Joy the Baker

Let’s Road Trip!

February 25, 2014

los angeles to new orleans

I’m planning the Los Angeles ——> New Orleans road trip and I need your help!

I think you know exactly where I should eat pizza, where I will find the best road trip snacks, and where I should drink coffee.  I’m also open early morning diners options, and odd roadside attractions.  I’ve got 1909 miles to go over 30 hours (3 days really…).  I’m going to need to supplement my diet of gummy bears and flammin’ hot cheetos with something reasonable and caffeinated.

If you have any suggestions between Los Angeles ——> Phoenix/Tucson please leave a comment below with the name of hotspot and why it’s so great!

If you have any suggestions between Tucson/Ciudad Juarez ——> San Antonio please leave a comment below with the name of the hotspot and why it’s so dang cool!

If you have any suggestions between San Antonio ——> New Orleans please leave a comment below with the name of the hotspot and why it’s rad.

I’ll update this post as your comments and quotes come in so we can all share in the good.

I appreciate you in advance.  I can only eat so many gummy bears… (cry for help).

(Your suggestions after the click-through)

new orleans

The road to beignets is paved with tacos, barbecue, and good intentions.

Your Phoenix/Tucson/New Mexico recommendations:

+  ”Lunch at little Cafe Poca Cosa, or dinner at Cafe Poca Cosa- this is not the “Mexican” food you’ll be expecting, but it’s amazing.  Get the plato and try three things!” -Gina

+ “You must stop at Irma’s Mexican Restaurant, it is true New Mexican food in a great place with great owners. Everything is good but the Chile Colorado and Sopapillas are amazing. My mom grew up in Silver City, NM and on all my many visits to NM, this is my favorite place. I know everyone raves about NM green chiles, but my mom and her family grew up on New Mexican Red Chiles and Irma’s is perfect place for it!” -Michele

+ “Cup Cafe in the Hotel Congress, opens at 7 am. Everything’s good. The bar is great at night too.” -Alex M.

+ “When you pass through Tucson hit up Time Market for great sandwiches on homemade bread, pizza, coffee, etc. Added bonus: it’s not too far off the I-10!” -Elizabeth

+ “Tucson and San Antonio both have Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, which is the BEST pizza. It’s my favorite place to eat in NYC (the original one was under the Brooklyn Bridge!) and they’ve branched out to other places. The down side is that they don’t sell by the slice. You have to get an entire pizza. The up side is that you’ll WANT the entire pizza, because it is THAT good!” -Lindsay

+ “Pizzeria Bianco for pizza. Their sister Pane Bianco has lovely sandwiches, and lux next door for coffee is delightful. Also good for pizza–Pomo, the Parlor.” -Meleyna

+ “For the best specialty coffee in Phoenix, come to Cartel Coffee Lab at 1st st and Washington. I’ll be working Wednesday and Thursday if you want to come say hi. If it’s too far out of your way, the other locations of Cartel are delicious as well.” -Amanda

+ “In Tucson: the best croissant I’ve ever had was at this little market next to the Amtrak station.” -Eva

Your Texas/San Antonio recommendations:  

+  ”While in SA, I would suggest doing breakfast at Mad Hatter’s, a quirky little tea shop in the King William District.” -Katie M.

+ “Check out Goode Company Seafood just off the I-10 and Gressner in Houston.  They have wonderful Fresh Gulf Coast seafood.  Don’t miss the Campechana – it may change your life.” -Pam

+ “You’d be making a huge mistake if you didn’t stop at Chris Madrid’s in San Antonio. It’s a dive-ish place that serves some of the best, cheesiest burgers ever.” -Elisa

+ “Do yourself a culinary favor and stop at Dough in San Antonio. Their Neapolitan pizza is Delicious. Everything my husband & I ordered was a sea of wonderful favors… A Must on your road trip!” -Alissa, Molly, and Pam

