Favorite Road Trip Snacks from the Salt Lake Magazine Team

I have a big road trip coming up this month, and it’s been a while since I’ve spent more than a few hours in the car at any given time. When I turned 21 years old, I gathered my best friends. We road-tripped from Salt Lake City to San Diego, crossed the border, and drove down into Baja, California, on a multi-day road trip. Highway 1 in Mexico runs from Tijuana in the north to Cabo San Lucas in the south, and we spend days driving on the dusty two-lane road with blind corners, no lights at night, and giant potholes. Somehow we made it back without a flat tire, food poisoning, or bad sunburns. Being 21 years old, our road trip snacks were a case of SlimFast and a giant tub of Red Vines from Costco. 

I’d like to think that my road trip snack tastes have matured somewhat since then. But I’m always curious about what other people eat in the car on a long drive – so I asked the Salt Lake Magazine crew about their go-to car food. 

Pickles. Yes, Pickles

“My go-to road trip snack has earned me the title of “Most Hated Passenger” on several long drives. It’s not particularly unusual, at least in my eyes. But one quick spill and the designated driver usually throws me an annoyed glance that slowly evolves into outright hatred. I’ll just say it: I love an on-the-go pickle. It doesn’t matter if I pick up a gas station hot pickle or prepare a tajin-infused creation beforehand, you best believe I will be snacking on a little dill on my ride. Lately, I’ve been enjoying the pre-sliced packs from Oh Snap! Although I can’t say, my driving companions enjoy the same after so many incidents spilling pungent pickle juice all over floormats and car seats. Sorry, folks, you’re just gonna have to dill with it.” – Avrey Evans, Digital Editor 

Sour Candy, Sweet!

“I only have a few options for road trip snacks at a typical gas station that also meets my dietary requirements unless I want a dairy-free cookie that tastes like someone forgot to add the sugar. Sometimes I just want some candy! I eventually found something with no corn syrup (thanks, corn allergy )–Rips. They are sour candy licorice strips with a super nerdy mascot, but they fill the void left behind by sour patch kids. They’re a road trip go-to now.” – Christie Porter, Managing Editor 

Locals Only On the Go! 

“There’s a smokehouse up in Kamas that has yummy jerky and other smoked things, which is always a car ride classic. This is much better than the standard gas station variety. And stopping in Beaver for cheese curds is a must on an I-15 run.” – Jeremy Pugh, Editor 

The Illusion of Healthy

“I might call it more of a guilty pleasure, but my favorite road trip snack has to be Peanut M & Ms. I like to think the protein in the peanuts makes them slightly healthy. I know that’s not really the case, and more wishful thinking. The perfect bite of protein, fat, and carbs? But they are definitely my go-to road trip snack. “- Greg Brinkman, Food Writer 

Food writer Lydia Martinez

Salty All The Way

“I’m a sucker for salty and sour when I’m in the car. As someone who gets crazy car sick, if I think of sitting in the back seat (unlike 21-year-old me), the only thing that quells the stomach is something tart. In my case, this means Lay’s Salt and Vinegar chips or Wonderful Chile Roasted Pistachios. I also will bring some of the Creminelli Salami Minis (get the Whiskey or Black Pepper flavors) if I need some protein. Oh, and I’m a sucker for Reese’s Pieces. Does this mean my taste buds have evolved since the long-ago Mexico trip? I guess not.” – Lydia Martinez, On the Table Editor 

What about you? What do you eat on the road?

Read more about recent food & travel!

Lydia Martinez
Lydia Martinezhttp://www.saltlakemgazine.com
Lydia Martinez is a freelance food, travel, and culture writer. She has written for Salt Lake Magazine, Suitcase Foodist, and Utah Stories. She is a reluctantly stationary nomad who mostly travels to eat great food. She is a sucker for anything made with lots of butter and has been known to stay in bed until someone brings her coffee. Do you have food news? Send tips to lydia@saltlakemagazine.com

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