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Help! Where Should We Eat On Our Road Trip?

Okay y’all, I need your help. We’re hitting the road this fall and driving from Georgia to New Mexico/Arizona, and I need to know where we should stop to eat on our road trip along the way.

Our schedule will be fairly tight, so there won’t be much time to see the sites this time, but there will be time for lunch and dinner stops (and unless it’s the best breakfast place EVER, the most important meal of the day will most likely start at the hotel or Micky D’s so we can hit the road). Eight states, 66 hours of driving, more than 4,000 miles, a toddler, and a baby. This should be fun!

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We like local, good regional food, or restaurants with a fun atmosphere. We’ll have the kiddos with us, so they need to be family friendly, too. And as much as we love Mexican food, I’m about to spend two months in my hometown, so we’d like to skip that cuisine along the way. I’ll give you bonus points if you can find us great places near the interstate.

Here’s where we’re definitely stopping/spending the night on our road trip:
(So anything around the area is game. If you know a place well, pretty please tell me your all-time favorite spots. Like, the places you’d take your family or best friend to when they visit.)

Where Should We Eat on Our Road Trip Along I-40:

– Birmingham, Alabama
– Memphis, Tennessee
– Little Rock, Arkansas
– Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
– Amarillo, Texas

Where Should We Eat on our Road Trip in Arizona:

– Yuma, Arizona
– Phoenix, Arizona
– Flagstaff, Arizona (possibly)8

Where Should We Eat on Our Road Trip Along I-10:

– San Antonio, Texas (we’re not staying near the River Walk—we’ll be closer to the airport, just fyi!)
– Houston, Texas
– Gulfport, Mississippi
– Montgomery, Alabama

If you know of an amazing, fantastic place to eat in one of these cities, please tell me about them. Thanks!

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23 Comments

    1. Sweet, thanks! I didn’t know that there’s a base/post there! We were in Montgomery for several months a couple years ago, but we never made it up to Birmingham.

      1. There isn’t…he did an AC/RC position for a few years. We had to go to Redstone Arsenal for our Army needs. 🙂

  1. Having driven from GA to El Paso via I-10, stock up on snacks before you leave San Antonio. There is nothing and I mean NOTHING for hours once you’re in the Texas desert (not even radio stations!). Also, prepare for the traffic to get nutty once you’re in El Paso on I-10, the drivers here are completely crazy. If you need any food tips for El Paso, I’ve managed to find a few non Mexican places 😉

    We were just in ABQ last weekend! We had lunch at the Grove two days in a row. I’m still dreaming of their salads!

    1. Oh yes, that’s the worst part of this trip—we’ve done the i-10 drive one time way too many. Lol my phone always swaps over to Mexico’s service once we get out of El Paso. I actually went to college in Las Cruces, so we’re pretty set on good eats in that area 🙂 And I LOVE The Grove—it’s always on my list of places to eat at when I’m home.

  2. younneed to stop and eat at The Shed BBQ in Gulfport! Some of the best (if not the best) BBQ I’ve ever had.
    4 years ago during a game night, a group of us watched them mention it on an episode of DDD….well one week later we were in the car driving from Chicago to Gulfport to see for ourselves! It didn’t disappoint and some on the group still goes back a couple times a year.
    They had a short food Network show a few years ago about the restaurant.
    Totally worth your time!

    (And panera is another good quick but healthy chain for breakfast stops along your travels)

  3. Just moved to Aviano from Gulfport! 5 minutes off I-10, go to Blowfly Inn (in Gulfport) for some really incredible southern food…and definitely save some room for desert! Your toddler might even have some fun and spy an alligator in the Bayou!

    1. Awww Italy, how I miss thee! I’ll definitely keep that place in mind—I think we’d all squeal if we saw a real alligator! Have you see one out there? Are they by that restaurant?

