Food On Route 66 – Our 5 Best Dining Experience On The Route

Food on Route 66

There’s no shortage of places to eat along Route 66, you won’t be going hungry. It’s not all just burgers, as well as the classic Route 66 roadside diners there are also fine dining options, remember Route 66 passes through some large cosmopolitan cities.

The list of our 5 best dining experiences takes you from breakfast to dinner with a couple of snacks thrown in for good measure. We have chosen these 5 not only for the good food but for that authentic Route 66 experience. It’s hard to explain but when we think of them, we are immediately transported back to Route 66, something McDonald’s will never do.

So loosen your belts and let’s get started.

Breakfast – Kix On 66, Tucumcari, New Mexico

Kix On Route 66 Tucumcari
Breakfast at Kix On 66

Kix on Route 66 is a classic roadside coffee shop and diner in the centre of Tucumcari, New Mexico. This is the place for breakfast in the area and is within walking distance of many of the historic motels. The food is American (they love their eggs for breakfast) with some Mexican dishes too.

The classic styling transports you back to the 1950s and it’s a great place to relax and plan your day’s drive. Kix On 66 is open from 6 am to 2 pm.

Savoury Snack – Cozy Dog Drive In, Springfield, Illinois

The Cozy Dog Drive In
Trying our first Cozy Dog at the Cozy Dog Drive In, Springfield

The Cozy Dog Drive-In, Springfield, Illinois is a definite stop on Route 66. If you want sausage in batter on a stick, then this is the place for you.

The Cozy Dog was invented by Ed Waldmire Jr. back in the 1940s. Ed was the father of another famous Route 66 character, artist Bob Waldmire.

We dropped in to try our Cozy Dog at 10 am, the best way to start the day! The Cozy Dog Drive-In is open 8 am to 8 pm, Mondays to Saturdays.

Lunch – Pops, Arcadia, Oklahoma

Pops Arcadia
Pops Arcadia

Just west of Arcadia, Oklahoma is the landmark diner of Pops Soda Ranch. When we say landmark, you can’t miss the giant pop bottle outside which is lit with neon at night.

Unlike many of the other diners on Route 66 Pops is a futuristic, steel and glass roadside attraction. As the name suggests, it is a mecca for pop fans, they have a range of over 700 different kinds to choose from.

Chicken Fried Steak at pops
The chicken fried steak at Pops

It was very busy when we visited but we were able to get seats at the counter. A lot of customers were driving the I44 which is only 4 miles away. Mel had to try the chicken fried steak which, to non-US readers, has nothing to do with chicken. It’s basically a steak cooked in the style of southern fried chicken. You, won’t be leaving Pops hungry.

Pops is open daily with the restaurant serving from 10.30 am to 9 pm.

Sweet Snack – MidPoint Cafe, Adrian, Texas

The Midpoint Cafe
The Midpoint Cafe

The midpoint of Route 66, 1139 miles from Chicago and 1139 miles to LA. Standing on this iconic location is the aptly named MidPoint Cafe in Adrian, Texas.

Fran Houser, the former owner of the MidPoint Cafe, is the inspiration for Flo of ‘Flo’s V-8 Cafe’ in Disney Pixar’s Cars.

Unlike many cafes which exploit their location and serve uninspiring food to tourists, you can actually get very good food here, especially the ugly crust pies.

The MidPoint Cafe
Coffe and pie at the Midpoint cafe

Those pies! Even if you are not hungry you will definitely find room for a slice of one of their homemade pies and a cup of coffee. The MidPoint Cafe is open from 8.30 am to 4 pm.

Dinner – The Turquoise Room At La Posada, Winslow, Arizona

La Posada
The Turquoise Room at La Posada

Route 66 is not all about diners, there are some fine dining opportunities on the route. One of these is The Turquoise Room at the La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona. The hotel and the restaurant take you back to the glamorous days of trans continental rail travel long before fast travel and the jet age.

The restaurant’s name ‘The Turquoise Room’ is taken from the private dining car of the Super Chief train which ran from Chicago to Los Angeles during the 1930s.

Dinner at the Turquoise Room Las Posada
Dinner at The Turquoise Room

Today the restaurant retains its unique southwest atmosphere serving a contemporary version of Arizona food. The hotel itself is a restored Harvey House and the waitresses still dress in the style of the Harvey Girls.

The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch, dinner is served from 5 pm to 9 pm.

These are just a few examples of the eclectic food options available on Route 66, there are so many more to try. But that’s just another reason for us to drive the route again.

Have you driven the route? What was your favourite dining experience?

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