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Your Favorite American Regional Foods

Members of the community made the following nominations for their favorite American regional specialties. The list is far from comprehensive, but it’s a starting point for contemplating the good eats that await you on your travels.


Member comments follow a few entries. See the original thread on our forums—or add your favorites in the comments below.

New England and the Mid-Atlantic

Bagels: New York "Not the fake Wonder Bread bagels—but real bagels that are chewy and almost tough." —nytraveler
Blueberry pie: Maine
Cheese steaks: Philadelphia
Clam chowder: New England
Corn chowder: Maryland
Crab cakes: Maryland
Fried clams: Massachusetts
Half-smokes: Washington, D.C.
Indian pudding: New England
Knishes: New York
Lobster rolls: New England
Maple syrup: New England
Pastrami: New York
Shoo-fly pie: Pennsylvania

The South

Barbecue: North Carolina
Beignets: Louisiana
Boiled peanuts: South Carolina
Boudin: Louisiana
Country ham: Kentucky
Cuban sandwiches: Miami
Étouffée: Louisiana
Fried green tomatoes: The Deep South
Mufaletta: Louisiana
Red beans and rice: Louisiana
Ropa vieja: South Florida
Shrimp and grits: Charleston, S.C.

The Midwest and the Rockies

Chili four-way: Cincinnati
Deep-dish pizza: Chicago
Hot dogs: Chicago
Huckleberries: Montana and Wyoming
Runza sandwiches: Nebraska "Bread stuffed with ground beef and cabbage." —Musicfan
Toasted ravioli: St. Louis
Walleye pike: Minnesota
Wild rice soup: Minnesota

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The Southwest

Barbecue: Texas
Chicken-fried steak: Texas: "One of the few things I miss about no longer living in Texas." —PaulRabe
Fry sauce: Southern Utah
Gulf shrimp: Texas
Hatch chile: New Mexico: "Posole: a stew with dried hominy wouldn’t be the same without it." —ElendilPickle
Indian fry bread: Arizona
Sopapillas: New Mexico
Sonoran enchiladas: Arizona

The West Coast

Apples: Central Washington
Artichokes: Central California
Carne asada burrito: San Diego
Cioppino: San Francisco
Dungeness crab: Northern California
Fish/produce: Washington: "In thinking about the food I grew up with I remember the ingredients more than any singular dish—crab, trout, salmon, clams and oysters, berries, apples, etc., all served simply and with coffee or espresso." —POlson
Fish tacos: San Diego
Sourdough bread: San Francisco

Alaska and Hawaii

Dried Salmon: Alaska
Eskimo Ice Cream (Akutaq): Alaska
Macadamia Nuts: Hawaii
Plate Lunch: Hawaii
Salmonberry: Alaska
Shave Ice: Hawaii

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