What Is Your Favorite Junk Food For Road Trips?

Illustration for article titled What's Your Favorite Food Or Snack For The Road?

Photo: Jalopnik / José Rodríguez Jr.

Oh, boy. Food and the road: These are the things that we Jalops absolutely need to go on living. They don’t always go well together, and maybe the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile is a little too on the nose, but I’m going to say that’s only because hot dogs are a little risky when it comes to eating in a car.

Hot dogs are damn delicious anywhere else, but I would hate to smear spicy mustard on my seats. I will admit that the severity of my food rules diminishes as distance increases.

When I’m on a road trip I tend to get a little peckish and as my car gobbles away the miles, I get excited about the next fuel stop or bathroom break, which will inevitably produce a bag full of junk food and an ice-cold fizzy water.

My go-to junk food is almost mapped onto certain regions. If I’m driving East along US-83, I’ll stop for Mexican candy, or tamarindos, and a bottle of Topo Chico. Maybe throw in some Takis if I’m feeling adventurous. But no Hot Cheetos, please. I really hate those things.

When I’m driving North on US-281, I’ll usually get something a little more mellow, like a Perrier and a big bag of Twizzlers. Oh, and don’t forget the Sweet Tarts. Dammit. Just writing about this makes me long for the road and its candy. It’s Pavlovian that way. The one usually follows the other.

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Photo: Jalopnik / José Rodríguez Jr.

We had a good, informative chat about this among the staffers where we argued about the best junk food on road trips and people had…opinions. Some argued that sunflower seeds are best. Some claimed it’s honey-flavored pretzels. Combos were another favorite. And the old Twizzler versus Red Vines conflict threatened to divide us.

Fortunately, we all agreed that Beef Jerky is close to the perfect road trip food, but it’s a pretty dangerous choice. Not because of its high sodium, but because it’s nearly impossible to stop eating it until it’s gone. I’ll usually say to myself, “Oh, what’s another strip?” And before I know it, I’m staring at an empty bag of jerky, out in the middle of nowhere with no gas station in sight. So what about y’all? What is your go-to food, snack or drink when you’re bombing down the open road?

Janelle B. Smith

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