Where there’s an off-ramp, there is usually chow more interesting than a fast-food chain. Finding it is a task for modern information technology, coupled with chowdar and a sense of adventure. rworange likes to just search for the word restaurant along with the city and state of interest—a method that works if you start out with a town in mind. macca recommends The Next Exit, a book that lists restaurants all over the United States indexed by state and highway number. Check online used-book sellers.
ccbweb went the hard-core route and bought a GPS system that has millions of points of interest entered into it. It’s capable of displaying every restaurant within 50 miles of the unit. “We ended up finding good Chinese food in Idaho and good Thai in Kentucky—a welcome change from drive-through fast food,” says ccbweb. For around $60, you can also buy an add-on card for the GPS system that has the complete Fodor’s North America.
Sharuf offers two low-tech but tried-and-true methods. Number 1: Drive into the old downtown and look for a place that has the vibe of a local hangout. Number 2: Ask a local, “Where do folks go for breakfast/lunch/dinner around here?”