Here is what you should absolutely try in every American state.
ALABAMA: Fried green tomatoes are an iconic Southern side dish consisting of unripe tomatoes fried in cornmeal, and were made famous by the 1987 novel “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café” and the subsequent movie based on it.
ALASKA: They don’t call them king crabs for nothing: These prized crustaceans are rare and incredibly dangerous to catch, making king crab legs an expensive delicacy.
ARIZONA: Chimichangas — deep-fried and meat-filled tortillas — were allegedly invented in Tucson after a burrito was accidentally dropped into a fryer.
ARKANSAS: Cheese dip is a simple but essential part of Arkansas food culture. The state even hosts the World Cheese Dip Championship and has a cheese-dip trail.
CALIFORNIA: This state prides itself on having the best and most authentic Mexican food outside of Mexico, so try their famous spin on the cuisine with a Mission Burrito up north, and a fish taco in SoCal.
COLORADO: Feast on some light, crispy, and protein-rich Rocky Mountain Oysters (also known as Prairie Oysters) ... aka fried bull-calf testicles.
CONNECTICUT: While people like to argue about Chicago-style versus New York-style pizza, they're overlooking New Haven-style pizza, also known as "apizza," which put the small town on the map.
DELAWARE: Vinegar French fries are a Delaware mainstay. Here, spuds are soaked in vinegar, then refrigerated before getting fried. The originals can be found at Thrasher's on the Rehoboth boardwalk.
FLORIDA: Key Lime Pie is believed to have been invented by sponge fishermen in the Keys, who would have condensed milk, eggs, and lime aboard their boats when traveling for long periods of time, and no access to an oven.
GEORGIA: There's a reason Georgia is called the Peach State, so sink your teeth into a sweet, juicy peach in the form of a crispy peach pie.
HAWAII: Poké, a raw fish salad often served as an appetizer, has recently been making its way from Hawaii to the mainland.
IDAHO: Idaho is sometimes called the "Potato State," so enjoy its main crop as a creamy potato chowder with diced bacon on top.
ILLINOIS: Despite being highly polarizing (you're either a New York-style or Chicago-style pizza lover), there's no doubt that deep-dish pizza, with its thick flour-and-cornmeal crust, is Illinois' signature dish.
INDIANA: Hoosier pie, which is made with sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, and cinnamon, is Indiana's official state pie. There's even a Hoosier Pie trail for visitors.
IOWA: Similar to a German schnitzel, Iowa is famous for its pork tenderloin sandwiches, which contain a breaded and fried pork cutlet.
KANSAS: Sample the sticky, cinnamon-crusted rolls from Stroud’s, a homestyle staple in the Breadbasket of America.
KENTUCKY: Invented at the Brown Hotel in 1926, the "Hot Brown" sandwich is a Louisville classic. It's a baked, open-faced turkey sandwich that's loaded with bacon and Mornay sauce.
LOUISIANA: Po' boys are sandwiches stuffed with fried catfish, oysters, soft-shell crab, or even gator. Legend has it that they were invented by two restaurant owners and former streetcar conductors in New Orleans who created them to feed their colleagues, who were on a strike against the streetcar company in 1929.
MAINE: Maine is lobster mecca, so savor every succulent bite of a lobster roll, made with a little tangy mayo, and served on a soft hot dog bun.
MARYLAND: You can't go wrong with anything crab-related in Maryland, famous for the eponymous Maryland crab. Indulge in a tender, buttery crab cake lightly spiced with Old Bay seasoning, a Maryland original blend of herbs and spices.
MASSACHUSETTS: Clam chowder is a New England tradition — American author Joseph C. Lincoln even wrote “The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought for – or on – clam chowder; part of it at least, I am sure it was.” New England clam chowder, sometimes called Boston chowder, unlike its many impostors, is cream-based and full of potatoes — and never, ever tomatoes.
MICHIGAN: The Coney Dog, sometimes referred to as a "Michigan," is a steamed hot dog on a bun, topped with a meaty, chili-like sauce and diced onions.
MINNESOTA: The walleye is the state fish, and Minnesota eats more of it than any other state. Enjoy its soft, flaky texture on crispy bread in a walleye sandwich.
MISSISSIPPI: Almost 60% of the country’s farm-raised catfish hails from Mississippi, so it comes as no surprise that the bewhiskered fish is a popular dish here, usually grilled, blackened, or fried to crispy, flaky perfection.
MISSOURI: Breaded and deep fried ravioli, known as toasted ravioli, is a popular appetizer in Missouri, where it's usually served with a side of marinara sauce. A handful of establishments claim to have invented the dish, though most will agree it originated in "the Hill," the Italian neighborhood of St. Louis, when a ravioli was accidentally dropped in a deep fryer.
