Road Trip Seattle to LA
I-5 is a bit of a challenge. It's fast but not great scenically (south of Shasta) or culinarily. I only go that way when I need to get down south quickly (2 days or less). If I can take more time I like US101, which has a lot more choices and is prettier to boot.
Off I-5 I do like Pea Soup Andersen's in Santa Nella, a few hours north of LA. Other than that, most of the small towns off the Interstate have mostly unremarkable coffee shops, at least in my experience. But again, I probably haven't explored I-5 as much as I should have, as I consider it built for speed, not comfort.
Interestingly, the Andersen's website makes no mention of their Santa Nella location, only Buellton. Could it have closed? If it's still there, you can't miss it from the highway.
Here's a Yelp link which seems to indicate it's still there; perhaps different ownership?
Reviews aren't enthusiastic. Things may have changed. Probably more feedback on the California Board.
I've also heard great things about this place in Oregon, but haven't been there myself:
Heaven On Earth Restaurant
703 Quines Creek Rd
Azalea, OR, 97410
Hubby and I just did this trip roundtrip as we live in L.A. Not sure how you're going to break up your drive - we took two weeks up 2 DAYS down. I would suggest taking a cold box as there as long stretchs w/o much. From SEA we bought some fruits at Pike along with some cheese and crackers from Beechers (our treat). We drove to PDX for the day to visit friends and had lunch in Hillsboro. If you're driving a weekday, a dwntwn food truck stop is fun or for Thai, Pok Pok is a good lunch stop - eastside of river 3226 SE Division 503-232-1387 (rest. open wknds). This place is also supposed to be good: www. schnitzelwich.com (I haven't been). I happen to have a copy of July issue of Sunset Mag that featured "The West's Best Roadtrip Food". They highlighted a place for Milkshakes. My hubby LOVES them so, we stopped. We also ate food. He had a burger. STICK TO THE SHAKES if you stop. It's 46 miles south of Eugene literally off the 5: K&R Drive Inn, Rice Hill 541-849-2570. You can't miss the place. Open till 9p I think. Look for the big "Drive In" arrow sign on R side of hwy. They have a gazillion flavors. We stuck to chocolate. Glad we stopped as it kept me going... I drove from there to SFO in one shot! Should you choose a side track, The mag also included: The Peg House in Legget (off the 101) N of SFO. THE place for burgers: 69501 U.S. 101 707-925-6444. NOT much at all b-tween SFO and L.A. on the 5. If you can divert, go into SFO. and if you can only make one stop go to the Ferry Building. It's been completely "redone" and now has food shops and cafes. The outside also has a Farmer's Market a couple times a week. We really enjoyd this and spent 1/2 the day there. We shared bread from ACME and Asian nibbles, cheese, chocolate and raw foods "tastes" as we perused inside then sat outside and shared a spectacular summer salad from Frog Hollow Farms. It helped that SFO was just breathtakingly gorgeous last Tues so we could enjoy being outside. We polished everything off with a hot fudge sundae from Ghirardelli.
In Grant's Pass we ate at: Toprock- nice locale - on the river but, the food was just ok. And, kinda
$$. Also went to, I think, The Brewery. It was good. He had pizza and, they custom made a salad for me. I appreciated that! (We stayed 3 nights here and I cooked in our lodge room). If you can overnight, stay here: Motel del Rogue. THE best ever and not far from the Hwy. Tell Kevin Shari and Bruce sent ya.
In Ashland, we ate at a burger shop along the river. It's a nice place to stop and, there's many eateries along the river Can't recommend the burger shop but, I did LOVE a coffee/ice cream place called MIX. It's on the main one street dwntwn drag 57 N Main St (541) 488-9885. FAB greek frozen yogurt. Hubby had and loved the vegan chocolate something ice cream.. (He usually won't choose anything vegan). Coffee was good too.
In MT Shasta: www.thegoatmountshasta.com The Goat Tavern. It was just ok but, very popular. Another great place to stop and realx awhile. SO, beautiful! If not, stop and have a pastry in Dunsmuir @ Cornerstone Bakery.
There's a Costco in Redding of'n you need a hot dog- Hubby needed one. Sadly no gas tho but, the ARCO prices were the same as Costco.
In SAC, make another ice cream stop at Leatherby's OMG YUMMO! www.leatherbys.net - They have food too but I only had the ice cream. We also went to the AYCE at Red Hawk Casino in Placerville. Good for what it is. 20$ = CRABLEGS, SHRIMP, PRIME RIB = friday.
There's always the Basque restaurants in Bakersfield and in Santa Clarita where we live, well there's a gazillion places. Just let me know.
Hope this helps. Have a safe but, fun drive. AND, make those couple of photo op stops. It's So beautiful in Southern Oregon and Northern CA around Mt. Shasta.