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Where have you found the best hidden roadside dining gems?

In my travels across Colorado I've discovered more than one dining gem. The Villa Grove Trade for instance, in middle-of-no-where Colorado has amazing sandwiches for $6. The Trading Post Restaurant in Kip Carson (eastern Colorado) serves up AMAZING diner hamburgers. 

These are two of the tiniest towns in Colorado! 

Where have you discovered hidden dining gems? 

13 Answers

top answer by
Nam from Bangkok

My hidden gems dinning spot is Ran Rim Nam a riverside local restaurant 2km away from Bangsai Arts and Crafts Centre of H.M. Queen Sirikit of ThailandAyutthayaprovince.

Their central Thai food are superb with fresh ingredient from Chao Praya River. Some dishes are only available around this area such as Blue Fish Curry / ฉู่ฉี่ปลาน้ำเงิน, Fish Spicy Soup / ต้มยำปลาม้า and Grilled River Prawns / กุ้งแม่น้ำเผา.

It is true hidden gems, authentic local food and great location as beautiful countryside.

It is situated on the edge of Chao Praya River where Noi River is joined, surrounded by local villages, rice fields and temples.

I tried to search their location and contact from Google and must try harder to pick the right Ran Rim Namrestaurant from a dozen restaurants which share the same name throughout Thailand.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bangsai Arts and Crafts Centre of H.M. Queen Sirikit of Thailand (attraction)
  2. Ayutthaya (state)
  3. Thailand (country)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Adrian from Salt Lake City

Hell's Backbone Grill is a tiny, but delicious farm-to-table restaurant in Boulder Utah (a town of 222 residents), which is indescribably remote.

How remote? Boulder was the last community in the continental United States to receive its mail by mule train and wasn't connected by a year-round road until 1939. 

Getting there is the fun part.

The drive down from Torrey gives you amazing views of the sandstone domes of Capitol Reef National Park. Next, take the high-pass over Boulder Mountain and drive down Hells Backbone Rd (Highway 12) which is the most spectacular strip of asphalt I have ever experienced. The two-lane road winds high above canyon country with incredible views and 1000+ ft drops on either side before finally landing you in Boulder. 

At the end of your trip, surrounded by the mountains and the flowers and the hummingbirds, your meal is well-deserved.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hell's Backbone Grill (attraction)
  2. Boulder (city)
  3. Torrey (city)
  4. Capitol Reef National Park (park)
  5. Boulder Mountain (attraction)
  6. Hells Backbone Rd (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Lila from Las Vegas

The best hidden roadside dining I have found hands down has been in Asia.  The street food scene is unbelievable and almost overwhelming.  So much food, so little time.

Singapore has elevated street dining to an art form.  The street hawkers are centralized in food courts which are regulated by very strict health and safety regulations so visitors can feel safe to truly eat fearlessly in Singapore. Hong Kong and South Korea are also great foodie destinations.

I have also tried street food in Vietnam, Cambodia and even India(gasp!) and with some few exceptions have almost never regretted my choices. I do research on cuisine before I travel since I write a food blog and mostly because I just want to make sure I try the local specialties.  I also try to make decisions wisely-I choose places that are clean and generally only try cooked foods and it is always better if you can see them preparing it on the spot.  I also travel with a good arsenal of antibiotics and imodium.  Be fearless but be prepared is my philosophy for travel. :)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Asia (continent)
  2. Singapore (country)
  3. Hong Kong (city)
  4. South Korea (country)
  5. Vietnam (country)
  6. Cambodia (country)
  7. India (country)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Matt from Kent (Washington)

Not exactly "dining" but my favorite "hidden roadside dining gem" is Smittys In & Out in Elma, Washington. The best burger and fries or tater-tots I've ever had..  NO seating, drive through only, but great burgers.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Smittys In & Out (restaurant)
2 thankscomments (2)

answered by

Driving through Savannah, we came across what we first thought to be a bar for truckers! Then looking on and thinking to use trip advisor, the Green Truck was supposedly more. Turned out to be the best burger we'd had out ever. Great choice of fresh food and all kinds of micro brews! 

