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The Best Diners and Cafes along Route 66

The Best Diners and Cafes along Route 66

As we all know, Route 66 has long had its heyday. While it is still attracting a good number of people along the route, it is nowhere near as many as would have traveled in the past. Many small communities along Route 66 have tried to draw people back to their small communities by offering fantastic food. In fact, there are countless guides and documentaries dedicated purely to places to eat along Route 66. You could spend the entire time on the route heading to these diners & cafes rather than heading to any other attraction (although, since you’re there…).

That’s what this page is all about. We’ll introduce you to the top Route 66 diners and cafes. We’ve got 15 of them. Obviously, there’s more along the route (and slightly off the beaten track), but if you ask anybody what their favorite places have been to munch on some good food along the Mother Road, chances are one or two of these places will appear on the list.

Our Favorite Restaurants on Route 66

1. Lou Mitchell’s Bakery and Restaurant – Chicago, Illinois

Lou Mitchell's Restaurant
Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant | Dreamstime/StockPhotoAstur

We do love it when a place claims to sell the world’s best coffee. You know it isn’t true (well, it must be true for one of them), but it shows that you’re probably going to be going into a pretty decent diner. Well, decent for diner standards. For travelers heading from Chicago all those years ago, Lou Mitchell’s was located right at the start of Route 66.

This meant that it would have been one of the first places to eat on Route 66. It’s now a typical diner, selling burgers, omelets, pancakes, and typical diner food. In fact, it was the first diner on all of Route 66 to serve an all-day breakfast. Lou Mitchell’s is globally famous, with a treasure trove of Presidents and celebrities having a dish or two here over the decades.

Address: 565 W. Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60661

2. The Berghoff – Chicago, Illinois

The Berghoff Restaurant
The Berghoff Restaurant | Dreamstime/Sandra Foyt

History fans, please don’t confuse this with ‘The Berghof’, a place that should remain confined to history. The Berghoff is a German restaurant, which has been kicking around for over 125 years, always owned by the Berghoff family. In fact, many of the staff’s families have worked here too.

This is a proper German diner, selling some rather awesome food including sausages, Bratwurst, potato pancakes, soaps, and more. If you landed at Chicago O’Hare to travel Route 66, then you might have spotted The Berghoff at the airport. Well, the one on the mean streets of Chicago is even better than that. It isn’t too expensive either.

Address: 17 W Adams St, Chicago, IL 60603

Also Check: Route 66 in Illinois: Best Stops, Hotels & Map

3. Big Texan Steak Ranch – Amarillo, Texas

Big Texan Steak Ranch
Big Texan Steak Ranch | Dreamstime/Maisna

Not too long ago, we read a decent book on Route 66 (a travelogue by comedian Billy Connolly). He spent a bit of time at one of the best Route 66 diners if you want a steak. The Big Texan Steak Range has 72oz steaks on offer, and if you complete their challenge, you can have the whole thing for free. However, if you want to nibble on that 72oz steak with all the trimmings (and we mean all the trimmings), you’ll have to do it on a live webcam. Rarely does anybody finish it. Still, you don’t have to tackle the challenge.

This is Amarillo, otherwise known as ‘Cow Town’, some of the best steaks in the world can be found here, and we’re sure the crew at Big Texan Steak Ranch wouldn’t mind if you tucked into something a bit smaller. They’ve got a massive menu and, trust us, you’ll be drooling. Well, assuming you’re not a vegetarian. There’s not much for you here.

Address: 7701 I-40, Amarillo, TX 79118

4. Midpoint Cafe – Adrian, Texas

Midpoint Cafe
Midpoint Cafe in Adrian | Dreamstime/Wisconsinart

You’re halfway through Route 66. What do you do? Well, you celebrate by going to one of the best Route 66 cafes – the Midpoint Café which, as the name suggests, is located exactly halfway on Route 66. It is a pretty big milestone.  It’s pretty standard café fare here, although their pies (especially the ‘messy’ pie) are to die for. It is dressed up in Route 66 memorabilia, and there is an attached gift shop to pick up a few souvenirs because, you know, there aren’t enough souvenir shops on Route 66 (we’re not sure if sarcasm comes through well in the text).

