The Best Food to Try in Each of the 50 States, According to Americans

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In this article, we will take you on a mouthwatering tour through all 50 states, exploring the most iconic and beloved dishes each region has to offer. From hearty Southern BBQ to New England seafood delights and from Tex-Mex feasts to Pacific Northwest treats, the diverse flavors of American cuisine await. Bon appétit!

Alabama: BBQ

Closeup of pork ribs grilled with BBQ sauce and caramelized in honey. Tasty snack to beer on a wooden Board for filing on dark concrete background
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Alabama BBQ is known for its tender, slow-cooked pulled pork or ribs, often served with a tangy, vinegar-based sauce. It’s popular in Alabama due to its strong Southern barbecue tradition, where smoking and grilling meats are celebrated at social events and family gatherings.

Alaska: King Crab

Cooked Organic Alaskan King Crab Legs with Butter
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker //

Alaskan King Crab legs are a delicacy known for their sweet and succulent meat. They are popular in Alaska because the state is famous for its seafood bounty, and Alaskan King Crabs are harvested from the cold, pristine waters of the Bering Sea.

Arizona: Sonoran Hot Dogs

Homemade Sonoran Hot Dogs with Bacon Mustard Mayo
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker //

Sonoran hot dogs are bacon-wrapped hot dogs topped with pinto beans, onions, tomatoes, mayonnaise, mustard, and jalapenos served in a soft bun. Popular in Arizona, this dish reflects the state’s proximity to Mexico, where the Sonoran desert stretches across both countries, influencing the region’s culinary landscape.

Arkansas: Southern-Style Fried Catfish

Fried catfish with cornbread dipped with buttermilk and seasoned with cornmeal, southern tradition
Photo credit: Elena Veselova //

Southern-style fried catfish is a beloved dish in Arkansas due to the state’s proximity to the Mississippi River and its rich culinary heritage. The catfish is often coated in cornmeal and deep-fried until golden and crispy, served with hushpuppies and coleslaw.

California: In-N-Out Burger

In-n-out burger, burgers and fries in San Francisco, California, USA - September 8, 2019
Photo credit: Danne_l //

In-N-Out Burger is a fast-food chain famous for its simple yet delicious burgers made with fresh ingredients. It’s popular in California, where the chain originated, and has gained a cult-like following for its secret menu and emphasis on quality.

Colorado: Rocky Mountain Oysters

Rocky Mountain Oysters
Photo credit: Margaret L Dubbin //

Rocky Mountain Oysters are a novelty dish made from bull testicles, sliced, breaded, and deep-fried. They’re popular in Colorado, particularly during rodeo events and festivals, as a unique way to celebrate the state’s ranching culture.

Connecticut: New Haven-style Pizza

New Haven-style pizza. Studio coal-fired Neapolitan pizza common in and around New Haven, Connecticut.
Photo credit: Fanfo //

New Haven-style pizza, also known as apizza, is a thin-crust pizza cooked in a coal-fired oven. It’s popular in Connecticut, especially in New Haven, because it’s believed to be one of the earliest styles of pizza introduced to the United States by Italian immigrants.

Delaware: Slippery Dumplings

Traditional dish of the American South, dumplings and chicken, green peas in a gray ceramic plate on a brown concrete background. Family meals. American food. Served with cornbread Photo Formats 6000 × 4000 pixels • 50.8 × 33.9 cm • DPI 300 • JPG 1000 × 667 pixels • 8.5 × 5.6 cm • DPI 300 • JPG 500 × 334 pixels • 4.2 × 2.8 cm • DPI 300 • JPG
Photo credit: Happy_food_photo //

Slippery Dumpling is a comforting dish made with tender chicken, broth, and dumplings. It’s popular in Delaware due to the state’s rich poultry industry and the influence of Southern cuisine.

Florida: Key Lime Pie

Slice of key lime pie on plate with limes
Photo credit: RobininPA //

Key Lime Pie is a tart and creamy dessert made with key lime juice, condensed milk, and a graham cracker crust. It’s popular in Florida because the Florida Keys are known for their abundant key lime trees, and the pie has become a symbol of the region.

Georgia: Peach Cobbler

Easy to Make Peach Cobbler
Photo credit: Kendra Reeder //

Peach Cobbler is a classic Southern dessert made with fresh peaches, sugar, and a buttery biscuit-like topping. It’s popular in Georgia, known as the Peach State, for its deliciously sweet and juicy peaches.

Hawaii: Poke

Organic food: tuna poke bowl with rice, fresh cucumbers, red cabbage and avocado close-up on the table. horizontal
Photo credit: AS Foodstudio //

Poke is a traditional Hawaiian dish consisting of raw fish (usually tuna) marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, and other seasonings. It’s popular in Hawaii due to the state’s strong connection to the ocean and fresh seafood.

