Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

America’s Best Salad Chains

America’s Best Salad Chains


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When lunchtime rolls around, there’s no end to boring, unhealthy options. There are burgers, Chinese takeout, pizza, sandwiches, and plenty of other ways to put yourself into a food coma via a sad desk lunch even before you hit the 3 p.m. For many of us, salad (and chopped salad in particular) is the best lunch option around, and thankfully there are some truly great salad chains out there.

America’s Best Salad Chains (Slideshow)

Sometimes a salad is the perfect way to get your lunch on, and there’s no shortage of salad chains to be found in most cities. Vegetables for health and wellness, protein to fill you up, and enough food to nix your hunger but not put you in a food coma are all good reasons to consider it. Salads are also infinitely customizable, so they’re ideal for nearly any diet.

These days, more and more salad chains are chopping up their salads, which we’re all for. Chopping the salad with a mezzaluna (a crescent moon-shaped blade with two handles, rocked over) allows all the components to get coated evenly in the dressing, creating bite-sized pieces with a little bit of each component in every bite. Some argue that the ideal salad is one in which there are large chunks of every component, so you can mix and match the flavors and textures with every bite, but the fact remains that there are lots of people who have jumped on the chopped salad bandwagon, and probably eat one every day of the week.

As the popularity of buying salads for lunch has increased, the number of places that offer them has expanded nationwide. Some of the most recognizable names, Chop’t and Saladworks, have spread up the East Coast and beyond, while many others remain regional favorites. We have ranked some of the most popular chains according to pricing, variety of add-ons, chopping method, customization, and green-ness of the chain. Read on to learn which chain came out on top!

Additional reporting by Rosemary Pantaleo.


The Best Cafeterias in America

The concept is hopelessly dated. So tell us, then, why are there so many good cafeterias left? This year, we&rsquore giving thanks for the keepers of the flame&mdashthe best remaining examples of the great American cafeteria.

The best Thanksgiving dinner I ever ate was last year in Houston, shared with thousands of people I&aposd never met before, all of us gathered together on one of those beautiful afternoons that Houston enjoys during months like November. It&aposs one of the only times of year where standing outside in a long line, in a parking lot, is something you might actually survive.

We came as strangers, united in our appreciation of one of the city’s great dining institutions, the Cleburne Cafeteria, a family-owned establishment that has been feeding Houstonians from all walks of life for generations. Some of us were here for the nostalgia, too, because they just don’t make cafeterias like this anymore, others because it was easier than cooking our own turkeys. And really, why compete—the turkey here is just that good.

The Cleburne is an easy place to love even if you are not a fan of standing in line for your dinner, you will easily admire the restaurant’s fighting spirit—this is a place that has endured a great deal in the nearly eighty years it has been a part of Houston’s story, and always seems to come back stronger. Today, the city’s oldest cafeteria is better than ever, serving up quality home cooking at reasonable prices to anybody and everybody wise enough to understand just how lucky we are that this place still exists. There are other restaurants that will present a greater challenge to your palate, but there are few that sum up Houston quite so neatly𠅊n unpretentious coming together of peoples from all over the world, sharing a love of honest cooking of any kind. Why aren’t there more restaurants like this?

Well, there were. Less than a century ago, cafeterias were as popular with Americans as their fast-casual descendants are today. There were certainly predecessors, but the concept is said to have entered the popular imagination𠅊long with so much else𠅊t the ground-breaking 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where entrepreneur John Kruger operated a restaurant inspired by the smörgåsbords of Sweden. Cribbing its name from the Spanish language, the cafeteria was off to the races, and the concept began to spread far and wide. These relatively laid-back venues were touted as egalitarian, come one, come all establishments�pending in too many places, of course, on the color of your skin.

As ever, times changed sit-down restaurants became more casual, while upscale casual chains promising affordable, exciting food, began to proliferate. The cafeteria began to fade from view one by one, they started to disappear. Today, there are states, even entire regions of the country, where cafeterias are found only inside schools, or hospitals, or—if they’re lucky𠅊n IKEA store.

Then, there are the parts of the country where the cafeteria never really gave up. Sure, there might be a better way, but tell that to the people that just can’t quit going, or to their operators who seem doggedly determined to keep the genre alive, if only for one more generation. Just like any other restaurant, there’s nothing easy about running a cafeteria so many have stumbled, and then disappeared—more than one classic operation has bet the farm on modernization, only to discover that it’s not enough: you’ve also got to be good. Fans of the genre received a harsh reminder of this fact recently, when one of the last iconic cafeterias on the West Coast, Clifton’s, re-opened to great fanfare, only to fail again a few years later. By the time the last Jell-O square was discarded off the line in 2018, barely anyone noticed𠅎ven diehard fans from childhood had stopped going long before, frustrated by sub-par food and nonsensical pricing.

