While the open road is a sea of endless possibilities thanks to unending stretches of tarmac, hidden back roads, and dirt trails, we all get hungry after any particularly long stretch of driving. You, of course, have multiple options for fast food. But as much as a good Big Mac or Box-O-Nuggets sounds, you’re playing Russian roulette with your stomach when rest stops are few and far between.
Snacky items—in particular, gas station snacks—seem to be the cure to restless leg syndrome, highway boredom, hunger, and not having to clench and pray that the next bathroom is only a few minutes away. But which is the best gas station snack? Well, when the topic got brought up in The Drive’s Slack channel as well as sister sites Task & Purpose, Car Bibles, and The War Zone, it gave everyone the chance to defend their choices. Also, we wasted a day talking about the difference between German Haribos and U.S. Haribos.
Because Editorial Director Patrick George instituted Slack Law, we figured we’d ask you all what your favorite snacks are as well as tell you what our favorite snacks are, so you can either agree or roast us in the comments.
Patrick George, Auto & Military Editorial Director: Red Bull Yellow (the only one that doesn't taste like liquid septic tank treatment) and trail mix, for all the protein, caffeine and sugar you need to power through a 12-hour drive
Kyle Cheromcha, Editor-in-Chief: Jack Links, Sweet and Hot
Kristen Lee, Deputy Editor: Cape Cod Potato Chips, Reduced Fat
Jerry Perez, Managing Editor: Gardetto's
Caleb Jacobs, Trucks Editor: Corn Nuts
Chris Tsui, Contributing Writer: Plain Pringles because I’m boring.
Hazel Southwell, Contributing Writer: Takis Fuego
Andrew Collins, Editor-in-Chief: The bizarre white-fudge Zero bar is rare, delicious, and extremely filling. I consider spotting one to be a good omen and will always buy it if I see it on the shelf at a gas station.
Peter Nelson, Contributing Writer: Sour Patch Kids Watermelon
Kevin Williams, Contributing Writer: I only go to Starbucks. (Ed. note: Everyone boo Kevin.)
Task & Purpose
Jared Keller, Managing Editor, Commerce: Obviously, it's Jack's Links, teriyaki flavor. Nothing says I'm in the car for multiple hours a day like shredded meat in a bag.
Matt Sampson, Commerce Writer: I find the weirdest candy bar that I've never tried. Every region has something different.
Scott Whisler, Contributing Writer: Bang energy drinks
Josiah Johnston, Contributing Writer: Bang Star Blast, nuts
Paul O’Leary, Contributing Writer: Sahale Snacks Glazed Nut Mix variety pack. Fresh tasting with a wide variety of flavors and pretty diverse flavor profile in each mix.
W.E. Linde, Contributing Writer: Not technically a snack. I hate energy drinks, so when I'm on a long trip I look for Stok coffee shots to amplify my coffee. I affectionately refer to them as liquid rage because they get the motor going and not necessarily in a way that's good for you.
The War Zone
Tyler Rogoway, Editor-in-Chief: Lightly salted macadamias. If macadamias aren't available, cashews will do. Even better, cashew-macadamia mix! Best quality available in every instance. Spare no expense.
Joseph Trevithick, Executive Editor: Fritos are a classic choice that provide just the right amount of salt and crunch for any occasion, especially during long road trips.
Brett Tingley, Staff Writer: Takis, preferably Fuego flavor. The heat really keeps you awake on long drives. Best washed down with a huge cup of cheap gas station coffee filled with flavored creamers.
OK, you've heard all our bad road trip food takes. Now it's your turn. Sound off below and tell us about your go-to gas station snack!