No road trip is complete without a gas station stop to purchase loads of absurdly unhealthy snacks and drinks. However, while every college student can appreciate the convenience and calorie-to-dollar ratio of this type of fare, at times you may find yourself craving a little more than Hot Cheetos Con Limon or gas-station Taco Bell.
Many of us at Cal have hometowns within the Golden Bear State – generally along a road-trip route involving the beloved I-5. We at the Clog decided it would be useful to compile all the top notch dining options that can be found along this highway. The next time you’re driving home or just taking a road trip, check out these delicious spots:
The Abbey Trappist Pub
Type of food: American style, sit-down
Location: You can find this fantastic pub at 2353 N. Pacific Ave., Stockton, CA. It’s about three miles from the nearest exit off the 5, approximately eight minutes out of the way, according to Google Maps.
What people have to say: With an average rating of 4.5 stars on Yelp, this place is supposedly killer. Not only is the food great — the service is stellar, and the prices are very reasonable as well. It also has an awesome selection of brews, if your passengers are interested in that!
Type of food: Gourmet Mexican
Location: Posada Restaurant is located in Livermore, which is actually off the 580 — pretty close to Berkeley. It’s a great stop to make if you’re starting your road trip around lunch time and are craving some out-of-this-world Mexican food. The address is 988 Murrieta Blvd., Livermore, CA.
What people have to say: Another restaurant with 4.5 Yelp stars, this place’s fare is high-quality, modern Mexican. From ceviche to smoked salmon tostadas to short ribs with blackberry mole poblano, Posada is definitely a spot to look out for. The service is also supposedly fantastic – however, it can be a little pricey, with most entrees ranging from $11 to $19.
Wool Growers Restaurant
Type of food: American, sit-down
Location: Although it’s located in Los Banos, the ghost town of California, Wool Growers Restaurant is a beautiful needle of deliciousness in a haystack of the barren wasteland that is central California. At 609 H St., Los Banos, CA, Wool Growers is just 13 minutes out of the way, according to Google maps.
What people have to say: Wool Growers restaurant is the most bizarrely incredible place you could encounter near the I-5. It offers an incredible six-course meal that could feed double the amount of people in your party for $16, if you’re there for lunch, or for $22 for dinner. Every course Wool Growers offers is perfectly cooked and seasoned — the baked beans are the best we’ve ever had, the minestrone soup is the most wonderfully flavored soup with excellent consistency and the complimentary lamb stew is perfectly cooked, meat falling off the bones and all. Even the salad was outstanding. The restaurant’s portions are massive, prices very affordable and service very friendly. This is definitely a stop you have to make at least once in your life.
Los Primos Bakery
Type of food: Combination of a convenience store, bakery and delicious Mexican restaurant
Location: 744 Skyline Blvd., Avenal, CA — right off the I-5. It’s just five miles out of the way or eight minutes away, according to Google maps — so Los Primos Bakery is extremely convenient.
What people have to say: Los Primos Bakery is one of the most conveniently located places off the I-5 that actually serves excellent food. It has an average rating of 4.5 stars on Yelp, and though it looks a little dingy on the outside, it is high-quality on the inside. A recommended Yelp review describes the food at Los Primos Bakery as “amazingly fresh” and “extremely authentic.”
Type of food: Tita’s Pupuseria serves a traditional Salvadoran food called pupusas. You might think pupusas are just some variation on poopoo, but in fact, they are a delicious Latin dish. They are small flatbreads similar to a delicious mix between pita bread and a thicker, softer tortilla or pancake. They are traditionally served with cheese, meat and other classic taco-esque fillings.
Location: 20643 Tracy Ave., Buttonwillow, CA – literally less than one minute off the I-5. Tita’s offers delicious food for road trippers on the run!
What people have to say: Tita’s has an average rating of 4 stars on Yelp and apparently serves up a tangy, delicious and original coleslaw with every pupusa. Each pupusa is extremely large and only $3 – just one will usually fill a person up, but you might want to get two so you can try multiple flavors. The exterior of the restaurant apparently does not reflect the high quality of the food inside, but don’t judge a book by its cover!
Type of food: Burgers
Location: About three miles off of the I-5, surrounded by mountains. Great location that is a nice change of scenery from the barren qualities of the I-5 drive. Falcon’s Nest is located at 3216 Mt. Pinos Way, Frazier Park, CA.
What people have to say: Falcon’s Nest has an absurd average rating of 5 stars on Yelp, so it must be excellent – no one has ever reviewed it lower than 4 stars! So, when you’re feeling more adventurous than the classic In-N-Out, definitely check out Falcon’s Nest. It also offers a variety of crazy burgers and delicious onion rings with tons of different dips!
Chabelo’s Mexican Grill
Type of food: Modern Mexican
Location: 31822 Castaic Road, Castaic, CA — immediately off the I-5.
What people have to say: Chabelo’s has an average rating of 4.5 stars on Yelp and is apparently famous for its shrimp cocktails and fantastic customer service. People definitely rave about this Mexican pitstop.