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Best Foods from the 50 States

By: Adriana Funke, Editor,
Best Foods from the 50 States

Each region of the U.S. is noted for different cuisines: seafood in the Northeast, Tex-Mex in the Southwest, and comfort foods in the Midwest. While foods vary regionally, they also vary from state to state in those regions. This collection of the Best Foods from the 50 States showcases the unique recipes that each state claims as its own. Many of them are twists on classics, and some are modifications of recipes from settlers and Native peoples. No matter where the recipes come from, this list shows how creative the U.S. is with its food!

This list serves as a virtual road trip through the culinary landscape of America. You can look for your state's favorite or iconic dish as well as learn about foods common in other states. Some state recipes are quite surprising!

Table of Contents


The "A" states span from the Gulf of Mexico to the Bering Sea. Try some Southern cooking with Alabama's Fried Green Tomatoes and then travel north to taste Alaska's fresh salmon dishes.


Intense flavors characterize these dishes from the spice of chili verde to the creaminess of clam chowder.


Seafood reigns as king in the East Coast's culinary tradition. Anything with fresh-caught crab is a must-try when you're next in Delaware.


Key Lime Pie is nearly synonymous with Florida. Whip up this creamy, tart pie for a refreshing dessert.


Georgia peaches are an iconic fruit. They taste even better when baked into a delicious peach cobbler or pie.


Hawaii's cuisine may seem strange to many mainland U.S. citizens, but this Loco Moco dish has several familiar elements.


From potatoes to pizza, the Midwest knows how to make the perfect comfort food. Try your hand at Chicago's famed deep dish pizza or Indiana's Hoosier Pie.


These two recipes both originated in their state's most well-known cities: Kansas City and Louisville.


Louisiana is at the heart of Cajun culture, and this gumbo is an iconic dish.


This group of states has a wide variety of dishes. Peruse through the Ms to find recipes for a lobster roll, pasty, mud pie, and bison stew.


Buckeyes are more than just a university's mascot, they're also a delicious peanut butter snack from Ohio. Oklahoma and Oregon are also represented by their state's famous food: fried okra and berry cobbler, respectively.


The Philly Cheese Steak from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, might be the most famous sandwich in America.


Rhode Island's claim to culinary fame is its variety of clam dishes.


South Carolina's dish is the famous Southern grits with an addition of shrimp. South Dakota is known for its German immigrants and the multitude of kuchen recipes they brought over.


Big, bold flavors define the food styles of Tennessee and Texas. Both states love their barbecued and smoked meats.


Utah is famous for a lot things -- the Great Salt Lake, Mormonism, the 2002 Winter Olympics. But, did you know it's also famous for the popular potluck dish, funeral potatoes?


Cider and biscuits find their homes in Vermont and Virginia.


These last recipes may seem like common knowledge: salmon from Washington state and cheese balls from Wisconsin. But if you aren't from West Virginia, did you know it's crazy about pepperoni rolls?

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