Best Local Restaurants on the Hot Rod Power Tour Route

21 STOPS | 1088 MILES | 17 hr 58 min

The 24th Annual HOT ROD Power Tour

This 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 5

When you get to Raleigh, NC, you want flame-broiled burgers at the locally-loved Char-Grill and chili-slaw dogs at the legendary Roast Grill.

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.


Tom’s Blue Moon BBQ

Tom's Blue Moon BBQ is known around Lebanon, Tennessee, for having the best BBQ in town. Whatever meat you eat, save room for the great banana pudding.


Niki’s West

Niki's West is a Greek-accented cafeteria near the Birmingham farmers market. Specialties are seafood and a vast selection of Southern vegetables.


Miss Myra’s Pit Bar-B-Q

Miss Myra's is the place to go in Birmingham for BBQ chicken covered in unique north Alabama white sauce. Banana pudding is world class!


Alabama Biscuit Co.

Sophisticated, understated biscuit bakery and coffee bar, Alabama Biscuit Co. is a Birmingham restaurant best-bet for breakfast, lunch, or coffee an'.


The Bright Star

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.


Hubbard’s Off Main

A small town restaurant serving sophisticated versions of dishes from the South, Louisiana, and beyond, Hubbard's is an Oxford, Alabama, jewel just off I-20.


Marie’s BBQ House

A north Alabama destination in Heflin just off Interstate 20, Marie's serves some of the best smoke-cooked meats and a cornucopia of Dixie favorite side dishes.


Biscuit Shack

A humble diner where breakfast stars, the Biscuit Shack of Griffin, Georgia, is a tucked-away delight for seekers of edible Americana. Open at 6am.


Fresh Air Barbecue

A Georgia BBQ country classic, Fresh Air's menu is a no-frills hall of fame: smoke-cooked pork, meaty Brunswick stew, creamy/crisp cole slaw. Cheap, good, fun.


Sweet T’s

Downhome southern fare served cafeteria style makes Sweet T's a best-bet lunch destination between Atlanta & Augusta, Georgia. Glorious desserts!


Honey From the Rock Cafe

Serving 4-star Dixie cafeteria fare with spiritual purpose, Augusta's Honey from the Rock is known for baked chicken, crisp corn fritters & homemade ice cream.


Edgar’s Grille

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."


Kingsman Que & Brew

Outstanding burgers, smoke-cooked meats, and a menu of eats that go well with beer characterize this 2016 branch of the venerable Kingsman. *CLOSED*


Big Boy’s Smokehouse

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.



Char-Grill has fed crowds of Raleigh-area burger fans for five decades. Flame-cooked burgers, hot dogs, fries and milkshakes are North Carolina treasures.

Must Eats

Roast Grill

A no-frills diner with a menu limited to one single entree -- hot dogs (with chili and onions), Raleigh's Roast Grill is a living museum of urban-eats history.

Must Eats

Lexington Barbecue #1

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.


Price’s Chicken Coop

Price's Chicken comes encased in crunchy skin imbued with the silky, savory goodness of chicken fat. A Charlotte, North Carolina, fried chicken best bet.

Must Eats
Chicken Dinner , Sweet Potato Pie , Fried Apple Pie, Fried Shrimp , Fried Chicken

Zada Jane’s Corner Cafe

Zada Jane's is a popular, stylish, 3-meal-a-day Charlotte restaurant known especially for breakfast -- from classic buttermilk biscuits to vegetarian exotica.


Amelie’s French Bakery

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.