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Driving from Chicago to Los Angeles

Driving from Chicago to Los Angeles
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  • Driving from Chicago to Los Angeles

    Post #1 - July 10th, 2019, 4:09 pm
    Post #1 - July 10th, 2019, 4:09 pm Post #1 - July 10th, 2019, 4:09 pm
    I will be in Chicago on Sunday for a Cubs game, and then driving back home to Los Angeles with a vehicle full of stuff. Any meal or pitstop recommendations would be wonderful. The goal is to drive eight to nine hours a day. (so, 80 to 76 to 70 to 15)

    This type of hauling stuff trip is best on interstates. The drive will most likely have me stopping at chain restaurants at truck stops - but just in case anyone out there has any good tips that will keep me on the timeframe and general route.
  • Post #2 - July 11th, 2019, 10:34 am
    Post #2 - July 11th, 2019, 10:34 am Post #2 - July 11th, 2019, 10:34 am
    I know you won't be strictly on Route 66, but my trip from two years ago can help find a few things -- the interstate does follow right along 66, on the more southern route to LA. Cozy Dogs, Waylan's Ku Ku, Midpoint Cafe I'd put as sure things.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #3 - July 12th, 2019, 1:02 pm
    Post #3 - July 12th, 2019, 1:02 pm Post #3 - July 12th, 2019, 1:02 pm
    I've made plenty of Chicago to Santa Fe drives, so can suggest a few options that take you as far as Brush, CO, though mostly I've just sought coffee that rises above the level of Beverine.
    Heading west on 80, at exit 242 in Iowa, good coffee at High Ground Cafe, a half mile off 80. Next stop, on University Ave in West Des Moines, 5 Borough Bagels has one of the few edible bagels between Chicago and LA. Coffee's OK, too. I had the Lox Deluxe last week and stayed in a LaQuinta a few blocks away. At exit 54, a bit of a detour 6 miles north of 80 to Elk Horn: Coffee Girl has good coffee and sandwiches, plus there's a windmill across the street (a few miles north is The Little Mermaid statue in Kimballton: just sayin'). Though it wasn't open when I was there three weeks ago, I plan to try The Danish Table in Elk Horn on my next trip. At exit 403 in Nebraska, if it's lunchtime in Lincoln, I stop at King Kong Burger. Not sure if it's the burger, the gyros, or the giant King Kong statue on the roof that pulls me in (coffee sux). If you're craving Thaimerican, there's Suwannee Thai in Kearney, NE (the exit after the $20 mil Kearney Archway hellscape, which celebrates plucky American hucksterism and bond defaults, I'm guessing). I got nothing more until Sterling, CO, where I've spent many nights in the Best Western Sundowner, which takes dogs (and lots of them during hunting season). The rest of the town isn't much to look at, though there are plenty of liquor stores. Further on 76 at Brush, CO, Drovers Restaurant is good and you can gas up at either the Cenex (nota bene, homonymous with the Latin for "old geezer") a few blocks west or a Shell station on Route 71 on the north side of 76.
  • Post #4 - August 28th, 2019, 4:07 pm
    Post #4 - August 28th, 2019, 4:07 pm Post #4 - August 28th, 2019, 4:07 pm
    I know I'm way late on this but what the hell. I drove out west in June on I-80 (ending up in Colorado and the Dakotas after pit stops in Nebraska). I had never had a Maid-Rite before so I wanted to try one. I know most who have had them don't think much of them but it's part of the driving fun. I ended up at the one in Davenport pretty close to I-80. It was a nice restaurant, lots of booths with a 50's diner feel and very friendly service. Have to admit I enjoyed my Maid-Rite enough to want to return.

    Two weeks later on my way home I stopped at one near St. Cloud, MN. Only this time it was a tiny rundown location in a gas station. Had I had this first before the other experience I might not have been as enamored. It was still tasty but I took it to go (running short on time) and not much of a roadfood thrill.

    PS - If you are ever in Sidney, NE. Don't go to their movie theater, and don't stay at the Quality Inn. In fact I would just keep driving.