Idaho: Finger Steaks

Homemade Deep Fried Idaho Finger Steaks with Fries
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker //

Finger Steaks are thin strips of beef, breaded and deep-fried, typically served with a dipping sauce like cocktail sauce or ranch dressing. They’re popular in Idaho, where potatoes and beef are abundant, and finger steaks have become a local favorite.

Illinois: Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza

Cheese pizza, Chicago style deep dish italian cheese pizza with tomato sauce.
Photo credit: Supitcha McAdam //

Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is a hearty, thick-crusted pizza with layers of cheese, toppings, and chunky tomato sauce. It’s popular in Illinois, especially in Chicago, as an iconic representation of the city’s unique pizza culture.

Indiana: Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

Traditional Indiana Pork tenderloin sandwich similar to the Wiener Schnitzel and is popular in the Midwest region of the United States,
Photo credit: Fanfo //

A pork tenderloin sandwich features a breaded and fried pork cutlet served on a bun with various toppings. It’s popular in Indiana due to its agricultural heritage and the abundance of pork production.

Iowa: Corn on the Cob

Delicious grilled corn
Photo credit: Ivan Danik //

Corn on the Cob is a simple yet delicious dish where fresh sweet corn is boiled or grilled and served with butter and salt. It’s popular in Iowa due to the state’s reputation as a major corn-producing region.

Kansas: Kansas City-style BBQ

Kansas City Style BBQ pork ribs
Photo credit: Mohammad-amin asareh //

Kansas City-style BBQ is known for its slow-smoked meats, particularly beef, pork, and ribs, with a rich tomato and molasses-based sauce. It’s popular in Kansas due to the city’s BBQ heritage and annual BBQ competitions.

Kentucky: Hot Brown

Homemade Baked Kentucky Hot Brown with Bacon Chicken and Cream Sauce
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker //

Hot Brown is an open-faced sandwich made with turkey, bacon, tomatoes, and Mornay sauce, then broiled until bubbly and browned. It’s popular in Kentucky, originating from Louisville’s Brown Hotel in the 1920s.

Louisiana: Gumbo

Traditional Creole cajun court bouillon with fish and seafood gumbo chowder stew as top view in a pot
Photo credit: hlphoto //

Gumbo is a flavorful stew with a mix of meat (often sausage, chicken, or seafood), vegetables, and a thick roux-based broth. It’s popular in Louisiana, reflecting the state’s rich culinary heritage and diverse cultural influences.

Maine: Lobster Roll

Lobster roll. Classic New England seafood sandwich. Lobster with lemon juice, mayo, butter, celery, scallions, dill, salt, pepper on a toasted hot dog bun. Served with Potato chips or French fries.
Photo credit: Marie Sonmez Photography //

Lobster Rolls are a classic New England dish made with fresh lobster meat mixed with mayonnaise and served in a toasted hot dog bun. It’s popular in Maine due to the state’s abundant lobster fisheries.

Maryland: Crab Cakes

Organic Homemade Crab Cakes with Lemon and Tartar Sauce
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker //

Crab Cakes are patties made with crab meat, breadcrumbs, and seasonings, then pan-fried or baked until golden. They’re popular in Maryland because of the Chesapeake Bay’s famous blue crabs.

Massachusetts: Clam Chowder

Homemade New England Clam Chowder with Crackers
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker //

Clam Chowder is a creamy soup made with clams, potatoes, onions, and sometimes bacon. It’s popular in Massachusetts, particularly in Boston, as a comforting and hearty dish.

Michigan: Coney Island Hot Dog

Homemade Coney Island hot dog on a rustic wooden board on a white wooden background, side view. Close-up.
Photo credit: Liudmyla Chuhunova //

Coney Island Hot Dog is a steamed hot dog topped with chili, onions, and mustard. It’s popular in Michigan, especially in Detroit and Flint, due to the state’s large population of Greek immigrants who brought the dish to the region.

Minnesota: Juicy Lucy

Hamburger with cheddar cheese
Photo credit: LRuslan Mitin //

Juicy Lucy is a cheese-stuffed burger, with the cheese inside the meat patty instead of on top. It’s popular in Minnesota, particularly in Minneapolis and St. Paul, where several restaurants claim to have originated this cheesy delight.

Mississippi: Mississippi Mud Pie

Mississippi Mud Pie
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Mississippi Mud Pie is a rich and indulgent dessert made with chocolate, and coffee, and often served with whipped cream or ice cream. It’s popular in Mississippi, representing the state’s love for chocolate and decadent desserts.

