Start the car, and bring your appetite. Here are the absolutely best places to eat along Western highways
Pizzicletta, Flagstaff, AZ. It may seem too sleek (and its hours too limited) for a road-food stop, but dinner-only Pizzicletta occupies a historic laundry building along that greatest of American roads, Route 66, and it’s your last chance for cutting-edge carbs before you tackle the Grand Canyon in the morning. You’ll share a long table or small bar area with others; the Neapolitan-style pizzas are baked in a wood-fired oven. Must-try: The Amore Oi Mari, with mascarpone, prosciutto, arugula, Meyer lemon, and pecorino. $$; 203 W. Phoenix Ave.; 928/774-3242.
Grinders Hot Sands, Shoreline, WA (pictured). Homemade Italian meatballs, mozzarella, grilled onions … owner Mitch Gilbert has all the ingredients for flavorful, jaw-stretching subs. His secret weapon is his 78-year-old mom, who helps out with soups and dances “like she has a motor on her butt” during Grinders’ live blues jams in this dimly lit hideaway. Must-try: The Sauball Sandwich, meatballs and sausage in one tasty package. $; 19811 Aurora Ave. N./State 99; 206/542-0627.