Special Report

America's Greatest Roadside Restaurants

MoreISO / Getty Images

Americans love food and driving and these passions come together in roadside restaurants. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that roadside restaurants have a central place in American culture: They feature in such iconic films as “American Graffiti” and “Thelma and Louise” and road movies are themselves a major film genre. 

After a year of restrictions on travel and dining out, many Americans must be hungry for adventure and hungry for the restaurant experience, whether it’s the chrome exterior and vinyl  interior of a basic truckstop café or a classic diner. (Here is the best diner in every state)

To whet your appetite 24/7 Tempo has compiled a list of 26 of America’s best roadside eateries. 

They span the country, from Maine to California to Hawaii. Many of the places on our list are known for classic American fare, such as pizza and BBQ. Not surprisingly, burgers are a staple. Some are famous for local specialties, such as lobster and chowder fries. Whatever your preference, roadside restaurants often offer generous portions for reasonable prices. 


Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-in
> Location: Seligman, Arizona
> Don’t miss: Jalapeño burger


Yaks on the 5
> Location: Dunsmuir, California
> Don’t miss: Bacon Overload burger


Goody’s Family Restaurant
> Location: Victorville, California
> Don’t miss: Waffle supreme combo

Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner
> Location: Yermo, California
> Don’t miss: Peggy Sue’s special combination pizza


West Shore Seafood
> Location: Morris, Connecticut
> Don’t miss: Chowder fries

Wooster Hollow Café
> Location: Ridgefield, Connecticut
> Don’t miss: Chicken enchilada omelet

Helen’s Famous Sausage House
> Location: Smyrna, Delaware
> Don’t miss: Fried bologna and egg sandwich


Chicken in a Barrel BBQ
> Location: Kapaa, Hawaii
> Don’t miss: Chicken in a Barrel plate

Blue Springs Café
> Location: Highland, Indiana
> Don’t miss: Fried walleye dinner


Palace Diner
> Location: Biddeford, Maine
> Don’t miss: Buttermilk flapjacks

Red’s Eats
> Location: Wiscasset, Maine
> Don’t miss: Red’s “Lobster Roll of Fame”

B.T.’s Smokehouse
> Location: Sturbridge, Massachusetts
> Don’t miss: Three-meat platter


Mason Jar Café
> Location: Benton Harbor, Michigan
> Don’t miss: Mascarpone-stuffed cinnamon-challah French toast

Peg’s Countryside Café
> Location: Hamel, Minnesota
> Don’t miss: Country-style eggs Benedict


Wagner’s Drive-In
> Location: Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
> Don’t miss: Fried chicken dinner

Crazy K’s Food & Fuel
> Location: Buckatunna, Mississippi
> Don’t miss: Hand-cut ribeye sandwich

Open Range Grill
> Location: Ogallala, Nebraska
> Don’t miss: Range burger


Lexie’s Joint
> Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire
> Don’t miss: Lexie’s Big Mouth burger

21. Steve’s Burgers
> Location: Garfield, New Jersey
> Don’t miss: “Y-D-K-J” burger


Buckeye Express Diner
> Location: Belleville, Ohio
> Don’t miss: Locomotive Buckeye Pounder burger

Wellsboro Diner
> Location: Wellsboro, Pennsylvania
> Don’t miss: Hot roast beef sandwich


Anthony’s Seafood
> Location: Middletown, Rhode Island
> Don’t miss: Portuguese fish chowder

Murdo Drive-In
> Location: Murdo, South Dakota
> Don’t miss: Local grass-fed burger


Coyote Bluff Café
> Location: Amarillo, Texas
> Don’t miss: Burger from Hell


Cruiser Café
> Location: Eatonville, Washington
> Don’t miss: Big “E” burger


Hillbilly Hot Dogs
> Location: Lesage, West Virginia
> Don’t miss: Chuck’s Junk Yard Dog

Sponsored: Want to Retire Early? Here’s a Great First Step

Want retirement to come a few years earlier than you’d planned? Or are you ready to retire now, but want an extra set of eyes on your finances?

Now you can speak with up to 3 financial experts in your area for FREE. By simply clicking here you can begin to match with financial professionals who can help you build your plan to retire early. And the best part? The first conversation with them is free.

Click here to match with up to 3 financial pros who would be excited to help you make financial decisions.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.