The 24th annual HOT ROD Power Tour is a seven-day, seven-city journey expected to bring together more than 6,000 vehicles and 100,000-plus spectators making it the largest traveling car-show in the world!
Starting in Bowling Green, KY, the route winds through Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, eventually ending in Concord, NC.
A region so rich in food culture and tradition deserves to be explored! For those willing to get off the main road, who want to experience a true taste of the south, we have put together a list of the best local restaurants along the HOT ROD Power Tour route for authentic flavor and character.
Day 1 – If hankering for great BBQ, detour into Lebanon, Tennessee for Tom’s Blue Moon BBQ
Day 2 – In and around Birmingham, Alabama is a Roadfood bonanza. Best bets are: Niki’s West for a cafeteria with fantastic vegetables and desserts, Miss Myra’s Pit Bar B Q, the Alabama Biscuit Company, and, for a grand southern/Greek feast, Bright Star.
Day 3 – In Oxford, Alabama, there’s sophisticated/casual Dixie fare at Hubbard’s off Main. A slight detour east into Heflin takes you to Marie’s BBQ House. Just south of the Atlanta Motor Speedway is the Biscuit Shack: great for breakfast the next morning.
Day 4 – Fresh Air BBQ in Jackson, GA, opens at 8:00am. It’s the daddy of all Georgia BBQ parlors: simple, basic, delicious, and huge. In Thomson, GA, Sweet T’s is a memorable lunch stop for full-bore Dixie classics (with Elvis on the sound system). Passing just north of Augusta puts you close to Honey from the Rock, a church-run cafeteria with divine food, and Edgar’s Grille, a sophisticated dining room operated by hospitality students at Helms college. Just north of the highway in Lexington, South Carolina, is Kingsman Que and Brew for outlandish pimento cheeseburgers. Some of the South’s best BBQ is just north of Columbia at Big Boy’s Smokehouse.
Day 6 – The route takes you right through Lexington, which is home to what many believe is the best BBQ in North Carolina, maybe the best on earth: Lexington BBQ #1. A few of the must-eats in Charlotte are hometown favorite Lupie’s, Price’s Chicken Coop (dine on the grass across the street), and hip/delicious Zada Jane’s Corner Cafe. For good coffee, Parisian pastries, and funky décor 24/7, the place to go is Amelie’s French Bakery.
Comfortable, hospitable and middle-class classy, the Bright Star Restaurant (Alabama's oldest) is a beacon of great seafood and steak cooked with a Greek flair.
Country-style southern fare served cafeteria style makes Sweet T's a best-bet lunch destination west of Augusta, Georgia. Glorious desserts!
Serving Dixie cafeteria fare with spiritual purpose, Augusta's Honey from the Rock is known for baked chicken, crispy corn fritters, and peach ice cream.
Staffed by culinary arts students of Helms College but overseen by pros, Edgar's Grille is a stylish beacon of "New American cuisine with a Southern flair."
One of the best BBQs in South Carolina, Big Boy's is a casual restaurant serving ribs, pulled pork, chicken, turkey wings, even first-rate beef brisket.
Lexington Barbecue #1 has defined North Carolina excellence since '62. Smoky pork is a festival of tenderness with crunchy bits from the shoulder's outside.
Lupie's is a Charlotte locals' favorite restaurant, for fresh vegetables (& mac 'n' cheese!), beautiful burgers and bountiful banana pudding for dessert.
A French bakery with kitsch decor, Amelie's is a 24/7 beacon of croissants, quiches, tarts, tortes, sandwiches, soups and salads plus coffee in every good form.