves San Antonio, Texas and falls in love with barbecue but misses his classic deli sandwiches.

Get the Recipe: Reuben Sandwich

Ma Harper's Creole Gumbo

Patrons head to Ma Harper’s Creole Kitchen for some of the most-authentic New Orleans cuisine outside of New Orleans. Alice Martinez "Ma Harper", now in her 80s, got into the restaurant business after retiring from the nearby air force base. She learned to cook by feeding her 15 siblings while growing up in New Orleans.

Get the Recipe: Ma Harper's Creole Gumbo

Ma Harper's Cornbread

Patrons head to Ma Harper’s Creole Kitchen for some of the most-authentic New Orleans cuisine outside of New Orleans. Alice Martinez "Ma Harper", now in her 80s, got into the restaurant business after retiring from the nearby air force base. She learned to cook by feeding her 15 siblings while growing up in New Orleans.

Get the Recipe: Ma Harper's Cornbread

Pimento Cheese Burger

Jack and Corri Sundell are taking the food business and DIY to a whole new level at The Root Cafe in Little Rock. They grind the meat in house for the Pimento Cheeseburger and handle it as little as possible before it’s cooked, then top it with spicy pimento cheese, 14-day, house-made sweet pickles and garlic vinaigrette.

Get the Recipe: The Root Cafe Pimiento Cheese

Pork Ramen

A Eight Noodle Shop in Napa, Chef and owner David Lu is putting out delicious Asian cuisine with fresh local ingredients. Guy loved the Kimchi Fried Rice with braised beef cheeks and the house-made ramen.

Get the Recipe: Pulled Pork Ramen

Meatball Grinder

Audrey Sherman combined her passion for pizza with the teachings of Tony Gemignani, the heavy weight champ of global pizza competitions, to create her popular pizza shop in Boulder, Colorado. Her fabulous dough is the soul of her killer pies and is also used to make the roll for her massive meatball grinder.

Get the Recipe: Meatball Grinder

Jack's Meatball Sliders

After 55 years in business, Catelli's in Geyserville, California closed in 1991. But in 2010, brother-sister duo Domenica and Nick Catelli reopened the restaurant and brought the old family recipes back to life. Guy stopped by for Jack's Covelo Beef Meatball Sliders and the handmade ravioli.

Get the Recipe: Jack's Sliders

Ohio Chicken Meatballs with Sesame-Ginger Sauce

Chef and owner Angela Petro brings creativity and fun to the cuisine at Sweet Carrot. The gorgeous Ohio Chicken Meatball sandwich is drizzled with a slightly-sweet, sesame-ginger sauce and topped with house-made spicy, roasted-corn salsa. “I’d order that again for the next five years,” said Guy.

Get the Recipe: Ohio Chicken Meatballs with Sesame-Ginger Sauce

Cheeseburger Fried Rice

Red's Chinese brings New Orleans flavor to Chinese food with crawfish-packed fried wontons, tingly MaPo Dauphine with tofu, and Bywater Eggplant, spiced with gochujang. This dish is the mashup you never knew your life needed. While the best thing to do would be to take a trip to New Orleans, follow the recipe below to make this at home.

Get the Recipe: Cheeseburger Fried Rice

BBB Bacon-in-the-Batter Buttermilk Waffle, Bourbon Ice Cream, Bacon Toffee

At ZAZU kitchen + farm in Sebastopol, California, Chef Duskie Estes and her husband Chef John Stewart are serving up true farm-to-table dishes with a creative flair. Their menus change daily based upon the ingredients they grow and source from the surrounding area. Guy loved their Bacon-in-the-Batter Waffle served with house-made bacon toffee and bourbon gelato.

Get the Recipe: BBB Bacon-in-the-Batter Buttermilk Waffle, Bourbon Ice Cream, Bacon Toffee

Lasagna Imbotito

This towering lasagna from Bruno's Little Italy in Little Rock is packed with four kinds of meat and pounds of cheese. Brothers Vince Bruno and Gio Bruno are keeping tradition alive at the Italian restaurant that their father started in 1948 in Little Rock. Generations of families return to this old-school joint where the classic Italian dishes hardly ever change.