Each year, more cafeterias disappear, or begin their slide towards the inevitable, but for every bit of bad news, magic somehow continues to break out. For every city left with nothing but memories, there are places, like North Carolina, Texas, and even future-minded Northern California, where the cafeteria is not only surviving, but also thriving.

Down, sure, but not yet completely out—here are the ten best remaining examples of the great American cafeteria, the keepers of the flame, plus a couple dozen runners-up that everyone should know about. At this reflective time of year, take a minute to give thanks that they’re still here.


The Best Cafeterias in America

The concept is hopelessly dated. So tell us, then, why are there so many good cafeterias left? This year, we&rsquore giving thanks for the keepers of the flame&mdashthe best remaining examples of the great American cafeteria.

The best Thanksgiving dinner I ever ate was last year in Houston, shared with thousands of people I&aposd never met before, all of us gathered together on one of those beautiful afternoons that Houston enjoys during months like November. It&aposs one of the only times of year where standing outside in a long line, in a parking lot, is something you might actually survive.

We came as strangers, united in our appreciation of one of the city’s great dining institutions, the Cleburne Cafeteria, a family-owned establishment that has been feeding Houstonians from all walks of life for generations. Some of us were here for the nostalgia, too, because they just don’t make cafeterias like this anymore, others because it was easier than cooking our own turkeys. And really, why compete—the turkey here is just that good.

The Cleburne is an easy place to love even if you are not a fan of standing in line for your dinner, you will easily admire the restaurant’s fighting spirit—this is a place that has endured a great deal in the nearly eighty years it has been a part of Houston’s story, and always seems to come back stronger. Today, the city’s oldest cafeteria is better than ever, serving up quality home cooking at reasonable prices to anybody and everybody wise enough to understand just how lucky we are that this place still exists. There are other restaurants that will present a greater challenge to your palate, but there are few that sum up Houston quite so neatly𠅊n unpretentious coming together of peoples from all over the world, sharing a love of honest cooking of any kind. Why aren’t there more restaurants like this?

Well, there were. Less than a century ago, cafeterias were as popular with Americans as their fast-casual descendants are today. There were certainly predecessors, but the concept is said to have entered the popular imagination𠅊long with so much else𠅊t the ground-breaking 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where entrepreneur John Kruger operated a restaurant inspired by the smörgåsbords of Sweden. Cribbing its name from the Spanish language, the cafeteria was off to the races, and the concept began to spread far and wide. These relatively laid-back venues were touted as egalitarian, come one, come all establishments�pending in too many places, of course, on the color of your skin.

As ever, times changed sit-down restaurants became more casual, while upscale casual chains promising affordable, exciting food, began to proliferate. The cafeteria began to fade from view one by one, they started to disappear. Today, there are states, even entire regions of the country, where cafeterias are found only inside schools, or hospitals, or—if they’re lucky𠅊n IKEA store.

Then, there are the parts of the country where the cafeteria never really gave up. Sure, there might be a better way, but tell that to the people that just can’t quit going, or to their operators who seem doggedly determined to keep the genre alive, if only for one more generation. Just like any other restaurant, there’s nothing easy about running a cafeteria so many have stumbled, and then disappeared—more than one classic operation has bet the farm on modernization, only to discover that it’s not enough: you’ve also got to be good. Fans of the genre received a harsh reminder of this fact recently, when one of the last iconic cafeterias on the West Coast, Clifton’s, re-opened to great fanfare, only to fail again a few years later. By the time the last Jell-O square was discarded off the line in 2018, barely anyone noticed𠅎ven diehard fans from childhood had stopped going long before, frustrated by sub-par food and nonsensical pricing.

Each year, more cafeterias disappear, or begin their slide towards the inevitable, but for every bit of bad news, magic somehow continues to break out. For every city left with nothing but memories, there are places, like North Carolina, Texas, and even future-minded Northern California, where the cafeteria is not only surviving, but also thriving.

Down, sure, but not yet completely out—here are the ten best remaining examples of the great American cafeteria, the keepers of the flame, plus a couple dozen runners-up that everyone should know about. At this reflective time of year, take a minute to give thanks that they’re still here.


The Best Cafeterias in America

The concept is hopelessly dated. So tell us, then, why are there so many good cafeterias left? This year, we&rsquore giving thanks for the keepers of the flame&mdashthe best remaining examples of the great American cafeteria.

The best Thanksgiving dinner I ever ate was last year in Houston, shared with thousands of people I&aposd never met before, all of us gathered together on one of those beautiful afternoons that Houston enjoys during months like November. It&aposs one of the only times of year where standing outside in a long line, in a parking lot, is something you might actually survive.

