You really don't need to travel out of the US to experience new tastes. From Maine lobster to Hawaiian poi, all 50 states have at least one famous dish to be proud of. You can fill your bucket list with all of the unique and iconic foods that truly capture the taste of home. What's the most famous dish in your state? Find out here. 

Alabama: Fried Green Tomatoes

Tiffany Ospina-Suarez

Fried green tomatoes actually originated in the Midwest, but now they're an integral part of Southern culture. They can be found at many restaurants and cafés across the state of Alabama. Green tomatoes are sturdy enough to coat in breadcrumbs and fry to crisp, golden perfection. Try them as a side dish alongside pulled pork or chicken fried steak.

Alaska: Reindeer Dogs

This is not your typical hot dog. Reindeer dogs (sometimes referred to as reindeer sausage) are made from Alaskan caribou, and they are popular on the streets of Anchorage. Sometimes, reindeer meat is too lean to hold together, so pork and beef are often mixed in. You eat them like you would any hot dog with all your favorite condiments. Sorry, Rudolph. 

Arizona: Chimichangas

Supposedly, this fun-to-pronounce dish was invented in AZ (not Mexico). A chimichanga is an extra-large burrito prepared with your choice of meat, vegetables, and spices. It's then deep fried to perfection.

#SpoonTip: To make a healthier, easier version of chimis, try this recipe for baked chicken chimichangas

Arkansas: Possum Pie

Possum pie has everything that's good in the world: a graham cracker crust, a chocolate pudding and Cool Whip-based filling, and tons of pecans sprinkled on top. We're not really sure where the name of comes from, but the hypothesis is that the pie plays possum by pretending to be something else, in this case the whipped cream hiding the chocolate filling. 

California: Avocado Toast

bread, vegetable, toast, sandwich
Heather Feibleman

Californians should be proud that a native fruit has turned into such a huge fad; also, San Francisco is famous for its sourdough. Combine the two magical California delights and you'll be screaming louder than you would at Disneyland. 

Colorado: Rocky Mountain Oysters

These aren't actually oysters. No, I'm not kidding. Rocky Mountain oysters are actually mammal testicles (most commonly from bulls, bison, pigs, and sheep). The first ranchers to inhabit the West needed inexpensive sources of food to survive, so they didn’t waste a single part of the animal. They began cooking testicles with branding coals. Now they're a famous dish throughout Colorado and other western states, so they can't be all that bad. 

Connecticut: Steamed Cheeseburgers

The steamed cheeseburger is a central Connecticut special. Its origin dates back to the 1920s. The burger is supposed to be healthier than a traditional cheeseburger because it is steamed rather than fried. As a bonus, it's doused with melty cheese. The most famous place to find this central CT specialty is at Ted's Restaurant.

Delaware: Bobbie

The Bobbie is the most iconic DE sandwich. This sandwich is served at Capriotti's Sandwich Shop. The founders, Lois and Alan Margolet, named the sandwich after their Aunt Bobbie, who used to serve it to them when they were kids. It's essentially Thanksgiving dinner in between slices of bread with pulled turkey, cranberry sauce, homemade stuffing, and a bit of mayo on a freshly baked roll. 

Florida: Cubano

A Cubano (or Cuban sandwich) is a melty sandwich composed of roast pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard. Be sure to wash it down with a glass of OJ for the most iconic Florida experience.

Georgia: Peach Cobbler

Georgia is known for its peaches, and the most popular way to enjoy them is with peach cobbler. This buttery, sweet classic is bursting with peachy goodness. Be sure to make it while peaches are in season. 

Hawaii: Poi

From Pacific fish to a multitude of tropical fruits, Hawaii's food scene is all about freshness. One of the most famous Hawaiian dishes is poi. This purple soup-like dish is made by smashing baked or steamed taro (a root vegetable) with a stone pestle and adding water. Poi is slightly sweet and the most authentic side dish to have with the fresh catch of the day. Interestingly, it's traditionally eaten with just your fingers, and classified as one-, two-, or three- finger poi based on its thickness. 

