Growing up in a small town in Massachusetts and later going to school in Boston, I have become accustomed to a very narrow variety of food in my area. Surrounded by countless pizza joints, Dunkin Donuts, and ice cream shops, I’ve had a fair share of classic New England food.
Apparently this food is not so customary to other parts of the country. Since making friends in other parts of the country (and world for that matter), I have learned that there is no ‘right’ way to eat corn on the cob and that hot dog buns in the Northeast are baked and sliced differently than much of the country. Additionally, I found that buffalo chicken is not nearly as much of an essential party staple in many other places as it is here.
As a result, I have brought it upon myself to educate everyone that was not blessed enough to grow up in the Northeast with 13 New England gems that we are all obsessed with. Eat up.
1. Lobster Rolls
Starting the list off strong. There’s no better way to enjoy the end of a long hot summer day at the beach than a buttery, seasoned, perfectly toasted lobster roll. Made of lobster meat seasoned with mayo and salt in a buttery toasted roll, these expensive sandwiches are worth every penny. Head to Cape Cod for world renowned lobster shacks.
2. Hot Cider Donuts
If you’ve never had one of these donuts hot and fresh off of an apple farm, you’re not doing fall right. Colloquially known as “hot cider bellies”, these donuts are made of a dough dipped in apple cider, fried, then rolled in cinnamon sugar. It is too easy to eat more than one (or two, or three). Or make your own.
If you like coffee and if you like hot chocolate, you will love Dunkin Donuts’ Dunkaccinos. This half coffee half hot chocolate drink is delicious in any season but really hits the spot in the winter. Paired with any of their delicious Munchkins and you’ve got yourself a solid meal.
4. Clam/Corn Chowder
New Englanders really have a thing for their chowders. Both corn and clam are good hearty options to warm up on a gold day. A personal favorite of mine is corn chowder with bacon (because bacon makes any dish better).
5. Vermont Maple Syrup
It wasn’t until I visited friends on the west coast that I realized how lucky New Englangers have it with their maple syrup. Their syrup is so fresh and the perfect edition to any food, from waffles to marinades for salmon. And maple sugar candy is just an added bonus.
6. Buffalo Chicken Anything
I was blown away when I heard that my friends had never heard of buffalo chicken pizza. This food was always at events growing up whether it be birthday parties, late night sleepovers, or the big game day. Its the ideal mix of spicy chicken fingers and America’s favorite food, cheesy pizza that you have got to try sooner rather than later.
Or “milk shakes” for everyone else. Unless you’re from Rhode Island and call it a “cabinet” (???). These thicker milkshakes are looked forward to anytime of the year and can be perfected by adding a combination of cookies and toppings. Plus, everyone knows you get more ice cream in a cup than in a cone.
8. Pumpkin Anything
Whether it be pumpkin flavored ice cream, lattes, pies, whoopie pies, chocolate, you name it, we’ve tried it. May be reserved more for the fall season but you can be sure come September, it’s our go to flavor of choice.
9. American Chop Suey
A favorite dinner dish. Consists of elbow macaroni, ground beef, onions, and peppers in a thick tomato based sauce. Unlike many other pasta dishes, this is cooked in a frying pan and sautéed as opposed to being baked like a casserole.
10. Iced Coffee From Dunkin Donuts
Doesn’t matter the time of year, if you’re a true New Englander, you get it iced.
11. The Original Ben and Jerry’s
Because everyone knows the real stuff comes from Vermont.
12. Rolls from Bertucci’s
I was shocked to hear that Bertucci’s wasn’t a well known Italian restaurant across the country but rather a claim to fame for Massachusetts. The warm pre-dinner rolls are so fresh and delicious and help you finish off any of Bertuccis amazing dishes.
13. Hot Dogs
No other stadium does hot dogs quite like Fenway. The iconic Fenway Franks are just one of the few legendary hot dogs the Northeast has to offer. Coney Island in Worcester Massachusetts is another popular favorite that people will drive miles to experience. Fun fact, New Englanders even have their own way of doing their buns “top loader style”, because we all know a hot dog is only as delicious as the toppings that are put upon it.