      1. When we were in MS, I only saw gators at that restaurant, which is located on a bayou, and on a Swamp Tour. The gator was really little and stayed in the water the whole time so there’s nothing to be worried about. Heck, I even Stand Up Paddleboarded in that water! We ate there many many times, and only saw a gator once, though. The main attractions are the excellent food and the really nice Southern workers there. Aviano is great, and it really helps to read your older posts to gear up for life here.

  4. There is a restaurant in Phoenix called Green. They bill themselves as “New American Vegetarian,” but if you didn’t know they were a vegetarian restaurant you’d never taste it. They have thing thing called a “Big WAC,” which is made to taste like a Big Mac, but it’s all vegetarian. And it tastes better than a Big Mac! They also have Tsoynamis, which are like DQ Blizzards but made with soy ice cream and fun toppings. Everytime I got to visit my cousin in Phoenix I request a stop here, it’s sooooo yummy. There’s one in Phoenix and one in Tempe, and both look to be fairly close off the highway.

    http://greenvegetarian.com/

  5. We don’t eat out a lot so I don’t have much to recommend, but we love Rudy’s. There are like 4-5 in San Antonio. They are BBQ, but it’s family style, order the meat by the pound, and get your sides. They also have the best creamed corn I’ve ever had in my life. They are super veteran friendly too. They’ll ask if you are a vet so they can thank you and give you a discount. It kills my husband time.

    1. 🙂 Rudy’s is a favorite for my family in Texas, and I think that’s actually usually where we eat (well, we get it to-go). They also have one in New Mexico that I’ve had from time to time!

  6. Okay, I’m sure many destinations along your route are going to have amazing barbecue, but you absolutely MUST get barbecue in Memphis! I’m a huge fan of more vinegar-y barbecue sauces, and Memphis is known for this. Hope you have an amazing trip!

  7. You’ll be going right through Bricktown in OKC along I40, so I highly recommend stopping there to stretch your legs 🙂

  8. If you are going to be heading towards Birmingham, a great place to stop would be Cooter Browns. It’s a rib shack in Jacksonville, AL. We were stationed at Fort McClellen for a few years and this was a place we frequented. We even made it a stop on our PCS route from Louisiana to Maryland. I have more for that area if you would like.

    1. Ooooo great recommendation, thanks! I’d definitely love to hear more for that area, if you don’t mind. BBQ sounds great now, but you never know what we’ll be in the mood for!

  9. I’m a sucker for Chuy’s, but it doesn’t fit your no-Mex request. In Montgomery… Tipping Point! It’s a few minutes off I-85 in a cute lifestyle community meant to look a little like an English village. They have a grassy hill for the kids to run all over and outdoor seating. The food is pretty casual (sandwiches, flat breads, shmancy hot dogs) but REALLY good (and I mean that, I’m picky about food I eat out). They have an extensive beer menu and some tasty-looking cocktails if the trip requires them 🙂 There is also a quaint red barn in the near distance, which is actually a community garden that you’re welcome to check out. It would make a great stop for you guys!

    1. Tipping Point sounds absolutely perfect! Now I’m kinda mad I didn’t know about it when we were there for three months! We stayed in the East Chase area, so I spent most of my time at Target, because it was air conditioned, and I hadn’t been inside a Target for like 2 years. But an English-looking village in Alabama? SIGN ME UP! Super excited!

  10. Just Popping in from Pintrest- fellow Military spouse (retired and a New Mexican), You’ll be passing Hatch New Mexico after Just after leaving El Paso, Tx . I would be a tragedy not to stop in Hatch at Sparky’s Burger for the famous BBQ or Green chili. Or if its to early for Lunch to take photos. They have an eclectic collection of vintage road side statues think route 66.

    1. So glad you stopped by from Pinterest! I’m also a fellow New Mexican (grew up in Albuquerque, and went to college at NMSU), so I definitely know the Hatch area well. I do like Sparky’s, but there are a few old places I have my taste buds waiting for in Cruces, so we’ll probably be going there 🙂 Great place, though!

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