Dine In Style Along Route 66
May 13, 2013 6:47 PM

Is there a US road trip more iconic than Route 66? I don't think so. It isn't all about the drive itself, though, because there are just so many things to see and experience along the way. Personally, I think stopping at some of the route's best restaurants is one of the absolute highlights of this kind of trip - and I'm sure keen foodies will agree with me!

Route 66 is peppered with well-esteemed eateries, including amazing Michelin-starred restaurants. Whether you want to seek out some of the best local food or go for the ultimate in luxury by dining at the most critically-acclaimed establishments, you will be in for an unforgettable experience. To give you the most freedom with your itinerary - including where you eat - I think it is worth booking a self-drive holiday along Route 66, but you can opt for an escorted tour if you prefer. Below, you'll find my top picks for eating in some of the most exciting cities along Route 66.

1) Girl & the Goat

Where: Chicago

The first restaurant on my list is the interestingly named Girl & the Goat, which you'll find in Chicago's West Loop. Open seven days a week, it has a reputation for its down-to-earth style and wonderfully fresh, locally sourced creations that have made it popular with locals and chefs alike. It divides its food into three broad categories - vegetables, fish and meat - as well as offering craft beers and even blending its own wine.

The atmosphere here is really laidback, with a communal bar table and rock and pop hits playing in the background. It's open from 16:30 each day, so it's a dinner venue rather than a lunch venue, and sometimes remains open into the early hours. As a quick tip, don't forget to try the bread here, which is freshly baked each day.

2) Joel Robuchon

Where: Las Vegas

Over in Sin City, you can discover the cooking of one of France's best-loved chefs, Joel Robuchon. Located in the MGM Grand, the Joel Robuchon Restaurant boasts an impressive three Michelin stars, as well as a Forbes five-star rating and a host of other accolades. So, if you decide to come here, it will definitely be one of the finest eateries you visit during your holiday.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to book in advance - the seating here is very limited (its capacity is approximately 60 people) and, thanks to the calibre of the chef's cooking, it's extremely popular. Should you be keen to try as many different dishes as possible, opt for the multi-course tasting menu. However, if you'd rather have a more traditional dinner, there's an excellent a la carte menu too.

3) Animal

Where: Los Angeles

The final restaurant on my list is pretty unusual in that it's a total celebration of all things carnivore. Located at 435 Fairfax Avenue, this restaurant is actually quite easy to miss unless you know it's there, since it doesn't have any grand exterior signage - something that adds to its charm, I think.

This menu is one that will leave meat eaters utterly spoilt for choice, as it includes the likes of ricotta gnocci with six-hour Bolognese - which is what I'd go for - and bolder dishes, such as pig's ear, beef heart and crispy pig head. The desserts caught my eye, too, thanks to the combination of classics like sticky toffee pudding and more unusual options, such as the bacon chocolate crunch bar.

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