Top Ten foods to try in the USA

Published July 27th, 2012

Ahhh the USA. It’s the land of supersize, soul food and deathly burgers. Where pizzas are pies, doughnuts are glazed and corn dogs are covered in chilli. Sure it’s possible to eat salads and sushi across the 50 states – but where is the fun in that? If you’re looking to taste your way through your USA holiday, leave the diet at home and don’t miss these top ten foods to try.


HotdogsHotdogs in New York
No trip to New York is without a hot dog. They’re as much a New York institution as the subway and Central Park. While you could go for the classic with tomato and mustard, NYC has plenty of other delicious and weird options to choose from including the fancy Kobe Beef dog, an exotic Asia Dog with mango, cucumber and fish sauce, or a Crif Dog where you can make your hot dog as wacky as you like – bacon, cream cheese, sour cream pineapple? You got it.


Cornbread in the south
Often referred to as the ‘cornerstone’ of southern food, cornbread is as the name suggests – a type of break made using ground corn, also known as maize. Originating from recipes created by Native Americans, Cornbread is usually baked or friend and often looks like a dense version of sponge cake. Today, Cornbread comes in a range of shapes and flavours from sweet cornbread muffins to plain corn bread served with chilli.


Cheesesteaks in Philadelphia
Philadelphia is best known for two things; Will Smith and cheesesteaks. While the Fresh Prince may have packed his bags and moved to Bel Air along time ago, cheesesteaks have remained the hallmark of the east coast city. The beloved meal was famously invented by Pat and Harry Olivieri in the 1930s, who served pieces of steak with onion and melted cheese on a long bread roll. The tasty cheesey meal is now sold all throughout the USA, from restaurants to food carts, but no matter where you eat it, it’s still referred to as a Philly Cheesesteak.


Deep pan pizza in Chicago

In Chicago, they take their pizza seriously. So seriously in fact that their pizza’s are almost pies, cooked in deep dishes with chunky tomato sauce and three inch high crust. Chicago has been cooking deep pan pizzas since the fifties and they don’t plan on stopping. Dig into an original Chicagoan deep dish pizza at Uno Chicago Grill.


Barbecue Ribs in Kansas City

Kansas City knows how to barbecue. Their slow, smoked, barbecue-pit technique has been around since the early 1900s, so they’ve had a long time to perfect it. At the top of the list at a Kansas barbecue are ribs, made famous by the city’s barbecue inventor Henry Perry in 1908. As such, Kansas has plenty of barbecue restaurants to satisfy your smoky, saucy, meaty cravings. Messy eating at its best.


Fish Tacos in San Diego

Thanks to a large Mexican population as well as a prime position for seafood, fish tacos come naturally to San Diego. Even if you’re not the hugest seafood fan (what’s wrong with you!) these tacos will blow your mind and in true American style often involve deep frying, lots of cheese and a smothering of sauce.


Lobsters in Maine

The east coast state of Maine has long been touted as the lobster state of America, harvesting the most lobsters than anywhere else in America. Since lobster or any seafood is best eaten fresh straight from the sea, the restaurants and stalls along Maine’s coastline can’t help but boast the best lobster. Take a seat beside the sea, don yourself with napkins and dig in to some of the freshest lobster you’ll find in the USA.


Clam chowder in New England

Also on seafood, if you’re heading to the New England areas of Connecticut, Main, Massachusetts, New Hampshire or Vermont, don’t pass up the chance to try clam chowder. Thanks to its seaside position, the New England area has long been loved for its seafood, particularly clam chowder which is a thick soup that commonly includes fresh clams, potato, onions, bacon and celery. New England’s style of chowder also includes milk or cream and is accompanied with oyster crackers.


Key Lime Pie

Key lime pie in Key West

Key lime pie in America is very similar to the lemon meringue pie we have at home, except instead of lemons – yep, you guessed it – they use key limes, which have a pale yellow juice. The home of the yellow, meringue topped pie is in Key West, Florida, where it originated from in the late 19th century. Key lime pies are also the ‘Official Pie of the State of Florida’ – just in case you were wondering.


Cream cheese bagel in New York

A simple combination, but then again sometimes the best things in life are. Cream cheese smushed on a bagel is often considered to be a traditional part of American Jewish cuisine. As New York is home to America’s largest Jewish community, you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll find a good one on the streets of Queens and Brooklyn. Head to Ess-a-Bagel on First Avenue or Murray’s Bagels on Sixth for some chewy and cheesy perfection.


Lauren Burvill

Australian born but London based, I'm a sucker for big cities and small tropical islands. When travelling, I like eating like a local, dressing like a local, but staying in 5 star style. Have a travel story to share? Tweet me @laurenburvill.