Road trip Stops Western United States - Part II - California, Arizona, New Mexico (CA-58, I-15, I-40, CA-62 and more)

Amazing places to stop for food, bathroom, or other necessary things.

If you find yourself driving around the Western United States, take a look at these places to take a break, have breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Or just stop to go to the bathroom and stretch your legs. We've been to all of these, and some are now a tradition if we drive by or are somewhat close.

Just Been There Art

Look at or buy art inspired by this trip. If you like this trip, but can't go, or you too have just been there, this unique art may rekindle fond memories of your own trip. Click the image for a link to the online store and browse the site for more. Note: you will be leaving this site and connect to the artists site.

Painting: Light at the End
Light at the End

All art copyright by: Christine Ong-Dijcks

Part II: California, Arizona, New Mexico (CA-58, I-15, I-40, CA-62 and more)

Kohnen's Country Bakery

This is hands down the best breakfast, bakery, pastry place west of Bakersfield... Anyone driving from California to Arizona and beyond (or vice versa) should plan a pitstop at this amazing bakery. As it would in Germany, the place opens at 6 am... if you can (for example if you stay at some of the hotel / motels in Tehachapi) get there around that time.

Some of the things we tried and loved include the Poor Man's Loaf (I can't seem to find it on their menu though...), we tried the cookies, we tried their sweets and I personally loved the Bierock (sausage, egg and cheese). Bierock makes an excellent breakfast... See Kohnen's Bakery menu here.

If you stay at a Marriott brand here, stay at the Townplace Suites across 58 (outside of town) and not at the Fairfield Inn in town... But, read the next section as there is one reason to ignore my own advice...

TK Pizza & Pasta

Yes, that is right, Tehachapi turns out to be THE place to stop... TK Pizza & Pasta is amazing... but they should really call it "TK Pizza, Pasta & Craft Beer in a wonderfully cozy interior". TK has amazing pizzas, we tried the smalls, which feed a normal human being. Add in a nice beer, in a cozy atmosphere, and you have a near perfect place to stop.

If you go, don't be discouraged by the location and the somewhat strip mall look from the outside! Trust me, this place is good.

Here is the deal on staying, if you plan to get to Tehachapi for dinner and an overnight stay, the Fairfield Inn is next door... so, you can wander over (past the Burger King - ignore it!) to TK and have a pizza (or pasta or sandwhich) and a few beers. It might outweigh the inferior stay by a fair bit...

La Posada

Where do I start on this one... part hotel, part art gallery, restaurant, gardens, trains. All in one place, with an amazing story as to why the place still exists. It is - as the name says - a wonderful resting place when on I-40. Dinner or lunch, or even breakfast or an overnight stay. This place is wonderful.

La Posada serves classic southwestern fare. Good, healthy portions in a wonderful dining room. And after eating, stroll around the gardens, watch the massive freight trains saunter by from the back yard, and enjoy some very cool art. Tina Mion - artist and owner - showcases a bunch of her art at the hotel.

We spend a few hours eating and hanging out, and it is rejuvenating. 

Pride Travel Center

This is a bit of an odd duck. No great food here, but a brand new (somewhere in 2023 per my guess) gas station with some very new restrooms. Gas seemed to be reasonable here (slightly cheaper than in Kingman). 

So either before you cross into California or just after crossing into Arizona, stop here and gas up. Take a break and then motor on.

Coyote Cafe - Cantina (Rooftop)

Ok, maybe not a road trip stop because this is in downtown Santa Fe. But if you are driving up from Albuquerque to Los Alamos and are stopping in Santa Fe, or just hanging out in Santa Fe, we loved this place.

If you want to go fancy, Coyote Cafe may be your vibe... but the rooftop is popular, a bit loud, artsy, and a great place to be above it all and just chill out on an open cantina / rooftop, with some cool art on their roll down doors. 

We did not get to try this one, but Santacafe is apparently very good as well. But, again, not a real road trip stop... fine dining instead.

Le Cafe du Sud

Just before you hit Las Vegas (technically this is in Vegas - I guess) you should really detour to this extremely pretty French cafe. It serves all the things you really want from a French cafe, with indoor and outdoor seating. Your teens will love the pics of their food and the cafe...

Turns out there are two locations, the one above (Sud) and then one in Henderson (Val). You can read about both on their website. Looks like when you are traveling on I-15, stop at Cafe du Sud, and when driving from the east (I-215) stop at Cafe du Val.

We tried a number of things, including the sandwiches, crepes, croissants, coffees, etc. It is all good.

That's it for this update. Safe Travels.


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