Start the car, and bring your appetite. Here are the absolutely best places to eat along Western highways
Macy’s European Coffeehouse, Flagstaff, AZ. This rambling hangout is the typical college-town coffeehouse, drawing dreadlocked Northern Arizona University students, chino-clad professors, straitlaced business types, and a few savvy tourists. Caffeine’s the star: Macy’s was Arizona’s first small coffee roaster, and the espresso drinks are potent and fierce. Must-try: The baked-on-the-premises, lumberjack-size blackberry-almond scones, perfect for splitting. $; 14 S. Beaver St.; 928/774-2243.
Hallava Falafel, Seattle, WA (pictured). In the slightly gritty Georgetown neighborhood, artists and hipsters favor the bright yellow food truck with just three items on the menu: “Russo-Turkic” falafel, shawarma, and fries. The sandwiches require two hands to devour, and boast added sass from beet relish and dill-packed tzatziki. Must-try: The shawarma, a Middle Eastern wrap whose shaved meat is sliced straight from the spit. $; 5825 Airport Way S.; 206/307-4769.
Pel’meni, Bellingham, WA. There’s no menu in this narrow storefront, and none needed; just a lineup of steaming stockpots filled with the shop’s namesake Russian dumplings. Take a seat at the simple wooden tables, then dig into silver dollar–size purses of tender dough, sprinkled with curry powder and crowned with sour cream and a slice of rye. Must-try: Pel’meni stuffed with ground beef. $; 1211 N. State St.; 360/715-8324.