What Food Each US State Is Known For

Traveling or just looking for something new and exciting to try? Look no further than the iconic local flavors found in each state across America!

From Alabama barbecue to Alaskan seafood, there’s a dish for every palate and every place. But don’t just settle for any old meal – make sure to seek out the best places to find these delicious and unique dishes that showcase the history and geography of each state.

So why not take a culinary tour and try something new in every state? Your taste buds will thank you.


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Experience an authentic taste of Alabama with its signature dish – smoked chicken smothered in a creamy, mayonnaise-based white barbecue sauce. This unique sauce is not easy to come by outside of the state, making it a must-try for any barbecue lover.

 This delicious condiment is credited to Bob Gibson, Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q founder in Decatur, who first whipped up the sauce back in 1925. To this day, the original Decatur location continues to serve up this one-of-a-kind Alabama barbecue treat. Don’t miss the chance to taste history and try this tantalizing dish.


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Are you a fan of crab? If so, you’ll love the selection of crab dishes available at Tracy’s King Crab Shack in Juneau, Alaska. From bisques and cakes to rolls and buckets, there’s something for every crab lover on the menu. 

The star of the show is the Bering Sea king crab, and at Tracy’s, they serve it up in a variety of ways. Their crab cakes come with a delectable sweet and spicy dipping sauce, and for those looking for a larger serving, a bucket holds a generous half of a king crab plus a killer claw. And don’t forget to try their famous “best legs in town”! Head to Tracy’s for a true Alaskan crab feast.


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The chimichanga, a popular fried burrito, was born out of a happy accident at El Charro Café in the mid-1950s. The story goes that the café’s founding chef, Monica Flyn, accidentally dropped a burro (a large burrito) into the deep fryer and thus, the chimichanga was born. 

Today, the crispy and packed dish can be found at El Charro’s Tucson and Oro Valley restaurants, ranging in size from mini to the supersized USA Today chimi, which is reportedly the size of a rolled-up newspaper and filled with your choice of chicken, vegetarian beans, beef, carnitas or shrimp. Don’t miss the chance to try this legendary and delicious dish at El Charro Café.


fried pickles
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Craving something crispy and tangy? Try the deep-fried dill pickles that have become an Arkansas favorite. The dish was first introduced in 1963 by Bernell “Fatman” Austin at the Duchess Drive-In, where he sold baskets of 15 battered and fried pickle slices for 15 cents to employees at the nearby Atkins Pickle Plant. 

Although Austin and the Duchess Drive-In have since passed, fried pickles can still be found at restaurants across the state. One of the best places to try them is at Sassy’s Red House in Fayetteville, where they serve up wafer-thin fried pickles that are sure to satisfy. These tasty treats are usually served with ranch dressing, but you may also be able to find them with remoulade or ketchup at other restaurants.


avacado toast
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Avocado toast has become a popular and beloved dish in California, where residents are known for their love of the creamy green fruit. It can be found in a variety of dishes, from guacamole to ice cream, but one of the most common ways to enjoy avocados is mashed on top of toast. 

If you find yourself in the trendy Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, be sure to stop by Dinette for a delectable and filling serving of avocado toast. They start with a slice of rustic bread and heap it high with a fresh and zesty blend of crushed avocado, seasoned with chile flakes, parsley, and salt. It’s a simple yet satisfying meal that you won’t want to miss! This dish is so substantial, you’ll need a fork and knife to cut through it. Whether you prefer your avocado toast simple or topped with additional ingredients like caviar or feta, it’s a must-try in California.


lamb chops
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If you’re a fan of lamb, you won’t want to miss the delicious lamb chops and fondue at Elway’s in Colorado. Named after former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway, this carnivorous emporium serves up exceptional steaks, but it’s the lamb that truly stands out. 

The lamb chops, sourced from Mountain States Rosen in Greeley, are lightly gamy and bursting with flavor. They are so tender and flavorful that they don’t even need a sidekick, but if you’re feeling indulgent, the warm cheese fondue, made with pepper Jack cheese and a variety of fresh chiles, is a must-try. Many people consider Colorado to have the best lamb in the world, and a bite of Elway’s lamb chops will confirm that this is no empty claim.


white clam pizza
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If you’re a pizza lover, you won’t want to miss the chance to try the famed white clam pie at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven, Connecticut. Since 1925, Pepe’s has been serving up their signature charred and chewy pizzas to long lines of fans at their Wooster Street location. 