MONTANA: Savor a sweet and rich slice of huckleberry pie. The berries are native to high altitudes, like the high mountains of Montana, and make the perfect filling for a decadent pie.
NEBRASKA: Runzas — meat-filled bread pockets — can be found all throughout Nebraska. Similar to a homemade Hot Pocket, they make for a savory and hearty snack or lunch.
NEVADA: The most iconic Vegas meal? Surely an all-you-can-eat hotel buffet.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: With over 30 orchards that offer the chance to pick fresh apples, New Hampshire is known for having a delicious apple crisp — apples covered in sugar, cinnamon, oats, and butter. Top it with a scoop of fresh ice cream.
NEW JERSEY: Pork roll (or Taylor ham) is a well-known regional staple in New Jersey and consists of a processed pork product made with a mix of salt, spices, and sugar cure before being smoked and packaged. Try it in a breakfast sandwich with egg and cheese.
NEW MEXICO: With chili peppers as one of its state vegetables, New Mexico is known for producing fresh, hot chili-based sauces that are poured on everything from eggs to enchiladas.
NEW YORK: There are so many great foods in New York, but bagels have to be the most synonymous with the city — yep, even more so than pizza. Eat them with a hefty shmear for extra authenticity.
NORTH CAROLINA: In this state, BBQ translates to succulent, slow-cooked pork that is chopped or shredded and drowned either in a tangy vinegar sauce or a sweet, ketchup-infused sauce.
NORTH DAKOTA: Bison can be found all over North Dakota, and so many restaurants serve bison burgers: Lean and juicy bison patties stacked between a bun with crisp lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and other toppings.
OHIO: For those who have a sweet tooth, go for buckeyes — peanut-butter-fudge pieces that are partially dipped in chocolate to resemble the nut of the Ohio buckeye tree.
OKLAHOMA: Oklahoma is a major cattle-ranching state that produces incredibly fresh and tender meat. Chicken-fried steak is a scrumptious, breaded piece of thin and tenderized beefsteak that often comes with sides like fried okra and grits.
OREGON: Oregon is renowned for its berries and the marionberry is no exception. Dubbed the "Cabernet of blackberries" thanks to their complex flavor, they are a popular choice for pie fillings. Top off your slice with a scoop of creamy ice cream for an unforgettable dessert.
PENNSYLVANIA: Make sure to try the famous cheesesteak in Philadelphia, which consists of a long, crusty roll stuffed with rib-eye beef and either melted Provolone cheese or Cheese Whiz. Toppings can include fried onions, mushrooms, and peppers.
RHODE ISLAND: Clam cakes are a Rhode Island classic — clams are chopped up straight into dough, then deep-fried.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Shrimp and Grits — fresh shrimp served on a bed of simmered milled corn — is a classic dish in South Carolina. Mix-ins can include everything from bacon, garlic, and lemon to mushroom and scallions.
SOUTH DAKOTA: Enjoy a piece of kuchen — the German word for cake and the official state dessert of South Dakota. Kuchen comes in varieties that include pie-like pastries, coffee cakes, cheesecakes, and rolled pastries.
TENNESSEE: In Memphis, the city’s succulent pork ribs reign supreme. They can be ordered “wet” (with a tomato-based sauce) or “dry” (with a rub of spices).
TEXAS: Texas has plenty of BBQ options to choose from, including Texas-style barbecue brisket — brisket coated in a spicy rub and smoked for hours to develop its complex flavors.
UTAH: For meat lovers, there’s nothing better than mounds of thinly sliced pastrami stacked on a charbroiled cheeseburger. This concoction popped up in Utah in the 1980s, and has been a local favorite ever since.
VERMONT: Vermont is famous for its sweet, golden maple syrup, which locals will generously pour over everything, from pancakes to pork chops
VIRGINIA: Virginia ham is a type of country ham — a salt-cured variety of the pork product — that can either be enjoyed on its own or stuffed between two buttery biscuits.
WASHINGTON: Washington is home to succulent sockeye salmon. A favorite dish in the state is cedar-plank salmon, which is smoked and served on the signature wood.
WASHINGTON, DC: Step into Ben's Chili Bowl and order Ben's Famous All Meat Chili Dog, a pork hot dog that's served on a warm steamed bun with mustard, onions, and topped with a healthy portion of homemade chili sauce.
WEST VIRGINIA: Pepperoni rolls can be found on almost every corner of West Virginia. The meat-and-cheese-filled dough rolls were once a popular lunch option among coal miners, but have become a favorite throughout the state.
WISCONSIN: Before cheeses are formed into blocks or wheels and aged, they start out as curds. In Wisconsin, said curds are often deep-fried in beer batter and served with a variety of dipping sauces.
WYOMING: When in Wyoming, explore the state's array of game meats, which include tender cuts of venison, elk, and bison.