Idaho: Ice Cream Potato

The most famous place to find this Idaho delight is the Boise landmark, Westside Drive-In. This may sound (and look) really weird, but there is no actual potato in this dish. The potato is made entirely of vanilla ice cream and covered with cocoa powder all over the outside. As a bonus, the whipped cream on top looks like sour cream. 

Illinois: Deep-Dish Pizza

I grew up in Illinois and had my fair share of deep-dish in my childhood, but I still cannot resist a bubbly, butter-crusted, cheesy pie. Whether it was during the Superbowl or after a long day in the Chicago snow, a pie stuffed with melty mozzarella, veggies, sausage, and flavorful tomato sauce always brought life to the party. 

#SpoonTip: Bring Chicago to you with this easy deep dish recipe. 

Indiana: Hoosier Pie

Sugar cream pie, aka Hoosier pie, is Indiana's state pie. This is a super rich custard pie dusted with nutmeg that originated in Amish communities in the 1800s. At the time, fresh fruit was not available, so people turned to simple, more readily available ingredients such as cream and sugar to create a sweet masterpiece. 

Iowa: Maid Rites

The Maid-Rite is a classic loose meat sandwich that Iowans love. It's a super simple dish, just ground meat (traditionally beef) in a bun. However, if it's "made right" and your meat is flavored well, it'll be irresistible. 

Kansas: Chili and Cinnamon Rolls

According to many of our Kansas friends, chili and cinnamon rolls are a match made in heaven. Both are hearty and rich comfort foods that can make us feel nostalgic. Chili and cinnamon rolls are made for each other, and you really won't know until you've tried it.

Kentucky: Hot Browns

According to a fellow Spoonie from Kentucky, fried chicken is actually not as famous there as you'd think. Hot Browns are more of an authentic favorite among our KY friends. Louisville's Most Famous Dish originated at the Brown Hotel, and it's an open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon that's smothered in Mornay sauce (butter and cheese-based goodness). 

Louisiana: Beignets

sweet, beignets, pastry, chocolate, cake, dough, flour, bread, candy
Sarah Yanofsky

From gumbo to jambalaya, there are tons of famous Louisiana dishes. But beignets... These square-shaped bits of fried dough doused in powdered sugar are a classic crowd-pleaser (as seen in Princess and the Frog). Some of them are even stuffed with more sweet or savory goodies. 

Maine: Lobster Mac n' Cheese

Maine is known for its lobster. Usually, it's enjoyed on its own, boiled and flavored with butter and lemon. However, if you want something more decadent and upscale, try lobster mac and cheese. There are tons of restaurants that serve it, so be sure to cross it off your Maine bucket list

Maryland: Blue Crabs

Often caught fresh from the Chesapeake Bay, crabs are a MD staple. They can be used for crabcakes, but most Maryland natives choose to eat them steamed and seasoned. As one of my fellow Spoonies said, "Maryland crab should always be seasoned with Old Bay!" 

Massachusetts: Clam Chowder

Ah, the rich and creamy New England classic. Clam chowder is traditionally made with fresh shellfish, bacon, potatoes, and cream. It's hard to decide which chowdah is the very best, but be sure to visit Massachusetts and find your favorite. 

Michigan: Mackinac Island Fudge

Michigan is home of the nation's fudge capital, Mackinac Island. Many tourists hit a fudge shop as soon as they jump off the ferry and set foot on the island. Mackinac Island fudge offers the "Purest Taste of Michigan." It comes in every flavor you can think of, so be sure to find your favorite. And if you cannot travel to the island, you can also order it on Amazon.  

Minnesota: Jucy Lucy

A Jucy Lucy (or Juicy Lucy) is a burger invented in South Minneapolis that essentially combines two thin beef patties around a ball of American cheese. Word to the wise: Please wait at least a minute before chowing down, because that bubbly, melty cheese on the inside can scorch the roof of your mouth. 

Mississippi: Mud Pie

Mississippi mud pie is a super chocolatey pie that does not have a clear origin. Some believe that mud pie is a 1970s remake of Mississippi mud cake, which appeared in the World War II era. However, other claims have been made. Either way, this dessert is super creamy, rich, and chocolatey, and every Mississippian should be proud of its existence. 

