Gosh. Don’t we have some great holidays.

In addition to days honoring religious traditions and notable Americans, every day of the year has been designated to honor someone or something.

Two of my favorites have to be May 28, National Hamburger Day, and National Cheeseburger Day, September 18.

Burger stops are a tradition on San Diego day trips, so here are some suggestions from me and team coverage from the  San Diego Union-Tribune which were put together to honor National Hamburger Day in 2016.

My picks along Joyride Guru routes

  • 101 Cafe, 631 South Coast Highway, Oceanside, 101cafe.net. Near the start of the Quintessential California drive from Oceanside to Del Mar, this authentic 20th century coffee shop (we didn’t call them diners in California) is serving burgers and other goodies just like they did when this was the main road from San Diego to Los Angeles.
  • Mother’s Kitchen, 33120 Canfield Road, Palomar Mountain. I know we’re talking about burgers, and Mother‘s doesn’t have one, but it’s still worth a stop in a beautiful corner of the county. Take the Journey to the Stars to the top of the mountain and try the macaroni and cheese. You won’t be sorry.
  • Frosty Burger, 28823 Old Hwy 80, Pine Valley. Typical drive-in burger, juicy and big, with great chocolate shakes and other typical roadside food fare. Combine the good food with the great atmosphere of Pine Valley, along the Towering Old Highway route, or the start of Spectacular Sunrise, and you’ve got a winner.
  • Major’s Diner is up the road a bit in Pine Valley from Frosty Burger, but it’s always good. It also has a full menu, so if you’re burgered-out, check out the big breakfast selection, other tasty sandwiches and fresh salads. It’s a mid-route stop on Towering Old Highway and the start of Spectacular Sunrise.

Picks of the U-T along Joyride Guru book routes

The paper did a Night and Day section story on back in 2016 finding the best in San Diego’s neighborhoods and has many more, all in urban San Diego. Read the full story for all their selections, but here are some along back roads.

  • Nessy Burgers, at the north end of the Crazy Couser Joyride Guru book, 3235 Old Highway 395, Fallbrook, nessyburgers.com. “The Nessy has a half-pound, never-frozen patty made from a juicy blend of premium chuck, sirloin and mild seasoning,” says the U-T’s Pam Kragen. I agree. After a spirited hour or so of driving along Crazy Couser, it’s the reward at the end of a rewarding drive. It’s at the start of Journey to the Stars and anything else along Pala Road, with its plethora of casinos.
  • Fred’s Old-Fashioned Burgers in Alpine is a place I haven’t tried yet, but at the west end of the Towering Old Highway tour of the former U.S. 80, it’s on my list. It’s “like an Americana diner and drive-through, with crinkle-cut fries and delicious burgers,” says the U-T.

Of course, it’s a mystery as to who designates these goofy days. Check out this Marketplace story from a few years back. There are several websites that list all the goofy national days and claim to be the official keeper. I’m sure it’s all in good fun.

So, let’s honor something that’s so much a part of our national character and is a global symbol of the United States, right? Pass the fries.


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