Just perfect!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Savannah (city)
2 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Spencer from Los Angeles

Hands down, that has to be Dazzo's Country Store & RV Pk in Wikieup (I can't make town names like this up). There are two reasons you would find yourself hear: 1) Because you're driving between Phoenix and Vegas, and 2) Because you're lost. It looks like just another country store, but they have some really great cheese steaks, as well as good Chicago dogs. It's an oasis in the desert. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Dazzo's Country Store & RV Pk (hotel)
2 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Chris from Manhattan Beach, California

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cold Spring Tavern (restaurant)
2 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Tiffany from Corvallis

Perhaps the most out-of-the-way gems I ever enjoyed were on a ski trip in the Tirol mountains in Austria. We stayed in Sankt Veit im Pongau and skied nearby in Alpendorf. I don't know the names of the places I ate, but they were places tucked up in the mountains sunk in feet of snow without any roads at all. The only way to get there was to ski there. Every day we'd decide where to ski based on what we wanted to eat. One place had damfnudeln, a large donut-esque ball covered in vanilla sauce. The apple strudel was out of this world and everywhere I had the Tiroler Gristl, a hash of onions, potato, and various meats - different at each place, but always delicious.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Austria (country)
  2. Sankt Veit im Pongau (city)
  3. Alpendorf (city)
2 thanks

answered first by
Missy from Newport

Definitely in Greece and Turkey where traditional Tavernas can be found along roadsides, walking paths, harbors, and in little bays where the Taverna can only be accessed by boat.  Food is always fresh, made with fresh local ingredients, with great seafood if the Taverna is on the water; foods are often cooked over a wood charcoal fire, and accompanied with homemade bread, olive oil, local honey, and local yoghurts and cheeses.  Enjoying local Tavernas, which are often the center of local village life, is to me, an essential part of the travel experience in Greece and Turkey. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Greece (country)
  2. Turkey (country)
2 thanks

answered by
Arti from Mumbai

Roadside food in India beats everything else I guess! Just the sheer variety and difference in tastes is amazing!

I discovered these amazing Vada Pavs in Pune! They were just a delight as the man kept frying those right in front of my eyes! Hot and Spicy, they are a common breakfast in Maharashtra 
A man frying Vada Pavs in Pune Garden Vada Pav

Also found the best Misal Pav I have ever had anywhere in India!! Aba Pawar Misal is the place to be in the morning!

You must try these two things if you ever decide to visit Western India!!

Here is the blog post I wrote about these gems! 

Vada Pav, Misal Pav and South Indian: A Travel Blogger's Food Guide For Pune!

Let us get to Jaipur now in the desert state of Rajasthan

Pyaaz Kachori at a small shop in Jaipur! Awesome taste and fills you up for all the exploring that you need to do!

These  piping hot Jalebis will melt in your mouth and leave you feeling all sugary and sweet! Both these are at the same shop called Samrat Fast Food Center in Chaura Rasta.

Try these Kanji Vadas that are fluffy and light and also very good in aiding digestion! The best one I ate was in a hole in the wall shop in the crowded Gheewalon ka Rasta in Jaipur

Here is the detailed blogpost that I wrote - 

Pyaaz Kachori, Dal-Bati, Jalebi and More: What to Eat in Jaipur and Where!

The Cost for 2 Vada Pav is just 14 Indian Rupees!! (1 $ = 63 INR )

The Misal Pav, Pyaaz Kachori, Kanji Vadas are also similarly cheap but pack a punch in taste!!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. India (country)
  2. Pune (city)
  3. Maharashtra (state)
  4. Jaipur (city)
  5. Rajasthan (region)
1 thanks

answered by
Matt from Kent (Washington)

Another dining gem I've found (but its more neighborhood than "roadside"), is Napoli Pizzeria Ristorante in Southpark ( just across the river from Georgetown, south of Seattle).   Napoli's is a great simple family run place, small menu, but everything on e menu is great!   Pizza, Lasagna, Spaghetti, Manicotti, and theee sandwiches ( Italian Sub, Italian Sausage, and Meatball).  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Napoli Pizzeria Ristorante (restaurant)
1 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Ben from London

If you ever travel by road in Europe, the services in Italy & Austria serves amazing food!

In Italy the Autogrill chain are good & the chalet looking services through Austria offer up great hot food & gulas!

1 thanks

answered by
Joan from San Diego

Don's Restaurant in Emory, Texas is a family-run restaurant with surprisingly affordable and very-well and lovingly prepared food.  Crowded with locals.   Don's offers a daily buffet as well as an extensive menu.  Very friendly and welcoming spot. Not too far from Lake Fork, a very well-known bass fishing lake; in fact Don's is almost across the street from the Best Western. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Don's Restaurant (restaurant)
  2. Emory (city)
  3. Lake Fork (attraction)
1 thanks

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