Are you hungry for savory burgers seared on the grill, or freshly-scrambled eggs slathered in sweet tangy ketchup? The roadside diners of Historic Route 66 are just the place to satisfy your cravings.
If you are in the Land of Lincoln, come to the city where this byway begins its iconic westward trek — Chicago! Located right at the eastern start of the byway, Lou Mitchell’s Diner is an 85-year-old veteran of the highway .Their generous breakfast is surely a Chicago staple. Or drive the byway southwest past Bloomington, Illinois and try the Palm’s Grill Cafe in Atlanta, Illinois. You can’t miss the giant “Hot Dog Man” across the street. Originally opened in 1934, this café still bears a neon sign that diners once flipped on to signal approaching Greyhound buses that prospective passengers were eating inside. Before you leave, take a minute to imagine a Greyhound bus screeching to a stop, ready to take you on a journey across the country on one of our nation’s oldest highways.
Heading through northeastern Oklahoma? Stop at Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger, a local favorite in the town of Miami. The last remaining restaurant from an old Midwestern fast-food chain, Ku-Ku Burger is familiar to Route 66 enthusiasts for its hand-made burgers and its giant yellow fiberglass cuckoo bird, a Route 66 landmark. Soak up the ‘60s vibe and don’t forget to snap a picture of one of America’s oldest novelty restaurants.
Stop in New Mexico for a taste of Mexico at Joseph’s Bar and Grill, a Route 66 veteran that has been serving homemade Mexican food for over 50 years. Originally founded as La Fiesta by Jose Campos in 1956, the restaurant is now run by his son, and keeps locals and travelers alike coming back for the locally grown chiles, delicious enchiladas, and Southwestern atmosphere. This family-owned restaurant is a great place to spice up your Historic Route 66 tour. Joseph’s Bar and Grill is located at 1775 Historic Route 66 in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.
In Arizona, start off with a hot plate of Splatter Platter or Swirl of Squirrel at the Route 66 Roadkill Café, located in the town of Seligman, Arizona. Known for their burgers and their whimsical slogan (“You kill it and we grill it”), this fun-filled and family-friendly restaurant will keep you laughing. (Just to be clear, they don’t actually serve roadkill. Or squirrel.) After you eat, keep your eye on the ball with a game of pool before heading out for further adventures on the All-American Road segment of Historic Route 66.