Get the Recipe: Lasagna Imbotito

Pelmeni Soup

Piroshki on 3rd in Seattle specializes in Russian piroshki; they serve 20 different varieties of the savory, pastry-wrapped pockets. They are also dishing out traditional soups, dumplings, salads and more. Guy gushed over the Pelmeni, chicken-filled dumplings in a steaming broth. “I came here for the piroshki, but this soup is stealing the show,” he said.

Get the Recipe: Pelmeni Soup

Meatloaf

Chef Josef Driemel creates unexpected farm-to-table cuisine in a laid-back atmosphere at Fable Diner in Vancouver, Canada. Guy raved about their Meatloaf with smoked mushroom gravy and caramelized onions.

Get the Recipe: Meatloaf

Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese

Sisters and Brothers Bar in Nashville hot chicken to Seattle. Dig into wings, tenders, white/dark meat or a half bird with your prefered level of spice ("lil bit" to "insane"). The restaurant also has a selection of Southern favorites, such as chicken and waffles, homemade biscuits and gravy, fried green tomatoes and this super-cheesy smoked gouda side dish.

Get the Recipe: Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese

Ricotta Gnocchi with Artichoke, Lemon and Mint

Pazzo in San Carlos, California puts its spin on classic Italian food with wood-fired pizzas and handmade pastas. The restaurant makes a knockout Ricotta Gnocchi with Artichoke, Lemon and Mint that's absolutely worth your time and taste buds.

Get the Recipe: Ricotta Gnocchi with Artichoke, Lemon and Mint

The Root Cafe Sauerkraut

Jack and Corri Sundell are taking the food business and DIY to a whole new level at The Root Cafe in Little Rock. Guy loved the Old World-Style Bratwurst which is made by hand and then topped with this house-fermented sauerkraut. The sauerkraut should be ready after about 2 to 4 weeks, depending on temperature.

Get the Recipe: The Root Cafe Sauerkraut

Catelli's 10 Layer Lasagna with Domenica's Sauce

After 55 years in business, Catelli's Restaurant in Geyserville, California closed in 1991. But in 2010, brother-sister duo Domenica and Nick Catelli reopened the restaurant and brought the old family recipes back to life.

Get the Recipe: Catelli's 10 Layer Lasagna with Domenica's Sauce

Chargrilled Oysters

At Casamento's Restaurant, the raw oysters are "a tradition," says Guy Fieri. Family-owned since 1919, the classic NOLA establishment is also known for irresistible fried-oyster sandwiches, fried shrimp and soft-shell crab.

Get the Recipe: Chargrilled Oysters

Clam, Sausage and Calamari Saute

After 55 years in business, Catelli's Restaurant in Geyserville, California closed in 1991. But in 2010, brother-sister duo Domenica and Nick Catelli reopened the restaurant and brought the old family recipes back to life.

Get the Recipe: Sausage, Clam and Calamari Saute

Fried Chicken Sandwich

Guy said the bark is worth every bite at Horse Thief BBQ in Los Angeles. The fried chicken sandwich was so good Guy predicted a line down the street for it

Get the Recipe: Fried Chicken Sandwich

Jack and Cola Bread Pudding with Whiskey Ice Cream

This decadent dessert from South of Beale in Memphis is inspired by the flavors of the classic combo of whiskey and cola.

Get the Recipe: Jack and Cola Bread Pudding with Whiskey Ice Cream

Meat Luv'rz Pizza Rolls

Fat Sal’s is everything health-conscious LA is not and deliciously so. To make the ultimate Meat Luv’rz Pizza Rolls stuff spring roll wrappers with beef, pepperoni and sausage and serve with your favorite marinara sauce.

Get the Recipe: Meat Luvrz Pizza Rolls

Texas Chili

Three different types of dried chiles go into one of the best chilis Guy has tried on Triple D. This 24th Street Cafe favorite simmers in the oven leaving your stove free for other purposes.

Get the Recipe: Texas Chili

Ba'Corn Cheese

Once you get a taste of this unique combination of corn, cheese and bacon it will become your new must-have side. Guy loved this unique dish from The Bun Shop in Los Angeles, saying, "I've never seen anything like it."

