Skip to Content

10 Unique Roadside Restaurants Worth Trying

| Updated Jan 11, 2021

Looking for some unique roadside restaurants for your next trip?

Usually, stopping to get food on an RVing 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. So the next time you’re traveling through these towns or highway stretches, pull over and enjoy these delicious options.

Joe & Aggie’s Café (Holbrook, Arizona)

Joe & Aggie’s Café, located off Route 66 in Holbrook, Arizona, is family-owned. Three generations have served classic American and Mexican dishes to travelers far and wide since 1943. It's hard not to notice Joe & Aggie’s as you get closer due to its pink stucco exterior. This café is known for its red and green chili and was featured in the Pixar movie Cars. If you’ve ever wanted to pair Chili Rellenos with apple pie à la mode, this is the place. If you're on the go, try the cheese crisps.

Johnson’s Corner (Johnstown, Colorado)

Johnson’s Corner has some of the best cinnamon rolls in the country. 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. Since 1952, Johnson’s Corner has been a 24-hour a day staple for locals and travelers alike.

Iowa-80 Kitchen (Walcott, Iowa)

Iowa-80 Kitchen is one of the world’s largest truck stops. Designed by Standard Oil and opened in 1964, this truck stop features a huge kitchen and 50-foot salad bar serving travelers 24 hours a day, every day, all year long. Breakfast for dinner is a specialty, so if you’re looking for the best eggs, pancakes, and bacon on the road, this is the choice for many. 

Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty (Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin)

Note: Scheduled to re-open Spring 2021! If you’re driving through the heart of Wisconsin, consider stopping at Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty. Located in Wisconsin Dells, this diner serves some of the best homemade buttermilk doughnuts you'll find.

If doughnuts 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. With a bakery and gift shop, you’ll be able to bring back plenty of souvenirs to those left behind at home. There is also a location in Minocqua, Wisconsin!

Superdawg (Chicago, Ilinois)

If you’re driving through the Windy City, Superdawg has become a must-stop. 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 because you actually can’t. Instead, 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 hot pepper that's unlike nothing else.

The Griswold Inn (Essex, Connecticut)

Starting as a place for Revolutionary War shipyard laborers to sleep after a hard day’s work, the history surrounding this Connecticut stop is just one reason to go. Take a step back in time and order one of The Griswold Inn’s specialties, like the butter-broiled clams topped with fresh bacon or the sticky toffee pudding with whipped cream and butterscotch cream.

If you stop by on a Sunday, you'll get to take part in a full buffet-style serving with a taste of all The Griswold Inn's offerings.

Tony’s I-75 Restaurant (Birch Run, Michigan)

As Tom and Patti Burkett wrote a while back for the RV Lifestyle, Tony's I-75 Restaurant is very much worth a stop.

Located in Birch Run, Michigan, just off interstate 75, Tony's has great a breakfast and a lot of other tasty offerings.

They’re best known for their bacon. 

Ridiculous amounts of bacon. 

Their BLT has a pound of fried meat.

RVing tip: Tony's is located just a short distance from a Meijer store where you can park overnight. 

10 Unique Roadside Restaurants Worth Trying 1

Roadside Restaurant? Buc-ee’s (multiple locations in Texas)

If you’re driving through The Lone Star State, chances are you’ll drive by one of Buc-ee's multiple locations. The place is generally a truck stop and mini-restaurant. The homemade queso and salsa are delicious, and so are the popcorn, fudge, or jerky. A good, easy-going pit stop with some grub to get you going again, Buc-ee’s is a great stop.

Tad's Chicken ‘n Dumplins (Troutdale, Oregon)

Note: Re-opening in Spring 2021! Located above the Sandy River off I-84, Tad’s Chicken ‘n Dumplins is an Oregon staple. Many of the restaurant's 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.

If you're looking for a homemade meal, Tad’s has you covered no matter how far you’ve traveled in your RV. Try the classic chicken fried steak from Tad’s family recipe on Tuesdays. Just note that it's only open for dinner.

Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Que (Decatur, Alabama)

If you’re driving through the south, you must stop at a barbecue joint and if you’re in Alabama, you must stop at Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Que. This roadside restaurant is one of Alabama’s staples in BBQ region; everything from the rubs to the sauce is handmade from family recipes.

Smoked chicken, pulled pork, and white sauce that’s known as “Alabama barbecue” are among the 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.

Ready to Plan an RV Trip? Here's the tool we use:

10 Unique Roadside Restaurants Worth Trying 2

Planning an RV Trip has never been easier than with RV TripWizard. It is a comprehensive tool that Jennifer and I use whenever we are planning a trip. It works seamlessly with all our devices and gives us access to the info we need on where to stop, what camping is nearby and what we should do in an area.

Best of all, you can try it for free to see how it will fit into your trip planning process.

RV Trip Wizard10 Unique Roadside Restaurants Worth Trying 3

Want to REALLY connect to the RV Lifestyle?

Become a supporter of the RV Lifestyle and get inside access to exclusive tips, trip planning ideas, how-to RV info, private member-only campouts with Mike & Jennifer, and special perks, giveaways, and discounts. CLICK HERE for info.

Curious about the gear, gadgets, accessories, and RV products Mike & Jennifer use and recommend?

On this RV Lifestyle Travel blog, our RV Podcast, and our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel, we mention all sorts of RV-related products and gear that we use, So we created a special page links to them. We update this all the time.  CLICK HERE to go to it directly. 

Mike Wendland

Published on 2021-01-11

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

One Response to “10 Unique Roadside Restaurants Worth Trying”

February 18, 2020at11:15 am, Nancyu said:

Please note that Texas BUC-EE’S is NOT a truck stop, in fact, BUC-EE’S prohibit trucks from entering their locations (signs are posted at the entrance – no 18 wheelers).
Also, BUC-EE’S sells lots of food, but it is not a restaurant as there is NOWHERE to sit and eat inside a BUC-EE’S, true to the concept of get it and go!
San Antonio Texas

Comments are closed.

Back to top