5 Delicious Detours Along U.S. Road Trip Routes

These are worth taking the long way.

5 Delicious Detours Along U.S. Road Trip Routes

Illustration by Wendy MacNaughton

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.

“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.”

“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

“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

“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

>>Next: The 14 Best Road Trips in the U.S.

Michael Stern, co-creator of Roadfood.com – the first food website to feature photography – has written over 40 books about American food and popular culture, including New York Times best sellers Elvis World and The Encyclopedia of Bad Taste. Michael was born in Chicago. He was educated at Johns Hopkins, University of Michigan, Yale, and Columbia University. Before devoting his attention to writing, he produced and directed documentary films for WNBC-TV and the United States Information Agency. In 1992 Jane and Michael Stern were inducted into the Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America for their pioneering work discovering regional food. Michael was an editor at Gourmet Magazine for 17 years. The monthly column he and Jane Stern wrote won three James Beard journalism awards. He was a contributing editor to Saveur Magazine from 2010 to 2015. From 1997 to 2017 the Sterns were regular weekly guests on the Public Radio show, The Splendid Table. In 2016 the Smithsonian Institution acquired the Jane & Michael Stern Roadfood collection for its permanent archives Michael currently lives in Aiken, South Carolina, where he rides horses and writes a weekly restaurant review for The Aiken Standard.
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