Every city is known for something. You might be surprised how many are known for their food! If you’re a foodie and a traveler, why not plan your next vacation around some of these good eats? Here’s a list of 15 food-famous cities to get you started.
1 Philly Cheesesteak
Philadelphia is known for the Liberty Bell, historical sites, and cheesesteaks. Cheesesteaks are exactly what you think they are: steak and cheese. In a sandwich. As we speak, I am kicking myself for opting for pretzels last time I flew though Philadelphia.
2 Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
You have not had pizza (actually, you haven’t lived) until you have had Chicago pizza. Of course, you have to go all the way and get a big, fat, cheesy, meaty deep dish pizza from Chicago. Don’t be fooled by counterfeits.
3 Austin Tacos
Austin might be “Keeping it Weird,” but there’s nothing weird about cheap and tasty tacos. There are a lot of great place to get tacos, and none of them are named Taco Bell. Love your taste buds by giving them some real, authentic, Mexican-made tacos from some random hole-in-the-wall. The smaller and more tucked away, the better.
4 Seattle Coffee
Seattle’s Best is a lie, because Starbucks is Seattle’s best coffee. Whether or not you agree with me, you’ll almost certainly agree that if a city can invent both these famous coffee companies, it can safely be called the coffee capital of the United States.
5 New Orleans Gumbo
New Orleans is good at a lot of food, but the most popular one is gumbo, a chowder made from seafood and a variety of other N’awlins signature ingredients. Its rich, dark base provides a canvas for chicken, sausage, shrimp and more.
6 Toasted Ravioli St. Louis
Toasted ravioli sounds healthier than it is. In reality, toasted ravioli is a deep-fried appetizer that was invented in Missouri. It’s also sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, which adds to both the calories and the flavor.
7 Trenton Pork Rolls
New Jersey isn’t famous for much, but it is famous for its pork rolls. Out of all the food on this list, this is the all-American classic with the longest history. It was originally created during the American Revolution! How popular is the pork roll? They have two competing annual Pork Roll Festivals in Trenton every Memorial Day weekend.
8 Texas Barbeque
Barbeque is all the rage in Texas, and it’s a fad that will probably never die (sorry, vegans). While the whole state loves it, Dallas probably has the claim to the best barbeque. I write this much to the chagrin of people from Austin and Houston.
9 Boston Baked Beans
I’m not talking about the candy! Boston baked beans are a sweet bean dish made by simmering and spicing beans in a pot. Traditionally made with navy beans, molasses, and salt pork, these are not your boring picnic style beans.
10 Freeport Lobster
Maine loves lobster, and you’ll be hard pressed to find better crustaceans anywhere else in the world. Boil them, bake them, grill them, serve them dripping in butter, or eat them in a lobster roll. You can’t get tired of this seafood (although your wallet might).
11 Hershey Chocolate
Hershey, Pennsylvania is the city that started it all. America’s favorite chocolate bar is made in a town that has totally embraced the choco-craze. The street signs are named after chocolate treats, and even the streets lamps are shaped into chocolate kisses. You thought Willy Wonka was magical? Wait until you take the Hershey’s factory tour!
12 Vertigre Kolach
You’ve never heard of this town, but then you’re never heard of kolach either. Boy, are you missing out! This tiny Czech settlement in Nebraska proudly calls itself the “The Kolach Capital of the World.” A kolach is a European pastry with a sweet and fruity filling in the middle, and it is heavenly. If you’re not planning a trip to farm county anytime soon, don’t worry—you can order a dozen by phone.
13 Buffalo Wings
Now, I’m sure you know that buffalo don’t have wings (despite what your older brother may have told you when you were five), so of course Buffalo wings aren’t named after actual buffalo. Nope, they’re named for Buffalo, New York, where this spicy finger food was invented.
14. Portland Doughnuts
For a city where you expect to find flaxseed-lovers and kale-eaters, Portland sure loves its doughnuts. Maybe this has something to do with Voodoo Doughnuts, the ridiculously trendy doughnut shop and record label.
15 Boston Clam Chowder
Lucky Boston—it made it on this list twice! This New England classic is full of creamy goodness and chunky clams and potatoes, making it a perfect cold weather comfort food. I guess you know where to go if you want some good food.
I don’t know if you would plan your vacation itinerary just for these iconic dishes, but you should definitely sample the signature foods when your travels take you to these cities. There’s a reason why they are famous and copycats in other places just aren’t the same!