Chow down on these easy-to-eat road trip-friendly foods
Summer has come to a close, but road trip season is still in full swing as people journey to see their football teams take on rivals in towns near and far before then setting off to visit relatives for the holidays. Where to eat while you're on the road? AutomotiveMap has you covered.
Whataburger's honey butter chicken biscuit, fondly abbreviated "HBCB", is a perennial classic in the state of Texas. The fried chicken, flaky biscuit, and honey melt in your mouth. Enjoy a side of tater tots and wash it all down with coffee or orange juice.
View this post on InstagramCelebrate National Cinnamon Roll Day with a tray of these bad boys.
A post shared by Whataburger (@whataburger) on Oct 4, 2019 at 8:30am PDT
For a car full of passengers, a tray of cinnamon rolls can make for an easy breakfast option. Heck, make it a tradition!
Note that the breakfast is only available from 11:00 pm-11:00 am though many Whataburgers are open 24/7.
If you're at Whataburger during non-breakfast hours we recommend the #14 combo – fried chicken, Texas toast, fries, and a drink.
Whataburger is currently only in southern states, but BDT Capital Partners (based in Chicago), recently bought a majority stake in the company. Might this mean expansion north? We can hope.
Houston hero J.J. Watt has another idea: "I say we all chip in and buy Whataburger back. Make honey butter chicken biscuits available all day, add kolaches to the menu and change nothing else. Especially not the ketchup."
Located across the United States, Sonic offers a wide variety of menu items with a free side of nostalgic appeal. We recommend popcorn chicken, tater tots, and a limeade or strawberry slush. With its roller skating waitstaff and option to drive-in (vs. just drive through), Sonic is a unique on-the-go dining choice.
View this post on InstagramWhen golden hour hits those tots juuuust right. 🤤#GoldenSONICHour 📸:@erikamarieinman
A post shared by SONIC Drive-In (@sonicdrivein) on Aug 2, 2019 at 7:01am PDT
Buc-ee's is a modern-day general store. You can fill your vehicle with gas, use a very clean restroom (certainly not to be taken for granted when on a road trip), buy home décor and clothing (some Bucee's-branded, some not), and choose from a plethora of food options.
Our picks? Kolaches and fudge (perhaps not together). Kolaches, a flavorful combination of meat, cheese, or other fillings wrapped in warm, puffy dough, are both delicious and a nod to Texas's past. Popularized by the Czech settlers in Texas in the 1800's, kolaches are still popular in the state today. Buc-ee's also has a wide variety of fudge flavors, ranging from classic chocolate, to peanut butter and chocolate, to nut-filled.
Many McDonald's restaurants (even in airports) allow you to order via their app. Get your family's order of nuggets (add dipping sauce at your own risk), milkshakes, and fries queued up so when you pull in, it's easy grab and go. Remember, kids can opt for apple slices instead of fries, but then you're trading greasy hands for sticky fingers. For a snack, grab an apple pie.
Whether you opt for coffee or tea, you can enjoy a bite with your drink that will fill you up through lunch. Instead of opting for their hot sandwiches or eggs, try a piece of loaf or a small vanilla scone, both of which are easy to eat while behind the wheel. A meat and cheese tray from their prepared food section is also a good option.
The glowing yellow arrow of the In-N-Out sign is iconic. Travelers often make this California-born chain their first and last stop when arriving in the state. Roadtrippers can find In-N-Outs scattered throughout California, from San Diego in the south to Redding in the north. In-N-Out continues to expand north and east with locations in Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Texas.
For drivers, we recommend a cheeseburger, fries, and chocolate shake. Passengers can order similarly but should get their fries "animal style" – smothered with a delicious secret sauce that's a little messy so make sure extra napkins are handy.
There aren't many things on the Taco Bell menu that are easy to eat while behind the wheel. The quesadilla is one of them. You could choose be a hero and attempt a burrito, but you might want to spend some time constructing a napkin bid and thigh covering before you dig in.
This bastion of fast food, which was founded in Atlanta, Georgia, has spread throughout much of the United States. Chick-fil-a is best known for its chicken sandwich, nuggets, waffles fries, and lemonade. On an especially hot day, the frosted lemonade makes for a very refreshing treat. If you prefer some spice in your life, Chick-fil-a's spicy chicken sandwich is a palate pleaser. Kid-sized cones of Ice Dream are a good choice for kids who deserve to be rewarded for their in-car behavior.
View this post on InstagramOrder ahead with Dine-In Mobile Ordering. Scan. Sit. Enjoy!
A post shared by Chick-fil-A, Inc. (@chickfila) on Oct 21, 2019 at 9:00am PDT
For quick service in the restaurant or when going through the drive thru, order via the company's app ahead of arriving at the restaurant.
Gluten Free Choices
Need to be gluten free? Most fast food comes fried and breaded, but consumers can make their meal mostly gluten-free with a bit of savvy ordering. At burger places, ask for your burger to be wrapped in lettuce rather than placed in a bun. At Chick-fil-A, order the grilled nuggets over the grilled chicken sandwich on a crumbly gluten free bun.
Bring Food From Home
Another option is to bring food from home. Sandwiches wrapped in foil make eating with one hand simple, especially when cut into smaller portions. Bite-size food, such as cheese, crackers, sliced meats, and chopped vegetables, work well too.
If all else fails? Stop at the nearest gas station and load up on classic road trip fare – chips, candy, and sugary drinks.