One of the most beloved pizzas on the menu is the white clam pie, which has inspired hundreds of imitators but few that can match its irresistible combination of olive oil, Romano cheese, parsley, clams, and fresh garlic. This pie perfectly combines the Connecticut shoreline’s love of seafood with Pepe’s signature crust, making it the ultimate destination for an authentic Connecticut pizza experience. 


fries with vinegar
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Summer in Delaware isn’t complete without a trip to the beach, and when you’re there, make sure to swing by Thrasher’s on the boardwalk for a tub of hot fries. 

These crispy and delicious fries are a must-have beach snack, and many fans recommend a generous drizzle of cider vinegar for added tang and flavor. Just watch out for those pesky seagulls! Whether you’re lounging on the sand or taking a stroll along the boardwalk, Thrasher’s hot fries are the perfect accompaniment to a summer day at the beach.


key lime pie
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When it comes to iconic Florida flavors, few things are as beloved as Key Lime Pie. This delicious dessert combines tart lime juice with sweetened condensed milk and egg yolk, all nestled in a graham cracker crust and topped with meringue. 

While variations on this classic pie can be found on menus throughout the state, not all are created equal. To get the best Key Lime Pie experience, head to Ma’s Fish Camp in Islamorada, where they prepare their pies according to traditional Conch guidelines. The result is a well-balanced, honeyed and citrusy base topped with a fluffy layer of sweet meringue.


boiled peanuts
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Peanuts, also known as ground nuts, goobers, or pindar nuts, are a beloved crop in Georgia and a worldwide favorite. Whether you call them peanuts or boil them in a Southern drawl, these tasty legumes are a staple in Georgia. In particular, boiled peanuts are a fan favorite, with a tender texture that is similar to edamame. 

If you’re in Augusta, Georgia, be sure to visit Finch & Fifth to try their famous boiled peanuts. These tasty treats are served as a starter year-round and are made with peanuts sourced from a nearby farm. The kitchen boils around 50 pounds of peanuts each month in Pabst Blue Ribbon beer with a secret spice blend, ensuring that they are full of flavor without the need for additional seasoning. Don’t miss the opportunity to try this Georgia staple!


shave ice
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Looking for a unique and refreshing treat while in Hawaii? Look no further than Ululani’s, known for serving up the fluffiest and finest shaved ice on the island (some say, the entire state). But don’t let the name fool you – this isn’t your average snow cone. 

The ice is shaved to a nearly fluffy consistency using very sharp blades, creating a light and airy texture. And the flavors on offer are just as impressive, with options ranging from classic to exotic. So whether you’re in the mood for a fruity lychee or a spicy tiger’s blood, Ululani’s has a flavor to satisfy every palate. And with six locations around Maui, you won’t have to go far to find this beloved Hawaiian treat. 


baked potato
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Tired of hitting the slopes in Ketchum, Idaho? Head over to Pioneer Saloon for a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs meal. This rustic steak-and-potatoes joint on Main Street is adorned with taxidermized deer and buffalo heads, statues of cowboys on bucking horses, and even a shotgun owned by Ernest Hemingway. 

But don’t let the decor distract you from the real star of the show: the Jim Spud. This massive Idaho potato is loaded with 6 ounces of teriyaki steak scraps, butter, caramelized onions, sour cream, and a heap of melting cheddar cheese. Trust us, it’s a must-try. Just be warned – this beast of a dish is best shared, so only the hungriest should tackle it solo.


deep dish pizza
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Looking for the best deep-dish pizza in Illinois? Look no further than Lou Malnati’s or Pizano’s, both owned by the son’s Rudy Malnati Sr. (co-creator of deep-dish pizza). While both restaurants offer delicious pies, Pizano’s gets the edge thanks to its buttery and golden crust slightly less heavy than Lou Malnati’s. 

The sauce is also a standout, with a deliciously salty and ripe tomato flavor. You can top your pizza with any combination of ingredients, but for a true Illinois experience, go for “ssaaah-sidge” (also known as sausage). Just be warned – this knife-and-fork affair is so rich and indulgent that it may threaten your cardiac health, so you might want to save it for a special occasion.


Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
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If there’s one thing that Indiana does well, it’s the deep-fried breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. This hearty sandwich is big in more ways than one – the pork is pounded out, breaded, and deep fried, resulting in a massive patty that is often served on a bun that looks comically small in comparison. 