Missouri: Gooey Butter Cake

This is a mind-blowing Missouri dessert is simpler than it looks. It's a classic mixture of butter, sugar, and eggs layered over a chewy, cookie-like crust. Legend has it that during the 1930s, a local German baker in St. Louis added too much butter to his coffee cake batter but ended up selling the cake. Now our Missouri friends can't get enough of its warm, gooey goodness.

Montana: Huckleberry Jam

Huckleberries are a native fruit and take many different forms in Montana, including pie, ice cream, and even vodka. However, one of the most popular ways to eat them is in the form of huckleberry jam. With the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness, your toast will never be disappointed.

Nebraska: Reuben Sandwiches

Reubens are popular all over the states, but they were actually invented in Omaha, Nebraska in the late 1920s. A Reuben is a hearty-sized sandwich that consists of corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese on rye bread.

Nevada: Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp cocktail is an iconic food in Nevada. Las Vegas alone consumes nearly 22 million pounds of shrimp annually. The history of the shrimp cocktail dates back to the early 1900s when the dish came out of San Francisco. Now the combo of cold, cooked shrimp and spicy cocktail sauce is always a great side to your drink of choice.

New Hampshire: Lobster Roll

There are arguments all over the internet on where to get the best lobster rolls in the Northeast. And New Hampshire is crawling with popular places that serve them. The two classic varieties actually come from Maine and Connecticut, but a lobster roll always consists of bread, butter, and of course, the beloved lobster. 

New Jersey: Pork Roll (Taylor Ham)

One of the most well-known Jersey cheap eats is the pork roll (aka Taylor ham). Pork roll/Taylor ham is a smoked pork product tossed in a mix of spices, salt, and sugar. The classic sandwich consisting of pork roll, egg, and cheese can be found at almost every bagel shop, deli, or diner in New Jersey

New Mexico: Carne Adovada

Carne adovada (marinated meat) is a red chile pork stew that is super popular in New Mexico. It consists of tender chunks of pork braised in a flavorful brick-red chile sauce. This spicy dish is used to amp up the flavor in anything from burritos to huevos rancheros. 

New York: Bagels

bagel, bread, bun, cheese
Natalie Reehl

Honestly, it's hard to choose one for this state. But on my trip to NYC last summer, I tried pizza, cheesecake, baked pretzels—all the classics. But the food that stood out to me most were the bagels. The city is crawling with bagel and coffee trucks, and they're always there if you need a carb fix.

North Carolina: Shrimp and Grits

The combination of warm grits and flavorful shrimp is sure to make your soul sing. Every restaurant has their own way of preparing this Southern classic. If you can't travel to NC anytime soon, try making this nostalgic dish yourself

North Dakota: Knoephla

Knoephla soup is a German potato soup that our friends from North Dakota love. It's got a roux/potato base, carrots, celery, and dumplings made of knoephla dough (a mixture of eggs, flour, and water). It's rich and comforting delight that should definitely be on your bucket list. 

Ohio: Buckeyes

I'm talking about peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate (but hey there Spoon OSU!). Chocolate and PB are a match made in heaven, and these sweet treats are perfect for parties or tailgates. Honestly, it's super difficult to decide which candy shop makes 'em best

Oklahoma: Onion Burger

The Oklahoma Onion Burger (or OOB), is the ultimate burger of the state. Onions are smashed into the patty during the cooking process. The fried onions truly take the classic beef burger to a whole new level. 

Oregon: Marionberry Pie

The marionberry is a type of blackberry that was actually bred at Oregon State University as part of a partnership with the USDA back in the early 1900s. With a simple filling of marionberries and sugar, this pie truly captures the flavors of the state.

Pennsylvania: Philly Cheesesteak

It has "Philly" in the name, so you know it's a favorite among our  PA friends. The cheesesteak was invented by Pat Olivieri back in the 1930s. It's rib eye beef and melted provolone cheese on a long, crusty roll. The most common toppings include fried onions, hot or sweet peppers, sauteed mushrooms, and ketchup. You can get one at Subway, but Philly is truly where the best ones are at. 

