Start the car, and bring your appetite. Here are the absolutely best places to eat along Western highways
Oak Creek Brewery and Grill, Sedona, AZ. Enlightened Sedona is rich in organic, good-for-you dining spots. If that’s exactly what you don’t want on the road, pull over here. The half-pound Angus burgers are two-fisted big and can come with spicy Painted Desert slaw. Must-try: The smokehouse burger, with smoked gouda cheese, barbecue sauce, and fried onions. $$; 336 State 179; 928/282-3300.
Hodad’s, Ocean Beach, CA (pictured). In the quintessential surf neighborhood, this is the quintessential surf-town burger joint, where the walls are encrusted with out-of-state license plates and the seating options include a long surfboard that serves as a communal table. Must-try: The Blue Jay Burger, a bacon burger served with blue cheese and grilled onions. $; 5010 Newport Ave., 3.5 mi. off I-5; 619/224-4623.
Burgerville, Kelso, WA. This Northwest chain specializes in great fast food—nothing fancy, but honest ingredients done right. Burgers are properly seasoned, and many ingredients are regionally sourced (e.g., the salad’s blue cheese is from Oregon’s award-winning Rogue Creamery). Must-try: Seasonal berry shakes; the cheeseburger. $; 600 W. Main St.; 360/501-4354; burgerville.com for other locations.