Forget the Twinkies and deep-fried Oreos, done well, American food can be a taste sensation and various parts of the country have their own specialties to look out for.
Here we take a look at the signature dishes and various styles across the USA.
New York cheesecake – New York City
You may be feasting on buttery bagels and crispy cronuts in the city that never sleeps, but it’s the cheesecake that’s the winner in the Big Apple. Since 1950, Junior’s (various locations - www.juniorscheesecake.com) has been serving up their famous baked cheesecake in myriad flavours. We recommend trying the original New York cheesecake – creamy and tart, it’s what dessert dreams are made of.
Miami Famous for its outdoor beach lifestyle, Miami’s fusion of cultures also makes for a vast range of cuisines styles. And one the simplest offerings is among the best. With its strong Cuban influences, it’s no wonder the Cuban sandwich is a favourite that has spread across the country. Pop into the Little Havana landmark known as Versailles (www.versaillesrestaurant.com), for a legendary sweet ham, roast pork and Swiss cheese toasted sandwich.
Barbecued brisket - Austin
Texans take their barbecuing seriously. For mouth-watering brisket and true southern sides, head straight to Franklin's Barbecue (www.franklinbbq.com) in Austin. Be prepared for long queues however especially at lunch times but trust us - it’s worth it. Just don’t forget to save room for a slice of their sticky pecan pie.
Gumbo – New Orleans
It's not all barbecue and cowboy boots in the south, New Orleans is known for its flavour-packed Creole cuisine. You’ll want to go straight to the Gumbo Shop (www.gumboshop.com) in New Orleans’ French Quarter for your fix of a hearty Louisiana stew. And you can’t leave without trying a beignet or two, but be warned, these sweet French doughnuts are addictive.
Breakfast burrito – Los Angeles
If you’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying Mexican cuisine for breakfast, you’re missing out. It may sound a bit odd to start the day but if it’s the real thing, it’s quite a treat. Head to Lucky Boy in Pasadena (www.luckyboyburgers.com) to try one of the best brekky burritos going around, complete with crunchy hash browns, scrambled eggs, crispy bacon and loads of melted cheddar cheese. Then plan a big walking day to burn it off!
Sourdough and soup – San Francisco
Since the Gold Rush of the 1840s-50s, San Francisco’s sourdough has had a long and delicious history. If you feel like tucking into a crusty loaf, head straight to Boudin Bakery and Café (www.boudinbakery.com). This San Francisco landmark at Fisherman’s Wharf is where you’ll also find the Bay area’s trademark clam chowder. You can even enjoy your soup here in a sourdough bread bowl.
Fried chicken – Kansas City
For delicious naughty food at its best, head to Kansas City. Sit down to a plate of moist and golden fried chicken at Rye KC (www.ryekc.com) , a modern restaurant specialising in farm-to-table American fare. You’ll also find other classic American dishes including hush puppies, hot wings and burnt ends. Needless to say, you won’t leave hungry.
Deep dish pizza – Chicago
If you love pizza, you’re going to fall head over heels for America’s deep dish-style style. Follow the phenomenon and find the nation’s cheesiest creations in Chicago. You may have to wait in line, but Giordano’s (www.giordanos.com) is perhaps the most famous pizza shop in the city and for good reason.
Published under license from Well Travelled.