A number of enterprising quick-stop markets across Oregon take quick road-trip fare — the kind of food found in gas stations, convenience stores and other roadside pit stops — to the next level. Convenience meets quality with Indian curries on the Oregon Coast, hearty breakfast burritos in the shadow of Mt. Hood and milkshakes at the base of Steens Mountain. Here’s where to fuel up at these and other unconventional pit stops across the state.
Indian Dishes, Tacos and More Along the Oregon Coast
A globe-trotting menu awaits at several stops on or near Highway 101 on the Oregon Coast. In recent years, the United States has seen a trend of truck drivers with Indian roots inspiring convenience-store owners to serve homemade Indian cuisine on the road. You can find several quick stops for Indian food in Oregon, as well. Naveen’s Bayside Market & Deli, for instance, sells curries and samosas alongside more traditional gas-station grub on the Three Capes Scenic Route in Netarts. On the South Coast, American Market offers fresh naan, tandoori chicken, lamb curry and other Indian dishes along the route between Coos Bay and Charleston.
Other markets and gas stations on the Oregon Coast sell appetizing cuisine, too. The family-run Wilson’s Market serves tacos, burritos and nachos crafted with house-smoked meats in Bandon and Coos Bay. The Langlois Market features self-proclaimed “world famous” hot dogs with house-made mustard and sausages sourced from an Oregon producer. In Brookings Cielito Lindo blends the comforts of a convenience store with a food menu that includes breakfast burritos, street tacos, sopes and more.
Fuel for Adventures Around Mt. Hood and in the Columbia River Gorge
If you’re planning a trip to Mt. Hood or the Columbia River Gorge, these places have got you covered. At the west end of Sandy, you’ll find a Shell gas station that’s home to Roots Market. The pit stop has earned national buzz for its hulking breakfast burritos — stuffed with your choice of five meats, eggs, potatoes and other fresh ingredients — that fuel countless year-round adventures on nearby Mt. Hood. Tacos, burritos and other lunchtime favorites are available after the breakfast rush ends.
North of Mt. Hood, in the heart of the Hood River Valley, Boy’s Pine Grove Store sells what might be the largest selection of publicly available products from a nearby Mexican-food purveyor best known for producing the locally loved Juanita’s tortilla chips. The selection at Boy’s Pine Grove Store includes several varieties of chips, salsas and tortillas — some of which are only available in this area. While you’re there, grab some mini tacos from the hot deli case.
Along the Historic Columbia River Highway, the Corbett Country Market — a mainstay on the winding road for more than a century — sells its own beef jerky, handmade pies stuffed with regionally sourced berries and ready-to-bake dishes, such as chicken enchiladas, crafted with house-smoked meats.
Road Trip Fare From Eugene to Eastern Oregon
As you follow Highway 126 northeast from Eugene en route to Central or Eastern Oregon, these stops will make the trip even more fun. Fuel up at eco-friendly SeQuential Biofuels off Interstate 5 on Eugene’s east side, then head inside the market to order an organic smoothie, kombucha on tap or one of the best tempeh Reubens in town. In Rainbow, on the McKenzie River, Blue Sky Market sells a beloved chicken-on-a-stick that comes with a perfectly fried breast, fried-potato jojos and house-made ranch sauce. Nearby, McKenzie General Store & Obsidian Grill Restaurant pairs its curated selection of general-store goods with pub fare that incorporates local ingredients — such as wild-caught salmon and a barbecue sauce infused with marionberries — and a few taps of regional craft beer.
At its northern terminus, Highway 126 meets Highway 20 in the heart of the Cascades, not far from the city of Sisters and Tacos El Comal, serving scratch-made street tacos, burritos, enchiladas and more out of a Space Age Fuel station. Nearby Bend is home to the flagship location of The Growler Guys. You can fill 32-ounce crowlers and 64-ounce growlers for to-go orders or purchase pints of beer, cider and kombucha for on-site consumption — all in a gas station on the city’s westside.
To the southeast, The Fields Station dishes half-pound burgers and about 25 flavors of milkshakes — all served in metal cups with a spoon. You’ll find them in the small diner attached to a gas station and market near the Alvord Desert and at the base of Steens Mountain.