Adventurous appetites who yearn to explore Orlando beyond theme parks have a diverse world of good eats to discover. For wild and crazy sandwiches, there are Yellow Dog Eats and Toasted; and for the Havana classic, check out breezy Cuban Sandwiches to Go. For the best seafood around, visit Winter Park Fish Co., which looks like a shack but cooks like a palace. If you like soul food, there’s a bounty: at Nikki’s Place (since 1949), at Gordon’s Be Back Fish House, at Chef Eddie’s and at P&D Soul Food Kitchen. And if you’ve got time for a trip to the coast, splurge at Dixie Crossroads, which virtually invented Rock Shrimp.
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 is a hidden gem where there’s no place to eat, but where the take-out BBQ sandwiches inspire rapture. For seafood, DeShawn’s offers the biggest crab legs around and JC’s Seafood makes a grand, classic Lowcountry boil. When it comes to dessert, the must-eat place is the Red Shed Diner, where fresh whipped cream tops ambrosial buttermilk pie. And no eating tour of the area is complete without peach ice cream at Peaches N Such, surrounded by the orchards where they’re grown.
A delicious day in Knoxville must begin in the Old City at Olibea, a cutting edge cafe where the biscuits are fallapart fragile and the breakfast meat of choice is house-cured pork belly. It’s on to Litton’s for Thunder Road burgers and Italian cream cake, then sensational soul food at Chandler’s Deli, and a late-night BBQ blow-out at Sweet P’s Barbecue & Soul House.
While it is possible to eat well for days (weeks, months!) just walking around New Orleans, a car provides access to some of NOLA’s more far-flung culinary highlights. This around-the-city tour starts with the best beignets and cafe au lait at Morning Call in Metarie and ends with a legendary Italian feast at Mosca’s.
For barbecue, Birmingham is hard to beat. Roadfood favorites include Miss Myra’s Pit Bar-B-Q and Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q. It also is a great breakfast city, including blue-plate classics at Fife’s and artisan pastries with fancy coffee at the Alabama Biscuit Co. As a primary distribution center for southern vegetables, “The Pittsburgh of the South” (so nicknamed for its steel industry) boasts a few cornucopia-like cafeterias with literally dozens of good side dishes, Niki’s West being our favorite (for fantastic pies and puddings, too). A great eating day in Birmingham concludes with dinner at Bessemer’s Bright Star, a grand old dining room where seafood is impeccable, steaks are mighty, and desserts are outlandish.
America’s Byways® are a collection of 150 National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. The drive through Sedona’s Red Rock country is one of awesome scenery and good food served with old-fashioned western hospitality.
America’s Byways® are a collection of 150 National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. The Department of Transportation praises the byway around Lake Pend Oreille for its “abundance of recreational opportunities, postcard-quality scenery, and historical elements.” We like it for huckleberry pie, hearty diner breakfast, and four-star coffee.
America’s Byways® are a collection of 150 National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. One of the most beautiful such roads also happens to be one of the most delicious: the drive along Oregon’s coast from Astoria south to Brookings. As described by the Department of Transportation, it “winds by estuarine marshes, clings to seaside cliffs, passes through agricultural valleys, and brushes against wind-sculpted dunes. Charming small towns, museums, state parks, overlooks, historic bridges, and lighthouses ensure a delightful journey.” We add only one suggestion: bring plenty of appetite!
America’s Byways® are a collection of 150 National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. The Merritt Parkway of Connecticut is a rolling, limited-access four-lane with bridges that display beautiful Art Deco styling of the 1930s. Opportunities to eat well just off the road are plentiful, and short detours lead to New Haven’s legendary pizza and shoreline seafood as well. This tour includes only places within 3 minutes of the Parkway.
America’s Byways® are a collection of 150 National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. The Department of Transportation describes the Loess Hills Scenic Byway through westernmost Iowa as “truly an American treasure.” The trip from Omaha, Nebraska, to Sioux City, Iowa offers Roadfood adventurers a bevy of unique local eats.