Drive thru Corte Madera to eat at the exceptional Amy’s Drive Thru

Mia Kessinger

Taking over the old Denny’s location, Amy’s Drive Thru opened on Aug. 4 off Highway 101 in Corte Madera. A twist on classic diner food, they offer a fully vegetarian menu equipped with vegan and gluten-free options. In addition to take-out via the drive-thru and online orders, Amy’s Drive Thru set up picnic tables outside to accommodate dine-in customers while keeping a safe distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

The opening in Corte Madera is an extension of Petaluma’s location, and it has a friendly, laid-back atmosphere. To create the traditional diner environment, both the exterior and interior of Amy’s Drive Thru incorporate bright colors, most notably a rich teal and sunflower yellow. However, to promote their healthy take on fast food, the restaurant roof is lined with luscious grass and leaves that radiate a natural ambiance. 

Their menu offers a variety of delicious options for lunch and dinner, such as vegetarian burgers, burritos, chili and macaroni and cheese. Although temporarily closed for breakfast, they offer a multitude of baked goods the rest of the day.

According to their mission statement, they are “returning to the roots of American fast food.” This led me to choose the most established American fast food items: a hamburger with sides of fries and a seasonal salad in addition to a classic vanilla milkshake. 

Changing things up, the spicy sauce on the burger creates exceptional flavors.

On my $5.19 single burger, I opted for the spicy version of their secret sauce—a variation I was quite pleased with. The patty itself had strong flavors, but it was too thin for the savory taste to come through. However, with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, onions and secret sauce, the size of the patty did not matter too much; the spicy tang of the sauce created a heavenly taste that kept me going in for more. For some people, the spicy option may be a turnoff because of the extra heat, however I found that the zestiness complemented the sweetness also present in the sauce.

While the burger was delectable, the fries were extraordinary. With a perfectly balanced ratio of crispy and salty on the outside to fresh potato on the inside, they were easily some of the best fries I’ve had in Marin. Although the price is on the expensive side at $3.29 (compared to Shake Shack’s price of $3.09), I found that it was worth the extra money for the quality of the fries. 

The shake did not disappoint either: the simple vanilla flavor was not too overpowering but sweet enough to be satisfactory. Unfortunately, the consistency was a little too watery for my liking.

Lastly, the pricey seasonal salad ($5.29) was very basic with carrots, cabbage and tomatoes, yet the ingredients were fresh and the flavors fulfilling. 

Bringing a new option of vegetarian cuisine to Marin, Amy’s Drive Thru provides a healthier version of American fast-food—making it a visit I would highly recommend. The variety of the food on their menu in addition to the lovely atmosphere will not fail to impress.