There’s nothing like a total solar eclipse to work up an appetite. Especially if you’re traveling any distance to take in the rare celestial event, you want to know where you can get a solid, life-affirming meal after watching the sun briefly blotted out from the sky. Fortunately, great minds think alike, and several maps have been put together that find out where chicken, waffles, and the path of totality overlap.
Taber Andrew Bain mapped Zaxby’s and Bojangle’s locations that aligned with the path of totality, in case you are craving some crunchy fried chicken as the sun slowly reveals that all is still right with the world. The only problem is that those two chains don’t really follow the eclipse past Missouri. So what’s a hungry eclipse viewer to do?
Follow Jerry Shannon’s map of Waffle House locations in the path of totality, calling it The Eclipse: Smothered and Covered. There are over twenty locations to choose from, and some (like the a Pendleton, South Carolina franchise) are throwing eclipse parties where you can score some waffle schwag while you give your hash browns the same treatment the moon will have just given the sun. If you aren’t feeling the fried foods, Shannon also collected data points for where the eclipse will cross over places where Bigfoot has been sighted (wouldn’t want to run into a Sasquatch in the dark, though), and where you might glimpse a UFO while gazing up at the sky.
But you might want to stick to the tastier plan and find somewhere to chow down. Apparently it’s a good way to process what you’ll have just witnessed. Annie Dillard wrote a whole essay on the 1979 solar eclipse and the breakfast that followed at a little cafe in Yakimaw, Washington. The place sounds strikingly like the fast food spots Bain and Shannon mapped. “The restaurant was a roadside place with tables and booths,” she writes. “We were all eating eggs or waffles.” If only they’d had fried chicken, too.