Traveling from PDX to Del Mar, California-looking for diners I must stop at at or near I-5
I will be heading from Anchorage, Alaska landing at PDX then traveling along I-5 to a National Specialty Dog Show in April. Any dining and tourist stops I need to make would be appreciated. We will be stopping at Pine State Biscuits to start our journey and ultimately Pink's as we near the end of our journey to SoCal. Thanks everyone!
We discovered a great diner over the Christmas holidays just off I-5 in the railroading town of Dunsmuir, Calif. Peggy's Diner is open 24/7 and is just like the '50s diners you see at the movies. I had the best French dip I've ever had, while hubby ordered breakfast. They have the wonderful homemade French fries that I remember from my youth. We live in Ashland, Oregon, just over the Cali border, and once it quits snowing, I may just have to make the 80-mile journey to Peggy's. It'd be worth it!
We always make it a point to stop at Novak's in Albany. An Hungarian Place open early to late.
Might I suggest spending the 1st evening in the Rogue Valley?
Don't know what time you are getting into Portland, but if you have a few days to make it to LA
and explore, it would be worth you while.
Spend the evening in Ashland, stroll the town and eat at one of many fine joints.
You'll be hitting 150 miles of mountains right as night falls to get to Anderson, and then you have nothing to look forward to but 400 miles of Kansas.
You could still make it to Bakersfield by the 2nd night and you'd get to eat and Morning Glory
in Ashland for breakfast, then drive past Mt. Shasta by day and eat at Bartel's in Redding or Corning for Lunch.
The great interior valley of California (called "the Sacramento Valley" from Redding to Sac, and "the San Joaquin" (wah-keen) from Sac to Bakersfield) is mostly agricultural; I-5 runs along the westernmost edge of the valley and was built to bypass many of the towns which were already situated to the east on north-south 99, so much of what you see on I-5 is fast food or not-so-great 'family' restaurants.
I-5 is a lonely stretch of road, not many hidden gems, but here is another recent thread about the road between Redding and Sacramento: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/724597
The San Joaquin Valley, from B'field to just south of Sac, has a large immigrant Asian population, Hmong, Viet and Thai, so lots of noodles and pho. Other than that, ethnic means Mexican food from the various districts, usually in aging strip mall locations or taco trucks near the highways. Again, most towns in that stretch are east of I-5 by 45 minutes to an hour. There are exceptions, you just have to ferret them out.
You might want to narrow your search by your dining preference and expected mealtime area: 'Diners in Greater Sac' or 'BBQ in greater Sac', "Great burger in B'field" (Most of Greater Sacrmamento is east of I-5, just an FYI.
All that said, I'll put in my 2 cents worth: North of Los Banos is a little town called Gustine. Settled by Portuguese dairymen. GREAT deli in Gustine called Wolfsen's. They make about 70 types of fresh and cured sausage, also have a general meat market, and make fine deli sandwiches in the Portuguese style on French loaf with sauteed peppers and onions. Only about 10 minutes east of 5, nice drive and a pleasant sleepy town. Wolfsen's is at the far side of town (10 blocks?) just past the school.
ps leave DM in the wee hours or you'll get caught in a parking lot. Eat later. Same goes for arriving on a friday afternoon. avoid at all costs.
Johnny's is a good drive in and diner a little W of I 5 in Winston, OR.
Jasper's is a famous old dive near I 5 in Medford with good burgers.
Johnny's Drive In and Diner @ 310 SW Douglas Boulevard, Winston, OR 541 - 679 - 4419. I5.
Jasper's Cafe @ 2739 N Pacific Highway, Medford, OR 541 - 776 - 5307.