Holiday road trip season is here and it comes with the seasonal migration up and down Interstate 95, the longest north-south intestate in the country and America’s most-traveled highway in terms of distances driven. When it comes to finding food along the way the Carolinas are not blessed with a system of rest stops chock full of eateries like our Northern neighbors — travelers instead must roll the dice on off-ramp options. Some exits might have six or seven different fast food joints, others make you choose between a gas station Subway and, well, gas station hot dogs.
With a little bit of planning, and a willingness to drive a few more minutes away from the exit, your fast food road trip nightmares can be replaced with dreams of comfort food, local joints, and Southern institutions serving up more than just a burger and fries. We’ve compiled some of the best local options along I-95, all no more than a short drive from the interstate. Some you can pop in and grab a tasty meal to go while others might have you scheduling an extended break from the road, but all are certain to break the monotony of fast food and make your road trip just a bit more delicious.
Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.