1. Red’s Eat, Wiscasset, Maine. Trucks roar past the line on busy U.S. 1 an hour north of Portland, and someone invariably shouts at those studiously gnawing their lobster rolls, “Is it worth the wait?” It is. At least a pound of tender lobster is packed into each roll.
2. Pink’s Famous Hot Dogs, Los Angeles. Wait an hour in line for a hot dog? Really? Really. It’s said that Bruce Willis proposed to Demi Moore while waiting in line at this LaBrea Avenue spot, and it’s probably true. You run out of stuff to do after a while. But it’s a good dog.
3. Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco. Locals and tourists have mingled in the line at this Polk Street diner for more than 100 years for cracked Dungeness crab, oysters and rich clam chowder. The world’s most uncomfortable stools will make your bum numb, but you won’t mind.
4. Central Grocery, New Orleans. This is the place to score the iconic round Louisiana sandwich known as the muffuletta, and the line gets long at lunch time. Order a half instead of a whole unless there are at least two of you and you’re very hungry.
5. The Shed, Santa Fe, N.M. Instead of a line here, you get a beeper, but the concept’s the same for folks in search of the perfect plate of spicy, stacked New Mexico enchiladas, incongruously served with French bread. The green or red (or both) sauces will make you weep.