Celebrating America’s Gas Station Food

From burritos to potato chips, Eater is running a series on unique food finds at local convenience stores. 

June 07, 2021

Unique Burrito Food To Go

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The staff at Eater is celebrating “eating at America’s gas stations, with all the sweet, salty, crunchy, and caffeinated things you need to top off your tank,” featuring the unique food finds from many NACS retailer and supplier members.

Now that the summer drive season is in full swing, Eater’s “Filling Up” series is showcasing how there are “few places in America where our needs and wants collide in such effortless fashion as the get-it-all, do-it-all” convenience store and gas station.

“Your car needs things: fuel, for one, or air, or wiper fluid. We, then, typically want things: Hot Cheetos or sour Skittles or nachos or coffee (both want and need) … in and among the fluorescent-lit pump lines, gleaming aisles, and adjoining dining rooms of the great American gas station, we—and our vehicles—can truly have it all.”

The series of articles gives props to convenience retailers like Wawa, Aloha Island Mart, Dutchman’s Market, Minit Stop, Allsup’s, Casey’s, Buc-ee’s, 7-Eleven, Black-owned gas stations, Cumberland Farms, the potato chip mecca found in Breezewood, Pennsylvania, stores, restaurant-worthy food finds from immigrant-owned single-store operators, tea rooms and some of the stores featured in NACS Ideas 2 Go, like Mendez Fuel and Whoa Nellie Deli/Tioga Gas Mart.

Eater notes that eating at convenience stores and gas stations “provide a unique window into a region and a community” that reflect a region’s demographics, immigration patterns.

With millions of Americans expected to travel by road this summer, Eater’s collection of stories and food finds “celebrate the edible delights of the rarely lauded but undeniably clutch American gas station, there whenever and wherever we need it—with everything we want and more.”

Every month NACS Magazine features a new Gas Station Gourmet column, written by Al Hebert, the Gas Station Gourmet. Hebert’s columns showcase America’s culinary treasure—gas station cuisine. His latest column features Flory’s Gas, Convenience & Deli, with four locations in the Hudson Valley of New York.

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