The old-fashioned road trip meant Ziploc-bagged car snacks and a whiny younger sibling asking (over and over again) if “we’re there yet.” Even if the trek was to Grandma’s house where freshly baked cookies awaited a timely arrival, that plan now seems all too analog. As we’ve grown older, we’ve learned to one-up our parents’ planning by strategically mapping out pit stops at eateries that can turn road trips from dull to delicious.
Journeying down the most famous highways in the U.S., you know you’re bound to uncover some hidden national treasures. Whether it’s monuments to superlative foodstuffs or roadside establishments with a committed following, these stops aren’t always obvious to the less-than-prepared driver. So we’ve clocked the miles and handpicked roadside restaurants that are worth a detour along some of America’s best-known (and well-traveled) roads.
Get your kicks — and your fill — on Historic Route 66, traveling from Chicago, Ill. all the way to sunny Los Angeles, stopping for root beer bread pudding, a 66-foot tall soda bottle, and green chile stew and posolé. If adventuring is more your style, the Alaskan Highway bears a bounty for those willing to traverse the tundra. Hold out for buffalo burgers and chocolate milkshakes at a roadside joint so top secret, we can’t even give you their phone number!
From deep-fried hot dogs in Newark, New Jersey off U.S. Route 1 to Indian-inspired vegetarian eats served straight out of a giant purple bus in Hana, Hawaii, we’ve discovered food along America’s famous highways so mouth-watering, it will have you crying out, “Are we there yet?” in anticipation.