North America

What To Eat In Every State In America

By Marina Nazario
26th May 2018


We have some pretty rad food over here in ‘Straya. Vegemite? Classic. Spending our savings on smashed avo? Religion. A 24k gold burger? Necessary. But with only seven states, there's not a heap of regional variety going on. But in a country like America, with 50 freaking states, each state is known for a certain type of food.

Save this list, because you’ll wanna know the one food you should eat in every state of America when you visit. Oh, and prepare for heaps of fried food, because that’s America’s answer to everything.


Fried catfish, fried tomatoes, fried okra, fried chicken. If your plate of food isn’t brown and crispy, then you aren’t in Alabama.


Reindeer sausages topped with sauteed onions and chipotle mayo. Sorry Rudolph.


Chimichangas. Invented after a chef “accidentally” dropped a burrito into a deep fryer, and out popped a chimichanga. It’s Arizona’s claim to fame.


QUESO, CHEESE DIP, CHEESE SAUCE. Home to the world-famous cheese dip championship, you must eat/drink/slurp melted cheese in Arkansas. 


Fish tacos topped with avocado. Duh. Don't forget the juice cleanse. 


Fried Rocky Mountain Oysters, aka fried bull testicles. Don’t believe us? If you’re passing through Denver International Airport, try them at Timberline Steaks & Grille on Concourse C.


Lobster Roll. And make sure it’s hot and DRENCHED with butter on a toasted roll *drooling*.


Scrapple. No, we didn't make that up. It’s the part of the pig that no one wants to eat (???) combined with cornmeal and flour to make an odd loaf of meat that Delawareans throw on a sanga and eat. They claim it’s good. You tell us.


Golden Gaytimes are to Aussies what Key Lime Pie is to Floridians. They even made it into a vodka flavour


If you see a fruit stand on the side of the road in Georgia, stop what you’re doing, buy a sack of peaches and eat them all in one go.


Stuff yo face with REAL poke in Hawaii. They eat a lot of Spam too, but that’s a different story.


If you (for some unfortunate reason) find yourself in Idaho, eat finger steaks. It’s fried steak, of course. Now get the hell out of there. 


You haven’t lived until you’ve had proper Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Wait in line for hours and eat it at Giordano's.


Hoosier pie. Don’t ask us what a Hoosier is.


Grab yourself a good ole fried (duh) pork tenderloin sandwich that you can find at any diner in this middle of nowhere state.


BBQ, because Kansas is home to cattle country and they know how to cook meat almost as good as us Aussies.


No, not KFC. A hot brown sandwich. Kentucky thinks it struck gold with this open-faced, turkey, bacon, cheesy masterpiece.


Sit down and order a classic ‘po-boy sandwich, which can be stuffed with shrimp, gator (!!!) or soft shell crab. It ain’t weird, it’s the South.


Bring out the dancing lobstahs! You better have yourself a perfectly expensive lobster dinner in Maine. Shedder or hard-shell, it's up to you. 


Plop yourself in any restaurant and order a crab cake. Now order another one. And another one, until you can’t walk.


Grab a bowl of New England clam chowda’ (and make sure your pronounce it like chow-dahhh).


The only place where you’ll find it acceptable to eat meat pie in America is in Michigan, and they call it a pasty (pronounced, pah-stee). And they eat it with ketchup, not BBQ sauce. Debate up for discussion.


Tater tot hotdish is something these people invented and it’s basically another excuse to eat a cheesy, potato casserole (the potato is fried, of course). Aww geez. 


Ooey-gooey mud pie is basically chocolate crust, chocolate filling and chocolate sauce mashed together in a bowl, topped with whipped cream. So heaven. Yes, we’re talking about heaven.


We know by now that Americans will fry anything, including ravioli, which Missourians think they invented. Known as “toasted ravioli”, you can find this insanely addicting dish at Charlie Gitto’s in St Louis.


Huckleberry pie. And eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


And if you’re looking for sausage rolls in America, they call them “runzas” in Nebraska, because that obviously makes sense.


Buffets. Because this state is really just Vegas surrounded by rocks.

New Hampshire

Get yourself a classic apple pie in New Hampshire. Mmm, tastes like ‘Murica.

New Jersey

March yourself over to the nearest deli and grab a pork roll, aka Taylor Ham—egg, processed meat and cheese on a bagel. YUM.

New Mexico

Green chile... and put it on everything.

New York

You’re going to eat two things in New York, and two things only: pizza and bagels. Grab the latter at Katz's for your cliched Harry Met Sally moment. 

North Carolina

Feast eyes and your mouth on a juicy, barbecued pulled pork sandwich in this state, because nothing else matters.

North Dakota

Apparently the only inhabitants of North Dakota are bison, and they taste great.


Peanut butter fudge dipped in chocolate makes something that Ohio-ians (???) call a “buckeye”. They love them so much that it’s Ohio State University’s mascot. So, there’s that.


Chicken. Fried. Steak. No, there’s no chicken. Yes, it’s fried steak doused in gravy and you can find it on the menu of any classic Oklahoma diner.


If you don’t know anything about Oregon, just know that it produces heaps of berries and they make a mean Marionberry pie. Whatever that is.


PHILLY CHEESESTEAK. All caps necessary. And the best is at Pat’s King of Steak. Come at us. 

Rhode Island

You must get a hot weiner in the smallest state of America, and order it as such.

South Carolina

Seafood and cornmeal porridge is a well-respected dish in the South, and they call it 'Shrimp and grits'. Yum. 

South Dakota

Go on and order a 'chislic' in South Dakota. It’s cubed, red meat on a stick that’s deep-fried. Go figure.


You can’t pass through Tennessee without ordering a full rack of smoked ribs. Order it “wet” (with a tomato-based sauce) or “dry” (rubbed with spices). Mmmhhmm.


You best believe that life is not complete without scarfing down a Texas-style brisket. That is all.


It’s a pretty boring state, but their pastrami burgers make up for that. Think, bun, patty, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and a mound of pastrami found at Crown Burgers in Salt Lake City. Population: Mormons. 


Other than being home to our favourite guys, Ben & Jerry, Vermont also produces damn good maple syrup that they put on just about everything.


Country style ham rolled between two buttery biscuits (like biscuits and gravy, not a cookie) is what life’s all about in simple Virginia.


Salmon. Raw, grilled, smoked, baked, fried. Just eat salmon in Washington...before the Grizzlies do. 

West Virginia

Pepperoni rolls are the pride and joy of West Virginia and you can find them at convenience stores.


Cheese curds! And yes, it’s FRIED cheese because this state is obsessed with CHEESE. And America is obsessed with fried food.


Cowboys have been gnawing on Wyoming buffalo beef jerky for hundreds of years. And so should you.

Craving some American cuisine from the comfort of your home city? Check out our collection of Melbourne's best southern soul food restaurants.

Image credit: Griffin Simm | Sparrow's Philly Cheesesteaks 

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