At The Mug, a “farm-to-curb” drive-in with locations in Greenfield and Irvington, the pork is sourced from local farms and is always pasture-raised. Whether you’re a Hoosier native or just passing through, you won’t want to miss the chance to try this iconic Indiana sandwich.


sweet corn
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In Iowa, corn is a way of life. You’ll see it growing everywhere you go, and by the fourth of July, it’s usually grown to be knee-high. During the summer months, farmers load up their trucks with sweet corn to sell at markets and on street corners, and there are even festivals dedicated to this beloved crop. 

One popular variety is the bi-color peaches and cream corn, known for its exceptionally sweet flavor. If you’re in the mood for some delicious and locally-grown sweet corn, look for Grimes Sweet Corn at a market or street corner near you.


Barbecue Ribs
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If you’re a fan of well-smoked barbecue ribs, you won’t want to miss HHB BBQ in downtown Topeka, Kansas. Pit Master and owner Ed Moege uses his own special rub to coat the baby back ribs before transferring them to the smoker. 

Experience the ultimate tenderness and flavor with HHB BBQ’s signature ribs! Smothered in our special house sauce and cooked to perfection, these ribs practically melt in your mouth. Come in for lunch on Fridays or dinner any weeknight to try them for yourself. Pair them with a side of creamy cheesy potatoes or rich smoked mac and cheese for the ultimate comfort food feast.


hot brown sandwhich
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The Hot Brown is a savory, creamy, and hot open-faced turkey sandwich that was created in 1926 by Chef Fred Schmidt at the Brown Hotel in Louisville. 

Recharge and revitalize after a night of dancing with the Hot Brown at our hotel. This hearty dish features sliced turkey on toast, smothered in creamy Mornay sauce and topped with juicy Roma tomato halves, crispy toast points, and savory bacon slices. It’s the perfect fuel for your next night out on the dance floor.

It is then run under a hot broiler to melt everything together. The Hot Brown remains a popular dish at the Brown Hotel and has even spawned its own best-of competitions at restaurants across the state of Kentucky. If you’re in Louisville, be sure to try the original Hot Brown at the Brown Hotel, or search for it at restaurants across the state.


New Orleans French Beignets
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Looking for the ultimate comfort food? Look no further than the beignets at Café du Monde in New Orleans. These pillowy fried dough treats are coated in a blanket of powdered sugar, making them the perfect indulgence any time of day (or night). The café is open 24 hours a day, so you can satisfy your cravings whenever they strike. Just be prepared to leave with a powdered-sugar mustache (and possibly powdered-sugar pants, too). Pair your beignets with a cup of chicory coffee for the ultimate beignet-dipping experience.


maine lobster roll
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Maine is known for its excellent lobster rolls, and Red’s Eats in Wiscasset is one of the best places to try them. This iconic lobster shack has been serving fresh lobster rolls since 1954, and during its six-month season, it has been known to serve 14 tons of lobster. 

What sets Red’s Eats apart from other lobster roll joints is its generosity – the staff don’t measure the lobster meat, they just “pile it high” on a buttery bun. This means that even on days when the lobsters are shedding their shells and the tails are small, you can expect to find at least three tails in your roll. In fact, there’s usually more than one lobster’s worth of meat in each roll at Red’s Eats.


steamed crabs
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If you’re in Maryland, be sure to try the state’s famous blue crabs, known for their sweet, white meat. These crustaceans, found in the Chesapeake Bay, have seen declining catches in recent decades, but conservation efforts are helping to bring them back in force. The best way to enjoy these crabs is the simplest – steamed and dusted with a piquant spice mix like Old Bay. 

Feast on the freshest steamed crabs at one of Maryland’s famous crab houses! You’ll find them at places like Cantler’s Riverside Inn in Annapolis or there is also Costas Inn just outside Baltimore. Usually sold by the dozen, these succulent crustaceans are served on tables covered in newspaper or brown butcher paper, ready for you to dive in with your own hands and crackers and mallets. Get ready to get messy as you savor every last bite of these delicious crabs.


clam chowder
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Legal Sea Foods, affectionately known as “Legal,” is a New England institution that has been serving seafood since 1950. It started with fish chowder, but eventually added clam chowder to the menu after it became a hit with customers. Today, the clam chowder, made with fresh clams, potatoes, salt pork, light cream and a homemade fish stock, outsells the fish chowder 20 to 1. Legal Sea Foods has many locations along the East Coast, and is known for its high-quality seafood dishes.


