America's Top 50 Must-Try Foods: The Best From Each State

Ever wondered which state has the best tasting food? This list is here to help!

Tal Garner
Created by Tal Garner
On Nov 23, 2020

Whether you're planning a cross-country road trip or you're a foodie (in which case, welcome to the club!), it's neat to know which state has the most of the food you love most. The US is full of incredible eating options, and each state actually specializes in a few. So grab a snack and read ahead to find out where you should visit next!

*warning: not advised to read on an empty stomach

1

Alabama: Gumbo

Combining Alabama's great seafood and occasionally cold weathers, gumbo is definitely a state favorite! This dish is a regular on the dinner table and in restaurants all over, often referred to as a must-have meal.

2

Alaska: Salmon

Cold-water seafood is a huge part of the cuisine in Alaska, and it's not hard to tell why. The quality of Alaskan salmon is sought out from all over, meaning if you want the freshest of the fresh, it's time to head over to Alaska!

3

Arizona: Chimichangas

Bet you didn't realize this dish is of American origin, right? As legend has it, the chimichanga was invented in Tucson, Arizona, when the restaurant's founder accidentally dropped a burrito in a deep fryer! Nobody's complaining though, as the accident resulted in a beautifully delicious, crispy and iconic dish.

4

Arkansas: BBQ Baked Beans

A southern staple, baked beans are huge in Arkansas. Combine that with BBQ? Done deal.

5

California: Avocado Toast

No other state has embraced the avocado quite like California! Avocado toast is one of those basic and perfectly yummy brunch dishes you just can't get wrong.

6

Colorado: Palisade Peaches

Palisade, Colorado, is known as one of the best produces of fruits in the country - and their peaches are no exception! Many will vouch for the tastiness of these peaches, which are world-famous and shipped far and wide for everyone to enjoy.

7

Connecticut: White Clam Pizza

Have you ever considered putting clams, garlic, Pecorino Romano, and oregano all on one pizza? Well lucky for us, someone in the 1960's did and this beautiful pizza was born! White clam pizza is a regional favorite that is well known in New England, and specifically in New Haven, Connecticut.

8

Delaware: Creamed-Corn Pudding

While many see this is a Thanksgiving dinner essential, people in Delaware could eat this all year long! This old-fashioned favorite is a major deal there.

9

Florida: Key Lime Pie

Looking for the ultimate dessert in Florida? This creamy pie was first invented in Key West and is commonly known as the state's best dish!

10

Georgia: Fried Chicken

Love fried chicken? You'll have absolutely no shortage of finding any in Georgia! Though you'll be fascinated to know that eating this dish with a knife, fork, spoon or any other utensil is actually illegal there. The law passed in 1961 and yes... Visitors have been arrested for breaking it.

11

Hawaii: Spam

Hawaiians love their spam. The shelf life of this product made it popular in World War II and the island locals continue to make sure they're stocked up on it, always.

12

Idaho: Potatoes

Idaho is known for its potatoes, and the state wants it to stay that way. Potatoes were actually named Idaho's official state vegetable in 2002!

13

Illinois: Deep-Dish Pizza

We've all heard someone from Chicago say they have the best deep-dish out there. Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is world famous, known for its crispy crust and incredible tomato and cheesy goodness.

14

Indiana: Country Fried Steak

Another southern cuisine staple, this pan-fried dish was made specially for meat lovers.

15

Iowa: Corn

Iowa is ranked number one in the US when it comes to corn production, and the state has over 30 million acres of farmland doing the work! Iowa corn is second to none, whether you grill it, boil it or choose to add it to any casseroles in mind.

16

Kansas: Bread

It may come as a surprise that Kansas is actually one of the largest producers of wheat in the union. In fact, Kansas' nickname is the Wheat State! Statistics show that the amount of wheat produced in the state every year could be baked into 36 billion loaves. Wow.

17

Kentucky: Derby Pie

Often associated with the Kentucky Derby, this pie is a chocolate and walnut tart in a pie shell with a pastry dough crust. The pie was created in Kentucky and will always remain a huge part of the state's top dessert options.

