Are you traveling across state lines to places unknown? Don’t simply follow the truck drivers for the best eateries. Their first priority is a huge parking lot! Here are some better guidelines…

Avoid restaurants on or very near major highways (such as turnpikes) and in shopping centers. You’ll do better downtown. Take the little extra time you need to explore. Good bets: College or university towns.

Best food authorities: Bookstore managers, fancy kitchenware and gourmet food store’s personnel (they are usually foodies with good taste). Worst: Tollbooth or gas-station attendants (their strange hours are better suited for fast food).

Check out the parking lot. Too many out-of-state license plates suggests a tourist trap.

Of course, you can search for great eats on your smartphone, but Yelp reviews are often skewed and true hole-in-the-walls with great food might be hidden from the Internet radar.

Here’s a great guide to road food: 500 Things to Eat Before It’s Too Late…and the Very Best Places to Eat Them by Jane and Michael Stern. Their website is, a food locator that we trust more than a random Google search!

Thanks to Travel & Leisure magazine and Big Black Book (Bottom Line Books) for help with this tip.

 More help with travel…

“Smart” Phone Travel Tip

How to Travel Safely with Your Pet

Happy Travel with Your Relatives

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