We came as strangers, united in our appreciation of one of the city’s great dining institutions, the Cleburne Cafeteria, a family-owned establishment that has been feeding Houstonians from all walks of life for generations. Some of us were here for the nostalgia, too, because they just don’t make cafeterias like this anymore, others because it was easier than cooking our own turkeys. And really, why compete—the turkey here is just that good.

The Cleburne is an easy place to love even if you are not a fan of standing in line for your dinner, you will easily admire the restaurant’s fighting spirit—this is a place that has endured a great deal in the nearly eighty years it has been a part of Houston’s story, and always seems to come back stronger. Today, the city’s oldest cafeteria is better than ever, serving up quality home cooking at reasonable prices to anybody and everybody wise enough to understand just how lucky we are that this place still exists. There are other restaurants that will present a greater challenge to your palate, but there are few that sum up Houston quite so neatly𠅊n unpretentious coming together of peoples from all over the world, sharing a love of honest cooking of any kind. Why aren’t there more restaurants like this?

Well, there were. Less than a century ago, cafeterias were as popular with Americans as their fast-casual descendants are today. There were certainly predecessors, but the concept is said to have entered the popular imagination𠅊long with so much else𠅊t the ground-breaking 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where entrepreneur John Kruger operated a restaurant inspired by the smörgåsbords of Sweden. Cribbing its name from the Spanish language, the cafeteria was off to the races, and the concept began to spread far and wide. These relatively laid-back venues were touted as egalitarian, come one, come all establishments�pending in too many places, of course, on the color of your skin.

As ever, times changed sit-down restaurants became more casual, while upscale casual chains promising affordable, exciting food, began to proliferate. The cafeteria began to fade from view one by one, they started to disappear. Today, there are states, even entire regions of the country, where cafeterias are found only inside schools, or hospitals, or—if they’re lucky𠅊n IKEA store.

Then, there are the parts of the country where the cafeteria never really gave up. Sure, there might be a better way, but tell that to the people that just can’t quit going, or to their operators who seem doggedly determined to keep the genre alive, if only for one more generation. Just like any other restaurant, there’s nothing easy about running a cafeteria so many have stumbled, and then disappeared—more than one classic operation has bet the farm on modernization, only to discover that it’s not enough: you’ve also got to be good. Fans of the genre received a harsh reminder of this fact recently, when one of the last iconic cafeterias on the West Coast, Clifton’s, re-opened to great fanfare, only to fail again a few years later. By the time the last Jell-O square was discarded off the line in 2018, barely anyone noticed𠅎ven diehard fans from childhood had stopped going long before, frustrated by sub-par food and nonsensical pricing.

Each year, more cafeterias disappear, or begin their slide towards the inevitable, but for every bit of bad news, magic somehow continues to break out. For every city left with nothing but memories, there are places, like North Carolina, Texas, and even future-minded Northern California, where the cafeteria is not only surviving, but also thriving.

Down, sure, but not yet completely out—here are the ten best remaining examples of the great American cafeteria, the keepers of the flame, plus a couple dozen runners-up that everyone should know about. At this reflective time of year, take a minute to give thanks that they’re still here.


The Best Cafeterias in America

The concept is hopelessly dated. So tell us, then, why are there so many good cafeterias left? This year, we&rsquore giving thanks for the keepers of the flame&mdashthe best remaining examples of the great American cafeteria.

The best Thanksgiving dinner I ever ate was last year in Houston, shared with thousands of people I&aposd never met before, all of us gathered together on one of those beautiful afternoons that Houston enjoys during months like November. It&aposs one of the only times of year where standing outside in a long line, in a parking lot, is something you might actually survive.

We came as strangers, united in our appreciation of one of the city’s great dining institutions, the Cleburne Cafeteria, a family-owned establishment that has been feeding Houstonians from all walks of life for generations. Some of us were here for the nostalgia, too, because they just don’t make cafeterias like this anymore, others because it was easier than cooking our own turkeys. And really, why compete—the turkey here is just that good.

The Cleburne is an easy place to love even if you are not a fan of standing in line for your dinner, you will easily admire the restaurant’s fighting spirit—this is a place that has endured a great deal in the nearly eighty years it has been a part of Houston’s story, and always seems to come back stronger. Today, the city’s oldest cafeteria is better than ever, serving up quality home cooking at reasonable prices to anybody and everybody wise enough to understand just how lucky we are that this place still exists. There are other restaurants that will present a greater challenge to your palate, but there are few that sum up Houston quite so neatly𠅊n unpretentious coming together of peoples from all over the world, sharing a love of honest cooking of any kind. Why aren’t there more restaurants like this?