18

Louisiana: Crawfish

Named the state crustacean in 1983, crawfish is perhaps the most famous food in all of Louisiana. To eat them, gather a group of friends and prepare a crawfish boil, complete with potatoes, corn and sausage.

19

Maine: Lobster Rolls

If you're looking for a good lobster roll, make your way to Maine. With some of the best seafood shacks in the country, this warm and buttery delight is easy to find and enjoy.

20

Maryland: Steamed Crab

The crab was officially named the state crustacean in 1989, and it is one of the biggest must-try foods in Maryland.

21

Massachusetts: Boston Cream Pie

While Massachusetts has quite a few foods it's known for, it does have one signature dessert - Boston. Cream. Pie. Though if you're not a fan of pie, get a Boston cream doughnut instead! Both are sooo tasty.

22

Michigan: The Coney Island Hot Dog

Often referred as a classic American dinner dish, a Coney Island hot dog is a hot dog in a bun, topped with a savory meat sauce and oftentimes even more toppings.

23

Minnesota: Ju(i)cy Lucy

A Jucy (or Juicy) Lucy burger is a cheeseburger made with cheese inside the meat instead of on top. Pretty cool, huh?

24

Mississippi: Biscuits

Biscuits are another southern cuisine must-try, and it'd be very difficult to find better biscuits than the ones in Natchez, Mississippi. So what are you waiting for?

25

Missouri: Toasted Ravioli

This twist on an Italian classic is served across the state as both an appetizer and main course. Despite their name, toasted ravioli are actually deep-fried, not toasted. Make your way to Missouri if you'd like to try toasted ravioli, as this is definitely one of those dishes you'll only find in the Midwest.

26

Montana: Huckleberries

Often referred to as "Montana's purple gems," huckleberries are a big deal in Montana. Their delightfully tart flavor makes them perfect in pies, ice cream, jam, muffins and cocktails.

27

Nebraska: Runza

Considered one of the best sandwiches in the country, the Nebraska chain Runza specializes in this dish. So what is it? Specifically, a runza is a stuffed sandwich of sorts, with a rectangular yeast dough bread pocket containing a mixture of beef, cabbage, onions and other seasonings. Sounds good if you ask me!

28

Nevada: Shrimp Cocktail

Becoming extremely popular all over casinos in 1959, the shrimp cocktail is considered a retro appetizer that Nevadians love. While not so heavily desired across the country, you'll still find it on nearly every restaurant menu in Nevada.

29

New Hampshire: Apple Cider Donuts

Apple cider was declared New Hampshire's state beverage in 2010, so it only makes sense for apple cider doughnuts to be a big hit in the state. Yum.

30

New Jersey: Salt Water Taffy

We can likely attribute the popularity of salt water taffy's to the famous Jersey Shore. With the boardwalk and many cool candy shops for all visitors and locals alike, taffy is a delicious, sugary snack to go!

31

New Mexico: Chiles

If you've ever been to New Mexico, then you know chiles are practically life there. Chiles are the official state vegetable, and a spicy sauce made from chiles is served with basically every meal. 

32

New York: New York-Style Bagels

New York-style bagels are just different, okay? People say the texture that makes them special has to do with New York City's water! Apparently, its low concentrations of calcium and magnesium make it softer.

33

North Carolina: Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are a very traditional southern dish, so of course North Carolina people are pros at making them! Sprinkle a little paprika too, delish.

34

North Dakota: Chippers

Chippers are the perfect mix of sweet, salty, crunchy and creamy. Though others can attempt to make them elsewhere, chippers are everywhere in North Dakota.

35

Ohio: Baby Swiss Cheese

Turns out Ohio is the big cheese after all! The state ranks first in Swiss cheese production, producing more than one-third of the nation's total output.

36

Oklahoma: Cornbread

Cornbread is a delight all over the US, but Oklahomans do things a little differently... While most add lots of sugar making it a sweet dish, people in Oklahoma actually don't typically add any sugar at all. Interesting...

