How to eat your way across the USA

25 September 2018

From munching on lobster rolls on the harbourside after whale-watching off Boston to tucking into traditional Louisiana po' boys while exploring the fascinating streets of New Orleans, foodies love the USA for good reason. We’ve shared some of our favourite places to eat around this vast country – and some of our top recommendations for things to eat in each.

Limes grown in the Florida Keys gave us the gift of Key lime pie in the late 1800s, when a cook for the state’s first self-made millionaire created its iconic pie – although credit is also due to a Florida sponge fisherman for discovering the concoction of Key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks that could be cooked at sea, which influenced the filling of the pie. Head to the award-winning Key Lime Pie Company to taste what is the Nation’s Best Pie according to the American Pie Council.

“The Bubble Room [on Captiva Island] was the most spectacularly decorated restaurant I’ve ever seen, and was the culinary highlight of the trip. An eclectic mix of memorabilia, local art and craziness with the biggest cakes and portions you’ll ever see.”

Neil, Travel Counsellor


New England
Massachusetts’ capital Boston is the place to come for fish dishes based on ingredients fresh from the Atlantic. In fact, the New England as a whole is famous for its clam chowders – soups with clams, cream, potatoes, onions and celery, and sometimes salt pork too. Another local delight is lobster rolls – buttered brioche hot-dog buns stuffed with chunks of sweet lobster meat lightly dressed in mayo and lemon. 


New York City
It was at Coney Island in 1867 that German immigrant Charles Feltman invented the hot dog, by putting a Frankfurt sausage into a bun to save on plates, and the dish is now a New York classic. Another NY creation to try is a Reuben sandwich with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing, on grilled or toasted rye bread – it’s worth the queues at the legendary Katz Deli. For a sweet treat, head to DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections for cookie dough in its ready-to-eat state, mixed with ice cream, or half or fully baked, with toppings of your choice.

Legend has it that in 1943, Uno's Pizzeria owner Ike Sewell revamped pizza as a meal rather than a snack, with him or his original chef Rudy Malnati filling a tall buttery crust with lots of meat, cheese, tomato chunks and Italian spices to create what is now the classic deep-dish pizza. Uno’s Pizzeria is still the place to go to sample it.

Barbecuing is a forte in this state, so don’t miss succulent Texas-style BBQ ribs with fries and ‘slaw at a local ranch or BBQ joint. Snow's BBQ in Lexington is consistently voted the best in the state, but it’s onlyy open on a Saturday so  arrive early to ensure you get your fill of its fresh pork ribs and brisket.

This south-eastern state’s most famous dish is Jambalaya, a paella-like meat and vegetable dish that comes in red (Creole, with tomatoes) and brown (Cajun) versions. If you fancy splurging on a top-notch Creole, head to Arnaud’s in New Orleans, a fine-dining restaurant that opened in 1918. Another local classic is the po' boy, a traditional sub with meat (usually roast beef) or fried seafood (often shrimp, crayfish, fish, oysters or crab).

San Francisco
Cioppino, a fish stew with Italian flair, made its appearance in the hilly city when Portuguese and Italian fishermen in the North Beach section of the city brought their catch-of-the-day stew back to land. Try San Frans’ favourite fish stew at Sotto Mare in North Beach, Scoma's on Fisherman's Wharf or Anchor Oyster Bar in the Castro District. But don't spend half the meal cracking shellfish – go for the "lazy man's" cioppino.

Book your foodie holiday in the USA by contacting your Travel Counsellor today.

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