Looking for an old-school diner? RelayRides blogger and automotive expert, Brad Iger, share some of his favorite roadside diners in the country
Long road trips are a great way to decompress and shed the stresses and demands of your everyday routine. But while the endless stretches of highway might be a welcome sight for your soul, the pit stops for sustenance at random gas stations are almost guaranteed wreak havoc on your body. That said, you don’t have to settle for soggy hamburger wrapped in foil; some of the best diners in the country are right off the highway. Here’s a few of our favorites.
Loulou’s Griddle In the Middle, Monterey, CA
Distance from San Francisco: 120 miles
Just off Pacific Coast Highway in the picturesque beach city of Monterey, this cozy little diner is situated literally on top of the wharf, surrounding you with cool ocean breezes and spectacular views while you chow down on a massive stack of Loulou’s legendary pancakes. Also a popular spot with the locals for their fresh seafood and warm hospitality, Loulou’s is yet another great excuse to take the long way south down PCH.
How to get there: if you’re going to be cruising down ribbons of highway with the Pacific Ocean as your backdrop, what better way to experience it than at the helm of a sporty ragtop like Reid’s 2002 Porsche 911 with the ocean mist in the air and the songs of the finest Bavarian engineering in your ears?
The Mad Greek, Baker CA
Distance from Los Angeles: 165 miles
If you’re planning a road trip from LA to Vegas, a stop at The Mad Greek is essential. The chef at The Mad Greek, Larry Dabour, has been using his grandmother’s recipes for specialties like gyros, spanakopita (spinach pie) and shawarma for nearly two decades. Located right off of Highway 15, The Mad Greek’s charming decor and tasty gyros will make this diner a mandatory stop when you make the trek to or from Sin City.
How to get there: there are two essentials for a Vegas road trip vehicle: luxury and glamour. Sonia’s eye-catching Lexus IS 250 convertible will certainly have no trouble getting you there in comfort, as well as fitting right in under the lights of the Vegas strip once you get there.
Ed’s Chicken and Crabs, Dewey Beach, DE
Distance from Washington, D.C.: 125 miles
Located right off Route 1, Ed’s Chicken and Crabs is a local fixture in Dewey Beach and is the place to go to if sitting down at the beach with some fresh crab and enjoying a sunny summer afternoon from their outdoor picnic tables is your kind of thing.
How to get there: whether its blazing hot or a bit chilly, Apoorva’s hardtop-convertible Mercedes-Benz SLK can get you out to the coast in style and comfort.
Ariston Cafe, Litchfield IL
Distance from Chicago: 240 miles
Family owned since 1924, the Ariston Cafe is a landmark along Route 66, and is believed to be the very first cafe along the historic highway. It’s clear that this diner takes great pride in its history, as it still maintains the 1930’s “small town cafe” motif they’ve become known for. Ariston Cafe offers a customary selection of diner fare–burgers, steaks, fried chicken, etc–all done to a level of quality you’d expect from a diner that’s been added to the registry of historic places by the US Government.
How to get there: if you’re going to be cruising down a highway as steeped in Americana as Route 66 is, we can’t think of a vehicle better suited for the task than Moe’s 2005 Corvette.
White Hut, West Springfield MA
Distance from Boston: 90 miles
Head due west out of Boston on the I90 and just over the Connecticut River and you’ll find White Hut. Established in 1939, White Hut is a classic burger shack in every sense of the term. This is a no-frills establishment where the food is the star. Specializing in items like burgers, hot dogs, and root beer floats – the sort of comfort foods that legendary diners are known for – it’s no surprise there’s always a line at White Hut.
How to get there: if you’re like us and would like to spend as little as possible on gas so you have some cash left over for an extra burger or two, Warren’s fuel-sipping 2008 Toyota Prius is just the right vehicle for the job.
Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of where to get tasty roadside meals near our favorite metro areas, all you need is a vehicle to get you there! Don’t fret – the RelayRides marketplace makes renting a car from members of your local community a breeze. Give it a try today!