+ “I would highly recommend that you go to The Granary at the Pearl Brewery. The food is AMAZING. Depending on the day, you may get good ole Texas BBQ that you order by the pound. Other days the menu is more upscale with a nod to TX BBQ. It’s also close to the famed Riverwalk area of San Antonio, but it’s a less cheesy, more lovely landscaped area. You can ride on a river taxi to the touristy part of the Riverwalk and the Alamo. Just bring cash ($20-30) for the boat! I don’t think it’s that expensive for one ticket, but I can’t remember.” -Kim

+ “If you stop in Houston, pay Kenny and Ziggy’s near the Galleria a visit. It’s an authentic New York deli with a huge menu and the best chicken salad sandwich and chicken matzo ball soup in the world. Check it out! Besides, you may need a break from tacos and BBQ.” -Shannon L.

+ “Lockhart is a just a brief jaunt out of your way on highway 10 between San Antonio and Houston. It’s famous for it’s bbq. Even less out of your way is City Market in Luling. Check out tEXAS Monthly’s review of the 50 best bbq joints, and hit them all on your way through our great state.” -Anne

+ “Definitely stop at Buc-ee’s in Luling, TX on I-10! They have a huge variety of canned jellies, salsas, butters, etc, as well as tons of jerky and kolaches. While you are driving through TX you MUST get some kolaches (it’s a Texas thing, and so delicious!). Buc-ee’s is also very proud of their nice restrooms.” -Shannon L., Emily Jean, and Heidi

+ “In San Antonio I highly recommend El Mirador for really authentic and delicious Tex Mex. I’ve eaten Tex Mex all over Texas and I think it is by far the best spot!” -Olivia

+ “Taco taco or rolandos super taco for breakfast tacos in san Antonio. The missions a bit outside the city are also pretty cool.” -Maddie

+ “Billy’s Boudin and Cracklins and Best Stop Supermarket, both in Scott, are probably my favorite places to stop but Don’s Specialty Meats works too. You can put it off until you’re settled in but once you want to go see gators I always use Cajun Pride in La Place, La. Real Cajun captains. See if you can get on a boat with Captain Tom.” -Matt

Thank you all for offering us such delicious road trip suggestions! I’ve added several of your suggestions above, but for a complete list please dive into the comment section below!


177 Comments Add A Comment

  • If you have time going into/out of San Antonio, you should hit up a Rudy’s for some Texas barbeque- brisket slathered in their homemade sauce is required. Also, you can’t leave Texas without getting breakfast tacos, and one of best places is the Taco Taco Cafe near downtown. They’re not fancy and they’re not good for you- which makes them delicious. If you’re looking for some epic Tex-Mex and margaritas, then you need to hit up Cha Cha’s (there are 3 locations, all equally great). My family’s all time favorite item is the Sabana de Res which is a spicy flank steak, pounded thin and covered in refried beans and broiled cheese. Not for the faint of heart. Last, there are a ton of awesome restaurants and super cool bars in the Pearl Brewery Complex so that would be a fantastic evening side tour if you’re staying for a night in town. Good luck and have fun on your trip!

    • If you’re going to do Rudy’s, do the original location on I-10 just north of San Antonio… The pit’s been in use for years and years and there’s just no substitute!

  • Between San Antonio and Houston on I-10 (exit 632) there is a Buccee’s, which is an awesome chain of convenience stores. I know it doesn’t sound exciting, but just trust. It’s a super big deal in Texas. Get a bag of beaver nuggets. They are like Corn Pops on steroids. I always get bouidin and cracklins at Don’s in Scott, La (exit 97 I think), but I’m sure you’ll be able to find plenty of those at your final destination :)

    • I totally agree with Emily Jean about Bucee’s! They are always very clean! Also when we were in San Antonio we ate a lot of paletas. The El Paraiso brand is made there in SA, you’ll see people with streetcarts selling them! My favorites were Horchata flavor and coconut. :)

    • Buccee’s is a definite must do! The coolest gas station/convenience store ever. Make sure you get some beaver nuggets! They’re fantastic!