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The pasty, a meat hand pie originally from Cornwall, has a special place in Michigan’s cuisine. It was brought to the state by Cornish immigrant copper miners and later embraced by the Finnish community.

Often found in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, pasties are especially beloved by the locals, known as Yoopers, and are even celebrated at an annual festival. One of the best places to try a pasty is at Lawry’s, a family-owned shop that has been serving them since 1946. They offer the traditional version filled with beef, potato, onion and rutabagas, as well as mini pasties and vegetable versions.


hot dish
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If you’re from Minnesota, you know that hot dish is more than just a casserole – it’s a way of life. A comforting blend of beef or chicken, veggies, and creamy mushroom soup topped with Tater Tots, this classic dish is a staple at family gatherings and church suppers. But in Minnesota, hot dish is also the star of a fierce culinary competition, where members of the state’s congressional delegation go head to head to see who can make the best one.

If you’re looking for a taste of home, head to The Mason Jar in Eagen, where you’ll find a hot dish that will transport you straight to your grandmother’s kitchen. Using only the freshest ingredients, their version features savory ground beef simmered in a creamy mushroom sauce and piled atop a bed of crispy Tater Tots. A sprinkle of melted cheddar cheese and a few more tots on top make this hot dish a rib-sticking masterpiece.


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Natchez, Mississippi is a city known for its rich history and cultural heritage, and is also recognized as the Biscuit Capital of the World. One of the key figures responsible for this distinction is Regina Charboneau, a seventh-generation resident of Natchez who has dedicated herself to preserving and promoting the city’s biscuit-making traditions.

As a trained chef with a passion for creating delicious, flaky biscuits, Charboneau has shared her recipe and techniques through cookbooks, cooking classes, and media appearances. Her buttery biscuits have become a local favorite, and the annual biscuit festival, featuring a biscuit cook-off and crowning of a biscuit queen, has helped to put Natchez on the map as a destination for biscuit lovers from all over.


fried ravioli
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At Salt + Smoke, a popular barbecue restaurant in Missouri, the toasted ravioli are filled with savory chopped oak-smoked burnt ends and topped with garlic and herbs. These crispy, fried raviolis are served with a tangy Alabama-style white barbecue dipping sauce, making them a unique and irresistible twist on the traditional ravioli.


huckleberry ice cream bar
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If you’re in Montana, you can’t go wrong with Wilcoxson’s Ice Cream! This local favorite has been satisfying taste buds in the Big Sky state since 1912. With 58 delicious flavors, including Bobcat Batter and Chocolate Runs Through It, Wilcoxson’s has become a dietary staple in Montana. 

You can find it in milkshakes at The Pickle Barrel sandwich shops throughout the state, or in softball-sized scoops on cones. And if you’re looking for a quick snack on the go, you can grab one of Wilcoxson’s Huckleberry Ice Cream Bars at most any grocery store, gas station, or hardware store with a “Proudly Serving Wilcoxson’s” sign in the window.


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Looking for a unique and tasty treat? Look no further than the Potter Sundae from Potter, Nebraska! This sundae, created by Harold Dean “Pinky” Thayer, combines sweet and savory flavors like chocolate ice cream, chocolate sauce, vanilla ice cream, warm marshmallow cream, and a sprinkle of skin-on Spanish peanuts. 

The Potter Sundry is the go-to spot to try this delicious dessert, which attracts tourists from around the world, especially during the summer months. Don’t miss out on this big treat from a tiny town!


steak and eggs
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If you’re looking for a satisfying meal in Las Vegas, check out the “steggs” at Ellis Island Cafe! This no-frills diner serves up delicious steak and eggs plates 24/7, making it a go-to spot for casino workers, tourists, and night owls alike. 

Established in 1968, this local favorite knows how to please with generous portions of New York strip steak, two eggs, toast, and potatoes, all for a price that won’t break the bank. If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by Ellis Island Cafe for a tasty “steggs” plate!

New Hampshire

poutine and beer
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This iconic dish, beloved by those with French-Canadian heritage, especially in Manchester, is a must-try for anyone visiting the area. Cheesy French fries smothered in gravy is a classic recipe that can be found in many bars around town. 

