The Most Popular Southern Gas Station Snacks

Something about driving down a backroad makes us awful peckish.

To Southerners, cars are something of a second home. We love a long road trip in the family station wagon, and we can’t resist a sunset drive in the country on a balmy summer night. if we’re heading out on a drive, whether long or short, you best believe snacks will be involved. But we’re not talking your average Little Debbie treat or bag of chips, we’ve got a special menu reserved specifically for car travel, and it consists of all the addictive treats you can only find when refueling your car. These are the most popular snacks to buy at a Southern gas station.

Pickle in a Bag

Sure, you could bring a jar from home, but it just wouldn’t have the same appeal (or salty tang) as gnawing on a giant pickle floating in its own neon juice. Plus, the handheld delicacy comes in a plastic pouch for peak driving convenience.  

Golden Flake or Zapp's Chips

Crunchy, salty, spicy, sour—a bag of chips can be anything your heart desires; but if Southerners are snacking on chips, they’ve got to be Golden Flake (founded in Alabama) or Zapp’s (founded in Louisiana). Golden Flake favorites include Dill Pickle and Sweet Heat Barbecue, while Zapp’s fans are all about Voodoo and Spicy Cajun Crawtators.

Pork Rinds

Nothing screams Southern like deep-fried pig skin. These salty, crunchy, melt-in-your mouth morsels are ubiquitous in gas stations below the Mason-Dixon Line.

Buc-ee’s Du Jour

Like your first kiss or first time driving a car, every Southerner remembers their first trip to Buc-ee’s. The Texas-based (and -sized) country store is more akin to a Walmart Supercenter and full-service restaurant than a gas station, but they do sell gas, so we’ll give it a pass. The snack options here are plentiful, but we’ve got to give special shoutouts to the Beaver Nuggets (caramel, butter, and sugar-coated corn puffs), kolaches, peanut patties, and Sizzlin’ Saltines.

Boiled Peanuts

If a gas station is making these in house, consider yourself lucky. We can’t resist the delightful smush of a well-boiled peanut, and if there’s a Cajun spice blend added into the boiling pot? Well, we may need to pull over to properly enjoy.   

Gas Station Cake

You don’t usually see the words “homemade” and “gas station” in the same sentence, but when it comes to the longstanding tradition of gas station cake, the two go together like biscuits and gravy. Next time you stop to fill up, look out for slices and quarters of locally made cakes, especially if you’re in a small town or rural area. Flavors range from strawberry and vanilla to caramel and even the occasional Coca Cola Chocolate.


OK, we know ICEEs aren’t distinctly Southern, but on a sweltering summer day, we need these more than anyone else in the U.S. Bonus points if you get a classic cherry and coke swirl.

Pickled Eggs

Don’t knock it until you try it. We’ve got a soft spot for the sweet-tangy bite of a pickled egg. And no, we’re not freaked out by their bright pink hue.

QuikTrip Roller Grill Fare

Few gas station foods are as enticing as those that that get to roll around on the ever-turning conveyer belt known as the QuikTrip Roller Grill. From taquitos and egg rolls to smoked sausage and hot dogs, if it’s shaped like a cylinder and sold at QT, you best believe we’re buying it.

Pecan Log Rolls

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting a Stuckey’s, then you know all about this Southern-born treat. The world-famous confection starts with a fluffy nougat center that’s then coated in homemade caramel and rolled in pecan bits. It’s as decadent and delicious as it sounds.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles