There's an undeniable romance in the idea of a classic American road trip. Picture this: you, the open road, and mile after mile of breathtaking landscapes in the Western region. But what if we told you that the journey could be just as delicious as the destination? This road trip restaurant experience is about more than just satiating hunger; it's about tasting the soul of a place, understanding its history, and feeling a sense of connection to the people and their culture.
So, grab your keys and rev up your appetite because we're about to take you on a mouthwatering adventure through the best road trip restaurants in the West!
First up is the Grand Canyon State — Arizona. While it's most famous for its dramatic landscapes, it is also home to an array of rustic and modern road trip restaurants worth the detour.
Nestled in the heart of Tempe, Arizona, The Yard should be on your list of must-visit road trip restaurants. The menu at The Yard offers diverse dishes crafted with an eye for detail and a deep respect for ingredients. From succulent steaks cooked to perfection to fresh salads bursting with color and flavor, there's something to satisfy every palate. One of the standout features of The Yard is its extensive craft beer selection, which showcases local and regional brews.
Moreover, whether you're a beer enthusiast or a casual drinker, The Yard's knowledgeable staff is always ready to guide you toward a brew that perfectly complements your meal.
Located in Scottsdale, Tempe, Phoenix, Peoria, and Mesa, MAD Greens is a road trip restaurant that focuses on healthy, chef-inspired salads and wraps. As the name suggests, salads are the stars of the show here. But these aren't your run-of-the-mill salads. Each dish is a carefully crafted blend of locally sourced greens, crunchy veggies, high-quality proteins, and house-made dressings.
Popular options include the "Ty Cobb" with grilled citrus chicken and the "Edgar Allan Poe" with baby greens and pumpkin seeds, each offering a unique and delightful flavor profile. MAD Greens also offers a variety of wraps, grain bowls, and soups, all prepared with the same commitment to quality and flavor.
Your road trip restaurant adventure through the West wouldn't be complete without a visit to California, home to some of the most iconic and celebrated restaurants in the United States. From classic seafood shacks to trendy farm-to-table eateries, the Golden State offers an array of diverse and delightful dining destinations.
Stopping for a classic meal or exploring the creative off-the-menu items at In-N-Out? You won't regret it. Serving classic American fast food with a modern twist, the menu is simple yet satisfying. Burgers, fries, shakes, and more are all cooked to perfection.
The star of the show is the signature "Double-Double," two patties topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and their famous "Spread" sauce. The menu also features off-the-menu items like the "Animal Style" burger, which is topped with caramelized onions and extra spread. And, if you're up for a challenge, there's the "4x4," four beef patties, and four slices of cheese — definitely not for the faint of heart.
With locations throughout California and a menu full of classic tacos, burritos, and other Mexican dishes, King Taco is the perfect spot for a quick bite or a full-on feast. The menu features classic tacos like Carne Asada and Al Pastor, as well as unique options like the Chicharron. The Carne Asada is perfectly cooked and seasoned, while the Al Pastor is juicy and flavorful. The Chicharron is a great option for those who want something different; it's served on a crispy corn tortilla and topped with fresh cilantro, onion, and lime.
The restaurant also offers a variety of other Mexican dishes, such as sopes, quesadillas, enchiladas, and tamales. There are also plenty of sides, like chips and salsa, guacamole, and refried beans. It's a great spot for the whole family, with something to satisfy everyone's taste buds.
Renowned for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant cultures, New Mexico is a tapestry of experiences waiting to be explored. New Mexico's cuisine is as colorful and diverse as its landscapes.
Twisters Burgers & Burritos
Famous for the filming of episodes of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, Twisters Burgers & Burritos should be at the top of your list on a road trip through New Mexico. This road trip restaurant specializes in burgers, burritos, and tacos made with authentic New Mexican ingredients.
Its signature dish is the green chile cheeseburger, made with a juicy beef patty topped with melted cheese and smothered in its signature green chile sauce. Other popular items include burritos filled with beans, rice, and your choice of meat or vegetables. Twisters Burgers & Burritos also offers a variety of breakfast options, including breakfast burritos filled with eggs, potatoes, and cheese. And if you're looking for something lighter, the salads here are made with fresh greens and homemade dressings.
Little Anita's is more than just a restaurant; it's a slice of New Mexican history. It has served delicious New Mexican cuisine since the early 1970s and has become a beloved New Mexico dining scene fixture.
The heart and soul of Little Anita's menu are undoubtedly its classic New Mexican dishes. Whether it's a hearty burrito loaded with succulent meat and beans, a crispy taco filled with fresh ingredients, or an enchilada smothered in rich, flavorful sauce — every item is crafted with care and packed with authentic flavors.
But Little Anita’s doesn't stop at the traditional fare. If you have a penchant for seafood, the restaurant serves up dishes like shrimp fajitas, marinated in a blend of spices and grilled to perfection, or fish tacos featuring freshly caught fish, lightly battered and served with a tangy slaw. And let's not forget about vegetarians. Little Anita’s ensures everyone can enjoy delicious cuisine with a dedicated vegetarian menu. Vegetarian sopaipillas—fluffy fried pastries—are a must-try, as are the burritos and tamales, both of which are filled with a medley of seasoned veggies and beans.
Nevada is another perfect destination for a foodie road trip. From the bustling city of Las Vegas to the quaint towns of Virginia City and Pahrump, Nevada's culinary scene is as diverse and exciting as its terrain.
