Here is the most detailed list of must-try foods in the USA


Yes, we are discussing American food that you must try! Most of us are already aware of some of those that are mentioned below, but very few are aware of the history behind the nomenclature. Do read it up till the end to explore the most popular and delectable ones so that you know what will you binge on when you go to the USA. 


  1. Pancakes


Pancakes are the go-to comfort food for Americans. Breakfast is simply incomplete without them. Pancake dates back to ancient Greek society when a poet mentioned this amazingly fluffy, tender dish in one of his writings. People adore pancakes so much that even they dedicate a day to Pancakes, known as Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday. You can enjoy pancakes with toppings such as strawberries, blueberries, maple syrup, Nutella, banana, whipped cream, etc.


  1. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich


The combination of peanut butter and jelly in a sandwich is the most American thing you will ever see. It is an American delicacy to try peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in America.


  1. Avocado Toast


Avocado Toast is a healthy, trendy choice of food that became popular among Americans around the early 2010s. However, this nutritious dish originated in 1993 in Sydney, Australia, by Bill Granger. He claims to have invented this dish and has been serving this at his cafe since 1993. Avocado has a unique creamy taste; some even say it has a nutty taste that blends quite well. You can even add a bit of salt and lemon if you like the tangy taste.


  1. English Breakfast


The traditional English breakfast consists of fried egg, bacon, sausage, baked beans, toasted bread, and grilled tomatoes, along with tea or coffee. This combination offered on a platter, also known as the English breakfast, dates back to the 13th century when it was a tradition to provide healthy breakfast to guests. The tradition was continued by upper-class and middle-class Victorians who helped finetune the delicacy we know today.


  1. Doughnuts


Doughnuts live in the centre of every American’s heart, invented by a teen boy named Captain Hanson Gregory in 1847 on a lime-trading ship. He was feeding a crew of sailors with unique round-shaped doughnuts with a hole in the middle. Doughnuts are soft and mushy right at the first bite, with the perfect balance of sugary goodness. Someone who says they dislike doughnuts has simply not come across the right flavour. There are endless customised flavours of doughnuts to choose from. This pleasing, flavourful dish has forever changed American culinary culture.


  1. Pretzel


Pretzels were brought to America by German and Swiss immigrants. However, the story goes like this: a monk from scraps formed into strips and folded in a manner depicting a child’s arm while praying, and the three holes in pretzels symbolise the Christian trinity. Pretzels taste as interesting as their origin story.


  1. Apple Pie


Apple pie consists of fresh apples covered and fashioned between flour dough with salt, sugar, milk, butter, and a hint of cinnamon. A bite of the apple pie gives you the crunchy texture of the apples with a unique combination of flavours created by the mixture of cinnamon, salt, and sugar. Although Apple pie is originally from England, American soldiers fell in love with it during World War II and told reporters that they defended America “for mom and apple pie.” Since then, apple pie has become a national pride.


  1. Chocolate Chip Cookie


Who does not like chocolate chip cookies? The flavour of the crunchy yet gooey cookies with the twist of melted chocolate chips stays at the tip of your tongue. Initially, in Toll House Inn’s restaurant, American chefs Ruth Graves Wakefield and Sue Brides created this cookie in 1938.


  1. Nachos


Nachos are a Mexican dish made by frying tortillas and consumed by adding melted cheese and pickled jalapenos. People across the globe eat nachos as a snack. A woman named Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya created it when a customer asked on a shopping trip to make her something different than usual.


  1. Smoked Salmon Caviar Benedict


As posh as it sounds, caviar is considered a delicacy around the globe due to its extraction procedure. This dish is not what you eat every day but on special occasions. The specific selection of ingredients used in this dish is what makes this dish so authentic and one-of-a-kind.


  1. Macaroni and Cheese


A true American food lover would say no cheese is too much for Mac and cheese. The modern recipe for Macaroni and cheese was created by Elizabeth Raffald and is cooked by mixing macaroni with parmesan and cheddar cheese. It is baked until it adapts to a golden and creamy texture. This dish is so creamy and delicious that it makes you say, “It’s so good!” every time you take a bite.


  1. Chili


Chili is a comfort food that is a stew cooked by combining various ingredients in a soup pan. Chili, originally named after Chile during Chile’s struggle for independence, somehow was mispronounced and is still unavailable in history. Chile holds so many emotions in the American heart for its wonderfully rich history.


  1. Hot dog


We all have heard the name hot dog at some point in our life, and the most common question is, why the dog? Of course, it is not made of a dog! As weird as its name might be, hot dogs are a ubiquitous and affordable dish all over America. It’s a felony to visit America and not try a hot dog. The name started as a joke when German people introduced the food to America. They named the food mimicking the appearance of their small, thin, and long-looking dogs.


