Last Updated on August 6, 2022
When doing a road trip like Route 66, you pass through hundreds of little towns, all with places to stop and eat, it’s impossible to stop at every single one without either bankrupting yourself or returning home double the weight of what you were when you started! To save money, for some meals we stopped at gas stations and supermarkets such as Walmart and ate the complimentary breakfasts at the hotels, this way we only had to pay for a full meal once a day. Here are 6 of my favourite restaurants along Route 66!
Disclosure: Please note Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking. It comes at no extra cost to you! As always, opinions are my own.
Restaurants on Route 66
Dicks Last Resort – Chicago
Location: 315 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654
Route 66 starts in Chicago, I spent 2 nights there so had a full day exploring the city before heading off on the route. I love Dicks Last Resort, located right next to the Chicago River, so not exactly right on Route 66. The staff will insult you and joke with you and it’s brilliant (I’ve been back three times since!). Think doors with 2 handles, stereotypes…I’m English and I had chosen Fish and Chips on the menu…was just asking for trouble, that type of thing!
The waiters make giant paper hats for people to wear with ‘insults’ on, for example one of mine said “I still live with my parents #helpme”. Obviously the more you play along the better the experience!
There are thousands of places you could eat at while in Chicago. It’s not an American restaurant, but the Elephant and Castle is a great British restaurant located on Adams St, just up the road from the Route 66 ‘Begin’ sign!
Related Reading: Skydeck or 360 Chicago: Which Chicago Observation Deck is Better?
Cozy Dog Drive In – Springfield
Location: 2935 S 6th St, Springfield, IL 62703
The Cozy Dog Drive In is said to be home of the Corn Dog on a stick! Cozy Dog have been around since 1946 (although not in the same location). It’s a typical fast food restaurant selling mainly corn dogs and fries, but with lots of Route 66 decor and a little gift shop. As a Brit, Corn Dogs (and food on sticks in general!) are a bit of a novelty so for us it was great stop.
Pops – Arcadia
Location: 660 W. Highway 66, Arcadia, OK 73007
Pops Soda Ranch has over 700 flavours of soda on offer! The majority of the 700 are in glass bottles for $4.50 (bottomless fountain drinks are cheaper at $2.19). The menu is GIANT, I made the mistake of finding one I wanted on the menu and then the waiter told me to go and find it in the fridges. I think it would have been easier to have browsed the fridges first and then picked one, I struggled to find it!
The main meal portion was large, we didn’t have enough space for dessert! Everything on the menu is under $10 too, making it very easy on the budget! The glass building is very modern, the bottles are displayed in the window to make it look extra colourful! On their Forecourt is a 66ft tall soda bottle, you can’t miss it! At night the bottle is lit up.
The Big Texan – Amarillo
Location: 7701 Interstate 40 Access Rd, Amarillo, TX 79118
The Big Texan is known for it’s 72oz Steak Challenge…eat the steak and all the sides within an hour and you get it for free! It’s even been featured on the TV show ‘Man Vs Food‘. Needless to say, I didn’t do the challenge, I’m only tiny and the steak was literally the size of my body, where would I have put it?! Still it was a great meal, my soda was served in a plastic boot shaped take home cup and there was a giant Route 66 gift shop attached to it. The restaurant is large but we did have to wait for a table for an evening meal.
They also offer a free shuttle service to and from nearby hotels, the bull horned cars becoming inspiration for one of the Disney Pixar Cars characters. However the The Big Texan Motel right next door makes for a unique stay!
The Midpoint Cafe – Adrian
Location: 305 W Historic Rte 66, Adrian, TX 79001
A milestone for people driving the route, it’s located half way between Chicago and LA (1139 miles away from the start/finish points)! There’s a sign across the road that of course we had pictures with! The cafe itself was inspiration for Flo’s Cafe in the Disney Pixar Cars movie. A popular item on the menu is ‘Ugly Pies’, nothing ugly about the taste, it’s just the crust is shaped free hand! The restaurant has changed ownership since my visit, but they’ve even added a painted ‘half way’ line across the road too!
Joe & Aggies Cafe – Holbrook
Location: 120 W Hopi Dr, Holbrook, AZ 86025
The owner and the waiter made our stop at Joe & Aggies so memorable! They were hilarious, really friendly! We loved them so much we even went back the following morning for breakfast.
Once we returned home, we sent them a photo of us with the staff for their visitors scrap book, would be interesting to see if they included it! The menu is an American/Mexican mix, their peach burrito is AMAZING!
Recommended Guide Book
I recommend using EZ66 as a Route Guide Book. It was our life line with step by step driving instructions and it lists things to do and see and places to eat etc. If you plan on sticking to the old Route as much as possible, this guide book is definitely for you!
Related Reading: Route 66 16 Day Road Trip Itinerary
Do you have a favourite food stop on Route 66?