Grab a gourmet meal at 15 must-try restaurants right off the highway in California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.
Awful Annie's Restaurant Auburn, Calif.(also Lincoln). “The best eatery along I-80 between Truckee and the Bay Area,” says Ann Carroll of Ross, Calif. “I stop there for the scrumptious eggs Benedict, but everything on the menu looks great.” (530) 888-9857, awfulannies.com.
Bluebird Cafe Hopland, Calif. “A fun, family-friendly place right on Highway 101,” says Kennie Winter of Los Altos, Calif. “This café serves an unusual variety of burgers—elk, buffalo, wild boar, salmon, ahi tuna—as well as more common ones. Homemade blueberry and peach pies, too.” (707) 744-1633.
Gott's Roadside St. Helena, Calif. (also Napa and San Francisco), Calif. “The most delicious roadside food ever,” writes Nanci van Klaveren of Lakeport, Calif. “Standing in line, I noticed almost everyone ordered garlic fries, so that’s what I chose with my cheeseburger. Well worth the wait.” (866) 328-3663, gotts.com.
Granzella's Williams, Calif. “Something for everyone at reasonable prices just off I-5,” writes Arthur Acosta of Sonoma, Calif. “Everything from full dinners and pizzas to tasty sandwiches and delicious baked goods—even a bar where you can sit and relax.” (530) 473-5583, granzellas.com.
Hamburger Ranch & Bar-B-Que Cloverdale, Calif. “Easy access from Highways 101 and 128,” says Susanne Ireland of Willits, Calif. “The atmosphere is casual, the food is great, and there’s a beautiful patio outdoors. Plenty of parking, too.” (707) 894-5616, hamburgerranchandbbq.com.
Mad Greek Cafe Baker, Calif. “A must-stop off I-15 on the way to Las Vegas,” says Jennifer Vandenberg of Snohomish, Wash. “You’ll find delicious gyros and baklava right near the world’s largest thermometer.” (760) 733-4354.
Madonna Inn San Luis Obispo, Calif. “You can’t miss the bright pink place off Highway 101,” says Ben Lee of Fremont, Calif. “I recommend the café’s french dip sandwich with a slice of the out-of-this-world toffee crunch cake.” (805) 543-3000, madonnainn.com.
The Griddle Winnemucca, Nev. (also Boise, Idaho). “The perfect stop on Highway 95 to Reno,” says Judy Austin of Boise. “From-scratch pies, pastries, pancakes, and waffles. My lunch favorite is roast turkey with cranberry sauce and cream cheese on dark bread.” (775) 623-2977, thegriddle.com.
Camp 18 Restaurant & Logging Museum Elsie, Ore. “A nice stop on Highway 26 between Portland and the coast at Seaside,” writes Becky Jarvis of Beaverton, Ore. “The breakfasts—from biscuits and gravy to massive cinnamon rolls—are yummy. And the museum, which is full of logging tools and equipment, is rich with history.” (800) 874-1810, camp18restaurant.com.
Fisherman's Korner Garibaldi, Ore. “The sea bass at this place, just three blocks off Highway 101, is the best on the coast,” writes Lulu LaFever of Seaside, Ore. “They get it off the boats right across the dock.” (503) 322-2033.
Green Springs Inn & Cabins Ashland, Ore. “A great special-treat place on Highway 66 east of town,” says Darlene Conlogue of Ashland. “The food is wonderful, and the forest setting is breathtaking.” (541) 482-0614, greenspringsinn.com.
Pizza a' Fetta Cannon Beach, Ore. “We stop here every time we’re in Cannon Beach,” says Dove Hotz of Portland. “The pizza toppings are delicious and generous—try the fresh Dungeness crab—and the service is superfriendly. Take a few slices to the beach and watch the sun set over Haystack Rock.” (877) 436-0333, pizza-a-fetta.com.
Burgerville Centralia, Wash. (also 39 other Oregon and Washington sites). “Creamy milk shakes make this a favorite stop on I-5,” says Ann Staatz of Portland. “The berry and seasonal pumpkin shakes are favorities. Cheeseburgers ooze with Tillamook cheddar.” (360) 736-5212, burgerville.com.
Mrs. Beesley's Burgers Toledo, Wash. “This no-frills place near the Cowlitz River is just seconds off I-5,” says Randy Sangder of Eugene, Ore. “You can’t beat it for great food and convenience.” (360) 864-4866.
Solstice Wood Fire Café Bingen, Wash. “Amazing pizzas, soups, and desserts,” says Marilyn Happold-Latham of Portland. “Worth the drive up I-84—cross the Columbia at Hood River—for the cherries-and-chorizo pizza and the kombucha tea on tap.” (509) 493-4006, solsticewoodfirecafe.com.
Photography by David H. Collier
This article was first published in May 2012. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.