Regional Foods That Need To Be Everywhere

a hand holding a burger
Jucy Lucy- Matt’s Bar

While traveling around the U.S. (and the world) we love to seek out and try or should I say taste the local eats.

When I think of local foods, here are a few that come to mind- Pizza in New York, Chicago & Connecticut, Cheesesteaks in Philadelphia, Lobster Rolls in New England (especially Maine & Connecticut) and Muffulettas & Po’ Boys in New Orleans just to name a few.

During our trip to South Dakota I found a food that is pretty much only known within the state called Chislic which you can read about here. We also tried out Johnny Cakes in Rhode Island. While they aren’t only found in RI, I haven’t seen JCs on a menu anywhere else that I’ve been. Check out my post about them here.

Thrillist came up with a tasty list of Regional Foods That Need To Be Everywhere.

While I’ve heard of most of the items on the list, there were some new foods that I was hearing about for the first time. I’ve had a chance to try out seven of the items but not all of them in their local areas. Being in NYC we can find just about any kind of food within the 5 boroughs.

At the end of the post, find my recommendations for some of the NYC versions of these regional foods.

Here is Thrillist’s list of Regional Foods:

  • Frito Pie- Southwest
  • Chicken & Waffles- East & West Coast
  • Fried Cheese Curds- Midwest
  • Chicken & Jojos- Pacific Northwest
  • Lobster Roll- New England
  • Loco Moco- Hawaii
  • Pasties- Michigan
  • The Juicy Lucy- Minnesota
  • Poutine- Quebec
  • Rocky Mountain Oysters- The Rockies
  • Shrimp & Grits- South

From Thrillist’s list, I’ve never heard of Chicken & Jojos, Loco Moco or Pasties. I’ve heard of all of the other dishes and have also tried them out besides Rocky Mountain Oysters.

In Brooklyn, there are a bunch of places that make really awesome Chicken & Waffles. If you’re in the area, I’d recommend Jimmy’s Diner,  Pies N Thighs and Sweet Chick.

We’ve tried Lobster Rolls at quite a few places in New England and now have some great ones close to home. The Red Hook Lobster Pound in Brooklyn and Luke’s Lobster (various locations in NYC) are two that I’d recommend.

During our visit to Minnesota last summer, we enjoyed Juicy Lucys at Matt’s Bar and 5-8 Club. If you’re looking to grab one in NYC, check out Whitman’s or The Stumble Inn.

When it comes to Poutines, we loved them in Montreal. I’d definitely recommend trying them out at Mile End Deli in Brooklyn or Manhattan.

If you have any recommendations for regional foods not mentioned, feel free to share with us in the comments below.

Find out about each of the foods from Thrillist’s list HERE.

5 thoughts on “Regional Foods That Need To Be Everywhere

  1. mhenner- Good one! I am not a coffee drinker but Kim tried out the coffee syrup in RI.

    Mark D- I totally forgot about the roast pork sandwich. I tried it at DiNics a few years back. I wasn’t a big fan but people do wait on ridiculously long lines for it.

    Marcus- I did see that other areas had an item similar to the Johnny Cake. Do you know if they are pretty much the same item with a different name?

    Ms M- Thanks for the info! If we make it to Hawaii, I’ll hopefully give Loco Moco a try. Those shrimp trucks might be a reason to go in itself!

    Sopapillos sound amazing. I could’ve added the Rhode Island NY System wieners which sound similar to the white/ red hots you mentioned. We haven’t been to Detroit but I know they have a version called Coneys.

  2. Loco Moco is a MEAL – put on your big boy pants. Very tasty though, especially after a long flight from the East Coast. Other Hawaiian staples: Huli huli chicken, garlic shrimp (from the many shrimp trucks on the north shore), and shaved ice (with or without ice cream).

    Other regional staples: Green chili sauce and sopapillos (New Mexico), white/red hots (upstate NY). I am sure I am missing others too!

  3. Paula Deen serves Johnny Cakes in her restaurants. You can find them in the South but they are not always called Johnny Cakes.

  4. In Philly, while the cheese steak is great, I would recommended going for the Roast Pork sandwich. It is like the unofficial sandwich of Philly. DiNic’s in Reading Terminal Market makes the greatest roast pork sandwich in the world.

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