Finding Home Abroad: 5 Best Roadside Dhabas in the U.S.

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • Truck Stop 40 Punjabi Restaurant in Sayre, OK, offers delicious chicken, roti, and goat curry at great prices.
  • Akal Travel Center in Laramie, WY, serves quick and excellent Indian curry.
  • Punjabi Dhaba in Dixon, CA, offers attractively priced, fresh Indian food.
  • Taste of India in San Jon, NM, provides a taste of India in the middle of nowhere with a good assortment of vegetarian dishes.

When you are an Indian living in the US, it might be rather difficult to find the food that’s specific to your home country – the food that you grew up loving. In India, roadside Dhabas can be found pretty much everywhere – but in the US, all you can generally find is American fast food.

With the influx of Indian people that are coming to America in search of work, the desire for these Dhabas was made more and more obvious – which is why they decided to open a few. Indian people that have just arrived in the US or have renewed their passports can now enjoy their favorite Indian food at just the stop of a car.

5 Best Roadside Dhabas in the U.S.

How many times have you wanted to get a taste of your favorite Punjabi cuisine – but because you were on the road, you did not have access to your own kitchen to cook it yourself? More than one in three people in America eat fast food on a given day – and this includes those that are there temporarily. This is because when you are on the road, you do not have the time to get a proper meal.

Indian truck drivers, for example, have also adhered to this habit, mainly because they did not have any other options. They did not have a Dhaba on the side of the road where they could get a taste of their own cuisine.

Now, however, the US has several roadside Dhabas that you can stop at. According to the Lexico dictionary, a roadside Dhaba is practically a station at the side of the road with a small restaurant where you can eat or take out some food. Those that want some Indian food can get it from several places:

  • On Route 40 in Sayre, Oklahoma, there is the Truck Stop 40 Punjabi Restaurant
  • On Route 80 in Laramie, Wyoming, there is the Akal Travel Center
  • On Route 80 in Dixon, California, there is the Punjabi Dhaba
  • On Route 40, San Jon, New Mexico, there is Taste of India
  • On Route 40, Vega, Texas, there is the Vega Truck Stop and Indian Kitchen

Now, it all depends on where you are traveling, and what routes you take. But if you want to taste some Indian food while you are on the road, here is where you can make your stop and enjoy a meal fit for your home country.

Truck Stop 40 Punjabi Restaurant – Route 40 (Sayre, OK)

This nice restaurant on the side of Route 40, in Sayre, Oklahoma, offers you a great assortment when it comes to Indian food. No matter if you are going alone or with your friends, you may enjoy some Indian-style chicken, roti, and goat curry (you might find out more about how to make goat curry here). All of these can be topped off with a nice cup of tea – specific to India, obviously.

Plus, according to reviewers, the prices are great – even though the food is very good. They have also mentioned that the staff was friendly with them, no matter if they stopped by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They also have quite a few assortments of vegetarian dishes for those that don’t want meat in their dishes.

  • Delicious chicken, roti, and goat curry
  • Great prices
  • Vegetarian dishes

>> Learn more about the Truck Stop 40 Punjabi Restaurant

Akal Travel Center – Route 80 (Laramie, WY)

If the road takes you to Wyoming, then in Laramie you may find the Akal Travel Center. It’s open 24/7 – so, if you happen to be driving by in the middle of the night and want to grab some food, this place might be just what you need. It’s pretty much a petrol station – but one with excellent food.

The place is mostly popular for its Indian curry, as well as the staff that is quick on its toes. They are aware that everyone that steps there is likely in a hurry, which is why they try to waste no time – all while keeping friendly. Therefore, if you are in the mood for a chicken vindaloo or some spiced curry, this is the place to stop at.

  • Quick serving
  • Excellent food
  • Known for Indian curry

>> Learn more about the Akal Travel Center

Punjabi Dhaba – Route 80 (Dixon, CA)

In the mood for some properly spiced Indian food? You may want to try the Punjabi Dhaba in California. With its wide variation of Indian food, you may enjoy a nice goat curry, chana masala (learn how to make it here), or a good lamb jalfrezi.

Plus, the prices there are ridiculously attractive for truck drivers working abroad. The quality of the food is superior – and everything is made fresh on a daily basis. The restaurant is owned by an Indian family, and it’s not that big of a place – but you may be certain that the food follows the appeal of India.

  • Attractive prices
  • Fresh food
  • Family-owned restaurant

>> Learn more about the Punjabi Dhaba

Taste of India – Route 40 (San Jon, NM)

When you are in New Mexico, it’s fairly difficult to find the taste of India in your average restaurant – unless you actually go to “Taste of India.” No matter if you need to make your regular fill from Indian grocery stores or want to enjoy a nicely-cooked meal, this place offers you what you need. Plus, you may eat the food there, or you may take it to go.

It’s the kind of Indian Dhaba that you find in the middle of nowhere – but nonetheless, when most of your work keeps you on the road, this kind of place is a blessing when you are hungry. Plus, aside from the traditional meat-clad food, you also have a nice assortment of vegetarian dishes. The restaurant is nothing fancy like any big restaurant – but the food catered there is delicious.

This truck stop is mainly Indian food – but if you are in the mood for some other snacks, you can also get tacos, pretzels, and so on. However, most people stop there to try healthy-made Indian food.

  • Good assortment of vegetarian dishes
  • It also features a grocery store
  • It offers a variety of snacks

>> Learn more about the Taste of India

Vega Truck Stop and Indian Kitchen – Route 40 (Vega, TX)

Texas is also a place that experienced a serious lack of Indian food – until the Vega Truck Shop came along. If you are an Indian trucker passing through Texas on a truck driver visa (you may find out more about this visa by following this link), then this truck stop should certainly bring you a taste of home.

You may easily stop there for authentically-made Indian food, no matter if you are with your truck or your bike (you have parking spaces for both). Plus, aside from the food that has already been cooked in the restaurant, you can get your hands on some ingredients to cook the food yourself.

Aside from the meat dishes, you also have a fair share of vegetarian food. Therefore, if you are not a fan of meat, you can also go for a vegetarian dish. These dishes are quite limited, but the vegetarian curry seems to have quite a lot of good reviews.

  • Great vegetarian curry
  • It also has a grocery store
  • Parking spaces for bikes

>> Learn more about the Vega Truck Stop & Indian Kitchen

Final Thoughts

No matter if you live in the United States or are just passing through, it is generally very difficult to get a homemade traditional Indian dish if you do not have access to your own kitchen. This is why a roadside Dhaba can be a good way to get a taste of home while you are on the road. Try any of the places above and you can thank us later.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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