Address: 305 Historic Rte 66, Adrian, TX 79001

Also Check: Route 66 in Texas: Best Stops, Hotels & Map

5. Goldies Route 66 Diner – Williams, Arizona

Goldies Route 66 Diner
Goldies Route 66 Diner | Dreamstime/Hannator92

The Goldies Route 66 Diner is another typical Route 66 diner. Good food at a cheap price. We particularly love picking up some burgers at the Goldies Route 66 Diner. There’s nothing quite like tucking into a made-to-order burger in the midst of the 50s décor. If you don’t look out the window and see those modern cars zipping on by, you’d swear you’ve stepped back into the 50s. This place would have been absolutely buzzing back in the day. It still is, but everybody dresses a bit less stylishly.

Address: 425 E Rte 66, Williams, AZ 86046

6. Oatman Hotel – Oatman, Arizona

Oatman Hotel in Arizona
Oatman Hotel in Arizona | Dreamstime/Miroslav Liska

OK. So, the Oatman Hotel is probably the only place to eat in Oatman, so it automatically wins ‘top places to eat in Oatman’, but it’s a pretty cool place too. There’s nothing healthy to eat here, but we imagined that you knew that already since it is a diner/café. The building is just incredibly cool since it is built in the old mining town of Oatman, so you get that classic Wild West feel to the exterior of the building (and most of Oatman, to be honest). It is a haunt for many biker gangs passing through the area (they’re nice, don’t worry), and the whole wall is covered in various banknotes. A very interesting place and, as we said, if you’re in Oatman, you’ve got no real choice if you want to eat.

Address: 181 Main St, Oatman, AZ 86433

7. Roadkill Cafe – Seligman, Arizona

Roadkill Cafe in Seligman
Roadkill Cafe in Seligman | Dreamstime/Meinzahn

Back in the day, the original purpose of Roadkill Café was to grill up any meat you found by the roadside. No, they no longer do that. Although, everything on their menu references the past nature of their business. While you won’t find any roadkill on the menu now, all of the names of their dishes reference it, so you’ll want to check the actual ingredients to know what you will get served up although we can promise you that whatever you are dished up will be delicious. In fact, many people praise the Roadkill café as being one of the best Route 66 diners in this area.

Address: 22830 W, AZ-66, Seligman, AZ 86337

Also Check: Route 66 in Arizona: Best Stops, Hotels & Map

8. Cozy Dog Drive-In – Springfield, Illinois

Cozy Dog Drive-In
Cozy Dog Drive-In | Dreamstime/Wisconsinart

The Cozy Dog Drive-In is where the corndog was invented, so it is pretty much a part of American cultural history. You can still buy one here, and it is delicious. However, most people come for the comfort food served up here. It is a typical Route 66 diner (although, sadly, it is no longer in its original location). It is worth checking out because it was here that inspired many of the diners on Route 66.

Address: 2935 S 6th St, Springfield, IL 62703

Read Next: Route 66 in Illinois: Best Stops, Hotels & Map

9. Nelson’s Old Riverton Store Riverton, Kansas

Nelson's Old Riverton Store Riverton
Nelson’s Old Riverton Store Riverton | Dreamstime/Jon Bilous

Nelson’s Old Riverton Store isn’t somewhere that you can sit down and eat. Instead, it is a deli that serves some delicious sandwiches. Really delicious ones. We love it due to the cute little building, which has been standing here almost as long as Route 66. It has a small food mart attached, so you can pick up a couple of key supplies before you head back on the road again, probably with that delicious sandwich in your mouth.

Address: 7109 KS-66, Riverton, KS 66770

Read Next: Route 66 in Kansas: Best Stops, Hotels & Restaurants

10. Rock Cafe Stroud, Oklahoma

Rock Cafe Stroud
Rock Cafe Stroud | Dreamstime/Steve Lagreca

Love Disney movies? Well, the Rock Café Stroud’s owner inspired the character ‘Sally’ in the Pixar movie, Cars. Since then, the café has been featured in countless documentaries, books, and more. The diner has been working in the area for over 70 years and still uses the original grill. As you can imagine, much of what is here is grilled meats, but they do have some vegetarian-friendly dishes too.

Address: 114 W Main St, Stroud, OK 74079

11. Lucille’s Roadhouse Diner – Weatherford, Oklahoma

Lucille's Roadhouse Diner
Lucille’s Roadhouse Diner | Dreamstime/StockPhotoAstur

Lucille, the lady who founded the Roadhouse Diner in Weatherford was inducted into the Route 66 Hall of Fame for her services to The Mother Road, which goes to show the impact that she had on it. She passed away in 2000, but the impact she has on Route 66 continues with her diner. There are loads of dishes here, and you can even order online so you can pick it up as you drive by. They have good opening hours, so no matter when you’re passing through, you’ll probably be able to grab some food from Lucilles.

Address: 1301 N Airport Rd, Weatherford, OK 73096

Read Next: Route 66 in Oklahoma: Best Stops, Hotels & Map

12. Route 66 Diner – Gallup, New Mexico

Route 66 Diner in Gallup
Route 66 Diner in Gallup | Dreamstime/StockPhotoAstur

If you want some good Mexican food on Route 66, then New Mexico is the place to do it. In fact, scratch that, the Route 66 diner in Gallup is the place to do it. Some of the best and cheapest Mexican food on the route. You’ve got some classic American dishes if you are not a big fan of all the spices, too.

Address: 2502 E E Hwy 66, Gallup, NM 87301

13. 66 Diner – Albuquerque, New Mexico

66 Diner in Albuquerque
66 Diner in Albuquerque | Dreamstime/Kumiko Hirama

Hey! It’s another diner that will transport you back to the 1950s. This is proper retro, including the dishes they’ve got available here. You won’t find any Michelin star flair here. You’ll just get good, classic, American diner food. Oh, and some of the best milkshakes you’ll ever have.

Address: 1405 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

Read Next: Route 66 in New Mexico: Best Stops, Hotels & Map

14. Mr D’z Route 66 Diner – Kingman, Arizona

Mr D'z Route 66 Diner
Mr D’z Route 66 Diner in Kingman | Dreamstime/Chon Kit Leong

More traditional American diner fare if you’re heading through Kingman. You can’t miss the retro-themed Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner as you drive on by. You’ll probably see hordes of cars queued up. If you’re going to come here, then we highly recommend that you pick up a milkshake. You won’t find any better on Route 66.

Address: 105 E Andy Devine Ave, Kingman, AZ 86401

Read Next: Route 66 in Arizona: Best Stops, Hotels & Map

15. Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner – Yermo, CA

Peggy Sue's 50's Diner
Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner | Dreamstime/StockPhotoAstur

Peggy Sue’s 50s Diner has been in the Calico Mountains since 1950. It used components from the surrounding area, too, particularly the nearby train yard. The current version was re-opened in 1987 (after the big downturn in Route 66 fortunes), and it’s been thriving on its 1950s theme ever since. Enjoy all sorts of awesome food and fun dining here.

Address: 35654 Yermo Rd, Yermo, CA 92398

Read Next: Route 66 Stops in California

Interactive Map of Route 66 Diners

Final Thoughts

Obviously, there are way more than this when it comes to Route 66 diners. You’ll see them everywhere as you travel the road, and you’ll probably want to try out a few of them. However, if you’ve only got the time to stop off at a few diners, then make a beeline for the ones we list here. It is proper history.

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