Start the car, and bring your appetite. Here are the absolutely best places to eat along Western highways
Start just outside Santa Fe, where the breakfast-anytime San Marcos Café ($; 3877 State 14 N.; 505/471-9298) shines with superior cinnamon buns and startles with noisy resident peacocks. In Madrid, find tasty cones and shakes at Jezebel Soda Fountain (2860 State 14 N.; 866/539-3235), and good lattes at Java Junction (2855 State 14 N.; 505/438-2772). For buffalo burgers and a Harley-Davidson crowd, it’s the Mine Shaft Tavern ($; 2846 State 14 N.; 505/473-0743). Dinnertime? In Sandia Park, Pete’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina ($; 12540 State 14 N.; 505/281-0315) serves green-chile pasta with shrimp, and sopaipillas. For superior comfort food, try meat loaf or trout at Cedar Crest’s Greenside Cafe ($; 12165 State 14 N.; 505/286-2684).
Start the day with a cinnamon roll the size of a birthday cake at Heaven on Earth ($$; 703 Quines Creek Rd.; 541/837-3700) in Azalea. Next stops: Grants Pass, for local-beef burgers at Eddy’s ($; 956 Rogue River Hwy.; 541/479-8667). Then grab some jerky at Gary West Smoked Meats (690 N. Fifth St.; 541/899-1829) in Jacksonville. And double back for a blue cheese at Rogue Creamery (311 N. Front St.; 866/396-4704) in Central Point. Time for dessert. Take the road to Crater Lake National Park. On the way, you’ll hit Beckie’s Cafe (56484 State 62; 541/560-3563) in Prospect, famed for its berry pies.