Start the car, and bring your appetite. Here are the absolutely best places to eat along Western highways
Neptune’s Net, Malibu, CA (pictured). Seafood-wise, it’s not Manhattan’s Le Bernardin or San Francisco’s Swan Oyster Depot. But they don’t have Malibu. And it can be very fine to pull up to the Net on a hot afternoon, jostle for a parking space near the dozens of motorcycles, then sit back on the patio and down a pitcher of beer with some fish and chips while you scan the Pacific for whales. Must-try: Shrimp tacos with pineapple slaw. $; 42505 Pacific Coast Hwy./State 1; 310/457-3095.
Go Fish, Vancouver, B.C. To find this little sea blue shack near the fishing boats, look for the long line of customers hungering for peerlessly fresh fish spiced up with big-city flavors like chipotle crema and wasabi mayo. If the limited seating area is packed, grab a nearby bench for a grand city view. Must-try: The Salmon Tacone, an elegant cone-shaped fish taco. $ U.S.; 1505 W. First Ave.; 604/730-5040.