But if you’re looking for something a little extra special, head to New England Tap House Grill in Hooksett. Here, the fries are dusted with Parmesan and fresh rosemary, and the gravy is made with a sherry-peppercorn demiglace and a hint of truffle oil. While it may not be authentic, it’s definitely worth a try!

New Jersey

disco fries
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If you’re in New Jersey and craving something delicious and satisfying, be sure to try disco fries! Similar to Canada’s poutine, these fries are crispy and smothered in melted mozzarella and warm gravy. While several establishments in the Garden State claim to have originated the dish, it’s the Tick Tock Diner in Clifton that most residents think of when they’re in the mood for disco fries. 

The dish got its name in the 1970s when John Travolta fans would come into diners after a night of dancing and drinking, and it has been particularly popular in North Jersey. However, it has been spreading to the southern parts of the state in recent years.

New Mexico

frito pie
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Are you in search of a hearty and indulgent meal in Texas or Santa Fe? Look no further than Frito Pie! This tasty dish features crisp and salty corn chips smothered in spicy red chile sauce, then piled high with beans, ground beef, cheese, and lettuce. It’s a favorite among both locals and visitors alike.

While both Texas and Santa Fe lay claim to the origin of Frito Pie, the team at Española’s El Parasol doesn’t seem to care about its origins. They’re just focused on serving up a messy and filling meal that’s so tasty, you won’t be able to resist. Start with a fork, but be prepared to switch to a spoon as the chips begin to wilt under the weight of all those delicious toppings. It’s a meal you won’t soon forget! So come on down to Española’s El Parasol and sink your teeth into a true Texas (or Santa Fe) classic.

New York

buffalo chicken wings
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Buffalo wings are a popular finger food that are often associated with sports and gatherings. The city of Buffalo, New York claims to be the birthplace of the buffalo wing, and Anchor Bar is often credited as the first place to serve them. 

On March 4, 1964, Teressa Bellissimo, co-founder of anchor Bar, created the dish when her son, Dominic, asked her to make a snack for his friends late at night while he was tending bar. Teressa deep-fried chicken wings, normally used as the base for stock, and coated them in a secret sauce. Today, this recipe has been copied and served at restaurants all over the country, but if you want to taste the original, you’ll have to visit anchor Bar and try Teressa’s closely guarded master recipe.

North Carolina

lexington bbq
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If you’re a fan of barbecue, you’ll definitely want to check out the Lexington area, where the sauce is king! Here, you’ll find a tangy blend of vinegar, ketchup, salt, pepper, and perhaps a secret spice or two. It’s a tradition to dip your pork shoulder into this sauce rather than pouring it on top. 

And if you see “barbecue slaw” on the menu, don’t be confused – it’s not a cooked dish, but rather, coleslaw dressed with the beloved barbecue sauce in place of mayonnaise. One of the most famous spots for this style of barbecue is Lexington’s legendary Barbecue Center, which has been in operation since the 1950s and has won over countless fans, including Bobby Flay. Don’t miss out on this unique and delicious culinary experience!

North Dakota

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No matter what you call them – varenyky, pyrohy, vareniki, pierogi, or kase knoephla – these dumplings are a delicious treat enjoyed by people all over the world. In North Dakota, they’re known as cheese buttons, and they’re made with plump little dumplings stuffed with creamy cottage cheese. 

They can be boiled or pan-fried in butter, and they’re often topped with scallions, cheese or sautéed onions, and a bit of fresh sour cream. If you’re in Dickinson, you can buy frozen cheese buttons at the Ukrainian Cultural Institute, or you can order freshly boiled dumplings by Tuesday and pick them up on Wednesday. Don’t miss out on this tasty treat!


Cincinnati Chili
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If you’re looking for something truly unique and delicious, give Cincinnati-style chili a try! This type of chili, popular in the Queen City and surrounding region, is very different from the version from Texas. Instead of a thick, spicy sauce, Cincinnati-style chili is mildly spiced meat-based sauce that is thin and served over Coney dogs or spaghetti. 

While both Skyline and Gold Star are well-known for their Cincinnati-style chili, many locals prefer to get their two-, three-, four-, or five-way plates at Camp Washington, a local legend that has been honored by the James Beard Foundation as an American Regional Classic. Whether you like your chili topped with just cheese or the works (cheese, onions, and beans), it’s a comfort food classic that’s sure to satisfy.


