America is home to some of the best food cities in the world. From iconic regional dishes to Michelin-starred restaurants, these cities offer endless culinary adventures for food lovers. Here are 10 of the top food cities in America and their famous foods that you must try when visiting.
10 Best Food Cities in The US
1. New York City, New York
New York is renowned for its diverse culinary scene ranging from street cart hot dogs and pizza to upscale dining. Iconic NYC foods include:
- Pastrami sandwich – Get one piled high at Katz’s Delicatessen for around $20.
- New York-style pizza – Grab a slice of thin crust goodness for $3 or less. Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s in Brooklyn are top picks.
- Bagels and lox – Try the classic combo at Russ & Daughters for $16.
- Cronuts – The croissant-donut hybrid was invented at Dominique Ansel Bakery. They sell for $5 each and lines form early.
2. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is famous for Cajun and Creole cuisine. Must-try dishes include:
- Beignets – Fluffy fried dough covered in powdered sugar at Cafe Du Monde for $8.
- Po’ boy – A fried seafood or meat sandwich on a baguette for around $12.
- Jambalaya – Savory rice dish with meat, vegetables and creole seasoning for $20.
- Gumbo – A hearty stew with seafood, chicken or sausage for around $15.
3. Chicago, Illinois
From hot dogs to deep dish, Chicago has several iconic foods. Top picks are:
- Deep dish pizza – Dig into a slice of cheese-filled pan pizza at Lou Malnati’s for $25.
- Chicago-style hot dog – Get one loaded with toppings at Portillo’s for $5.
- Italian beef sandwich – Slow roasted juicy beef on a French roll for $10.
- Cheesecake – Eli’s Cheesecake is known for their original plain slice for $5.
4. San Francisco, California
San Francisco is renowned for its seafood and fusion cuisine. Must eats include:
- Clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl – A San Francisco original at Boudin Bakery for $11.
- Dim sum – Bite-sized plates perfect for sharing such as potstickers and shumai. About $3-5 per plate.
- Mission-style burrito – Massive burritos stuffed with rice, beans, meat and more for around $10.
- Crab – Dungeness crab cakes or cioppino seafood stew for around $25.
5. Houston, Texas
Houston’s diverse food scene includes Tex-Mex and BBQ favorites:
- Brisket – Juicy slow-smoked brisket by the pound for $20 per pound.
- Tacos – Breakfast tacos or soft tacos with fajita meat for $2 each.
- Chili – Hearty beef chili ladled over Fritos for $5 a bowl.
- Crawfish – Mudbugs boiled Cajun style and eaten by the pound for $10 per pound.
6. Tucson, Arizona
Tucson’s Sonoran cuisine features Southwestern and Mexican flavors. Foods to try:
- Nopalitos – Grilled cactus with onions and cilantro for around $10.
- Chimichanga – Meat, cheese and more fried in a burrito wrap for $12.
- Sonoran hot dog – Bacon-wrapped hot dog loaded with toppings for $4.
- Machaca – Shredded beef scrambled with eggs, onions and peppers for $10.
7. Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland cuisine includes ethnic favorites and farm-to-table fare:
- Pierogi – Eastern European stuffed dumplings for $10.
- Polish boy – Grilled sausage served on a bun with fries and BBQ sauce for $8.
- Beef on weck – Roast beef on a kummelweck roll with horseradish for $11.
- Lake perch – Freshwater fish in the perch family fried up $20.
8 Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville highlights the flavors of Appalachia with local craft beer and farm products:
- Chicken and waffles – Fried chicken served on a Belgian waffle for $15.
- Trout – Freshly caught rainbow trout grilled or blackened for $25.
- Biscuits – Flaky, savory biscuits often served with jam, gravy or chicken for $5.
- Local beer – Craft beers from the 100+ area breweries for $5-10.
9. Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is famous for bourbon and Southern cuisine:
- Hot brown – Open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon and cheese sauce for $12.
- Burgoo – A meaty stew loaded with chicken, pork and vegetables for $18.
- Derby pie – Chocolate and walnut pie that’s a Kentucky classic for $5 a slice.
- Mint julep – Sweet bourbon cocktail with mint served at the Kentucky Derby for $12.
10. Greenville, South Carolina
Greenville’s creative Southern cuisine uses local farms and artisans:
- Fried green tomatoes – Unripe tomatoes fried in cornmeal for $8.
- Shrimp and grits – Cheesy grits topped with gulf shrimp in a spicy gravy for $18.
- Country ham on biscuit – Salty cured ham with homemade biscuits and redeye gravy for $12.
- Peach cobbler – Sweet summer peaches baked in a flaky pastry for $7.
So there you have it – 10 of the top foodie cities in America and the iconic foods you must try in each. Let your tastebuds travel the country and experience the diverse flavors that make American cuisine special. Enjoy eating your way through the foods that define these cities!