Don Tortaco Mexican Grill
When hunger strikes on your road trip through Nevada, pull over at Don Tortaco Mexican Grill. At Don Tortaco Mexican Grill, there's something to tantalize every palate, from the comforting familiarity of tacos and burritos to the lesser-known territories of dishes like Mexican-style BBQ chicken.
And, if you have dietary restrictions or preferences, Don Tortaco offers an impressive selection of vegetarian options. These aren't just afterthoughts, but well-crafted dishes designed to showcase the versatility of Mexican cuisine. And, of course, no Mexican meal is complete without a selection of tasty sides like homemade guacamole, chips and salsa, refried beans, and more.
Napoli Pizza & Restaurant
Serving classic Italian food with modern flair, Napoli Pizza & Restaurant's menu features a variety of gourmet pizzas, pasta, sandwiches, and more.
As its name suggests, Napoli Pizza & Restaurant specializes in pizza. Whether you're a fan of classic pies like the Margherita or looking to try something new, you won't be disappointed. You'll find creative options like the Calzone Pizza, with ricotta and mozzarella, or the Stromboli Pizza, with pepperoni, mozzarella, onions, and green peppers.
The restaurant also caters to those with dietary restrictions, offering gluten-free and vegan options. After all, everyone should be able to enjoy a delicious Italian meal on their road trip!
From gorgeous beaches to snow-capped mountains, Oregon is a little slice of paradise on the West Coast. It also has an eclectic mix of restaurants highlighting its unique cultural blend.
Looking for something sweet on your road trip in Oregon? Be sure to check out VooDoo Doughnuts. Located at several locations throughout Portland, VooDoo Donuts is a unique and quirky donut shop that offers up some of the most delicious and creative donuts you'll ever have.
The menu at VooDoo Doughnuts is full of variety, from classic glazed donuts to vegan maple bacon bars. They also offer unique flavors like the Grape Ape, made with grape-flavored frosting and topped with Cap'n Crunch cereal, or the Dirty Doughnut, filled with vanilla frosting and chocolate cream-filled cookies.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Need a quick pick-me-up or just want to savor a cup of specialty coffee? Stumptown Coffee Roasters is the perfect spot. With two locations in Ace Hotel and Belmont, Stumptown Coffee Roasters serves up some of the best coffee in Portland.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters features a range of coffee blends carefully crafted by their expert baristas. Their signature blend, Hair Bender, is made with beans from Indonesia and Ethiopia for a flavor profile that includes citrus and dark chocolate notes. Other popular offerings include Cold Brew on Nitro, served on tap for an extra creamy texture, and the seasonal Single Origin Espresso, which changes throughout the year.
As the home of some of the most spectacular natural beauty and outdoor attractions in the United States, Utah is another ideal destination for a road trip. And what better way to experience Utah than by sampling some of its amazing restaurants?
The cuisine at Urban Hill is best described as contemporary American with a twist. Its menu showcases the diversity and versatility of American cuisine, combining classic dishes with innovative techniques and ingredients for a truly unique dining experience.
One of Urban Hill's standout dishes is their signature braised short ribs. Cooked to tender perfection and served with a rich, flavorful sauce, this dish is a must-try if you're a meat lover. Another crowd favorite is the Maine diver scallops, served with a lemon beurre blanc that adds a delightful tanginess to the dish. But it's not just the food that sets Urban Hill apart. The restaurant also boasts an impressive wine list, perfect for pairing with your meal or enjoying a relaxed evening out.
Squatters Pub Brewery
Yet another destination for a great road trip meal in Utah, Squatters Pub Brewery is the perfect spot for beer lovers. Boasting an impressive selection of draft beers, cocktails, wines, and spirits, Squatters Pub Brewery is a great place to enjoy a cold one while indulging in some classic pub grub.
The menu features an array of tasty dishes, from burgers and sandwiches to tacos and pizzas. But the real stars here are the house-brewed beers, which range from light lagers to bold IPAs and everything in between. For a truly unique experience, don't forget to try one of the brewery's seasonal offerings, brewed with fresh and locally sourced ingredients.
Last on this road trip restaurant list is Washington, home to some of the best food and drink in the northwest.
Lovers of burgers, rejoice! This family-owned restaurant chain is a must-visit on any road trip to Washington. With locations all over the state, Burgerville serves some of the best fast-food burgers in the country. Its menu contains sizzling beef, chicken, turkey, and fish burgers, each bursting with flavor.
Burgerville also offers a plant-based option, the PlantVille CheezeBurger, with your choice of toppings. It also features a kids' menu with kid-sized versions of its classic burgers and chips. And don't forget to try the signature shakes, hand-dipped in small batches and made with real Oregon dairy.
Nothing beats a cold and creamy shake on a hot day. And when it comes to shakes, Shake Shack is the place to go in Washington. This modern-day "roadside" burger stand is the perfect spot to cool off and grab a bite.
While the main focus here is the famous shakes, Shake Shack also serves up delicious burgers and fries. Its signature ShackBurger is made with a juicy beef patty and topped with melted cheese, lettuce, and tomato, perfectly made to go with any shake. And don't forget to try the classic crinkle-cut fries, cooked golden brown and served with your choice of dipping sauces.
So there you have it — a list of the best road trip restaurants in the Western region. Whether you're looking for an authentic Mexican feast or a classic American burger, these restaurants will satisfy your cravings. Bon voyage!
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