Well, there were. Less than a century ago, cafeterias were as popular with Americans as their fast-casual descendants are today. There were certainly predecessors, but the concept is said to have entered the popular imagination𠅊long with so much else𠅊t the ground-breaking 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where entrepreneur John Kruger operated a restaurant inspired by the smörgåsbords of Sweden. Cribbing its name from the Spanish language, the cafeteria was off to the races, and the concept began to spread far and wide. These relatively laid-back venues were touted as egalitarian, come one, come all establishments�pending in too many places, of course, on the color of your skin.

As ever, times changed sit-down restaurants became more casual, while upscale casual chains promising affordable, exciting food, began to proliferate. The cafeteria began to fade from view one by one, they started to disappear. Today, there are states, even entire regions of the country, where cafeterias are found only inside schools, or hospitals, or—if they’re lucky𠅊n IKEA store.

Then, there are the parts of the country where the cafeteria never really gave up. Sure, there might be a better way, but tell that to the people that just can’t quit going, or to their operators who seem doggedly determined to keep the genre alive, if only for one more generation. Just like any other restaurant, there’s nothing easy about running a cafeteria so many have stumbled, and then disappeared—more than one classic operation has bet the farm on modernization, only to discover that it’s not enough: you’ve also got to be good. Fans of the genre received a harsh reminder of this fact recently, when one of the last iconic cafeterias on the West Coast, Clifton’s, re-opened to great fanfare, only to fail again a few years later. By the time the last Jell-O square was discarded off the line in 2018, barely anyone noticed𠅎ven diehard fans from childhood had stopped going long before, frustrated by sub-par food and nonsensical pricing.

Each year, more cafeterias disappear, or begin their slide towards the inevitable, but for every bit of bad news, magic somehow continues to break out. For every city left with nothing but memories, there are places, like North Carolina, Texas, and even future-minded Northern California, where the cafeteria is not only surviving, but also thriving.

Down, sure, but not yet completely out—here are the ten best remaining examples of the great American cafeteria, the keepers of the flame, plus a couple dozen runners-up that everyone should know about. At this reflective time of year, take a minute to give thanks that they’re still here.


The Best Cafeterias in America

The concept is hopelessly dated. So tell us, then, why are there so many good cafeterias left? This year, we&rsquore giving thanks for the keepers of the flame&mdashthe best remaining examples of the great American cafeteria.

The best Thanksgiving dinner I ever ate was last year in Houston, shared with thousands of people I&aposd never met before, all of us gathered together on one of those beautiful afternoons that Houston enjoys during months like November. It&aposs one of the only times of year where standing outside in a long line, in a parking lot, is something you might actually survive.

We came as strangers, united in our appreciation of one of the city’s great dining institutions, the Cleburne Cafeteria, a family-owned establishment that has been feeding Houstonians from all walks of life for generations. Some of us were here for the nostalgia, too, because they just don’t make cafeterias like this anymore, others because it was easier than cooking our own turkeys. And really, why compete—the turkey here is just that good.

The Cleburne is an easy place to love even if you are not a fan of standing in line for your dinner, you will easily admire the restaurant’s fighting spirit—this is a place that has endured a great deal in the nearly eighty years it has been a part of Houston’s story, and always seems to come back stronger. Today, the city’s oldest cafeteria is better than ever, serving up quality home cooking at reasonable prices to anybody and everybody wise enough to understand just how lucky we are that this place still exists. There are other restaurants that will present a greater challenge to your palate, but there are few that sum up Houston quite so neatly𠅊n unpretentious coming together of peoples from all over the world, sharing a love of honest cooking of any kind. Why aren’t there more restaurants like this?

Well, there were. Less than a century ago, cafeterias were as popular with Americans as their fast-casual descendants are today. There were certainly predecessors, but the concept is said to have entered the popular imagination𠅊long with so much else𠅊t the ground-breaking 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where entrepreneur John Kruger operated a restaurant inspired by the smörgåsbords of Sweden. Cribbing its name from the Spanish language, the cafeteria was off to the races, and the concept began to spread far and wide. These relatively laid-back venues were touted as egalitarian, come one, come all establishments�pending in too many places, of course, on the color of your skin.

As ever, times changed sit-down restaurants became more casual, while upscale casual chains promising affordable, exciting food, began to proliferate. The cafeteria began to fade from view one by one, they started to disappear. Today, there are states, even entire regions of the country, where cafeterias are found only inside schools, or hospitals, or—if they’re lucky𠅊n IKEA store.

Then, there are the parts of the country where the cafeteria never really gave up. Sure, there might be a better way, but tell that to the people that just can’t quit going, or to their operators who seem doggedly determined to keep the genre alive, if only for one more generation. Just like any other restaurant, there’s nothing easy about running a cafeteria so many have stumbled, and then disappeared—more than one classic operation has bet the farm on modernization, only to discover that it’s not enough: you’ve also got to be good. Fans of the genre received a harsh reminder of this fact recently, when one of the last iconic cafeterias on the West Coast, Clifton’s, re-opened to great fanfare, only to fail again a few years later. By the time the last Jell-O square was discarded off the line in 2018, barely anyone noticed𠅎ven diehard fans from childhood had stopped going long before, frustrated by sub-par food and nonsensical pricing.

