The Iconic Foods of the States, Ranked from Best to Worst

When you are traveling to specific states, there are certain things you are going to reach for at the dinner table. Could you imagine not having a cheesesteak when in Philly? Well, imagine it because the guys behind the Great American Menu picked another food as the Pennsylvania signature dish. Some states are known for their foods and there is now a map to prove it.

The Great American Menu was created out of sheer gluttony and ranks the top food in each of the 50 states. Deadspin explains that they “selected actual food preparations; no state gets credit merely for being the geographic location where a certain edible flora or fauna happens to grow or swim or graze.”

food-ranking-states
Deadspin

Want the full rundown of what to eat in each state? Here’s a breakdown of Deadspin‘s list.

To dive into the longer summaries, head on over to Deadspin to read the thought process behind their decision-making.

1. Illinois: Chicago-style deep dish pizza

Every pizza me loves every pizza you?Y'all this was so good I can't even put it into words! – ?Chicago, IL

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This was the most signature of all dishes, according to the Great American Menu, and gets the top spot for iconic foods.

2. South Carolina: Shrimp and grits

No other dish is as  “authentically South Carolinian” as this.

3. California: Mission-style burrito

If you haven’t had the Mission-style burritos in Cali, then you have not had a really great burrito.  

4. Maryland: Crab cake

The crabs in Maryland are awesome, so it’s natural that their crab cakes would take the cake on this map.

5. Georgia: Peach pie/cobbler

There’s nothing better than a Georgia peach. Except maybe a peach pie.

6. Louisiana: Gumbo

Louisiana was a tough one as they have some great iconic foods. None as signature as gumbo, though.

7. Florida: Key lime pie

You can only get these limes in one spot in Florida and that’s why this dessert made the list.

8.Alabama:  Fried green tomatoes

Delicious, home cooked, and famously Alabaman.

9. New Mexico: Stacked enchilada with green chile

Local ingredients are what makes this dish so special.

10. Oregon: Marionberry pie

First lattice top pie. So out of practice. #easyaspiemyass #marionberrypie

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Chances are you have never had a Marionberry pie, so you better get yourself to Oregon to taste some!

11. Rhode Island : Hot wieners

True Rhode Island staple. ? #rhodeislandweiners #rhodeisland #homemade #foodporn

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Rhode Island hot dogs are famous for their bath of beef and onions.

12. Kentucky: Burgoo

Burgoo is kind of a community pot luck dish that is never the same twice.

13. North Carolina: Pulled pork barbecue

No explanation necessary.

14. Massachusetts: New England clam chowder

This hot and hearty stew is on almost every diner menu in the country, but it will always taste better in Massachusetts.

15. Missouri: Kansas City-style ribs

Iconic the world over, Kansas City BBQ ribs are a national treasure, second only to Texas brisket. Speaking of ribs…

16. Tennessee: Memphis-style ribs

A Lil to go meal #MemphisRibs

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Let the debate for which rib tops which begin.

17. West Virginia: Virginia slaw dog

It's good to be home #slawdog #almostheaven

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This chili dog put West Virginia on the map.

18. Arizona: Chimichanga

A favorite on chain restaurant menus, the chimichanga originated in Arizona.

19. Delaware: Frozen custard

Dessert lovers need to flock to Delaware for this better-than-ice cream treat.

20. Texas: Texas-style barbecue brisket

Texas-style BBQ is anchored by brisket.

21.  Oklahoma: Fried okra

A favorite side dish, fried okra gets the spotlight in Oklahoma.

22. New York: New York-style pizza

#DiFara #Pizza #ClassicPie #NewYorkPizza #NewYorkSlice #Brooklyn #Midwood #AveJ #Domenicodemarco ?????????

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You can get pizza on almost every corner in the Big Apple, but only one corner in BK has the slice that’s consistently ranked the best in the country: Di Fara.

23. Hawaii: Hot Hawaiian breakfast

Forget flowers and luaus. Hawaii is hot for Spam, eggs and rice.

24. Maine: Lobster roll

Get it cooked or catch it and cook it yourself. Here’s how.

25. Montana: Bull testicles

Alabama Lamb Fries, Goose Egg Gribiche, Charred Lemon, Jalapeño

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Want not, waste not, right? In Montana they use every part of the bull and, surprisingly, these are pretty tasty.

Also known as ‘Rocky Mountain Oysters’ because asking for bull’s balls is gauche.

