The Scene

Enjoy unique eateries on a road trip along the world-famous Route 66

Sit back, relax and enjoy these nostalgic dining destinations located just off Route 66, packed full of vintage ambiance, throwback menus and plenty of Route 66 ephemera.

These diners, hot dog stands and chicken restaurants have been serving up large portions and satisfying hungry guests for decades. Dine in or carry out, you’ll enjoy some of the best classic eats Route 66 has to offer.


645 Joliet Road, I-55 & Route 83, Willowbrook

Fans of fried chicken have been loyally returning to Willowbrook’s classic Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket since its doors were first opened to Route 66 travelers in the early 1940′s. Originally founded as a service station and restaurant combination, Dell Rhea’s popularity grew right alongside the Mother Road. Today, you can still savor the original taste of their renowned fried and roasted chicken, made just like it was during the heyday of Route 66. On the menu you’ll find other home-style classics like corn fritters, baby back ribs, homemade mashed potatoes and an all-you-can-eat salad bar. Don’t miss this authentic throw-back restaurant, decorated with a charming country-inspired interior, conveniently located 25 minutes from the heart of downtown Chicago. Find out why they say “Get Your Chicks on Route 66!”


1376 Joliet Road, Romeoville

Just look for the water tower with the giant “WWF” and you’ll know that you’re at White Fence Farm in Romeoville, one of the early iconic dining establishments along Route 66. Celebrating more than 65 years in business, this actual farm has been serving up, as they say, “The World’s Greatest Chicken” to several generations of hungry travelers. Known for their famous twice-cooked process, which involves baking and frying chicken to produce a distinctly thin yet crispy crust, White Fence Farm draws fried chicken fans from around the nation. In keeping with the authentic farm theme, every meal includes a variety of sides that have become as famous as their chicken; cole slaw, cottage cheese, bean salad, pickled beets and mashed, baked or French fried potatoes.


604 Theodore St., Crest Hill

Merichka’s has served their legendary take on the classic po’boy sandwich since 1933, using fresh fried chicken in lieu of roast beef or seafood. This family-owned and operated eatery takes great pride in using Choice USDA and quality hand cut meats. From their legendary chicken to the freshly handground hamburger, Merichka’s is incredibly authentic. The interior of this classic supper club boasts rich paneling, complete with red checkered tablecloths and a generous-sized bar, where you can order a libation or two before your meal. Menu items include great steaks and chops, as well as an extensive seafood selection. Their fan favorite Garlic Butterine can be added to just about everything on the menu, enhancing the flavor of nearly any classic dish.


222 N. Front St., Braidwood

This 1950′s style roadside dinner is what Route 66 travelers dream of when first planning their trips. Decked wall to wall with 1950s memorabilia, and lined with fiberglass statues of Elvis, Betty Boop and company, this diner is a must-stop for anyone looking to experience a slice of nostalgia along the Mother Road. Polk-A-Dot also features a full menu with all the drive-in classics you know and love, like burgers, malts and chili cheese fries. Inside you’ll find jukebox booths, iconic black and white checkered floors and black patent leather booths, all held together with miles of stainless steel. Dine in or enjoy the outdoor picnic tables overlooking Old 66.


105 S. Old Route 66, Dwight

Located just off of Route 66 and I-55, this sit-down restaurant features a nice atmosphere, great décor and friendly staff. The outside of the restaurant sports a Route 66 mural, perfect for a quick photo-op, while the inside features a real fire engine chassis that has been repurposed into the cashier station. Serving home-cooked meals and generous portions, this is the perfect spot to pull off the Mother Road and refuel with a hot dinner. Beyond the classic family restaurant items, you’ll find family-sized menu offerings like Chicken By The Bucket and Sides By The Pound. You’ll also find a selection of daily specials, homemade soups and desserts. Many of these recipes have been handed down for over three generations, making the Old Route 66 Family Restaurant one of the most authentic stops on your historic cruise.


140 Bridge St., Wilmington

Nelly’s Restaurant on Route 66 is home to a nostalgic menu and cozy interior, lined with mementos, flags and signatures from more than a decade of Mother Road travelers. From handmade, 100% Angus burgers to their Italian beef that bursts with flavor in every bite, Nelly’s will never fail to satisfy your taste buds. Daily hand cut fries and lightly battered onion rings make great companions for their specialty sandwiches and wraps. Though the burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches are all delectable, no trip to Nelly’s would be complete without trying their famous pulled pork.


18700 Historic U.S. 66, Pontiac

Have a delicious home-cooked meal and enjoy a slice of made-from-scratch pie at Pontiac’s Old Log Cabin. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and also featuring a full service bar, this classic Route 66 dining establishment has welcomed guests from around the globe with a delicious home-style menu and a friendly throwback atmosphere.


423 W. Madison St., Pontiac

This nostalgic service station-themed restaurant has become a hit with Route 66 travelers looking for a bite to eat in downtown Pontiac. Edinger’s Filling Station, which is housed inside a former autogarage, even features a large bay door at the front of this cleverly decorated restaurant. A popular breakfast, lunch and brunch destination, Edigner’s starts serving up their menu of diner classics at 6:30 a.m. For breakfast, you’ll find options like build your own omelets and their famous scratch-made biscuits and gravy. Edinger’s also serves brunch and lunch through 2pm on weekdays, if you’re arriving in Pontiac later in the day. While here, be sure to try the chicken pot pie and their delicious line of homemade desserts.