Get the Recipe: Ba'Corn Cheese

Asado Con Palta


Gian Carlo Accinelli and his wife are putting their love on the line all in the name of their buns at Mr. & Mrs. Bun. The Peruvian couple serve all of their unique sandwiches on their signature, house-made buns. For the Asado con Palta sandwich, slow-cooked eye of round is piled on a fresh bun with avocado and crispy onions and then served with the jus from the cooked meat. “That is without question one of the best sandwiches I’ve had in a long time,” said Guy. “It’s actually giving me goosebumps.”

Get the Recipe: Asado Con Palta

Mom's Meatloaf

Just like mom used to make! Try this comforting classic from Charity Boyd of South Side Soda Shop.

Get the Recipe: Mom's Meatloaf

Boot Dumplings

These crispy bites of smoked pork and shrimp from Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse are drizzled with a house-made mango-chipotle barbecue sauce.

Get the Recipe: Boot Dumplings

Nepali Momo

Chef Phinsto Lama of Momo Ghar is cooking up Tibetan and Nepalese specialties in the middle of an international market in Columbus. Learn how to make her signature Tibetan steamed chicken dumplings topped with a spicy fenugreek tomato sauce.

Get the Recipe: Nepali Momo

Kao Soi

Chef and Owner Kim Naka and her daughters are creating authentic Thai dishes in Boulder at Aloy Thai. If you can't make it to Colordao, whip up this fragrant Kao Soi in your kitchen.

Get the Recipe: Kao Soi

Black Truffle Mac and Cheese (Hangover Grilled Cheese)

This sandwich from The Grilled Cheese Bistro is stuffed with gooey, three-cheese mac and cheese and lobster. We hear it cures a hangover.

Get the Recipe: Black Truffle Mac and Cheese (Hangover Grilled Cheese)

Kalbi Short Ribs

Crowds line up for Hawaiian classics at this can’t-miss joint by the Maui airport. Da Kitchen's marinated short ribs are a standout favorite. Get the secret recipe for their homemade teriyaki sauce to make this lip-smacking favorite at home.

Get the Recipe: Kalbi Short Ribs in Da Kitchen Teriyaki Sauce

Nonna's Traditional Meatballs

These traditional pork and beef meatballs from The Meatball Stoppe are simmered in a house-made Roasted Tomato Sauce. Serve them over creamy polenta to get the authentic restaurant experience.

Get the Recipe: Nonna's Traditional Meatballs

Caribbean Nachos

After teaching for 25 years, Chef Iris Ornelas followed her passion and opened Luna Rosa Puerto Rican Grill y Tapas in San Antonio to celebrate her Puerto Rican heritage. Her Caribbean Nachos are made with crispy fried plantains, instead of chips and are topped with roast pork, beans, cheese and chili sauce.

Get the Recipe: Caribbean Nachos

Collard Green Melt

Chef and Owner Mason Hereford somehow manages to make crazy, off-the-wall cuisine feel familiar at Turkey and the Wolf in New Orleans. He makes homemade head cheese for the Hog’s Head Tacos and also serves a delicious vegetarian Collard Green Melt that tastes just like a Reuben.

Get the Recipe: The Collard Green Melt

Root Beer Pulled Pork

If you can't make it to Modesto to seek out Food Fix Truck, create their succulent Root Beer Pulled Pork at home. Rubbing the meat with salt and pepper a day ahead allows for more flavor development during braising.

Get the Recipe: Root Beer Pulled Pork

Lobster and Crab Stuffed Grilled Cheese

The best-selling dish at Down The Hatch in Lahaina, Hawaii is this absolutely decadent lobster and crab grilled cheese served on Hawaiian sweet bread and doused in lemon beurre blanc.

Get the Recipe: Lobster and Crab Stuffed Grilled Cheese

Mrs. Manwarren's Cinnamon Rolls

The massive cinnamon rolls from Mountain Shadows in Colorado Springs are made from a buttery dough that comes bathed in a decadent glaze that Guy calls “maple madness.”

Get the Recipe: Mrs. Manwarren's Cinnamon Rolls

Beef Raviolis as Served at Mrs. Robino's in Wilmington, Delaware, as seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Season 30.