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If you’re a fan of steak, you won’t want to miss Cattlemen’s Steakhouse in Oklahoma! This institution has been serving up delicious steaks since it was founded as Cattlemen’s Café in Oklahoma City’s infancy, and it was won in a dice game after World War II. In 1990, owner Dick Stubbs expanded the menu to include prime beef in addition to choice cuts, creating dishes that draw foodies from all over the world. At Cattlemen’s, you can enjoy hearty steaks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While the steak is certainly the star of the show, the restaurant is also known for its lamb fries and salad dressing. 


Marionberry Pie
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Marionberries are a delicious type of blackberry that was developed at Oregon State University by crossing two different types of blackberries. These berries don’t ship well, so most of the fresh marionberries grown in the state are used to make muffins, jam, ice cream, and the beloved fresh pie. 

If you’re in Salem, be sure to visit the Willamette Valley Pie Company, which processes about 12 million pounds of berries per year, including three different types of marionberry pie. In the summer, you can even pick your own marionberries at the Willamette Valley Pie Company! 


Philly Cheesesteak
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The Philly cheesesteak is an iconic dish that you won’t want to miss if you’re in Philadelphia! This delicious sandwich consists of thinly sliced, griddle-fried beef (with or without onions) topped with your choice of Cheez Whiz, American, or provolone cheese, and served in a long, crusty roll. While Pat’s and Geno’s are well-known names in the Philly cheesesteak scene, many locals like John’s Roast Pork, for cook to order steak and have seeded rolls. 

This family-run sandwich shack has been around since the 1930s and, while it’s named for another classic Philly sandwich, it’s also a go-to spot for cheesesteaks. If you’re ordering a Philly cheesesteak, be sure to opt for sharp provolone instead of Whiz or American, and don’t forget to ask for onions (just say “wit” to save time, as the lines can be long). This will help pack in maximum flavor!

Rhode Island

Coffee Milk
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Coffee milk is an iconic drink in Rhode Island, and it’s been around for nearly 100 years. In fact, it’s so beloved that it was made the official state drink in 1993. This simple yet addictive beverage is made by spinning coffee-and-sugar syrup with frosty milk to create a milkshake-like drink. You can find coffee milk at coffee shops all over Rhode Island, but be sure to try versions made with good coffee and sugar rather than artificial ingredients. Dave Lanning, CEO of Dave’s Coffee, located in Providence and Charlestown, roasts and cold-brews Brazilian beans to create a syrup that serves as the base for the drink. The syrup is so popular that people even buy it online! 

South Carolina

She-Crab Soup
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If you’re a fan of seafood, you’ll definitely want to try she-crab soup while you’re in South Carolina! This rich soup, similar to bisque, is made with cream, fresh crabmeat, red-orange roe from the female crab (hence the name “she-crab”), and a splash of sherry. It can be found on menus all over the state, from the Lowcountry to the Upstate. 

Some of the best bowls of she-crab soup can be found at Folly Beach’s Roadside Seafood, where chef Sean Mendes uses his family’s recipe, and at Soby’s in Greenville, where the soup has been a signature dish since the restaurant opened its doors in 1997. The Sea Captain’s House in Myrtle Beach is also known for its delicious she-crab soup, which has been a favorite on the menu for 55 years. Don’t miss out on this tasty treat!

South Dakota

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Lefse is a beloved Norwegian-American staple that’s especially popular in South Dakota. This flat potato bread is typically enjoyed with a spread of butter and, for those with a sweet tooth, sprinkled with sugar and rolled up. Scandinavian grandmas, aunts, and moms are often the keepers of the family lefse recipe, and when grandma is ready to pass it on, they inherit the lefse grill and corrugated wooden rolling pin. 

While lefse is an iconic dish in South Dakota, it’s not typically found in restaurants. Instead, it’s made in home kitchens, along with other Norwegian-influenced dishes like krumkake, sandbakkels, and rosettes. If you’re looking to try lefse and can’t get it from grandma, you can find it packaged at participating Hy-Vee stores or at bakeries and church bake sales during Christmastime.


Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich
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Nashville Hot Chicken is a spicy twist on a classic fried chicken dish that was supposedly invented in the 1930s. According to legend, a scorned lover tried to get revenge on Thornton Prince by spicing up his fried chicken with an excessive amount of pepper, making it an infernally dark red color and blazingly hot in flavor. 

Despite his initial hesitation, Prince ended up loving the spicy chicken and requested that his love interest cook more of it for him and his friends to enjoy. Eventually, they opened a restaurant to serve the spicy chicken to the masses. 