  1. Cheese Burger


Although the burger was invented in Hamburg, Germany, Humpty Dumpty drive-in in Denmark was the first to put American slice cheese in the middle of the burger and call it Cheese burger by officially trademarking the name ‘Cheese Burger.’ The hype about the Cheese Burger deserves every bit of attention because it does not fail the taste test.


  1. Grilled Cheese


Cheese is a game changer when it comes to food, and it was proved by Otto Fredrick Rohwedder back in the 1920s by adding a slice of cheese in the middle of two slices of bread and grilling it to achieve the molten cheese texture. The molten cheese adds extra goodness to the toast, which makes this simple combination of food so tasty. 


  1. Hamburger


The hamburger started in Hamburg, Germany, in 1869 and was quickly adapted to the restaurant menu by 1870. Everyone loves this one today. As soon as you bite into the meat patty covered by bread loaf on both sides, you will just not be able to stop at one, courtesy of that unforgettable burger sauce.


  1. Lasagne


This Italian dish has different layers of lasagne pasta with stuffings inside, topped with cheese, and baked in the oven, which comes out tasting like a piece of heaven. This pasta is possibly the oldest type, making every Italian’s heart say “così Buono.”


  1. Pizza


This Italian dish lives in the heart of every American. The pizza here comes in various forms with interesting combinations modifiable to everyone’s liking. This mouth-watering dish is trendy nationwide.


  1. Steak


The United States comes fourth in the list of highest steak consumption in the world after Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. For most Americans, their one true love is steak. One cannot count the elegance of this particular dish in terms of its taste. It melts in your mouth, bursting with flavours. Some steaks are superior in taste to others, depending on the type of cut you are consuming and the way it is made, including the spices and condiments. 


  1. Barbeque Ribs


Barbeque ribs have a diverse history dating back to the 19th century. The smoked ribs take a long time to cook but waiting to taste this exquisite dish worth the wait. The BBQ sauce on top of the ribs will top your list of must-try American foods.


  1. Onion Rings


Onion rings are an appetizer for British and American cuisine. It allows you to taste fried onions like never before. This dish has won the hearts of millions since its discovery. It gives you a crunchy bite that is as pleasing to the mouth as it is to the ears.


  1. Reuben Sandwich


The Reuben sandwich was created in Omaha’s Blackstone Hotel around the early 1900s and has become a constant in American menus. The sandwich’s rich, beefy goodness compliments the savoury Russian dressing. This dish leaves you in amazement right at the first bite.


  1. Chicken Nuggets


Chicken nugget is boneless, unlike a chicken wing or chicken leg, which most agree is superior as you can bite right into it. It tastes good with sweet and sour sauce or ketchup. The tender and juicy bite of the chicken enters your mouth, leaving a pleasing taste on your tongue.


  1. Chicken Wings


Every chicken lover knows that chicken wings are royalty. Chicken wings are deep-fried and then dipped into a mixture of a vinegar-based mixture containing cayenne pepper, hot sauce, and melted butter. The flavours are enhanced, and it breaks off right when you put it in your mouth.


  1. Thanksgiving Turkey


Thanksgiving is incomplete without the thanksgiving turkey. The tradition dates back to the 1800s. The Plymouth colonist and the Wampanoag organised the feast to celebrate their autumn harvest. The tradition passed on, and till today the turkey is a must in most households on Thanksgiving Day.


  1. Pumpkin Pie


Applying for an American visa just to experience their Halloween is worth it! For sure, candy and pumpkins are present in every household during Halloween. Pumpkin pie is a dish you will often come across at the dinner table during Halloween. Americans love pumpkin pie, a unique preparation of pumpkin into a sweet dish, and it is considered an important attribute of the American culture.


  1. Baked Alaska


Baked Alaska is the name given to this pretty-looking dish introduced in March 1867 by New York City to honour the acquisition of Alaska from Russia. What makes this dish unique is the ice cream topped on the cake and baked together to achieve the brown patches on the top, giving it a hot and cold taste to the tongue without the ice cream melting.


  1. Macaron


Italians introduced this sweet sandwich dessert to France via Queen Catherine de Medici’s chef. A macaron comes in a variety of different soft-tone colours, which are irresistible to avoid just as soon as you spot one. These sweet macarons are snackable anytime and a must-try for every traveller.


  1. Hot Chocolate


Christmas is the most awaited time and is incomplete without hot chocolate. And, hot chocolate is appropriate for all age groups. On a cold, snowy evening, a cup of hot chocolate will make you realize that you can taste Christmas.


  1. S’mores


S’mores are a must if you have a sweet tooth. This snack combines biscuits, marshmallows, and a layer of chocolate. This simple combination of food offers something sweet and comforting to you.


The amazing food preparations that America offers are too vast to include in this list. American cuisine comes from an omnium gatherum of cultures, marking the interface of global cuisines. Make sure to check off some of this list when you set foot in the USA.

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