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There’s nothing better than a fun-filled summer road trip, speeding along with the windows rolled down, a playlist blasting as you motor along with your favorite peeps. Inevitably, you’re going to get hungry. You could hit one of America’s millions of fast food joints, or you could make your meal one to remember at one of these iconic local roadside pit stops. Food makes every travel experience better, so swing by one of these must-try roadside eats for your next US road trip.

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#FRYDAY with a side of #lobsterroll at Red’s Eats #amazing _______________________________________________ Fried #scallops are so plump and sweet. Whole belly clams are fried to perfection in their light and flavorful beer batter And that mountain of lobster meat on a tiny bun makes this little shack worth the 1.5hr wait. The friendly staff and owner are the cherry on top #musteat #redseats #howisummer P.S. it’s on the 1000 places to see (eat) before you die _______________________________________________ #chubbyeatsMaine #chubbyeatstravel #lobster #howisummer #portlandmaine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #eeeeeats #eater #foodpic #foodgasm #foodphoto #foodporn #foodstagram #forkyeah #feastagram #dailyfoodfeed #roadside #seafood #lobstah #friedfood #clam #fries #delish #mmmmgood

A post shared by Food. Travel. Life. (@chubbychinesegirleats) on Jul 7, 2017 at 8:37am PDT

Red’s Eats: Maine

If you’re planning to spend time exploring New England, you’re in for a treat. Seafood’s the specialty in these parts, so we suggest a stop at Red’s Eats, which is known for its fresh catches. Whether you’re looking for a haddock sandwich, crab cakes or a lobster roll that will wow your tastebuds, you’ll find something amazing to enjoy here. Warning: You may have to wait in a long line—we promise it’s worth it.

Must-eat dish: Red’s lobster roll

Address: 41 Water Street, Wiscasset, ME

Roasted turkey with bacon on rye! #dbsroadsidegrille #easthartford #itsgoindown

A post shared by Mecca Brown (@meccaroni_ncheese) on May 3, 2016 at 8:38am PDT

DB’s Roadside Grille: Connecticut

Next up, why not enjoy a classic breakfast dish while you make your way through the Constitution State. DB’S Roadside Grille is the perfect place to fill up on breakfast favorites, yummy sandwiches and a variety of other diner dishes, all at affordable prices.

Must-eat dish: Roasted turkey on rye

Address: 284 Governor Street, East Hartford, CT

Mojo Tacos: Pennsylvania

The fun doesn’t stop in Connecticut. If you find yourself driving through Pennsylvania, don’t miss the tacos at Mojo. Technically a food truck, this taqueria on wheels stays parked along Route 11/15 in Duncannon, serving up flavorful tacos, burritos, enchiladas and salads.

Must-eat dish: Double taco

Address: 1911 State Road, Duncannon, PA

Galley Boy and fries I think j just gained 10 lbs. but yum! #swensons #montrose #galleyboy

A post shared by Erin Hohman (@ehohman) on May 4, 2016 at 3:14pm PDT

Swensons Drive In: Ohio

Next, make your way towards Ohio, where you have to check out this statewide chain. Here you can get your juicy burger, creamy milkshake and french fry fix. Since 1934, this has been a popular place to grab a burger while on the go. Try the signature Galley Boy, a double-cheeseburger with two unique sauces that comes topped with an olive.

Must-eat dish: Galley Boy

Address: Multiple Ohio locations

Cozy Dog Drive In: Illinois

This Route 66 drive in located in Illinois’ state capital is another essential food stop on your cross-country road trip. This is the birthplace of that classic state fair food we all know and love—the corndog! Cozy Dog has spent years perfecting the recipe for its signature dogs (just called Cozy Dogs here), which are rolled in cornmeal batter, fried and served on a stick. We dare you to mix and match and try it with a regular dog and a side of fries.