Missouri: Toasted Ravioli

Toasted ravioli sprinkled with parmesan cheese with marinara sauce garnished with parsley on a white plate at an Italian restaurant on The Hill in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
Photo credit: kevtravels //

Toasted Ravioli is breaded and deep-fried ravioli, usually filled with meat or cheese. It’s popular in Missouri, particularly in St. Louis, as a tasty appetizer or snack.

Montana: Bison Burger

Grass Fed Bison Hamburger with Lettuce and Cheese
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker //

A Bison burger features a juicy burger patty made from lean and flavorful bison meat. It’s popular in Montana, as the state has a significant population of bison and celebrates its Western heritage.

Nebraska: Runza Sandwich

Omaha, Nebraska - 2021: Runza Restaurant meal with a Runza sandwich, onion rings, and drink. Bag with Runza logo and "Runza makes it all better" motto.
Photo credit: EWY Media //

A Runza Sandwich is a savory pastry filled with ground beef, cabbage, and onions. It’s popular in Nebraska, where it’s considered a comfort food and is often associated with German-Russian immigrants.

Nevada: Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp Cocktail
Photo credit: Warren Jennings //

A Shrimp Cocktail is a dish of chilled cooked shrimp served with a tangy cocktail sauce. It’s popular in Nevada, particularly in Las Vegas, as a classic appetizer in many restaurants and casinos.

New Hampshire: New England Boiled Dinner

Jiggs dinner - traditional meal of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
Photo credit: Fanfo //

New England Boiled Dinner consists of corned beef or ham, potatoes, cabbage, and other vegetables boiled together. It’s popular in New Hampshire, reflecting the state’s New England heritage.

New Jersey: Taylor Ham

Taylor ham, pork roll, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich on a kaiser roll with salt pepper and ketchup from New Jersey
Photo credit: Ezume Images //

Taylor Ham, also known as Pork Roll, is a processed pork product often served as a breakfast meat or in sandwiches. It’s popular in New Jersey, where it’s a regional specialty and a staple in many breakfast diners.

New Mexico: Green Chile Stew

New Mexico Green Chile Stew, close up
Photo credit: Fanfo //

Green Chile Stew is a hearty and spicy soup made with green chile peppers, meat (such as pork or beef), and vegetables. It’s popular in New Mexico, where green chiles are a central part of the state’s cuisine.

New York: New York-style Pizza

New York style pizza
Photo credit: MariaKovaleva //

New York-style pizza is a large, thin-crusted pizza with a foldable slice, often topped with a simple tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. It’s popular in New York, especially in New York City, as a quintessential grab-and-go meal.

North Carolina: North Carolina BBQ

North Carolina barbecue ; pulled pork, hush puppies, baked beans and coleslaw
Photo credit: bonchan //

North Carolina BBQ features slow-cooked pork, usually pulled or chopped, and served with a vinegar-based sauce. It’s popular in North Carolina due to its rich barbecue tradition and regional variations.

North Dakota: Knoephla Soup

Homemade Italian cream soup with gnocchi, chicken and spinach served with bread close-up in a bowl on the table. Horizontal top view from above
Photo credit: AS Foodstudio //

Knoephla Soup is a hearty soup made with dumplings, potatoes, and sometimes chicken or vegetables. It’s popular in North Dakota, where German-Russian immigrants brought this comforting dish.

Ohio: Cincinnati-style Chili

Homemade Cincinnati Chili Spaghetti with Cheese and Onion
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker //

Cincinnati-style Chili is a unique chili dish seasoned with cinnamon, cloves, and served over spaghetti with cheese and onions. It’s popular in Ohio, particularly in Cincinnati, where it has become a local favorite.

Oklahoma: Chicken-Fried Steak

A crispy chicken fried steak with cheesy potatoes, eggs and gravy.
Photo credit: Shane Trotter //

Chicken-Fried Steak is a breaded and fried steak, similar to fried chicken but made with beef. It’s popular in Oklahoma as a hearty comfort food with Southern influences.

Oregon: Marionberry Pie

Six homemade fresh fruit pies on a tray made with strawberries raspberries blueberries blackberries
Photo credit: Zigzag Mountain Art //

Marionberry Pie is a sweet and tart pie made with marionberries, a type of blackberry grown in Oregon. It’s popular in Oregon due to the state’s abundant berry production.

Pennsylvania: Philly Cheesesteak

Philly cheesesteak sandwich made with steak, cheese and onions on a hoagie roll with french fries on a wooden board
Photo credit: Charles Brutlag //

Philly Cheesesteak is a sandwich made with thinly sliced beefsteak, melted cheese, and often topped with onions and peppers. It’s popular in Pennsylvania, particularly in Philadelphia, as an iconic street food.

Rhode Island: Rhode Island Clam Cake

Fried Clam Cakes at a Rhode Island restaurant served in a paper basket on wooden table with condiments
Photo credit: Rabbitti //

Rhode Island Clam Cake is a deep-fried dough ball with bits of clam, served as a popular snack in Rhode Island’s coastal regions.

