Becky’s Best Biker Bars and Cafes Central Nebraska
Grand Island is the real start of the Sandhills Tour. Take Exit 312 off I-80 and head north into town. As you approach Conestoga mall, there’s a Phillips 66 station on the left that has premium gas.
Continue north on 281 and take the exit to the right for Highway 2. Turn left and head west on Highway 2.
El Jalapenos Mexican Grill. 2418 N Webb Rd. Grand Island. 68801Very good mexican food. Their Chili Rellenos is worth a try.
Bonfire Grill and Pub
509 S 9th Ave, Arrow Hotel, Broken Bow, NE 68822-2465
I always ask the staff if there is a dish that is their specialty and the Bonfire Burger was mentioned. Nebraska beef is some of the finest in the world and I’d been riding past cows all morning.
The burger was grilled to perfection. A great burger has been well seared on each side, this seals in the juices and gives it a taste like a grilled steak. It actually is a steak, it is simply ground beef.
It was topped with caramelized onions, some of the best bacon I’ve had in some time, and melted jack cheese. The presentation as finished with two crossed strips of bacon on top.
There was a lot of bacon lurking under the cheese. The combination of tastes was something special.
I got fries for the side. They were very thin and really good. Normally, fries are just a filler on the plate, but these appeared to be cooked in fresh oil and I couldn’t stop eating them.
The atmosphere was very nice, a bit nostalgic and welcoming. This is in the corner of a very old hotel, which is perfectly restored and extremely clean and well kept.
This gets a high recommendation from me. The scenery looking out the window over the town square is quite interesting. Broken Bow has done a great job of having very well restored businesses surrounding the small town square. It’s fit for a movie setting. I love the town.
Cairo, Nebraska. This is the first stop on Highway 2 heading west out of Grand Island—The Watering Hole. Just off Highway 2 in downtown. This has a warm and inviting interior and has been a favorite of bikers for some time. They feature a long happy hour that starts before noon and goes past 5pm.
They offer a wide variety of specialty mixed drinks, most notably the Bloody Mary. They have a variety of base mixes, depending on whether you like it hot or not. Want pickle juice? Sure, they do that and a lot more.
They also have good food. Their burgers and hand formed from real beef and grilled like a steak. The buns are nicely buttered and toasted and burgers include crinkle fries. Nice plate.
Arthur, Nebraska. The only town on the 71 mile stretch of highway 61 from Hyannis down to Lake McConneghy. The Bunkhouse bar is simply amazing. Their special the day we ate was fresh sliced pineapple, fried pork chop, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots and a dessert. Holy moly, these people feed cattle hands and a table of six, right out of central casting, sat down to eat. They took off their hats, laid them out neatly top down and they were wearing chaps. They’d been working the cattle and were dressed for the occasion. Ranching is far more than turning cattle loose to graze on the lush grass of the Sandhills.
Elyria, Nebraska. Just about 6 miles south of Bassett, is the Elyria Bar.
I got the large burger, with no bun. This was extremely flavorful and juicy. It’s ground sirloin, not just low bidder dead cow. The population is under 200, but this little place makes it worth the stop. Friendly people, great food and cold beverages.
Highway 2 where to get premium gas
Grand Island has a Phillips 66 station across from Conestoga Mall on Highway 281
Broken Bow, 80 miles west, has a Sinclair with premium
Thedford, 67 miles west of Broken Bow, has a Sinclair with premium
Hyannis, 63 miles west of Thedford, has a Sinclair with premium and it’s only another 50 miles west to get to Alliance, which has lots of fuel.