This Map Shows the Most Unique Popular Cuisine in Each State

When it comes to popular cuisines in the U.S., it's best to image the country as a patchwork quilt. We might think of all-American food as being things like apple pie, but in reality American cuisine is just as varied and that's before you start adding ethnic foods. From Chinese cuisine to Mexican cuisine to Italian cuisine, the melting pot analogy fits so well with describing the contemporary United States because not only are more international cuisines cooked regularly at eateries, but more health-conscious foods are, as well. All trends aside, Alissa Scheller from the HuffPost's team created this map of disproportionately popular U.S. cuisines in each state based on Yelp data.

The map features the most popular cuisine across the U.S., while the list below features the five most popular in each state. A few just might surprise you. After all, I wouldn't have guessed Illinois' pick. Spoiler alert: These are cuisines instead of individual dishes, so you won't see something like Chicago deep dish pizza, Texas brisket or North Carolina cornbread on the list.

most-popular-cuisine
HuffPost

How did Yelp gather this data from each state across America? According to HuffPost, "Yelp first calculated the percentage of total restaurants each cuisine represented in a given state. Then it compared each percentage with the cuisine's represention in restaurants nationwide. The resulting map, made by HuffPost, shows the cuisines with a disproportionate level of representation in each state."

So this map, in short, details the cuisines that are most popular in that state that are not popular in other states. Now onto the list of states with its top five cuisines. The choices are listed in descending order, with the most popular cuisine as the first and the fifth most popular as the final.

Alabama

  • Southern
  • BBQ
  • Cajun
  • Chicken wings
  • Soul food

Alaska

  • Filipino
  • Fish and chip
  • Thai
  • Seafood
  • Hawaiian

Arizona

  • Mexican
  • Greek
  • Gluten-free
  • Buffets
  • Mediterranean

Arkansas

  • Southern
  • BBQ
  • Tex-Mex
  • Cajun
  • Steak

California

  • Taiwanese
  • Filipino
  • Vietnamese
  • Korean
  • Hawaiian

Colorado

  • Gluten-free
  • Vietnamese
  • Mexican
  • Soup
  • Breakfast/brunch

Connecticut

  • Spanish
  • Deli
  • Italian
  • Irish
  • Caribbean

Delaware

  • Irish 
  • Cheesesteaks
  • Caribbean
  • Seafood
  • Gastropub

District of Columbia

  • Belgian
  • Ethiopian
  • African
  • Food stands
  • French

Florida

  • Cuban
  • Caribbean
  • Peruvian
  • Latin
  • Spanish

Georgia

  • Southern
  • Soul food
  • Caribbean
  • Chicken wings
  • BBQ

Hawaii

  • Hawaiian
  • Ramen
  • Filipino
  • Korean
  • Food stands

Idaho

  • Gastropubs
  • Cafes
  • Mexican
  • Steak
  • Traditional American

Illinois

  • Pakistani
  • Hot dogs
  • Middle Eastern
  • Greek
  • Indian-Pakistani

Indiana

  • Pizza
  • Tex-Mex
  • Fast food
  • Steak
  • Burgers

Iowa

  • Buffets
  • Pizza
  • Steak
  • Traditional American
  • Fast food

Kansas

  • BBQ
  • Chicken wings
  • Tex-Mex
  • Mexican
  • Fast food

Kentucky

  • Southern
  • Fast food
  • Tex-Mex
  • Chicken wings
  • Burgers

Louisiana

  • Cajun
  • Southern
  • Soul food
  • Seafood
  • Chicken wings

Maine

  • Seafood
  • Irish
  • Gastropubs
  • Gluten-free
  • Diners

Maryland

  • Peruvian
  • Cheesesteaks
  • Caribbean
  • Latin
  • Pakistani

Massachusetts

  • Portuguese
  • Brazilian
  • Irish
  • Seafood
  • Middle Eastern

Michigan

  • Middle Eastern
  • Diners
  • Hot Dogs
  • Pizza
  • Soup

Minnesota

  • Buffets
  • Traditional American
  • Pizza
  • New American
  • Gluten-free

Mississippi

  • Southern
  • Cajun
  • Buffets
  • Soul food
  • Chicken wings

Missouri

  • BBQ
  • Soup
  • Chicken wings
  • Steak
  • Tex-Mex
  • Montana

Nebraska

  • Steak
  • Buffets
  • Chicken wings
  • Comfort food
  • Burgers

Nevada

  • Filipino
  • Hawaiian
  • Buffets
  • Steak 
  • Vegan

New Hampshire

  • Breakfast/brunch
  • Irish 
  • Gluten-free
  • Traditional American
  • Diners

New Jersey

  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Kosher
  • Peruvian
  • Delis

New Mexico

  • Mexican 
  • Steak 
  • French
  • Cafes
  • Vegetarian

New York

  • Kosher 
  • Halal
  • Spanish
  • Caribbean
  • Delis

North Carolina

  • Southern
  • Cheesesteaks
  • Hot dogs
  • Chicken wings
  • Soul food

North Dakota

  • German
  • Steak
  • Soup
  • Buffets
  • Salad

Ohio

  • Soup
  • Pizza
  • Fast food
  • Chicken wings
  • Burgers

Oklahoma

  • Tex-Mex
  • BBQ
  • Steak
  • Buffets
  • Fast food

Oregon

  • Food stands
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan
  • Hawaiian
  • Thai

Pennsylvania

  • Cheesesteaks
  • Pizza
  • Italian
  • Diners
  • Delis

Rhode Island

  • Portuguese
  • Fish and chips
  • Irish 
  • Spanish
  • Seafood

South Carolina

  • Southern
  • Seafood
  • Soul food
  • Chicken wings
  • BBQ

South Dakota

  • Steak
  • Buffets
  • Traditional American
  • Chicken wings
  • Pizza

Tennessee

  • Southern
  • Soul food
  • BBQ
  • Chicken wings
  • Tex-Mex

Texas

  • Tex-Mex
  • Cajun
  • BBQ
  • Mexican
  • Chicken wings

Utah

  • Hawaiian
  • Hot dogs
  • Mexican
  • Comfort food
  • Burgers

Vermont

  • Gastropubs
  • Diners
  • Comfort food
  • Vegan 
  • Delis

Virginia

  • Peruvian 
  • Southern 
  • Latin
  • Middle Eastern
  • Pakistani

Washington

  • Vietnamese
  • Fish and chips
  • Thai
  • Korean 
  • Japanese

West Virginia

  • Hot dogs
  • Pizza
  • Buffets
  • Fast food
  • Chicken wings

Wisconsin

  • Traditional American
  • Soup
  • New American 
  • Sandwiches 
  • Pizza

Wyoming

  • Steak
  • Comfort food
  • Traditional American
  • New American
  • Diners

All information sourced through HuffPost.

Do you agree with your state's selection? American food is scattered throughout each state, but it also seems like buffalo-style chicken wings are just as popular, too. Also, would fried chicken count as Soul Food or Southern dining?

While not all of the details are clear in the methodology of the map, one thing is for certain: we're lucky to live in America, where you have your choice of cuisines and when worse comes to worst, you can always find a comforting chili dog around.

This article was originally published on March 30, 2018.

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