Must-Eat Dish: Cozy Dog

Address: 2935 S Sixth Street, Springfield, IL

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Delicious guys. You absolutely need to try it. #restaurant #stlouis #highway61 #pastryshop #pastry

A post shared by Like Home / Comme A La Maison (@likehomestl) on Mar 5, 2017 at 11:45am PST

Blues Highway 61 Roadhouse and Kitchen: Missouri

While traveling famous Highway 61, also known as the Blues Highway, trade in those hunger pains for delicious Cajun and creole cuisines instead. Highway 61 Roadhouse and Kitchen is a favorite stop, offering a variety of amazing dishes: Smoked fried chicken, Mississippi catfish and St. Louis style spare ribs are just a few selections. They even have BBQ spaghetti—who knew?!

Must-Eat Dish: BBQ spaghetti

Address: 34 S Old Orchard Avenue, Webster Groves, MO

Seriously considering starting an entire Instagram feed dedicated to Screamers Drive-In tater tots! #totstagram

A post shared by Bryan Schiele ( on Nov 28, 2015 at 11:39am PST

Avi’s Screamers Drive In: Arizona

Ever find yourself on the road, craving a burger loaded with unexpected toppings? If you find yourself with a grand appetite while cruising the Grand Canyon State, make sure you give Avi’s a try. Think classic favorites with a little extra twist. Menu items include offerings like the Green Chili Screamer Burger, the Salsa Burger and a Coconut Pineapple Shake. Also, their crispy tater tots are to die for!

Must-Eat Dish: Tater tots paired with a coconut pineapple shake

Address: 1151 W Wickenburg Way, Wickenburg, AZ

John Mull’s Road Kill Grill: Nevada

They say whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but a visit to John Mull’s Road Kill Grill will have you talking! Here, you can enjoy a variety of barbecued meats served with filling side dishes that pair perfectly with the smoky flavors. The prices are very affordable and the servings are generous. You might have to wait in line a while at this hot-spot, but we’re pretty sure you’ll love it.

Must-Eat Dish: Pork ribs (don’t forget cornbread on the side!)

Address: 3730 Thom Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada

Happy New Year. Let’s get hungry, 2017. @philoflora @comfortmkt

A post shared by Nate Wong (@voids) on Jan 1, 2017 at 2:23pm PST

Comfort Market: California

When traveling through sunny SoCal, you’ll find lots of great eateries to explore, but we recommend a visit to the Central Coast city Arroyo Grande to indulge in the foods you loved growing up. Take a seat on the patio, and choose from shrimp and grits, mac and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, plus daily specials with unique flavor combinations. This Golden State restaurant also prides itself in using fresh, local ingredients.

Must-Eat Dish: Comfort BLT Melt

Address: 116 W Branch Street, Arroyo Grande, CA

🍚hainanese chicken rice #nomnom #pdxfood #choppedstar #nongskhaomangai #pdk #vsco

A post shared by Teresa Wu (@wu_t) on Apr 26, 2017 at 4:13pm PDT

Nong’s Khao Man Gai: Oregon

This Thai eatery in Portland, which started as one small food cart, now has multiple food carts and a restaurant location. It’s a sizable Thai-food empire, considering Nong’s Khao Man Gai owner Poonsukwattana left Bangkok for Portland in 2003 with only $70 and a suitcase. Her business has continued to grow as she serves up her classic Thai chicken dish known as Khao Man Gai, as well as other favorites. You can even buy her bottled sauces to take home.

Must-Eat Dish: Khao Man Gai

Address:  W 10th and Alder Street, Portland, Oregon (original food cart location)


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Tagged: Arizona, California, Las Vegas, Midwest, New England, Portland

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Natasha Gabrielle
Natasha is a freelance writer, blogger and traveler. After spending the last 2 years living and working in South Korea, she continues to travel the world and document her adventures at
Natasha Gabrielle


Full-time freelance #travelwriter and #adventurer. Former ESL teacher in Korea. Available for writing assignments. (not dm)
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