• Killer Seafood

    Mexico Beach, Florida

    Killer Seafood is all good: shrimp in glorious Simmerin’ Sauce, outstanding grouper, and 4-star Key lime pie. A fun seaside shack, decorated with dollar bills.

  • Burritos La Palma

    Santa Ana, California

    Boasting some of the best flour tortillas anywhere, Burritos La Palma is regional comfort food for those that grew up eating Tex-Mex.

  • Boss Oyster

    Apalachicola, Florida

    Boss Oyster is one of the best places to eat the oysters for which Apalachicola is famous. Plus Florida shrimp, flounder, grouper, and redfish!

  • Fisherman’s Wife

    Carrabelle, Florida

    This charming Carrabelle town cafe on Florida’s Gulf Coast really is run by a fisherman’s wife. Count on impeccable local seafood and perfect Key lime pie.

  • Carrabelle Junction

    Carrabelle, Florida

    Carrabelle Junction is a coffee house, sandwich shop, town cafe and soda fountain enjoyed by locals and travelers for its good food and quirky personality.

  • Apalachicola Seafood Grill

    Apalachicola, Florida

    A corner-store Apalachicola lunch room surrounded by a raised sidewalk, this town favorite restaurant serves exemplary Gulf Coast seafood at reasonable prices.



  • Fry Sauce

    A Utah drive-in chain, Arctic Circle, claims to have created fry sauce in 1948 from “a tasty, tangy mixture of tomato concentrate, lemon juice, eggs, and a whole bunch of other ingredients.” Throughout the Plains all the way to the West Coast, drive-ins and burger joints as well as loosemeats shops in Siouxland offer now … Continue reading Fry Sauce

  • Hot Chicken

    Created in Nashville, and still best there, hot chicken is crisp-fried and imbued skin to bone with peppers’ fire. It originated at the still-thriving Prince’s Chicken Shack a couple of generations ago when proprietor Thornton Prince’s girlfriend, wanting to get even with him for his carousing one night, sopped his fried chicken in a painful … Continue reading Hot Chicken

  • New York System

    Rhode Island hot dogs are known as New York System weenies, although there is nothing remotely like them in New York. (In New York City, that is. The Michigan of Plattsburgh, New York, is vaguely similar.) One logical explanation is that nearly all of the Ocean State’s wiener depots were opened by cooks who had … Continue reading New York System

  • Hot Tamales

    In the Mississippi Delta, from Memphis down to Vicksburg, tamales are sold by men and women, black and white, from street carts, off back porches, and in eateries of every kind. There is no clear genealogy that explains the ubiquity of a Mexican dish in cotton country, other than the surmise that workers from Mexico … Continue reading Hot Tamales

  • Burgoo

    Almost every place that serves barbecue in western Kentucky also offers the fork-thick vegetable soup/stew known as burgoo. Supposedly named when a Civil War cook with a speech impediment tried to say bird stew, burgoo traditionally contained meat from whatever small game the cook could get, usually including squirrel. Modern burgoo, a staple on Derby … Continue reading Burgoo

  • Date Shake

    Long ago, when California was considered exotic and paradisaical, dates were an emblem of its appeal. Grown in the stately palm groves of the Coachella Valley, the luxury fruit inspired a drink that has gone beyond the desert and has been embraced by all of Southern California: the date shake. As if an ordinary milk … Continue reading Date Shake


  • Route 66 through Albuquerque

    Route 66 did not bypass cities. It ran straight through their hearts. In Albuquerque the old highway is called Central Avenue, and it takes travelers right past or very near a bevy of excellent downtown eat places — some new, some dating back to the heyday of the Mother Road.

  • Jane’s Diary: The Thing is…

    For those of you who may not have committed to memory the complete works of Jane and Michael Stern, here is an interesting factoid. At the same time we wrote the original edition of Roadfood, published in 1978, we also wrote a companion book called Amazing America. It is a lame title for a book … Continue reading Jane’s Diary: The Thing is…

  • Jane’s Diary: Death by Chili

    Growing up, I never liked spicy food. Then again, I was never served any. My default meal as a kid was chicken ala King, white meat, white sauce on white rice. The pizzazz came from a fleck of pimento and a few green peas. I did not start to eat spicy food until I was … Continue reading Jane’s Diary: Death by Chili

  • Michael’s Hometown Must-Eats

    Since moving to Aiken, South Carolina, I have wallowed in legendary BBQ, unsurpassed peaches, and impeccable seafood from the coast. These six restaurants are local favorites to which I return again and again. Shealy’s is BBQ’s big gun hereabouts – a massive eating hall with a cornucopia buffet. Across the river in Augusta, Perry’s Pig … Continue reading Michael’s Hometown Must-Eats

  • Perry’s Pig

    At this hidden Augusta BBQ, chopped pork sandwiches are garnished with succulent bits of crisp cracklin: one of the great smoke-pit sandwiches anywhere.

  • Golden Crown Panadería

    Green chile bread is totally worth a detour to this squat bakery near Old Town Albuquerque. New Mexico’s state cookie, biscochitos, are great, as are pizzas.