This Midwest State-Based Gas Station Holds The Title Of Best In America

Gas stations aren't usually considered destinations in and of themselves, but they're a necessity for travelers heading to the airport or crisscrossing the country on a road trip. Even if most drivers only spend a few minutes stopped at a gas station, that brief stop for fuel and snacks can vary depending on the brand.

Each year, USA Today compares gas station companies across the U.S. to determine which ones offer the cleanest facilities, the most high-quality food options, and the best amenities — the kind of places you'd be happy to stop at during a long drive. Many of the outlet's top picks are regional brands with a local spirit, including the gas station that has taken the top spot four years in a row: Kwik Trip/Kwik Star.

For those unfamiliar with the name, Kwik Trip/Kwik Star is a family-owned business located in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, South Dakota, and Illinois. According to USA Today's 2023 ranking, the chain's bakery is stocked with over two dozen different items every day, and its milk comes fresh from Wisconsin-area farms. Besides winning over hungry travelers, the company is also a favorite among truck drivers. Trucker Path app users chose Kwik Star #1071 in Davenport, Iowa, as their favorite truck stop in the country, joined by five other Kwik Trip/Kwik Star locations ranked in the top 100.

Other gas stations that made the list

Taking second place in USA Today's 2023 list (for the second year in a row) is Hy-Vee, another gas station chain found in the Midwest. Currently, the station has locations in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. USA Today highlighted the brand's customer service, and visitors may also appreciate its wide variety of food and health products.

RaceTrac, a company primarily located in Southern states, took the third spot, rising from its previous ninth-place ranking in 2022. The brand is known for providing a range of on-the-go foods, along with affordable gas prices to boot.

Other fueling stations recognized in the top 10 include Royal Farms (found in states along the East Coast), Maverik (located in Western states), Parker's (a chain in Georgia and South Carolina), Sheetz (found in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, and North Carolina), Love's (a gas station found across the country that sometimes houses restaurants and hotels along with fuel pumps), QuikTrip (most commonly spotted in Southern and Midwestern states), and Sapp Bros. (a small chain located in Nebraska and a handful of other states).

The best gas stations aren't always the easiest to find

The best-rated gas stations in the U.S. might be found in states all over the country, but that doesn't mean most drivers have easy access to them. A 2023 poll by YouGov revealed the 10 most popular gas stations in the country, based on the brands that American adults said they had recently used. Surprisingly, not a single gas station from the USA Today list was named in the survey results.

The most commonly used chain in the U.S. was Shell, followed by other big-name brands such as ExxonMobil, BP, and Chevron. Grocery store gas stations made the list, too, including Costco, Kroger, and Sam's Club. When respondents were asked why they chose their go-to gas station, the most commonly cited reason among users of the most popular chains was "convenient location."

While you might be tempted to overlook gas stations when planning your next trip, consider stepping outside your comfort zone and trying a different brand when you're on the road. You might just find a new favorite stop on the way to your destination.