Typically found in savory versions, they can also be made sweet. A classic dish is shrimp and grits, but grits are also a popular breakfast item, in place of oatmeal. Any which way, they are extremely satisfying. The popularity of the hamburger and cheeseburger in the USA is indisputable. Traditional, gourmet, fast food, with bacon, sliders, with green chili, Juicy Lucy style… the list of variations and toppings is infinite. If there is one food that we had to pick, burgers have to be the most American of them all. Nathans Hot Dogs Courtesy of Nathans. Save to Wishlist. Like many things American, the cuisine also has influences from elsewhere — German, British, Italian, Dutch, French, and Caribbean are only some of the cultures that have contributed to the food that is now considered typically American.
Buffalo Chicken Wings. Tater Tots.
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Hot Dogs. Apple Pie. Barbecue Ribs. Reuben Sandwich. With some help from our friends at Goldbely , state tourism departments, and our network of travel writers and food fiends, we've compiled an un official list of the dishes that capture the hearts, souls, and oh, yes stomachs of these 50 states plus Washington, D.
Many are fried so many ; many are meaty. This is America, after all: home of chicken fried steak, toothache-inducing desserts, and so, so much butter. Each state is different from the next.
Scroll through to see what we've picked for yours. Illustrations by Adrian Mangel. And rightfully so. The beauty of the dish lies in its simplicity: firm, green unripe tomatoes, a crispy cornmeal jacket, and a lovingly tended skillet of hot oil. Eat it here: At Acre in Auburn, David Bancroft transforms this earnest regional favorite—a staple of home tables—into a mouthwatering showstopper. The tangy deep-fried tomato slices, bathed in buttermilk and dredged in Oakview Farms cornmeal, are stacked like a layer cake with a slather of pimento cheese between each one.
Talk about the summer trifecta. Here's why: Ever see an episode of Deadliest Catch? Then you already know how hard it is to haul up Alaskan king crab—a big SOB for a big, rugged state. It also takes some serious effort to eat, which makes the sweet, juicy meat all the more satisfying.
Any king crab pulled straight from Alaska's waters is going to be great steamed and dipped in a bit of drawn butter, but there are a few places that do it better than the rest. Eat it here: For the biggest, meatiest legs, I always head to Tracy's King Crab Shack in Juneau, where fishermen bring the day's catch right to the dock. The king crab bucket comes with three to four monster-sized legs and two claws of Alaska Bering Sea Red King Crab, plus melted butter and garlic rolls.
Order a pint of Denali Crab Shack Kolsch and get crackin'. Here's why: It's a Tex-Mex-meets-chili-dog mash-up that I would happily eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Street food vendors dogueros have been hawking them all over the city since the s, when they first became popular in the U.
How do you do know the real deal? It's all piled into a crusty bolillo roll directly imported from Mexico.
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Yeah, it's that good. Here's why: Fried catfish is a quintessential Southern dish—up there in revery with fried okra, chicken fried steak, and cornbread. So, where better to try it than at the source? The dish is classically made with either a whole fish or smaller filets, dredged in a rich batter and deep fried to achieve a perfect golden crisp. Eat it here: The best fried catfish is usually caught by friends or family, cleaned in the backyard, and fried up right at home—but unless you have some great local hookups, you might have to settle for the next best thing.
Head straight to community-loved Lassis Inn in Little Rock. Deserving of local landmark status—for its food and the fact that it served as a meeting place for leaders of the Civil Rights movement—this standalone joint has been serving up some of the best fried catfish in the state since Bonus: You get a free history lesson, spelled out in newspaper clippings and photos on the wall. Here's why: Yes, California is huge, but there's one thing we can all agree on well, maybe not the vegetarians : Nobody should leave the Golden State without sinking their teeth into an equally golden fresh fish taco.
Expect a line wrapped around the block. The state takes pride in sharing its local lamb with visitors, so take advantage of the many restaurants that have learned how to prepare it right. Eat it here: Shed your fleece for the evening and head to the upscale Flagstaff House in Boulder—the white tablecloths and fawning service play second fiddle to the stellar views of the city below, and plates of Colorado lamb are served on artful beds of produce grown just nearby. The meat itself is always well seasoned, juicy, and packs a strong flavor without feeling heavy.
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The menu changes daily, so call ahead to find out which day of your trip will see Colorado lamb on the menu. Then as now, hamburgers here are juicy and typically uncomplicated—it's all about the meat, not piles of toppings. Eat it here: Long before cool kids on the West Coast were ordering OTT "animal style" burgers, New Englanders in New Haven were ordering burgers at their origin source: Louis' Lunch keeps it beautifully simple—classic burgers on white toast, with only cheese, tomato, and onions allowed on top.
It's a no-frills, family-owned, cash-only joint, and it will change how you think about hamburgers. Order it as a side to eggs, or take it down on a greasy bagel sandwich. Eat it here: You can find it in pretty much any diner statewide. How can you tell? Here's why: People wait all year for peach season, ready to eat a bushel standing over the kitchen sink, with juice dripping down to the elbows. But peach cobbler, the dreamy amalgamation of just-plucked peaches and a hand-wrought crust, might as well be the state dish.
Eat it here: Pamela Moxley, the pastry genius at Miller Union in Atlanta, makes individual-sized peach cobblers so everyone gets the caramelized edges and the gooey center with golden freestone peaches and a buttermilk biscuit topping. Here's why: Many mainlanders didn't know what poke was until five years ago—now, every town seems to have a build-your-own-poke joint—but this dish has been a Hawaiian staple for decades.
The true-to-form classic is "a little bit sushi, a little bit Hawaii" : raw ahi tuna marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil, tossed with green onions, seaweed, and Maui onion, atop white rice. Eat it here: Rugged darling Kauai should be on every traveler's hit list, and the island's no-frills Fish Express is the perfect way to dig into some fresh poke like you live here. Better yet, come here on your way to the beach so you can take your meal with you. Here's why: We know, we know: Potatoes. But where would this potato be without its side of steak? Is it any surprise, then, that Chicago's classic dishes are all done their way?
Eat it here: Take your pick of Lou Malnati's, Mr. Beef, or Superdawg to try out these classics. Here's why: Any Hoosier will tell you the pork tenderloin sandwich is a must-eat while in Indiana. The restaurant pounds the tenderloins ultra thin and serves them simply on a hamburger bun with lettuce, Miracle Whip, and a side of potato or pasta salad. It's the perfect mix of juicy and crispy without feeling greasy, and definitely worth the hour-and-a-half detour from Indianapolis.
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