Usually, stopping to get food during a road trip means settling for whatever you can find at the next few exits or in the next town, but there are some roadside gems that could be considered worth the trip just to try the food there. The next time you’re traveling through these towns or highway stretches, pull over and enjoy these delicious options.
Joe & Aggie’s Café, located off Route 66 in Holbrook, Arizona, is a family-owned pit stop. Since 1943, three generations have served classic American and Mexican dishes to travelers far and wide. You’ll notice Joe & Aggie’s as you get closer because of its pink stucco exterior. This café is known locally for its red and green chili and was featured in Pixar’s Cars. If you’ve ever wanted to pair chili rellenos with apple pie à la mode, this is your pit stop. Or the cheese crisps are a delicious, grab-and-go snack.
Johnson’s Corner has some of the best cinnamon rolls you’ll ever have. This truck stop, located off of exit 254 along I-25, is a great place to stop on your road trip for a quick break and to pick up one of the delicious cinnamon rolls. Since 1952, Johnson’s Corner has been a 24-hour a day staple for locals and travelers who make the stop.
Iowa-80 Kitchen is one of the world’s largest truck stops. Opened in 1964 and designed by Standard Oil, this truck stop features a huge kitchen and 50-foot salad bar serving travelers 24 hours a day, every day, all year long. Iowa-80 Kitchen is known for its breakfast for dinner, so if you’re looking for the best eggs, pancakes, and bacon on the road, this is where you'll find them. While here, consider checking out the trucker showroom and store. If you’re rolling through Walcott during July, stop by for the Truckers Jamboree. Try the pork chop breakfast. Get your eggs over easy and dip your chop for an amazing flavor combination.
If you’re driving through the heart of Wisconsin, you can’t miss a stop at Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty. Located in Wisconsin Dells, this diner serves some of the best homemade buttermilk donuts in the country. If donuts aren’t your thing, a lumberjack breakfast will keep you filled for hundreds of miles on the road. Or consider the all-you-can-eat dinner specials. (Friday is fish fry day!) With a bakery and gift shop, you’ll be able to bring back plenty of souvenirs to those left behind at home.
If you’re driving through the Windy City, you must stop at Superdawg. Superdawg is a Chicago staple and one of the locals' favorite restaurants. This drive-in is a blast from the past that views ketchup on a hot dog as an abomination, so don’t try to order a dog with it—you can’t! Try the “Superdawg” itself for a true foodie experience. A pure beef hot dog with no filler, dressed in Superfries, golden mustard, Spanish onions, dill pickle, piccalilli, and a hot pepper unlike nothing else.
The Griswold Inn boasts having been open for more than 238 years. Starting as a place for Revolutionary War shipyard laborers to sleep after a hard day’s work, the history surrounding this spot in Connecticut is just one reason to go. Take a step back in time and order one of The Griswold Inn’s specialties, such as the butter-broiled clams topped with fresh bacon or the sticky toffee pudding with whipped cream and butterscotch cream. Stop by on a Sunday and take part in a full buffet-style serving with a taste of all the good options The Griswold Inn has to offer.
Tony’s is a Michigan legend and landmark for weary travelers and hungry locals. It's main specialty? Bacon. Everything at Tony’s is larger than life and even better with bacon. For instance, try the one-pound BLT or the Tony’s Original Steak Sandwich. For something sweeter, order a towering banana split with half a gallon of fresh-made ice cream.
Buc-ee’s has a variety of locations in eastern Texas, so if you’re driving through The Lone Star State, chances are you’ll drive by one. Buc-ee’s is a truck stop and mini-restaurant. The homemade queso and salsa are delicious, as are the popcorn, fudge, or jerky. If you’re looking for a good, easy-going pit stop with some grub to get you going again, stop at Buc-ee’s.
Above the Sandy River off I-84, Tad’s Chicken ‘n Dumplins is an Oregon staple for those looking to fill their bellies with good old fashioned southern food in the Pacific Northwest. Many of these recipes are family secrets and have been served since the 1940s. For more than 80 years, Tad’s has been the pit stop for anyone looking for a home-cooked meal during their travels. Miss mom’s cooking on the road? Tad’s has you covered no matter how far you’ve traveled. Try the classic chicken fried steak from Tad’s family recipe on Tuesdays. Just note that it's only open for dinner.
If you’re driving through the south, you must stop at a BBQ joint; if you’re in Alabama, you must stop at Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Que. One of Alabama’s staples in BBQ region, everything from the rubs to the sauce are handmade from family recipes. Smoked chicken, pulled pork, and white sauce that’s known as “Alabama barbecue” are staples at Big Bob’s. Since 1925, the Gibson family has moved the restaurant around Alabama, opened a second location, and evolved with the times, but the sauce has stayed the same for travelers.