If you’re looking to try authentic Nashville Hot Chicken, the Prince family is still serving up their original recipe, which many consider to be the best in the city. While there are now many places to buy this spicy dish, the Prince family’s version is worth seeking out for its history and reputation for excellence.


beef brisket sandwhich
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Franklin Barbecue’s brisket is a truly unique and unforgettable culinary experience. Once you’ve tasted it, you’ll understand why it’s unlike anything else in the world. 

This heavy, oak-smoked brisket is a true rite of passage for barbecue enthusiasts, but be warned: scoring a bite requires waking up before sunrise and waiting in line until the doors open at 11 a.m. For those who are up for a challenge, the wait at Franklin Barbecue is well worth it for a taste of Texas’ finest barbecue traditions. Trust us, the reward of that first bite is worth the endurance test of getting to the front of the line.


fry sauce
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Who doesn’t love a good helping of French fries? But why stop there? Elevate your fry game by dipping them in a savory fry sauce – it takes them to a whole new level of deliciousness. This tasty sauce is made from ketchup, lemon juice, eggs, and some secret ingredients, and it tastes similar to Thousand Island dressing. 

While many restaurants and fast food joints in Utah serve their own versions of fry sauce, Arctic Circle – a popular hamburger chain based in Midvale – claims to have put the sauce on the map in the 1950s. Due to its popularity, the chain now sells 16-ounce bottles of fry sauce. Don’t be afraid to slather it on your cheeseburger, too – no judgment here!


apple pie cheddar
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Ray Allen is a multigeneration apple orchardist who knows a thing or two about apple pie. His family has owned the Allenholm Farm apple orchard in South Hero since 1870, and he’s been making the very flaky crust for each of the over 2,000 pies sold at the orchard annually since 1990, when his wife dared him to perfect a pie recipe. To Vermonters (and New Englanders in general), apple pie with cheese is as comforting as a hug. In fact, some might say it’s even better than a hug because you get to savor the delicious taste for longer than a quick squeeze! And at 80, Allen has certainly earned his slice of pie – even for breakfast!


peanut soup
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This hearty soup, which was popular in Colonial Virginia, combines onion, celery, chicken stock, and peanut butter to create a unique and flavorful base. Its roots can be traced back to Africa, but the version served at the 1776 Log House Restaurant in Wytheville, Virginia was adapted from a recipe once served at the historic Hotel Roanoke in the 1880s. This family-run restaurant is located in a charming log cabin built in 1776 and is a must-visit for anyone in the western part of the state.


seafood chowder
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For over a decade, Kevin Davis has been serving up delicious chowder at his Pike Place Market restaurant, Steelhead Diner. With a recipe that includes leek, fennel, potatoes, cream, apple wood-smoked bacon, thick-cut razor clams, butter, and Razor clam juice, it’s no wonder this dish has become a fan favorite. 

To make it even more mouthwatering, Kevin finishes it off with a drizzle of truffle oil sourced from the nearby La Buona Tavola truffle cafe. Initially using manilla clams, Kevin made the switch to more economical razor clams without sacrificing any of the flavor. If you want a hearty and satisfying bowl of chowder, Steelhead Diner is the place to be!

West Virginia

Pepperoni Rolls
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Pepperoni rolls, the official food of West Virginia, have a rich history dating back to Italian immigrants who needed a filling and portable lunch to take with them while working in the coal mines. 

Today, you can find various variations of pepperoni rolls, such as those topped with sautéed onions, peppers, and marinara sauce. But for a true taste of tradition, you’ll want to try the original recipe, featuring spicy pepperoni baked inside a warm and fluffy roll. One of the best places for this delicious treat is at Tomaro’s Bakery in Clarksburg, located in the heart of the city’s Italian community.


Fried Cheese Curds
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Cheese curds are a beloved snack, especially in Wisconsin, known for their moist, springy texture and mild, salty flavor. They’re made from cheddar cheese that is collected before it has hardened into blocks, and are best eaten fresh, as that’s when they have a distinct squeaky texture when bitten into. 

While they can be enjoyed on their own, cheese curds also achieve cult-like status when they’re deep-fried and served with dips. A popular spot to try this delicious treat is at the landmark Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee, where they pair perfectly with a cold beer. So the next time you’re in the mood for a unique and tasty snack, give cheese curds a try!

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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.