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USA Travel Bucket List: Food and Dining Musts


Food and Dining Bucket List: USA Travel Ideas for Food Lovers
Pike Place Market in Seattle

Pike Place Market in Seattle

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One of the joys of traveling through the United States is discovering the diversity of food that is available. Regions, states, and cities have their own specialty fare, ingredients, and must-visit restaurants and markets. Even those travelers who don't consider themselves gourmands may be inclined to plan an itinerary around a favorite food item, such as Chicago pizza or Memphis barbecue, or around a culinary landmark, like a Michelin-starred restaurant.

The following is a list of some of the must-eat foods and must-visit restaurants, markets, and snack shacks across the USA. For lack of a better term, I'm calling this my USA Food and Dining Bucket List. This will be a living list, expanding as I find more incredible local foods and dining experiences to add to it. Also, the items in this list are in no particular order. It's impossible to rate one experience over the other.

For more in-depth coverage of food and dining destinations and experiences in the USA, visit About's Guide to Culinary Travel.

  1. Watch the flying fish at Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle.
  2. Take a tour of the Tabasco Factory on Avery Island in Louisiana. Read about what it's like to work as a Tabasco taste tester.
  3. Michelin-Starred restaurants are considered the pinnacle of dining (though there has been some blowback on that. Nevertheless, many foodies may aim to dine in at least one - if not all - of the Michelin-starred restaurants in the USA.
  4. Sample the USA's many different styles of barbecue.
  5. Indulge in the spicy flavors of Cajun and Creole cuisine in New Orleans.
  6. Enjoy authentic Cuban eats in Miami's Little Havana.
  7. Go on a crawl of Jewish Delis in New York City. Some of the renowned Jewish Delis in New York City include Katz's and Carnegie Deli.
  8. Furthermore, eating an authentic New York bagel is a must. Try one from one of the delis listed as the best places for New York City bagels.
  9. Some of the best food in the entire nation is cooked in various cities' ethnic neighborhoods. Some areas worth exploring for their culinary contributions include San Francisco's Chinatown; The Hill, the Italian-American neighborhood in St. Louis, which is particularly known for its fried ravioli.
  10. Bourbon whiskey is particular to the United States, and the best place to experience it is along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
  11. Everyone should visit California wine country.
  12. Seafood feasts. With thousands of miles of coastline on the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as well as the Gulf of Mexico, the United States can boast many seafood traditions. Two of them worth adding to a bucket list are dining on lobster in Maine and blue crabs in Maryland.
  13. Pizza is Italian in origin, but it has its own traditions in the United States. Both New York pizza and Chicago pizza deserve to be on bucket list.
  14. Try one, if not all, of the best burgers in the USA.
  15. Dine at one or all of America's oldest restaurants. They include the White Horse Tavern in Newport, Rhode Island; Union Oyster House in Boston; and Antoine's Restaurant in New Orleans.
  16. Visit coastal Georgia and South Carolina to try Lowcountry Cuisine.
  17. Eat New Mexico green chiles. Check out the best restaurants for green chile dishes in Santa Fe, NM.
  18. Try Tex-Mex cuisine in Texas. Texas Monthly, the authority on all things Lone Star State, has published the 50 Best Mexican Restaurants in Texas.
  19. Have a Philly Cheesesteak in Philadelphia. Will you go to Pat's or Geno's, the best known cheesesteak sellers in the city, or another vendor?
  20. Go to a luau in Hawaii

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