Michael and Jane Stern, the authors of the website roadfood.com, have eaten their way across nearly every major highway and back road in the United States. Here, Michael shares the best food stops along some of America’s most popular drives.

CALIFORNIA, HIGHWAY 1
“Barbecued oysters aren’t that unusual on the north coast of California, but the Marshall Store is the place to eat them. Outdoor tables overlook Tomales Bay.” 19225 Hwy. 1, Marshall, themarshallstore.com

IOWA, I-80
“The Farmer’s Kitchen, a café in the town of Atlantic, serves unreal pie, and Iowa takes its pie very seriously. The owner’s mom has won pie bake-offs. Enough said.” 319 Walnut St., Atlantic, farmerskitchen.net

MICHIGAN, ROUTE 41
“At the top of the Upper Peninsula, a group of monks run the Jampot. Their jams, made from local fruits such as thimbleberries, nearly converted me.” 6559 Hwy. 26, Eagle Harbor, societystjohn.com 

TEXAS, HIGHWAY 281
“Nine out of 10 chicken-fried steaks are horrible. Finding a good one is an aha moment. The chicken-fried steak at the Blue Bonnet Café gives you just that.” 211 Hwy. 281, Marble Falls, bluebonnetcafe.net

VIRGINIA, BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY
“Red Truck Bakery makes hearty granola with big nut- and-cranberry clusters. The whiskey-spiked chocolate cake is dangerous stuff.” 22 Waterloo St., Warrenton, redtruckbakery.com

Illustration by Wendy MacNaughton. This appeared in the July/August 2012 issue.