Whether you’re going long-haul from Washington to Florida or simply planning a road trip with your friends, truck stops can house unlikely treasures as far as on-the-go dining is concerned. Between the 48 contiguous states and the countless highways and freeways within, it would be impossible to list every delicious burger or perfectly blended cup of coffee, but we would like to list just a few of the hidden gems that are sprinkled across America. Here, we’ve listed five of our very favorite, but we’ll be back next month with some more in case you don’t cross paths with any of these rest stops.
Sapp Bros. – Salt Lake City, Utah
We had to start close to home, and in Utah, there is no better place to stop and refuel than Sapp Bros. Travel Center. This is actually a chain that reaches as far out as Pennsylvania, but what it lacks in singularity, it makes up for with diversity.
Available in nine of the Sapp Bros. locations is their most popular restaurant Apple Barrel. The menu is full of different selections of meats and pies that are sure to keep you going. The menu reads like a classic American summer and is sure to be a great start or stop on any long trip.
Mars Cheese Castle – Kenosha, Wisconsin
The next entry on our list moves away from our headquarters, but is definitely worth the drive. Built like an actual 20th century castle, the Mars Cheese Castle provides aesthetic along with their menu. Their menu, as is implied by their name, is full of diverse cheeses alongside craft beers and pastries. Don’t let the looming towers fool you. This is Wisconsin cheese at its finest.
North Forty Truck Stop – Holladay, Tennessee
The North Forty is more of a complex than a truck stop. They tout themselves as the “complete truck stop,” and they certainly might be. Aside from snacks, delis, and even a buffet, you can also help yourself to a massage. If a massage isn’t how you’re looking to unwind, they also have a TV room and a game room for relaxing after driving for hours on end.
But, we digress, this list is about great places to eat, and the North Forty is just that. For fans of breakfast foods, they offer a 24/7 breakfast menu in addition to the buffet serving breakfast foods from 5-11 AM each day.
Soulman’s Bar-B-Que – Van, Texas
A list of roadside foods that doesn’t include some BBQ isn’t much of a list, and there’s no better place to get slow cooked, Texas-style BBQ than at Soulman’s outside of Van, Texas. What really sets Soulman’s apart from the crowd is the meats they use. Most BBQ restaurants offer some combination of beef, pork, or chicken. Soulman’s offers all of these in addition to turkey. Surely, they’ve got something for everyone and every mood. They have especially got something for you if your mood is hungry. Soulman’s slogan is, “we’re not stingy with our meat,” and they live up to that promise.
Iowa 80 – Walcott, Iowa
Last, but definitely not least is Iowa 80, the world’s largest truck stop. Iowa 80 has been built piece-by-piece since 1964 by Standard Oil. Inside they’ve got a few options for a good meal on the road, but most famous is the Iowa 80 Kitchen. It’s open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, which is common for truck stops. What isn’t so common is the 50-foot salad bar that accompanies the fresh, warm meals.
When you stop by, don’t forget to check out the trucker showroom. Arguably, the largest trucker-based collection in the world, holding around 50,000 items. For some, Iowa 80 is less of a pit stop and more of a destination.
At Transportation Data Source, it is our mission to provide the transportation industry with the resources they need to make smart decisions faster and with greater confidence. For questions or to schedule a demo of our full-service data software, don’t hesitate to contact us at anytime. For additional content about all of the trends that affect the trucking industry, please feel free to check out our other posts.