21 Road Trip Gas Stations You'll Actually Want To Eat At

If we say "gas station food," what do you think of? Maybe day-old packaged sandwiches with hard crusts and soggy bread? Hot dogs that have been spinning under hot lamps for who knows how long? Or perhaps just a big packet of Twinkies washed down with a side of Funyuns? Gas station food has had a rough ride and doesn't enjoy the best reputation in terms of taste.

But gas stations across the U.S. are trying to change that. And many are succeeding. Some people even drive out of their way to eat at a gas station. And once you've read this article, we think you will, too. From Rickie's Indian Restaurant in Vermont and King Chicken Fillin' Station in Mississippi to Gee Cee's Truck Stop in Washington D.C. and 76th Street Diner in Michigan, there are lots of gas stations you'll actually want to eat at on your next road trip.

The Northeast

Let's start at Jimmy's General Store near the small town of Turner in Maine. It's here that one New Yorker took to Google to say the pizza is better than in New York. Unbelievable? Another Google reviewer says it's "hands down" their favorite pizza. We'll let you be the judge.

Heading south into New Hampshire will take you to the best fried chicken in the state in none other than a Shell gas station. Redditors in the r/newhampshire forum united behind the chicken at the Newfields Shell station and strongly recommend taking the Boom Boom sauce to go with it. If your road trip takes you into Vermont, prepare to be wowed by Rickie's Indian Restaurant at the Citgo station in Barre. Patrons on Facebook say the food is "phenomenal," and several drive out of their way (from as far as Maine!) just to get great Indian dishes here. 

We can't leave the Northeast without mentioning Stewart's Shops ice cream. You can find the chain at gas stations and small stores across Vermont and New York state, but the outlet at the gas station in Rensselaer has incredible Google reviews. One person says they are "obsessed" with the ice cream there. Stewart's Peanut Butter Pandemonium and Mint Cookie Crumble have won awards.

The Midwest

Some people might think of the Midwest as "flyover country," but it's classic road trip country to us. The greatest road trip of all, Route 66, begins in Chicago and snakes its way across Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. The Great River Road begins in Minnesota and follows the Mississippi River past four other Midwestern states.

In Wisconsin, O&H Danish Bakery at Willkomm's Petro in Sturtevant takes filling up to a whole new level. The kringle, an almond-paste-filled pastry, is highly recommended, with one Google reviewer calling them "delish!" Next door in Iowa, you have to stop at Casey's. The chain gas station has spread out across the Midwest and the South, but its headquarters are in Des Moines. Casey's is famous for pizza, especially breakfast pizza, which even actor Mila Kunis loves. 

76th Street Truck Stop Diner in Byron Center is a perennial favorite in Michigan. One TripAdvisor visitor wrote that the food was excellent, but the best part was the "hometown feel." Another reviewer wrote that they tried "just about everything" at this unlikely local favorite and picked the Hubcap (a sandwich with shaved ribeye and smoked bacon) as their number one. We can't finish a section on the Midwest without mentioning Pops 66. While this gas station is more of a place to quench your thirst thanks to its enormous selection of unusually-named sodas, Google reviewers also speak highly of the food's quality.

The South

Southern food is as diverse as the landscapes you pass through on a road trip in the region, from tropical Florida to the rolling hills of the Appalachians to the vast Mississippi Delta. Let's start in Mississippi, where King Chicken Fillin' Station near Tupelo rules the roost. You might have already guessed that the go-to dish here is fried chicken, which one Facebook reviewer calls "to die for."

Over in Florida, the Pearl Country Store & Barbecue comes highly recommended for their barbecue (which you may have guessed, too). One Google reviewer recommended disregarding looks at this place because the food is outstanding. The two gas stations mentioned most often in Texas are Czech Stop and Slovacek's. These restaurants are almost opposite each other in the town of West, and the thing to get in both is kolache, a sweet Czech pastry. 

Finally, up in Pence Springs, West Virginia, you can get gas station hot dogs that actually taste really good. "Best hot dogs in the world," according to one local on Facebook. Be sure to stop at the J&J Country Roads Store to check them out.

The Mountain states

We're onto the best of the West. We've split the West into the Mountain and Pacific states as it's vast. Let's begin in the mountains. Huck's Grill at the St. Regis Travel Center in Montana is a must-stop. It's known for its milkshakes, and one enthusiastic reviewer on Google says the Huckleberry shakes are the best they've ever had. Over in Idaho, Blister's BBQ serves up Carolina-style barbecue in a gas station in Rexburg. Reviewers on TripAdvisor who enjoyed eating here rave about the place. One reviewer asked others not to judge, claiming the food is "packed with lots of flavor" and that the loaded fries were so good "I would put it up against my beloved Southern BBQ."

Now, we're off to the Southwest, where a road trip will take you through mountains, deserts, and otherworldly red-rock landscapes. In Utah, make a pit stop at Kevin's Fried Chicken at the Exxon station in Murray, south of Salt Lake City. A five-star review on TripAdvisor calls the chicken "mouth-watering." Finally, The Thumb is a top gas station pick in Scottsdale, Arizona. This quirky spot was featured on the local news for having some of the best barbecue food and incredible baked goods. 

The Pacific States

Our last stop is in the Pacific States, where road trips include a drive down the epic Highway 101 and the legendary Road to Hana in Hawaii. Let's begin at Gee Cee's Truck Stop in Toledo, Washington. Its vast menu includes breakfast items, which visitors on TripAdvisor say come in huge portions, and burgers, which also get rave reviews. In Hawaii, experience the fusion of American and Japanese culture by stopping at 7-Eleven. According to Eater, half of Hawaii's 7-Elevens are attached to gas stations, and the thing to try is Spam musubi (Spam with sticky rice).

We're going to finish our list in California, where we've chosen two gas stations you'll actually want to eat at. Blogger California Through My Lens, among others, chose Whoa Nellie Deli as the gas station with the best food on Highway 395. They order the fish tacos every time. Last but by no means least, Indian food is the way to go in Los Angeles, where The Bombay Frankie Company has several locations in gas stations across the city. It serves Indian-style burritos, which one satisfied reviewer on Google says are "bursting with flavor." Gas station grub at its finest.