Each year, more cafeterias disappear, or begin their slide towards the inevitable, but for every bit of bad news, magic somehow continues to break out. For every city left with nothing but memories, there are places, like North Carolina, Texas, and even future-minded Northern California, where the cafeteria is not only surviving, but also thriving.

Down, sure, but not yet completely out—here are the ten best remaining examples of the great American cafeteria, the keepers of the flame, plus a couple dozen runners-up that everyone should know about. At this reflective time of year, take a minute to give thanks that they’re still here.


The Best Cafeterias in America

The concept is hopelessly dated. So tell us, then, why are there so many good cafeterias left? This year, we&rsquore giving thanks for the keepers of the flame&mdashthe best remaining examples of the great American cafeteria.

The best Thanksgiving dinner I ever ate was last year in Houston, shared with thousands of people I&aposd never met before, all of us gathered together on one of those beautiful afternoons that Houston enjoys during months like November. It&aposs one of the only times of year where standing outside in a long line, in a parking lot, is something you might actually survive.

We came as strangers, united in our appreciation of one of the city’s great dining institutions, the Cleburne Cafeteria, a family-owned establishment that has been feeding Houstonians from all walks of life for generations. Some of us were here for the nostalgia, too, because they just don’t make cafeterias like this anymore, others because it was easier than cooking our own turkeys. And really, why compete—the turkey here is just that good.

The Cleburne is an easy place to love even if you are not a fan of standing in line for your dinner, you will easily admire the restaurant’s fighting spirit—this is a place that has endured a great deal in the nearly eighty years it has been a part of Houston’s story, and always seems to come back stronger. Today, the city’s oldest cafeteria is better than ever, serving up quality home cooking at reasonable prices to anybody and everybody wise enough to understand just how lucky we are that this place still exists. There are other restaurants that will present a greater challenge to your palate, but there are few that sum up Houston quite so neatly𠅊n unpretentious coming together of peoples from all over the world, sharing a love of honest cooking of any kind. Why aren’t there more restaurants like this?

Well, there were. Less than a century ago, cafeterias were as popular with Americans as their fast-casual descendants are today. There were certainly predecessors, but the concept is said to have entered the popular imagination𠅊long with so much else𠅊t the ground-breaking 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where entrepreneur John Kruger operated a restaurant inspired by the smörgåsbords of Sweden. Cribbing its name from the Spanish language, the cafeteria was off to the races, and the concept began to spread far and wide. These relatively laid-back venues were touted as egalitarian, come one, come all establishments�pending in too many places, of course, on the color of your skin.

As ever, times changed sit-down restaurants became more casual, while upscale casual chains promising affordable, exciting food, began to proliferate. The cafeteria began to fade from view one by one, they started to disappear. Today, there are states, even entire regions of the country, where cafeterias are found only inside schools, or hospitals, or—if they’re lucky𠅊n IKEA store.

Then, there are the parts of the country where the cafeteria never really gave up. Sure, there might be a better way, but tell that to the people that just can’t quit going, or to their operators who seem doggedly determined to keep the genre alive, if only for one more generation. Just like any other restaurant, there’s nothing easy about running a cafeteria so many have stumbled, and then disappeared—more than one classic operation has bet the farm on modernization, only to discover that it’s not enough: you’ve also got to be good. Fans of the genre received a harsh reminder of this fact recently, when one of the last iconic cafeterias on the West Coast, Clifton’s, re-opened to great fanfare, only to fail again a few years later. By the time the last Jell-O square was discarded off the line in 2018, barely anyone noticed𠅎ven diehard fans from childhood had stopped going long before, frustrated by sub-par food and nonsensical pricing.

Each year, more cafeterias disappear, or begin their slide towards the inevitable, but for every bit of bad news, magic somehow continues to break out. For every city left with nothing but memories, there are places, like North Carolina, Texas, and even future-minded Northern California, where the cafeteria is not only surviving, but also thriving.

Down, sure, but not yet completely out—here are the ten best remaining examples of the great American cafeteria, the keepers of the flame, plus a couple dozen runners-up that everyone should know about. At this reflective time of year, take a minute to give thanks that they’re still here.


The Best Cafeterias in America

The concept is hopelessly dated. So tell us, then, why are there so many good cafeterias left? This year, we&rsquore giving thanks for the keepers of the flame&mdashthe best remaining examples of the great American cafeteria.

The best Thanksgiving dinner I ever ate was last year in Houston, shared with thousands of people I&aposd never met before, all of us gathered together on one of those beautiful afternoons that Houston enjoys during months like November. It&aposs one of the only times of year where standing outside in a long line, in a parking lot, is something you might actually survive.

