Top Picks For You

America’s 10 Best Food Finds from Serious Eats

By Ed Levine and the Editors of Serious Eats

When we found out that Serious Eats, our favorite foodie blog, was publishing a book on the best food in America, we got an exclusive list of the most travel-worthy, must-try dishes in the country. From the authorities on all things delicious, here are their picks.

Hoosier Mama Pie Company

Chicago, Illinois
"I would board a plane at a moment’s notice to have a piece of whatever flaky-crusted magic Paula Haney had baked that day. Morning, noon, or night, Paula’s pies hit the spot."
—Ed Levine, author


Seattle, Washington
"This Caribbean spot in Seattle roasts up juicy, drippy pork shoulder that’s heavy on the lemon and garlic, with huge rings of sloppy caramelized onions and an insanely garlicky mayonnaise, on a crunchy baguette from Seattle’s amazing La Macrina bakery. On a 36-hour trip to Seattle, during which we had to hit 20 restaurants, we went back to Paseo three times."
—Carey Jones, editor

Tasty N Sons

Portland, Oregon
"Shakshuka (Israeli poached eggs in tomato sauce) at Tasty N Sons may have been the highlight of our Portland, Oregon book-research tour. Molten, spicy, and flavorful, perfect for a rainy day (of which Portland has a few). Worth the trip back."
—Maggie Hoffman, editor

Pane and Pizzeria Bianco

Phoenix, Arizona
"The plan was to have dinner (or whatever you call your sixth meal at 5 p.m.) at Pizzeria Bianco and sandwiches from Pane Bianco earlier in the day. I can’t think of a better amuse-bouche to Chris Bianco’s pizzas than his sandwiches. The bread is baked in a wood-burning oven and achieves that same perfect chew and brown crackly bubbles that his crust does. The sandwich menu is simple; my favorite was actually the tuna with red onions, olives, and lemon-spritzed arugula. Am I really picking a tuna sandwich for this elite group of would-travel-for foods? I guess so."
 —Erin Zimmer, editor

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Boston, Massachusetts
". . .the lunch burger "messy style" at Toro in Boston. An insanely juicy short rib patty seared on a 900°F plancha topped with a goopy mix of mayonesa, crumbled cotija cheese, lime juice, and hot red pepper."
—J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, editor

Pie N’ Burger

Pasadena, California
". . .the perfectly-proportioned classic California-style thin, griddled burger from Pie N’ Burger in Pasadena. It’s got the perfect combination of well-seared, salty beef, crisp vegetables, a whole lot of pickles, and sweet tangy sauce on a soft bun."
—J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, editor


New Orleans, Louisiana
"I’d fly back to New Orleans for an oyster po’ boy (actually, I have—we went on a po’ boy-only one-day sandwich trip). At Domillse’s, a cheery yellow-painted outfit in residential Garden District that’s equal parts bar, sandwich shop, and family rec room, po’ boys are perfect exercises in proportion. Fat-bellied oysters, dropped in the fryer only once you place an order, are piled on thin-crusted loaves from the esteemed Leidenheimer Baking Company—mayo and ketchup commingle into a sweet, creamy dressing that blinds the crusty seafood to the bread. Grip down on that bread and the oysters start to fall apart, fusing their delicious sweet brine into the sandwich innards."
—Carey Jones, editor

Waiola Shave Ice

Honolulu, Hawaii
"When I first visited Hawaii, the thing I most wanted to eat was shave ice, known to the rest of the world as shaved ice. But it deserves a different name because it’s about 1,000 percent better than most shaved ice. At Waiola, the ice is shaved as finely as snow, or even more finely, and completely soaked in syrup. No crunchy ice crystals or syrup-less spoonfuls to be found—the way shaved ice should be." 
—Robyn Lee, editor

Northpoint Custard

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
"We went to Northpoint Custard in Milwaukee to try their burgers and frozen custard, but the best item ended up being their fried cheese curds. Out of all the forms of fried cheese in the world, fried cheese curds are easily my favorite—salty, crispy, gooey, and a bit chewy. They’re great even when they’re not fresh. I know because I ate the leftovers."
—Robyn Lee, editor


Portland, Oregon
"Another sandwich pick! This Czech cart in Portland serves a Frisbee-sized schnitzel ‘wich that still pops into my dreams. The fried cutlet (pork, chicken, or porotbello) dwarfs the ciabatta it attempts to stay contained in. The Czech couple running the show squirts ajvar (a bright red pepper spread) and sour creamy horseradish in there, along with caramelized onions." 
—Erin Zimmer, editor

For the thousands of dedicated readers who flock to each day, and for those who simply take joy in food, founder Ed Levine and his team present Serious Eats: A Comprehensive Guide to Making & Eating Delicious Food Wherever You Are, the ultimate guide, including 50 recipes, to everything you ever wanted to know about food in America.
For more information, click here.

Photo credits: courtesy of Serious Eats

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