It's 50 years since two free-wheeling hippies set off on bikes across America for the movie Easy Rider.

In 1969 Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper set off down Route 66 on a "trip" that would change the way moviegoers saw route 66 - the "Mother Road". Over the past five decades it has inspired more than a few roadys.

In that time some of open landscape has changed a lot, other parts not at all.

However, One constant feature of the road is the fuelling stops.

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The average crossing costs drivers anywhere from US$400 to US$600 in fuel and over 13 stops.

The roads are littered with characterful roadside gas stations, looking to woo in passing tourists.

They are covered in gimmicky slogans, advertise themselves with neon signs or giant cowboys and flog fatty, meat-heavy foods to entise potential road-trippers to stop.

The stretch of highway sees around 35 million trips a year through New Mexico. Many of
In the one-horse towns of middle America, pumping gas for tourists and trucks might be the main economic stimulus.

However, equally important is refuelling the drivers.

Whether you're after a 72-ounce steak or just a cup of coffee - the 4000 km stretch of road has hundreds of pit-stop diners and roadside bites.

Here are some of the best:

MidPoint Cafe, Adrian, TX


You've made it! From this point you're closer to the end than the beginning of the route.
Exactly 1833km from either Chicago or LA, Midpoint is literally the half-way house for route 66.

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Halfway home: Midpoint Cafe in Adrian. Photo / Supplied, Facebook
Halfway home: Midpoint Cafe in Adrian. Photo / Supplied, Facebook

Celebrate with a slice of "Ugly" pie – super sweet fruit pies with a dollop of whipped cream.

On the home stretch near The Route 66 Diner Kingman, Arizona. Photo / Getty Images
On the home stretch near The Route 66 Diner Kingman, Arizona. Photo / Getty Images

Mr D'z Diner, Kingman, AZ

Don't let the green colour put you off.

The Kingman Café from the 1930s is a classic.

The refuelling point is a great place to get a tank of gas and a bottle of homemade "root beer" to take on the Black Mountains.

The Big Texan Steak Ranch restaurant in Amarillo Texas. Photo / Melinda Crawford, Getty Images
The Big Texan Steak Ranch restaurant in Amarillo Texas. Photo / Melinda Crawford, Getty Images

Big Texan Steak Ranch, Amarillo, TX

Eat for free on the Big Texan! That is if you can polish off 72 ounces (2kg) of beef steak and sides in under an hour. Fail and you'll pay $72 for the plate.

The marketing gimmick has put the steakhouse on the map, and spawned countless imitators.

The 72 oz steak is free, if you can eat it all. Photo / Getty Images
The 72 oz steak is free, if you can eat it all. Photo / Getty Images

It's a horrifying spectacle of gluttony that still draws in tourists, even just as spectators.

U-Drop Inn: The green trimmed art-deco motel in Shamrock, Texas. Photo / Getty Images
U-Drop Inn: The green trimmed art-deco motel in Shamrock, Texas. Photo / Getty Images

U-Drop Inn, Shamrock, TX

If you arrive at the U-Drop Inn hoping to refuel, you might be disappointed.

You'd be lucky to get as much as a cup of coffee at the U-Drop, the Texan art-deco petrol station and diner is now more of a photo-stop than a functional pit-stop.

In spite of its retro fittings you'll find a rare Tesla recharging station at the U-Drop Inn, for those driving an EV.

Disney fans might recognise it as the setting for the Cars movie.