Not all that long ago, Route 66 was adorned with neon lights, jukeboxes and “Mom & Pop” diners.  The “Mother Road” symbolized the freedom of the open road, where you could drive cross country from Chicago, IL to Santa Monica, CA.  You can still relive some of the nostalgia, taking in the roadside attractions and tasty diners.  Some hidden gems await you as well

Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket (Willowbrook, IL) and White Fence Farm (Romeoville, IL) offer some of the best fried chicken that you will ever eat.  Dell Rhea’s was also featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”

Tallgrass Restaurant, about a mile off of Route 66 in Lockport, has earned a Four-Diamond Rating from AAA.  You will be delighted with the inventive and beautifully crafted combinations of tastes and visual enhancements that this amazing restaurant has to offer.

While in Joliet, grab a drink at MyGrain Brewing Co. or Elder Brewing Co. You will also pass the Joliet Rt. 66 Diner, which rests in the shadows of the historic Rialto Square Theatre and near the Old Joliet Prison.

In Wilmington, grab a “Dole Whip” or a hot dog at The Launching Pad restaurant with the Gemini Giant outside your window.  Just down the road, you can try one of the DAM Burgers at Nelly’s Restaurant on Route 66.

In Braidwood, take a photo with Elvis, James Dean, or other fiberglass statues at the Polk-A-Dot Drive In while grabbing a tasty bite.   Or keep driving to Pontiac, a town that embraces the Route 66 spirit.  Edinger’s Filling Station and the Old Log Cabin have classic meals and classic desserts.

Keep your gas tank and stomach full as you take this nostalgic trip down the Mother Road in Illinois.