Food in the US has been influenced by many different cuisines. You can find plenty of these traditional cuisines still going strong, but you can also find plenty of dishes that have developed their own American identity. Some foods are representative not just of the US, but of specific regions, states, and cities. If you’re a foodie who wants to experience the country through food, or you just want to try some of the most iconic things to eat across the states, there are some cities that you have to visit. Here are some of the top destinations if you want to seek out legendary American dishes.
New Orleans, LA
New Orleans is one of the best places you can visit if you love food. You’ll find amazing cuisines that were developed in the US, including Creole and Cajun food, as well as soul food. There are several iconic foods you can enjoy while visiting the city and plenty of amazing eateries where you can try them. If you’re planning a trip to New Orleans, some of the things you might want to seek out are po’boys, jambalaya, gumbo, Shrimp Creole, and more. The food in Louisiana is influenced by French, West African, Spanish, and Native American cuisines.
Italian food is something that you can find across the US, with large Italian-American populations in many places. Of course, pizza is one of the most popular Italian options, but several US states have made it their own. In Chicago, the most well-known version of the Italian staple is the deep-dish pizza. With its tall crust, it has cheese and tomato sauce in larger proportions than you’d ever find on a pizza in Rome or Florence. Another Chicago must-have is the Chicago-style hotdog, which always has mustard but should never have ketchup.
If there’s one thing you can usually find a version of in most places, it’s a sandwich. While Louisiana has the po’boy, Philadelphia has the cheesesteak. A lot of people visit the city just to track down the best Philly cheesesteak. The sandwich is made from thinly-sliced beefsteak and melted cheese, which is served in a hoagie. You can also find variations of the cheesesteak throughout the city, which often replace the meat with something vegetarian such as mushrooms or swap it out for chicken. You can even discover vegan versions that swap both the steak and cheese for vegan alternatives.
Barbecue is another cuisine that you will find many variations of throughout the US, particularly in the south, and everyone will claim that their way is the correct way. There’s no one city that does barbecue best, but Memphis is definitely one of the options that you don’t want to miss. The dry-rubbed style with sauce on the side is pretty distinct and you can find sauces with bases of tomato, vinegar, or mustard, depending on where you go (other styles often favor just one of these). You can find both traditional and contemporary BBQ places to visit.
Try these top places for iconic American dishes if you’re a foodie looking for somewhere new to travel!
Which city do you think has the best food?
Thank you for reading!