Del’s in Tucumcari, New Mexico is an old standby. Every time I see that sign, my first thought is let’s eat. ©Jim Hinckley’s America

Let’s eat! In my humble opinion, a memorable, fun, and always fascinating road trip is built on dining experiences.

Picnics and dusty diners with just a couple of counter stools and a few well worn tables. A place where pies are baked daily and recipes have been passed down for generations. A one family owned restaurant that has been serving locals and travelers for more than a century. A little cafe with a big window facing the courthouse square ringed by architectural gems from the 19th century. Anything but a chain restaurant or fast food joint is fine by us.

Road Trip 2023

The fall tour added to my lengthy list of places to recommend. So, in coming days I will be updating that section of the Jim Hinckley’s America website, and our TripAdvisor account.

We set out on our adventure early on a Sunday morning. So, many of our favorite lunch stops such as Angela’s Cafe in Gallup, New Mexico were closed. Fortunately Gallup has several wonderful places to eat including Earl’s that opned in the late 1940s.

The time capsule Sunset Motel in Moriarty, New Mexico was our destination on day one. I haven’t given up the search but to date a restaurant or cafe that can be recommended hasn’t been found in Moriarty. So, we grabbed a bite in Edgewood before calling it a day.

You are always assured a good lunch or supper at Del’s in Tucumcari, New Mexico. And a great meal is always made even better if it is shared with friends. On this trip we enjoyed dinner with acclaimed photographer Jim Livingston and his charming wife, Connie Loveland of Tucumcari Main Street, and David Brenner, owner of the Roadrunner Lodge.

Docs Just Off 66 is a delightful belnding of museum and cafe. ©Jim Hinckley’s America

Speakiing of the Roadrunner Lodge, this charming time capsule where seems to have been standing still since the mid 1960s is our go to place for Tucumcari lodging. The bonus is that Del’s is just across the street and a half block east.

New Discoveries

While traveling it is always good to see that old favorites are still in business. But we are even happier to make new discoveries that we can recommend. And on the fall tour we found several great places to enjoy a breakfast, dinner or supper. A complete list will be added to the website soon.

Meanwhile, check these out.

  • Docs Just Off 66 on the picturesque square in diminutive Girard, Illinois,a block off Route 66, is one part cafe and one part museum. It is an absolute gem. Enjoy a delicious dinner, and some ice cream at the 1929 soda fountain surrounded by more than a century of pharmacy memorabilia. For more than a century this was the town’s drug store, and the owners never tossed out a display or old medicine bottle!
  • Paradise Garden, 1412 E Empire St. (highway 9), Bloomington, IL comes highly recommended. During the recent Miles of Possibility Route 66 Conference my dearest friend and I became obssesed with this wonderful restaurant with its diverse menu. On the last evening we were joined by nearly 20 friends and associates from New York City, Slovakia, Canada, New Mexico, the Ukraine, and Okalhaoma. Not one complaint was heard.

Stop back soon and check out the recommended locations for additions that will ensure that you are inspired to take a road trip. Let’s eat!

If you enjoy Jim Hinckley\'s America, take a second to support jimhinckleysamerica on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!