- Wawa is a beloved East Coast gas station and convenience store chain known for its fresh sandwiches.
- I visited Wawa for the first time during a trip to Florida and saw first-hand why it has loyal fans.
- I would go out of my way to stop at a Wawa during a road trip for the fresh food and variety.
East Coasters love Wawa, a fast-growing gas station and convenience store chain with a devoted fan base. Insider reporters have dubbed it America’s best convenience store over the years, despite only operating in six states.
The chain’s hoagies have a particularly loyal following: Wawa was voted the best overall sandwich shop in the US in 2018 and currently serves the best convenience store sandwiches in the nation, according to Market Force consumer surveys.
I went to Wawa for the first time during a recent trip to Miami, and I saw first-hand how much better the chain was compared to the average gas station. I thought it would be well worth traveling out of the way for.
I’ve taken several long road trips before, and most gas stations I’ve encountered have been slow and lacked snack and drink variety, tasty fresh food, and clean bathrooms.
But the Wawa I stopped at had eight stations to get gas, which is more than I typically see on the road. Drivers didn’t have to wait long to pump their gas.
Inside Wawa’s convenience store, I was surprised to find various energy bars and drinks. I’m not used to seeing this many options in gas stations, and I think these offerings are crucial for a successful road trip.
One corner of the store offered plenty of drink options including soda, slushies, and iced coffee.
As someone who loves variety, I was particularly impressed by the touchscreen, “freestyle” soda fountain, which offers more than 100 Coca-Cola drink options.
And I thought the massive hot coffee station, with several roasts to choose from, was a dream come true for coffee lovers.
Past the roasts, there were a variety of sugars, milk, and other additions to customize your coffee.
Typically, when I hit up a gas station convenience store on a road trip, there are so few options that I end up getting sick of the snacks on offer. But Wawa had a delightfully robust snack and candy variety.
I noticed that Skittles were two for $US4 ($AU6), and they had flavor packs I hadn’t seen before.
The bread and baked goods sections looked ideal for early mornings on the road.
I’ve sometimes seen a case of fresh-baked donuts and muffins inside gas stations, but they’ve never been as tempting to me as Wawa’s iced and sprinkled donuts.
Next to a long row of refrigerated drink cases, I found a small auto section, which I thought might come in handy during long road trips.
Another perk for road-trippers, Wawa has the cleanest restrooms in every state it operates, according to a 2019 analysis by GasBuddy, NBC reported.
After exploring the store’s products, I headed over to a touchscreen kiosk to order one of Wawa’s famous sandwiches.
I ordered Wawa’s most popular item, a hoagie, which is the regional name for a submarine sandwich in southeastern Pennsylvania, where Wawa originates.
I thought the ordering process was really simple, and I appreciated that I could customize my order to my liking.
I ordered my roast beef hoagie with lettuce, tomato, pickles, garlic aioli, and everything seasoning, which was similar to everything bagel seasoning, and I added a fresh orange juice to wash it down.
I snagged a table outside, and when I bit into the sandwich, I was blown away by the flavors. The garlic aioli and everything seasoning were excellent additions, in my opinion.
It was so much better than the food I typically get on road trips, and I thought it tasted delicious and fresh. I can see now why Wawa is so beloved, and I’ll definitely be back.