Start the car, and bring your appetite. Here are the absolutely best places to eat along Western highways
ChocolaTree, Sedona, AZ. Raw, organic, and vegan cuisine is the emphasis here. But earnestness is easy to forget while eating buckwheat waffles dotted with coconut cream and dark chocolate. What’s really worth the detour into West Sedona are the artisanal chocolates: raw; sweetened with agave syrup, coconut sugar, or honey; and made on the premises with fair trade Ecuadoran cacao. Must-try: Mayan spice chocolates (dark chocolate blended with chile peppers that were grown onsite). $; 1595 W. State 89A; 928/282-2997.
Black Cow Cafe, Sedona, AZ (pictured). It’s easy to overlook this ice cream spot because it’s jammed into uptown Sedona’s beehive of T-shirt shops, tour operators, and time-share hustlers. But this folksy parlor makes its own rich, dense ice cream and crispy waffle cones. Must-try: The prickly pear or malted vanilla. $; 229 N. State 89A; 928/203-9868.
Bright Angel Fountain, Bright Angel Lodge, Grand Canyon N.P.'s South Rim, AZ. Okay, the Dreyer’s ice cream is good but the same as you’d get at the supermarket back home. But back home, you can’t take your cone out the door and lick it while gazing at the Grand Canyon. And that, for us, is one of the best vacation experiences to be had anywhere. $; 928/638-2631.