We came as strangers, united in our appreciation of one of the city’s great dining institutions, the Cleburne Cafeteria, a family-owned establishment that has been feeding Houstonians from all walks of life for generations. Some of us were here for the nostalgia, too, because they just don’t make cafeterias like this anymore, others because it was easier than cooking our own turkeys. And really, why compete—the turkey here is just that good.

The Cleburne is an easy place to love even if you are not a fan of standing in line for your dinner, you will easily admire the restaurant’s fighting spirit—this is a place that has endured a great deal in the nearly eighty years it has been a part of Houston’s story, and always seems to come back stronger. Today, the city’s oldest cafeteria is better than ever, serving up quality home cooking at reasonable prices to anybody and everybody wise enough to understand just how lucky we are that this place still exists. There are other restaurants that will present a greater challenge to your palate, but there are few that sum up Houston quite so neatly𠅊n unpretentious coming together of peoples from all over the world, sharing a love of honest cooking of any kind. Why aren’t there more restaurants like this?

Well, there were. Less than a century ago, cafeterias were as popular with Americans as their fast-casual descendants are today. There were certainly predecessors, but the concept is said to have entered the popular imagination𠅊long with so much else𠅊t the ground-breaking 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where entrepreneur John Kruger operated a restaurant inspired by the smörgåsbords of Sweden. Cribbing its name from the Spanish language, the cafeteria was off to the races, and the concept began to spread far and wide. These relatively laid-back venues were touted as egalitarian, come one, come all establishments�pending in too many places, of course, on the color of your skin.

As ever, times changed sit-down restaurants became more casual, while upscale casual chains promising affordable, exciting food, began to proliferate. The cafeteria began to fade from view one by one, they started to disappear. Today, there are states, even entire regions of the country, where cafeterias are found only inside schools, or hospitals, or—if they’re lucky𠅊n IKEA store.

Then, there are the parts of the country where the cafeteria never really gave up. Sure, there might be a better way, but tell that to the people that just can’t quit going, or to their operators who seem doggedly determined to keep the genre alive, if only for one more generation. Just like any other restaurant, there’s nothing easy about running a cafeteria so many have stumbled, and then disappeared—more than one classic operation has bet the farm on modernization, only to discover that it’s not enough: you’ve also got to be good. Fans of the genre received a harsh reminder of this fact recently, when one of the last iconic cafeterias on the West Coast, Clifton’s, re-opened to great fanfare, only to fail again a few years later. By the time the last Jell-O square was discarded off the line in 2018, barely anyone noticed𠅎ven diehard fans from childhood had stopped going long before, frustrated by sub-par food and nonsensical pricing.

Each year, more cafeterias disappear, or begin their slide towards the inevitable, but for every bit of bad news, magic somehow continues to break out. For every city left with nothing but memories, there are places, like North Carolina, Texas, and even future-minded Northern California, where the cafeteria is not only surviving, but also thriving.

Down, sure, but not yet completely out—here are the ten best remaining examples of the great American cafeteria, the keepers of the flame, plus a couple dozen runners-up that everyone should know about. At this reflective time of year, take a minute to give thanks that they’re still here.


The Best Cafeterias in America

The concept is hopelessly dated. So tell us, then, why are there so many good cafeterias left? This year, we&rsquore giving thanks for the keepers of the flame&mdashthe best remaining examples of the great American cafeteria.

The best Thanksgiving dinner I ever ate was last year in Houston, shared with thousands of people I&aposd never met before, all of us gathered together on one of those beautiful afternoons that Houston enjoys during months like November. It&aposs one of the only times of year where standing outside in a long line, in a parking lot, is something you might actually survive.

We came as strangers, united in our appreciation of one of the city’s great dining institutions, the Cleburne Cafeteria, a family-owned establishment that has been feeding Houstonians from all walks of life for generations. Some of us were here for the nostalgia, too, because they just don’t make cafeterias like this anymore, others because it was easier than cooking our own turkeys. And really, why compete—the turkey here is just that good.

The Cleburne is an easy place to love even if you are not a fan of standing in line for your dinner, you will easily admire the restaurant’s fighting spirit—this is a place that has endured a great deal in the nearly eighty years it has been a part of Houston’s story, and always seems to come back stronger. Today, the city’s oldest cafeteria is better than ever, serving up quality home cooking at reasonable prices to anybody and everybody wise enough to understand just how lucky we are that this place still exists. There are other restaurants that will present a greater challenge to your palate, but there are few that sum up Houston quite so neatly𠅊n unpretentious coming together of peoples from all over the world, sharing a love of honest cooking of any kind. Why aren’t there more restaurants like this?

