Show-Me Five: Missouri Travel Snacks

Whether you’re heading to across town to see friends, out-of-town to grandma’s house or across the state to visit loved ones, there’s one thing you’ve got to remember when traveling: snacks for the road.

In Missouri, we’re fortunate to have so many great places from which awesome treats are created. Here’s a look at four foods, and one drink, to carry with you on your next Show-Me State adventure.

And remember, Official Missouri Welcome Centers make for a great place to stop and enjoy a quick snack and to spread out for a full picnic. There are nine centers from which to choose and they’re found in all areas of the Show-Me State.

And furthermore, remember you don’t have to count calories when you’re on vacation. Now, on to those travel snacks …

fitzsRoot Beer from Fitz’s in St. Louis: Located on the lively Delmar Loop, Fitz’s is a great place to grab a meal. But if you’re on the go and need something to tote along with you, grab a four-pack of this landmark restaurant’s bottled root beer. Keep it icy cold for a couple of hours, then pop the top and enjoy. Just a note, Fitz’s has a variety of flavors from which to choose; baseball fans may opt for the locally famous Cardinal Cream Soda.

Potato Chips from Backer’s in Fulton: You gotta have chips on a road trip, right? Well, Backer’s makes some of the best (the Ozark BBQ-flavored ones are incredible). The Backer family has been in the potato chip business since the 1930s, when their shipping radius was about 15 miles. They must be doing something right, because today, Backer’s produces 7,000 pounds of chips per hour and delivers across the U.S., into Canada and Mexico. Oh, and they also are involved with tourism in Missouri: Backer’s owns the Auto World Museum in Fulton!

Popcorn from Topsy’s in Kansas City: One of the most recognized names in the popcorn game, Topsy’s has been serving hungry customers in Kansas City since the 1940s, when it was known as Patsy’s. Today, it’s the oldest merchant in the Country Club Plaza retail district. Whether you enjoy traditional, buttered popcorn or prefer flavors such as caramel pecan or cinnamon, you can find it at Topsy’s. In fact, you can combine your favorite flavors with one of their popcorn tins, which always are a popular holiday gift.

Thundermuffins from Persimmon Hill Farm in Lampe: The perfect combination of blueberries and fresh-baked muffins. Why are they perfect? Because they are delicious and jaw-droppingly huge, that’s why. You can order these treats online and have them delivered to your door (or, perhaps to a loved one, just in time for the holidays). More importantly, you can visit the farm yourself and enjoy a beautiful drive through the Missouri Ozarks while doing so.

Doughnuts from Hoeckele’s Bakery and Deli in Perryville: Word on the street is, college students from the area, including those from Southeast Missouri in Cape Girardeau, often wake/stay up to get here early during finals week. And by early, we’re talking at the door waiting at 3 a.m. early. College kids. Up at 3 a.m. You know the doughnuts at Hoeckele’s are good.

Hoeckele's Bakery in Perryville.
Hoeckele’s Bakery and Deli in Perryville.

Sometimes, a top five list just won’t cut it. Here are more items to consider; some are only available seasonally. Shop wisely, my friends.

Fruits from Peters Orchards and Market in Waverly: Peach season is a great time at Peters Market and peaches make for a great on-the-go treat. Grocery stores in Missouri also carry fruit, including apples, from Peters. It’s guilt-free snacking!

Walnuts from Hammons Black Walnut Emporium in Stockton: Admittedly, they’re more popular when used in baked goods, but sometimes, you just need a break from peanuts. You can buy online before your trip begins.

Pecans from the Missouri Northern Pecan Growers in Nevada: Famous for being the key ingredient in a popular kind of pie, pecans are great for snacking. And this Missouri variety boasts of being sweeter than pecans found in other states. And in case you’re wondering, Nevada is in Missouri; we pronounce the first A with a long vowel sound.

Granny's Fresh Fudge.
Granny’s Fresh Fudge from Meramec Caverns in Stanton.

Granny’s Fudge from Meramec Caverns in Stanton: One of Missouri’s most-popular attractions has a great travel treat, courtesy of Granny’s Candy Shop, which is on-site. I’m partial to the M&M-covered variety.

There you have it, a quick look at some of the great, Missouri-made snacking options available to you. Start planning your next Missouri trip at And don’t forget the snacks.

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