Seeking road food or must-eats along Hwy 88 northeast of Stockton
I’ll be passing through Stockton on my way to the Eldorado National Forest via Highway 88 during the mid day. Towns along that route include Waterloo, Lockeford, Clementis, Dogtown, Sunnybrook, Martell, Jackson, Bonnefoy, Pine Grove, Mt. Zion State Park, and Pioneer.
I’m looking for road food or lunch joints on that route, such as a great burger, must-stop bakery, awesome tamale, special raisins, fish fry, best root beer float, etc. Anything special or interesting for people who love food. Nothing upscale—we’ll be on our way to camping.
In Lockeford, there's Most Wanted BBQ right on Highway 88. Ribs are pretty good, sides are decent. I don't know about anything else there...only had the ribs.
In Sutter Creek, the Chatterbox Cafe used to have a great root beer float made the old fashioned way, with syrup and phosphate. It's a bit of a side trip, but if you're taking Ridge Road instead of going through Jackson, it's only a couple of miles, at most.
In Pine Grove, Munnilynn's has fantastic ice cream. It's a little pricey, but the scoops are HUGE. They make all their ice cream there, and they rotate the flavors, but I really love the Kit Carson Crunk.
At Red Corral Road (where Highway 88 and Highway 26 split), there's the Sequoia Drive-in. Good burgers, GREAT garlic fries. If you get the garlic fries, one order is big enough for four to share.
It doesn't look like you're going that far, but if you find yourself nearby, hit the Kirkwood Inn for lunch or dinner. The hot artichoke dip appetizer is big enough for a meal, and really good.
Second the Kirkwood Inn, great place, great location and tons of history, been there for around 145 years. Food is decent and affordable. Do be careful not to stuff yourself as the elevation is high and can hit you a bit as it did my wife.
It's right on the highway just east of the turnoff to Kirkwood ski area. Probably about 30 - 40 minutes east of the furthest eastern town mentioned.
It'd be worth your while to spend some time wine tasting in Amador County also, the Shanendoah Valley, just east of Plymouth, has some great red wines. Particularly a fan of Renwood and Storey wineries. Get a snack and buy a bottle of wine to enjoy at Storey's picnic area overlooking the Cosumnes River canyon.