Rhode Island: Coffee Milk

Coffee milk has been around since the 1920s and is the official state drink of Rhode Island. It's essentially sweet coffee syrup mixed with milk and can be enjoyed at all hours of the day. The proper ratio is two tablespoons of syrup for every 8 oz of milk

#SpoonTip: Try it in the form of a latte or milkshake for an extra special treat. 

South Carolina: Hoppin' John

The Hoppin’ John originates from a cluster of islands along the coast of South Carolina called the Sea Islands. It is a fusion dish that combines southern American rice pilaf with African ingredients and techniques. It's flavored with black eyed peas and just enough bacon to keep you smiling. 

South Dakota: Chislic

This Russian dish called chislic is essentially cubes of skewered meat grilled over an open fire. It's a derivative of shish kebab, or Turkish skewered meat. This classic has many different variations and can be enjoyed with a variety of side dishes. However, it's most commonly made with flavorful lamb in many bars and restaurants across the Mount Rushmore State. 

Tennessee: Fried Catfish

One of the things I remember most about my high school band trip to Nashville is the fried catfish. It had a slightly tougher texture than classic cod fish sticks, but it was super flavorful and paired perfectly with cornbread and coleslaw. 

Texas: Kolaches

Kolaches are a Lone Star State staple. These lovely pastries were introduced by Czech immigrants in the 1880s and have become even bigger in Texas. Kolaches (koh-la-chees) are pastries made of a yeast dough that are typically filled with fruit and/or cheese. Traditional flavors include poppy seed, apricot, and prune. 

Utah: Funeral Potatoes

This dish may have a tragic name, but this classic Utah staple is the ultimate comfort food. It's essentially potatoes mixed with cheese, a cream-based soup, and sour cream, topped with more cheese and crushed cornflakes, and baked to perfection. They are called funeral potatoes because it's a tradition to serve them at gatherings held after funerals to provide comfort to everyone. 

Vermont: Fiddleheads

Fiddleheads are a type of baby fern that you can eat. The term commonly refers to the plant's resemblance to the spiral-shaped tuning end of a fiddle. They are a fun spring food in Vermont, and preparing them is super simple. Just wash them well, boil them for about three minutes, splash them with butter and lemon, and serve them up as soon as possible. You can even serve them over pasta for a super hearty dinner. 

Virginia: Country Ham

Three of my fellow Spoonies from Virginia said that the state is known for its ham. Smoked Virginia country hams are a culture, and one of the most well-known brands is Smithfield. The country ham is often salt-cured by hand and smoked to perfection with natural hickory wood. Try it on a sandwich or just on its own. 

Washington: Seattle Dog

The Seattle-style hot dog (aka the Seattle Dog or cream cheese hot dog) is a hot dog topped with cream cheese and sauteed onions. This famous gameday hit is sold at many hot dog carts in Seattle. You may find it strange that the hot dog has cream cheese on it, but don't judge until you've had it. 

West Virginia: Pepperoni Rolls

It's not pizza, but simply bread dough wrapped around pepperoni. It was invented by Giuseppe (Joseph) Argiro, who came from Calabria, Italy, in 1920. He opened a bakery in 1927 and began serving up spicy pepperoni wrapped in yeast bread dough some time after. The fat in pepperoni is solid at room temperature, but when baked, it becomes liquid and is able to give the roll its iconic flavor.

Wisconsin: Cheese Curds

chicken, sauce
Lauren Lamothe

As a student at UW-Madison, I firmly believe that fried cheese curds are an integral part of the Wisconsin culture. I personally love beer-battered cheese curds, which are a combination of beer and cheese—two things Sconnies love most. 

Wyoming: Bison Steak

Bison meat is served in many restaurants across the state of Wyoming. It is mostly enjoyed in the form of burgers or bison steak. Check out this guide to find out how people from Wyoming cook it so perfectly. 

No need to leave the country to try something new and exciting. Fly domestic and try out some local foods throughout the States. You're sure to find something memorable that was worth adding to your bucket list.