Are you planning a road trip along Route 66? You’re in for quite an adventure! During your trip, you’ll need to eat, but don’t just grab McDonald’s any chance you get. Check out a few local favorites as you journey through each of the states and let your taste buds go on a journey too along this iconic route. Here are a few to add to your list!
Get Started in Illinois
Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket: Right outside of Chicago stands Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket which many argue serves the best-grilled chicken on Route 66. If you’re starting your Route 66 trip in Chicago, hit this restaurant before you set off on your journey.
Desserts in Missouri
Donut Drive-In: Need a snack on your way through Missouri? Donut Drive-In serves hand-made donuts with famous chocolate icing. Take a few with you for the road because these may prove to be the tastiest and sweetest part of your trip.
Ted Drewes Frozen Custard: The frozen custard served here is a little bit of a mystery. The recipe is kept a secret, but it’s no secret that this custard is a must-have on your travels. Many different flavors of custard plus many different toppings mean that everyone will leave happy!
Enjoy Some Kansas BBQ
Baxer Springs Smokehouse BBQ: Get some messy, but wonderful smoked BBQ at this smokehouse on Route 66 in Kansas. They offer a sampler so you can try a little bit of everything, like their ribs, pork, and catfish.
Pop or Soda in Oklahoma
POPS: Thirsty? POPS in Oklahoma has over 500 soda varieties from around the world that you can pick from at their Soda Ranch. Refresh and recharge with a tall glass of soda or pop, whatever you call it! Don’t forget to snap a picture in front of the 66-foot tall soda bottle outside.
Texas Stops along Route 66
Big Texan Steak Ranch: If you’re up for a challenge (other than conquering Route 66), come to the Big Texan Steak Ranch. You’ll get a 72-ounce steak dinner for free – if you eat it all in one hour. Combine great steak with a craft brewery and you might consider staying in Texas for the rest of your vacation.
Stockyard Café: Looking for something different? Stockyard Café is located inside of a barn at the Amarillo stockyards where thousands of cattle are auctioned off every single week. Nothing like getting your food right from the source. Check out this café for a unique experience and a hearty brunch.
Green Chile’s in New Mexico
66 Diner: If you travel Route 66 and don’t eat at the 66 Diner, did you really travel Route 66? This traditional diner plays ‘50s music loudly and proudly while serving all of your diner favorites. If you’re extra hungry, you can try their famous dish called the Pile Up: potatoes, bacon, green chile, eggs, cheese, and chile sauce.
Owl Café: New Mexico is known for the green chile cheeseburger. Many restaurants offer their renditions of this burger, but the Owl Café is one of the best. Look for the giant owl on top of this restaurant and stop in!
Classic Stops in Arizona
Flagstaff Brewery: You’ve come a long way, you deserve a nice cold beer. This brewery on Route 66 in Arizona serves one of the largest selections of single malt beers in the country. Take a rest at this brewery and discover what they have to offer.
Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner: Check out this retro diner for your next refuel in Arizona. Homemade root beer is this restaurant’s specialty, plus a menu of classic diner food that will get you ready for the next leg of your trip.
Route 66 in California
Ocean Ave Seafood: You made it! You just traveled 2,448 miles along Route 66. It’s time to celebrate. Ocean Ave Seafood overlooks the Santa Monica Pier, reminding you for your whole meal that you completed Route 66. Serving up delicious seafood and offering a huge raw bar with the biggest selection of oysters in any LA restaurant, this restaurant is an appropriate way to celebrate your trip.
Big Dean’s Oceanfront Café: If you want to spend more time on Santa Monica Pier at the end of your trip, then stop in to eat at Big Dean’s Oceanfront Café on the Pier. You’ll be right in the middle of the action, surrounded by tourists and beach-goers spending their day on the Pier.
Once you make it to California you’ll run into the Pacific Coast Highway, another iconic U.S. road trip.
Route 66 is stock-full of unique and delicious restaurants! Add these to your itinerary for the tastiest bites along this famous route.
About the Author
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. You can follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.