26. Arkansas: Fried catfish

Arkansas is home of the Friday fish fry. Just be sure not to look your dinner in the eyes as catfish are pretty serious looking.

27. Vermont: Maple syrup

Start off a day with this delicious breakfast. Mood booster for Sunday???#sundaymorning #breakfast #homemade #vermontsyrup #healthyfood

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Vermont syrup is why half the world wants breakfast for dinner most nights.

28. Pennsylvania: Scrapple

This is probably the most controversial on the map. C’mon!? Where’s the cheesesteak!?

29. Iowa: Corndog

A sweet-savory hot dog that you can eat with your hands only? We’re in!

30. Washington: Cedar-plank salmon

Salmon Sunday and a cedar plank #cedarplanksalmon #salmon #webergrill #minnesota

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Washington has some stellar seafood. Salmon, in particular, is especially delicious when cooked on a cedar plank.

31. Colorado: Cowboy cookies

This cookie is what some might call a kitchen sink cookie. It’s a chocolate-chip cookie with added rolled oats, shredded coconut and pecans for extra richness.

32. Mississippi: Mud pie

A childhood play food comes to life in Mississippi.

33. Wisconsin: Bratwurst

Eat it like a hotdog or on a plate like sausage. The possibilities are endless with Bratwurst.

34. Virginia: Virginia  ham

Some say peanuts should be on the list for Virginia, but, not everyone can eat peanuts. So, ham it is!

35. Indiana: Fried pork tenderloin sandwich

Fried chicken and fried pork rest in between buns for the ultimate sandwich indulgence in Indiana.

36. District of Columbia: Half-smoke

This hot dog  can be half beef and half pork and sometimes not even smoked at all. But it always has some serious chili served on top.

37. Wyoming: Chicken-fried steak

The only way to make a steak tastier is to fry it, of course.

38. Idaho: Finger steaks

But you’ve got to have a side of potatoes.

39. Kansas: Hamburger casserole

Hamburger casserole is home cooking at its finest.

40. Minnesota: Hotdish

Good old fashioned uffda tater tot hotdish is on the menu today! #hotdish

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Similar to the hamburger casserole that made the map for Kansas, Minnesota hot dish is also made with greens.

41. Michigan: Michigan pasty

Perfect weather for Michigan pasties!!!!! #michiganpasty #venison

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Really, this is a calzone, but Michigan wanted to pretend they created it, so they call it a pasty.

42. South Dakota: Chislic

#chislic #lambchislic

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Chislic are meat kabobs that are traditionally made with mutton but are becoming popular for new-world interpretations using venison, beef and leaner cuts of lamb.

43. Utah: Green Jell-O with goddamn carrots

We will take Deadspin’s word on this one.

44. North Dakota: Lutefisk

Min tur til å lage #julemiddag. Da blir det #lutefisk. #christmasdinner #lutefish

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Lutefisk is a Nordic-style fish that we are sure Rose on the Golden Girls mentioned a few times.

45. New Jersey: Salt water taffy

Should I be nervous? #noideawhatflavor #mysteryflavor #saltwatertaffy

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This seems like a bit of a cop out from the Deadspin team. Have they been to New Jersey? Taylor ham/pork roll? Jersey hot dogs? There are many ways they could have taken Jersey, but salt water taffy seems like the easiest.

 

46. Nebraska: Handheld meat pies

They call these the ‘homemade Hot Pockets’ and they sound delicious!

47. Alaska: Akutaq

Got my first taste of #akutaq, also known as Eskimo ice cream. Crisco, sugar, halibut, white fish and tundra berries.

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When you live in Alaska, you have to get creative with fat. Here they use whipped fat to make a dessert dressed with berries.

48. New Hampshire: Boiled dinner

Meat and veggies make this the ultimate one-pot meal.

49. Nevada: Not having any authentic local culture to speak of

Because, food courts.

50. Connecticut: Steamed cheeseburger

Steamed Bacon Cheeseburger from Ted's Restaurant in Meriden, CT #ctfoodlovers Courtesy of @rissaann_

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Again, something we won’t be trying soon, but glad to learn about.

51. Ohio: Cincinnati Chili

We should probably talk about the hate that Cinci-Chili seems to get all the time, especially from this list.

Sure, hot dogs and spaghetti don’t sound like the most upscale combination, but have respect for the tradition, y’all. Pasta and chili never sounded like a bad idea.