8 U.S. cities with legendary cuisines
Traveling to experience a city’s famous food is totally a legitimate excuse to travel in our book.
Would you order the “fresh catch of the day” from a Bob Evans in the Midwest? If so, would you base your like or dislike of red snapper, a grouper sandwich, (fill in the blank) on that dining experience? Many dishes have been made famous by the cities in which they originated. To taste these authentic cuisines, you have to travel to the source. Because you’ve never had __________ until you’ve visited __________.
Baltimore (Maryland) Crab Cakes
What makes these delicious crab cakes better than others? Some say it’s the blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay, others say is more meat and less breading. You’ll have to try for yourself next time you’re in the Charm City. Check out one of the best crab cakes in the state at one of these restaurants.
Boston (New England) Clam Chowder
This thick soup is a favorite in New England. Even thicker than New York or Rhode Island clam chowder, this dish includes clams, potatoes, onions and some form of pork and dances along the line of thick and heavy consistency. Whether you’re from New England, or you’re visiting, check out these top spots to grab a bowl.
Chili has so many regional iterations, but who knew that Midwesterners place Texas-style chili a distant second when compared to the unique chili flavors originating in Cincinnati. If you find yourself in Cincinnati, a pitstop at one of its famous chili joints – whether that’s Skyline, Gold Star or Camp Washington Chili – will tickle your taste buds. What makes it different? Cincinnatians eat their chili over spaghetti noodles and top it with cheddar cheese (what’s known as a three-way). If you add onions or beans to the mix, you’ll have a four-way. If you like it all, go big and order a five-way.
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
The Windy City has many amazing food dishes – hello, Garrett’s Popcorn’s Chicago mix – but it’s No. 1 culinary calling card is its deep-dish pizza. Eating a pizza with a fork and knife seems odd until you put the tiny piece of heaven in your mouth and realize the extra effort is well worth it. The most well-known pizzerias in the city are Giordano’s, Lou Malnati’s and Gino’s East. All three are worth a try and different in their own sweet way.
Louisville Hot Brown
Essentially an open-faced turkey sandwich, the Hot Brown was born in the 1920s at the Brown Hotel. The hotel drew more than 1,200 guests for dinner each evening, and the Hot Brown was the star of the show. In addition to finding the ingredients and step-by-step instructions for creating this dish on the hotel’s website, you also can see clips of the legendary sandwich being featured on Man vs. Food, Throwdown with Bobby Flay and on ABC News.
Nashville Hot Chicken
How did hot chicken become a thing? The myth goes like this: Thornton Prince III had stumbled home from yet another affair. His girlfriend exacted her revenge by using all the pepper she had to make Prince’s fried chicken. He loved it so much that in the 1930s he started a restaurant with hot chicken as its signature dish. While others have crafted their own take on the dish, Prince holds the original and it’s worth a try next time you’re in the Music City.
New Orleans Po’Boys
There are so many places to get a po’boy in New Orleans. But what makes this sandwich different from all the others? Some say it’s the French bread, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, the way it’s dressed and the fact that it’s often filled with seasoned fried seafood or roast beef. You’ll have to judge for yourself the next time you’re in The Big Easy.
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