37

Oregon: Voodoo Doughnuts

Based in Portland, Oregon, with 10 additional stores located across the US, Voodoo Doughnuts are a widely loved by donut fans everywhere. Donuts are good, but specifically Voodoo Doughnuts are something else. Their unique flavors, texture and fun names attract all types of foodies.

38

Pennsylvania: Banana Split

Latrobe, Pennsylvania was acknowledged as the official birthplace of the banana split back in 2004 and we haven't looked back since. With the sweetness of bananas, ice cream, peanuts, whipped cream, cherries, sprinkles and more, what's not to like?

39

Rhode Island: Clam Chowder

Rhode Island clam chowder is special in that it has a tomato broth base and potatoes but, unlike Manhattan style, no chunks of tomato and or other vegetables. This version is a local delicacy, much preferred over the other types out there.

40

South Carolina: Boiled Peanuts

Boiled peanuts are salty and slightly mushy peanuts that can be found all across the South - but people from South Carolina enjoy the food so much, they named it the official state snack in 2006! Talk about dedication.

41

South Dakota: Frybread

As the official state bread of South Dakota, frybread has proven to be worth its hype. Frybread is a deep-fried flat, round piece of dough. It can be served either sweet (with powdered sugar or honey) or savory by being turned into a "Navajo taco" - a dish containing ground beef, beans, shredded cheese and any other classic taco toppings.

42

Tennessee: Fried Catfish

Tennessee is widely known for its love of catfish, with many restaurants specifically catering toward those who'd consider themselves part of the seafood cuisine fan club. If this sounds like something you'd be into, Tennessee is the place for you!

43

Texas: Chili Con Carne

Texans have many iconic dishes, but the official state dish is... Chili con carne! Texas chili is in its own realm of chilis. Devoted Texan chili eaters claim that all other recipes are just imposters.

44

Utah: Funeral Potatoes

Looking for the ultimate comfort food? Look no further. This potato casserole is all you'll need - combining hash browns, cheese, onions, butter and much more, this dish sounds like it has all you need to feel good.

45

Vermont: Apple Pie (with Cheddar)

If you're looking at the plate and wondering why that slice of cheese is so close to the apple pie, you must've never indulged in Vermont's apple pie. This is a long, old-fashion tradition and balances out the flavors between the two foods.

46

Virginia: Oysters

Virginians have been eating oysters since the 17th century, so it only makes sense why this food is so popular in Virginia. Again, if you're part of the seafood cuisine fan club, Virginia sounds like a place you'd enjoy!

47

Washington: Rainier Cherries

A lesser known fact - Washington State actually grows more sweet cherries than any other place in the nation. Similarly, Washington led the nation in sweet cherry production in 2017, producing over 245,000 tons. Incredible.

48

West Virginia: Pepperoni Rolls

Nearly every story you encounter in West Virginia is bound to have pepperoni rolls... But what are they?! As you may have guessed, pepperoni rolls are yeast bread rolls with pepperoni and sometimes mozzarella cheese baked inside. Think of it as an easier, on-the-go version of a pepperoni pizza, just rolled up.

49

Wisconsin: Cheese

Cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese are amongst Wisconsin's top foods. Wisconsin prides itself on having the tastiest cheese, and the residents of the state even refer to themselves as Cheeseheads. If that wasn't enough, the state's official animal is a dairy cow and cheese is their official dairy product. They really can't get enough.

50

Wyoming: Jerky

Jerky everywhere is popular due to its ease to eat, low carbs and high protein - making it the ultimate, ideal snack on many diets. As great meat comes from Wyoming, people there take full advantage of the products they can tastefully consume from their own state. Jerky, for example, is just one of them!

Which of these foods do you want to taste most?

Funeral Potatoes

Apple Cider Donuts

Avocado Toast

Clam Chowder

Ju(i)cy Lucy

White Clam Pizza

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