One of the most popular destinations for foodies along Route 66 is probably Joliet (located an hour southwest of Chicago). Here, the robust restaurant scene includes casino restaurants, contemporary cuisine and legendary diners.
With a small town vibe and Route 66 logos filling the windows, Joliet Route 66 Diner has operated since 1960. Route 66 highway signs and sodas decorate this diner, whose decor hasn’t changed in decades. Try a breakfast omelet with hashbrowns or hearty steak with eggs for less than $10 each. You’ll find a friendly staff and enormous lunchtime sandwiches.
It’s been 50 years since Home Cut Donuts became a local landmark, where you can watch people craft donuts through a glass window. The family-owned business creates dozens of flavors, from sprinkle-covered donuts on a stick, to toasted coconut. One donut costs less than a buck, or buy a dozen for $9.
Another long-time name in the Joliet restaurant game is Cemenos Pizza, which has made award- winning pizza, pasta, sandwiches and more from family recipes for 40 years. Whether you order chicken bruschetta pasta or build your own pizza, you can pair it with domestic beer priced from $2. Specialty pizzas include spinach calabrese, with marinated spinach, mozzarella, ricotta and garlic marinara inside hand-tossed dough.
Drivers along Route 66 have been stopping at some of these treasured roadside and area eateries for decades, but they’re not the only places worth trying in Joliet.