  • Between San Antonio and LA the best stops for gas and caffeine and candy and jerky and bucc-ee nuggets are Bucc-ee’s stations along I-10 and major roads, make sure you pick up some four cheese sausage for a quick meal in NOLA when you get there.

  • Hi Joy, Chris Bianco downtown Phoenix has the best pizza. Have a great trip.

  • I don’t know that area very well, but one place you might check is roadfood.com. They are on The Splendid Table podcast all the time talking about great diners and restaurants around the country.

  • Lupe Tortilla – the one I’ve been to is in The Woodlands (just north of Houston), but they have locations all over the Houston area. You will want to eat their tortillas by the fistful, and their guacomole is green heaven in a bowl (as chunky or as creamy as you want it), made to order, at your table, witty conversation included. Every time I visit the Houston area, Lupe Tortilla is the one restaurant I absolutely refuse to miss.

  • On IH 10 coming in to San Antonio, you can go past 1604 towards San Antonio and exit at Fredericksgurg road. Stay on the frontage road towards Wurzbach. On the right side past the Alamo Cafe you will find Mama Margie’s. I like the chicken fajita plate. The Margaritas are supposed to be the bomb. Some hotels around there as well.

  • Ok don’t judge… But if you’re cool with gummie bears and flamin Cheetos than Dag-Nabbit I’m not guna be ashamed to declare my guilty pleasure from a mountain top….Cracker Barrel…the first one you see! Eat some yum-town biscuits for me cuz that’s somethin they just don’t make here in Chile. Plus!!! It’s win win since the general store/candy shoppe is attached for all you road trip gummie and nostalgic candy needs! Safe travels and happy diva singin in solitude! Never forget you ARE Mariah! Hit those high octaves when no ones around.

  • Come to Houston on your way to Nawlins. There’s Coppa Osteria, that has great pizza or pasta. Next door is Cloud 10 ice cream, which is awesome! If you’re not in mood for pasta, Torchy Tacos is famous from Austin. Or Dim Sum authetic from Hong Kong. All in Rice Village by Rice University, which is a beautiful neighborhood.

  • Taco Cabana, anywhere in Texas, but they are all over San Antonio. The best, cheap, authentic mexican food :)

  • In Houston: the Original Carrabba’s restaurant on Kirby Drive. Great Italian food! Also, they just opened up Grace’s. It has a menu of food reminiscent of all the foods Johnny Carrabba’s grandmother used to make for the family that wasn’t Italian.

  • Phoenix/tempe AZ… four peaks brewery! Best food best beer! I used to hostess there when i was in school at ASU

    Good luck with the move!

  • Very jealous Joy! Do you seriously and deeply understand how good you have it in the USA??!! So many options and great places to stop when roadtripping. My husband and I have been fortunate enough to head over Stateside a number of times and have traveled some of the route that you’re about to undertake. I won’t give any suggestions though as we think any of your roadside stops and even your service stations are A M A Z I N G!! Did I mention that I was just a tad jealous? Hope the packing is progressing!!!

  • I lived in Tucson for 10 years so I have lotso suggestions for you! (Most of these are not too far from I-10).
    1702: Great, big slices of pizza with an awesome rotating beer selection.
    Bison Witches (4th Ave): 4th Ave has a hippie quirky vibe and Bison Witches has the BEST sandwiches on thick homemade bread.
    Guero Canelo: The best sonoran Mexican food. The sonoran hot dogs are the ish.
    Downtown Tucson (Congress): This area has been experiencing a huge revival and there are so many “hipster” places to grub. Some favorites: Proper, Penca, HUB, Maynards Market… http://www.downtowntucson.org/visit/dining/

    Safe travels and best wishes on your big move!

  • Dough in San Antonio is the best pizza, hands down.

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