South Carolina: Shrimp and Grits

Homemade Shrimp and Grits with Pork and Cheddar
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker //

Shrimp and Grits is a dish made with sautéed shrimp served over creamy, buttery grits. It’s popular in South Carolina, reflecting the state’s coastal heritage and love for seafood.

South Dakota: Chislic

Barbecue Grilled pork shashlik kebabs meat on metal skewer on cutting board rustic style
Photo credit: Mikhail_Dragunov //

Chislic is a dish of cubed and grilled meat, traditionally made with lamb or beef, seasoned with garlic salt. It’s popular in South Dakota, particularly during festivals and gatherings.

Tennessee: Hot Chicken

Top View Of Fried Chicken with Wooden Table Top Surface. Famous Nashville Hot Chicken with Pickled Cucumber. Crispy Fried Chicken Breast with Skin On.
Photo credit: Eakrat //

Hot Chicken is a spicy fried chicken dish seasoned with cayenne pepper and served with pickles and white bread. It’s popular in Tennessee, especially in Nashville, where it was invented.

Texas: Tex-Mex

Mexican food mix on blue background. Top view
Photo credit: Tatjana Baibakova //

Tex-Mex cuisine is a blend of Texan and Mexican flavors, with dishes like fajitas, enchiladas, and chili con carne being particularly popular in Texas.

Utah: Funeral Potatoes

Homemade Funeral Potatoes Casserole with Cheese and Chives
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker //

Funeral Potatoes is a casserole dish made with potatoes, cheese, and a creamy sauce, often served at funerals and potluck gatherings. It’s popular in Utah as a comforting and easy-to-make dish.

Vermont: Maple Syrup

Bennington, Vermont - September 30th, 2019: Variety of New England maple syrup for sale at a general store in Bennington.
Photo credit: jenlo8 //

Maple Syrup from Vermont is a sweet, sugary syrup made from the sap of sugar maple trees. It’s popular in Vermont, where the state’s abundant maple trees make it a significant part of the local culture.

Virginia: Virginia Ham

ham sliced roasted baked virginia with pineapple chunks
Photo credit: rj lerich //

Virginia Ham is a dry-cured ham that has been aged and is known for its distinctive flavor. It’s popular in Virginia, particularly in Smithfield, where it’s a local specialty.

Washington: Pacific Salmon

Fresh salmon
Photo credit: sbarabu //

Pacific Salmon is a type of wild-caught salmon found in the waters of the Pacific Northwest. It’s popular in Washington, reflecting the state’s connection to the ocean and fishing heritage.

West Virginia: Pepperoni Roll

Fresh hot pepperoni and cheese Italian stromboli on display
Photo credit: Ezume Images //

Pepperoni Roll is a soft roll filled with pepperoni, often served as a portable snack or quick meal. It’s popular in West Virginia, where it was invented to cater to the state’s coal miners.

Wisconsin: Cheese Curds

Beer Battered Wisconsin Cheese Curds with Dipping Sauce
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker //

Cheese curds are bite-sized pieces of cheese, usually cheddar, that have been separated from the whey during the cheese-making process. They can be served fresh or deep-fried. If served fresh, they will “squeak” when you eat them. They’re popular in Wisconsin, a state known for its dairy industry.

Wyoming: Buffalo Burger

Buffalo Burger dinner
Photo credit: Dany Gzz //

Wyoming is known for its vast ranch lands and abundant wildlife, and buffalo (also known as bison) have been an important part of the state’s history and culture.

Buffalo burgers are made from lean buffalo meat, which has a rich, slightly sweet flavor. The meat is lower in fat and cholesterol compared to beef, making it a healthier alternative while still being delicious and flavorful.

Many restaurants and eateries throughout Wyoming serve buffalo burgers, often prepared with various toppings and served with local ingredients. Trying a buffalo burger allows you to experience a unique taste of the region while also supporting the state’s local ranching industry and sustainable food practices.

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pretty long redhead ginger girl eating fries chicken in studio pink background
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BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MARCH 8, 2020: Frank's Red Hot Wings spicy hot sauce for chicken, meat, and other meals.
Editorial credit: Michael Moloney /

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Na Pali coast, Kauai, Hawaii view from sea sunset cruise tour. Nature coastline landscape in Kauai island, Hawaii, USA. Hawaii travel.
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From the lush forests of Oregon to the majestic peaks of Colorado and the idyllic beaches of Florida, each of the 50 states boasts its own array of extraordinary destinations.

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Hooper, Colorado - July 14, 2014: An alien statue at the UFO watchtower near town of Hooper, in the state of Colorado, USA.
Photo credit: TLF Images //

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