Well, there were. Less than a century ago, cafeterias were as popular with Americans as their fast-casual descendants are today. There were certainly predecessors, but the concept is said to have entered the popular imagination𠅊long with so much else𠅊t the ground-breaking 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where entrepreneur John Kruger operated a restaurant inspired by the smörgåsbords of Sweden. Cribbing its name from the Spanish language, the cafeteria was off to the races, and the concept began to spread far and wide. These relatively laid-back venues were touted as egalitarian, come one, come all establishments�pending in too many places, of course, on the color of your skin.

As ever, times changed sit-down restaurants became more casual, while upscale casual chains promising affordable, exciting food, began to proliferate. The cafeteria began to fade from view one by one, they started to disappear. Today, there are states, even entire regions of the country, where cafeterias are found only inside schools, or hospitals, or—if they’re lucky𠅊n IKEA store.

Then, there are the parts of the country where the cafeteria never really gave up. Sure, there might be a better way, but tell that to the people that just can’t quit going, or to their operators who seem doggedly determined to keep the genre alive, if only for one more generation. Just like any other restaurant, there’s nothing easy about running a cafeteria so many have stumbled, and then disappeared—more than one classic operation has bet the farm on modernization, only to discover that it’s not enough: you’ve also got to be good. Fans of the genre received a harsh reminder of this fact recently, when one of the last iconic cafeterias on the West Coast, Clifton’s, re-opened to great fanfare, only to fail again a few years later. By the time the last Jell-O square was discarded off the line in 2018, barely anyone noticed𠅎ven diehard fans from childhood had stopped going long before, frustrated by sub-par food and nonsensical pricing.

Each year, more cafeterias disappear, or begin their slide towards the inevitable, but for every bit of bad news, magic somehow continues to break out. For every city left with nothing but memories, there are places, like North Carolina, Texas, and even future-minded Northern California, where the cafeteria is not only surviving, but also thriving.

Down, sure, but not yet completely out—here are the ten best remaining examples of the great American cafeteria, the keepers of the flame, plus a couple dozen runners-up that everyone should know about. At this reflective time of year, take a minute to give thanks that they’re still here.


The Best Cafeterias in America

The concept is hopelessly dated. So tell us, then, why are there so many good cafeterias left? This year, we&rsquore giving thanks for the keepers of the flame&mdashthe best remaining examples of the great American cafeteria.

The best Thanksgiving dinner I ever ate was last year in Houston, shared with thousands of people I&aposd never met before, all of us gathered together on one of those beautiful afternoons that Houston enjoys during months like November. It&aposs one of the only times of year where standing outside in a long line, in a parking lot, is something you might actually survive.

We came as strangers, united in our appreciation of one of the city’s great dining institutions, the Cleburne Cafeteria, a family-owned establishment that has been feeding Houstonians from all walks of life for generations. Some of us were here for the nostalgia, too, because they just don’t make cafeterias like this anymore, others because it was easier than cooking our own turkeys. And really, why compete—the turkey here is just that good.

The Cleburne is an easy place to love even if you are not a fan of standing in line for your dinner, you will easily admire the restaurant’s fighting spirit—this is a place that has endured a great deal in the nearly eighty years it has been a part of Houston’s story, and always seems to come back stronger. Today, the city’s oldest cafeteria is better than ever, serving up quality home cooking at reasonable prices to anybody and everybody wise enough to understand just how lucky we are that this place still exists. There are other restaurants that will present a greater challenge to your palate, but there are few that sum up Houston quite so neatly𠅊n unpretentious coming together of peoples from all over the world, sharing a love of honest cooking of any kind. Why aren’t there more restaurants like this?

Well, there were. Less than a century ago, cafeterias were as popular with Americans as their fast-casual descendants are today. There were certainly predecessors, but the concept is said to have entered the popular imagination𠅊long with so much else𠅊t the ground-breaking 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where entrepreneur John Kruger operated a restaurant inspired by the smörgåsbords of Sweden. Cribbing its name from the Spanish language, the cafeteria was off to the races, and the concept began to spread far and wide. These relatively laid-back venues were touted as egalitarian, come one, come all establishments�pending in too many places, of course, on the color of your skin.

As ever, times changed sit-down restaurants became more casual, while upscale casual chains promising affordable, exciting food, began to proliferate. The cafeteria began to fade from view one by one, they started to disappear. Today, there are states, even entire regions of the country, where cafeterias are found only inside schools, or hospitals, or—if they’re lucky𠅊n IKEA store.

