1. Alabama: Hamburger Heaven
> Location: Birmingham area
This 37-year-old burger chain, with four locations in and around Birmingham, somehow manages to serve notable rich shakes made with low-fat ice cream. The peanut butter and banana shakes are particularly popular (and Hamburger Heaven will combine the two upon request).
2. Alaska: Burger Queen
> Location: Ketchikan
Burgers and chicken are the mainstays here, but the milkshakes are favorites in the community and the whiteboard menu of more than 30 flavors offers such uncommon choices as huckleberry, watermelon, root beer, and piña colada, as well as more familiar options.
3. Arizona: The Stand
> Location: Phoenix
Burgers, fries, and shakes are the focus at The Stand. Salted dulce de leche and chocolate chile are among the offerings. “The shakes are to die for,” enthused one Foursquare user.
4. Arkansas: The Purple Cow
> Location: Little Rock and other locations
With five locations around Little Rock and elsewhere in Arkansas, this 30-year-old retro-style diner and soda fountain makes almost all the “best in every state” lists — specifically for its trademark purple vanilla shake. Chocolate/peanut butter, peanut butter and jelly, and butterscotch are among the other choices.
5. California: Hadley Fruit Orchards
> Location: Cabazon
The Morongo Band of Mission Indians bought this roadside institution in the Coachella Valley from the founding Hadley family in 1999. The store sells a wide range of dates (from its own trees), nuts, candied fruit, honey and jam, and other food products, but its claim to fame is the date shake, a cold, creamy potion with a bit of nutmeg and banana added. It’s no wonder that the date shake has become the unofficial drink of nearby Palm Springs.