Andrew's 12 Favorite Bites on the Road

Wonder where to stop when you get the munchies on that long road trip? Andrew recommends 12 foodie destinations worth a detour.

12. El Taco de Mexico (Denver)

This is Denver's quintessential taqueria. The restaurant serves the best, most authentic menudo and tacos in the city. I bet there isn't another restaurant in town that utilizes as many varied techniques of meat cookery as well as the grandmas behind the counter.

11. La Camaronera (Miami)

Part fish-fry, part fresh seafood market, La Camaronera is a small family-owned joint that’s been around for more than 40 years. They’re known for the minuta sandwich, a butterflied snapper filet topped with lemon, garlic and cumin. Trust me, it’s worth waiting in line for.

10. Miss Myra's Pit Bar B-Q (Alabama)

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Miss Myra serves the best barbecue chicken and banana pudding I've ever eaten. The crisp skin she gets on the chicken is out of this world. Served with a side of potato salad, this is barbecue perfection.

9. Cochon Butcher (New Orleans)

Cochon Butcher is a sandwich shop, wine bar and salumeria specializing in Louisiana-style housemade charcuterie, terrines and sausages. The Cochon muffaletta made with house-cured meats and a briny olive salad is one of the best in the city.

8. Mahony's Po Boy (New Orleans)

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Mahony's is the Crescent City's best spot for po'boys. Try the oyster and soft-shell crab combination or jumbo shrimp with fried green tomatoes and remoulade.

7. Torchy's Tacos (Austin, TX)

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Seth Anderson
This funky taqueria started as a lone food truck serving authentic Austin street tacos, and as their popularity grew so did the empire. The tacos are killer (as are the hot sauces) -- from traditional (think: pork carnitas, green chiles and queso fresco) to the more sophisticated (jerk chicken, jalapeno and mango).

6. John’s Roast Pork (Philly)

John's Roast Pork, an iconic South Philly cheesesteak and roast pork purveyor, might make the best sandwich in America. Their cheesesteaks are always at the top of any "best of" list, with sliced ribeye piled high on a crusty Italian loaf, with your choice of provolone or American (no Whiz here). But in my opinion, the slow-roasted pork butt, with aged provolone, gravy and spicy green on a real torpedo roll, is sandwich perfection.

5. Five Islands Lobster (Maine)

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If you like your lobster roll on a toasted bun with just a smidgen of mayo, then this is the one for you. And it couldn’t get any fresher; lobsters are pulled straight from the surrounding waters (which are some of the coldest and deepest waters on Maine's coast -- the ideal conditions for delicious lobsters) and are never tanked. Your meal is served on the end of the dock on the active fishing wharf, with only a few gulls to keep you company.

4. Franks 'n' Dawgs (Chicago)

Sure you can buy a "Chicago-style" dog on every corner, but for something truly unique I head to Franks 'n' Dawgs. This Lincoln Park restaurant is known for their creative combinations and house-made artisan sausages. Try the Tur-Doggin (turkey and date sausage with duck confit and herb garlic aioli) or the Urbanbelly Chix (Vietnamese chicken sausage, green papaya and curry mayo).

3. Smoki O's (St. Louis)

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This legendary joint in St. Louis has served crispy, meaty, fatty pig snoots for years. The Walker family makes it their mission to truly serve their neighborhood in every sense possible, from mentoring kids to paying for college for their staffers to making the most unique BBQ in America. It's superb.

2. Scott's Bar-B-Que (South Carolina)

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Pitmaster Rodney Scott slow-smokes whole hogs overnight with hardwood coals, basting regularly with a vinegary mop. Come morning, the pork is hand-pulled, and topped with crispy skins and the family’s secret sauce. My favorite barbecue joint on the planet.

1. Russ Kendall's Smokehouse (Minnesota)

You'll find an abundance of smoked specialties in northern Minnesota along Lake Superior, but Russ Kendall's Smokehouse serves the best smoked fish in the region. I always stop here for smoked whitefish and herring when I come up Old Highway 61. They’ve been smoking fish since around 1920, using the old family tradition of smoking with maple wood.
Andrew Zimmern holds a lobster in Marathon Florida
Next Up

Bizarre Foods America: Summer 2012 Sneak Peek

Go behind the scenes with Andrew Zimmern for a sneak peek of the new 2012 season of Bizarre Foods America.