Then, there are the parts of the country where the cafeteria never really gave up. Sure, there might be a better way, but tell that to the people that just can’t quit going, or to their operators who seem doggedly determined to keep the genre alive, if only for one more generation. Just like any other restaurant, there’s nothing easy about running a cafeteria so many have stumbled, and then disappeared—more than one classic operation has bet the farm on modernization, only to discover that it’s not enough: you’ve also got to be good. Fans of the genre received a harsh reminder of this fact recently, when one of the last iconic cafeterias on the West Coast, Clifton’s, re-opened to great fanfare, only to fail again a few years later. By the time the last Jell-O square was discarded off the line in 2018, barely anyone noticed𠅎ven diehard fans from childhood had stopped going long before, frustrated by sub-par food and nonsensical pricing.

Each year, more cafeterias disappear, or begin their slide towards the inevitable, but for every bit of bad news, magic somehow continues to break out. For every city left with nothing but memories, there are places, like North Carolina, Texas, and even future-minded Northern California, where the cafeteria is not only surviving, but also thriving.

Down, sure, but not yet completely out—here are the ten best remaining examples of the great American cafeteria, the keepers of the flame, plus a couple dozen runners-up that everyone should know about. At this reflective time of year, take a minute to give thanks that they’re still here.


The Best Cafeterias in America

The concept is hopelessly dated. So tell us, then, why are there so many good cafeterias left? This year, we&rsquore giving thanks for the keepers of the flame&mdashthe best remaining examples of the great American cafeteria.

The best Thanksgiving dinner I ever ate was last year in Houston, shared with thousands of people I&aposd never met before, all of us gathered together on one of those beautiful afternoons that Houston enjoys during months like November. It&aposs one of the only times of year where standing outside in a long line, in a parking lot, is something you might actually survive.

We came as strangers, united in our appreciation of one of the city’s great dining institutions, the Cleburne Cafeteria, a family-owned establishment that has been feeding Houstonians from all walks of life for generations. Some of us were here for the nostalgia, too, because they just don’t make cafeterias like this anymore, others because it was easier than cooking our own turkeys. And really, why compete—the turkey here is just that good.

The Cleburne is an easy place to love even if you are not a fan of standing in line for your dinner, you will easily admire the restaurant’s fighting spirit—this is a place that has endured a great deal in the nearly eighty years it has been a part of Houston’s story, and always seems to come back stronger. Today, the city’s oldest cafeteria is better than ever, serving up quality home cooking at reasonable prices to anybody and everybody wise enough to understand just how lucky we are that this place still exists. There are other restaurants that will present a greater challenge to your palate, but there are few that sum up Houston quite so neatly𠅊n unpretentious coming together of peoples from all over the world, sharing a love of honest cooking of any kind. Why aren’t there more restaurants like this?

Well, there were. Less than a century ago, cafeterias were as popular with Americans as their fast-casual descendants are today. There were certainly predecessors, but the concept is said to have entered the popular imagination𠅊long with so much else𠅊t the ground-breaking 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where entrepreneur John Kruger operated a restaurant inspired by the smörgåsbords of Sweden. Cribbing its name from the Spanish language, the cafeteria was off to the races, and the concept began to spread far and wide. These relatively laid-back venues were touted as egalitarian, come one, come all establishments�pending in too many places, of course, on the color of your skin.

As ever, times changed sit-down restaurants became more casual, while upscale casual chains promising affordable, exciting food, began to proliferate. The cafeteria began to fade from view one by one, they started to disappear. Today, there are states, even entire regions of the country, where cafeterias are found only inside schools, or hospitals, or—if they’re lucky𠅊n IKEA store.

Then, there are the parts of the country where the cafeteria never really gave up. Sure, there might be a better way, but tell that to the people that just can’t quit going, or to their operators who seem doggedly determined to keep the genre alive, if only for one more generation. Just like any other restaurant, there’s nothing easy about running a cafeteria so many have stumbled, and then disappeared—more than one classic operation has bet the farm on modernization, only to discover that it’s not enough: you’ve also got to be good. Fans of the genre received a harsh reminder of this fact recently, when one of the last iconic cafeterias on the West Coast, Clifton’s, re-opened to great fanfare, only to fail again a few years later. By the time the last Jell-O square was discarded off the line in 2018, barely anyone noticed𠅎ven diehard fans from childhood had stopped going long before, frustrated by sub-par food and nonsensical pricing.

Each year, more cafeterias disappear, or begin their slide towards the inevitable, but for every bit of bad news, magic somehow continues to break out. For every city left with nothing but memories, there are places, like North Carolina, Texas, and even future-minded Northern California, where the cafeteria is not only surviving, but also thriving.

Down, sure, but not yet completely out—here are the ten best remaining examples of the great American cafeteria, the keepers of the flame, plus a couple dozen runners-up that everyone should know about. At this reflective time of year, take a minute to give thanks that they’re still here.


Watch the video: Παρίσι: Σε υψηλούς τόνους η πρώτη ημέρα της δίκης για τις τρομοκρατικές επιθέσεις του 2015 (July 2022).


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