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What's "the" food where you're from?

I'm curious about the food associated with different cities/states. Everyone know that Chicago is famous for its' Pizza and Clam Chowder is big in Boston, but what about the lesser known city/food associations? I live in San Diego, and you're not aloud to come here without trying our fish tacos. What food is directly associated with your city / state?

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  1. Here in Cleveland (and Northern Ohio in general) it's Lake Erie walleye or yellow perch for sure. Every corner bar/little neighborhood joint has it at least on Fridays, usually fried, and the "fancy" places do any of a number of variants on it. I think Michael Symon serves a pickled version at Lola. I like it super fresh (as in, was still swimming this morning), seasoned simply with some pepper, maybe a little citrus, and grilled.

    We also have a lot of folks of Eastern European descent here, so things like pierogi, kielbasa, stuffed cabbage, etc are really big as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: LeslieB

      I am a few miles south of you in Amish country, so it would have to be the German foods and sweets that the Amish are known for.

      I only discovered that Barberton style fried chicken was not universal after I moved away for a few years.

    2. Ottawa doesn't really have one. The closest thing to an It Food would be beavertails, basically a naan-shaped chunk of dough that's deep-fried and covered in toppings, usually sugar and cinnamon.

      Nearby Montreal has a few, and Warwick further up has poutine.

      4 Replies
      1. re: piccola

        Ottawa seems to have developed a reputation for shawarma. Though obviously not native to Ottawa, it is ubiquitous and people I know who have left here often talk longingly about their favourite shawarma place. Beavertails probably have the tradition, but I'm sure there's a lot more shawarma eaten in Ottawa than Beavertails.

        I'm originally from Montreal, and there the signature foods include Montreal-style bagels and smoked meat. Also the more traditional Quebecois food like tortiere or tarte au sucre (sugar pie). Also, having some history but often overlooked, is barbecue chicken (with dipping sauce, coleslaw and fries) - brought to the Canadian-masses by Swiss Chalet and St-Hubert, but done for years by local places like Cote-St-Luc Barbecue or Chalet Barbecue.

        1. re: PaulV

          One more for Montreal: poutine. Or is it more for Quebec?

          1. re: PaulV

            Ottawa and Montréal both boast a lot of Lebanese foods, yum! Both of the fast-food and more elegant versions. Our pet Lebanese fastfood (also available at slightly more upscale, sit-down restos) is shish taouk (chicken shawarma).

            Here in Montréal, all kinds of food, and good bread, but traditional Québécois food would include tourtière and its many variations - even vegetarian ones. Of course there is poutine, but that is originally typical of a rural region on the south shore of the St-Lawrence river between Mtl and Québec City. It has been citified in many versions.

            1. re: PaulV

              I've never had shawarma (I'm veg), but I agree that Middle-Eastern food is big in O-town.

              Re: BBQ - the St-Hubert sauce is classic. I still crave it sometimes - slightly spicier than gravy... Too bad they don't make a meatless version.

          2. I live in Nebraska, THE food here is steak. And I don't even like steak that much.

            I liked living in Wisconsin - there it's cheese. Mmmmmmm, cheese.

            8 Replies
            1. re: jnstarla

              I'd venture cheese curds as an even more specific "THE" than cheese. But whaddoiknow? I'm from New York.

              1. re: MaspethMaven

                perhaps you mean 'fried cheese curds', a wonderful delicacy I've only enjoyed while watching great concerts at Alpine Valley in good, ole Wisconsin. What an underrated state.

                1. re: roasted138

                  Oh man, fried cheese curds... I am at Summerfest right now when you mention fried cheese curds.

                  No wonder I gained so much weight in college...

                  1. re: jnstarla

                    haha, and the beer...don't forget about the beer.

                    1. re: roasted138

                      Oh yes, the beer.... ah, good times, Milwaukee.

                2. re: MaspethMaven

                  I grew up in Milwaukee and you are right. It's the curds that get the 'THE'.

                3. re: jnstarla

                  From a flatlander in Illinois who visits Wisconsin regularly perspective, I think of Wisconson for cheese, brats, fresh water fish(walleye, etc), and beer. Wisconsin is a great state.

                  1. re: jnstarla

                    How about runza? My husband went to UNL and runza was apparently the big deal.

                  2. Indiana here. Breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. I moved here about 4 years ago and never had one until about a year ago (at the cafeteria of an Indianapolis water company, of all places). And it was absolutely delicious! The person who took me to lunch ( who worked next door) said that the cook did really good tenderloins and he was right. I'd avoided them out of pure food snobbery on my part--I've learned my lesson!

                    Originally from PA Dutch country--home of funnel cake, scrapple, shoo-fly pie, and chicken corn noodle soup.

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: nofunlatte

                      That brings memories of my childhood! We used to live in Bedford Indiana, and there was a diner on the highway that made this delicious bread veal meal.I don't think it had any gravy or anything, but it was so juicy and tender. When we moved our last stop was at that place for a farewell dinner!

                      1. re: danhole

                        An even more specific Indiana specialty is found in Northwest Indiana. The specialty is lake perch which is best pan sauteed and served with drawn butter. The other idiosyncratic food is the relishes served prior to the main course. Usually these are 3 bean salad, coleslaw and cottage cheese. This is less widespread than it was at one time but is still served at old school restaurants.

                        1. re: fryrose

                          If you replace the coleslaw with pepper cabbage and add apple butter on the cottage cheese, I'd swear I was in PA Dutch country!

                          1. re: fryrose

                            I'm not sure if this is a specialty or not, but when we lived in Holland, Indiana (Southern In) people would go mushroom hunting, and then bring them back, bread and deep fat fry them up in a big vat. They were enormous, the size of chicken livers, but so very good. I have no idea what kind they were but it is the only time in my life that I embraced mushrooms and wanted more! Had a meaty taste. Kind of like the Northern version of a crawfish boil, come to think of it!

                            1. re: danhole

                              Those mushrooms are the highly prized and very expensive Morels. I have seen them selling fresh for up to $50/lb. Many of the locals in the Bloomington dredge them in an egg wash and bread them with cracker crumbs and then fry in butter. Pretty darn good. Now if i could just get giant Puffballs like we used to have in northern NY state.

                              1. re: Candy

                                So that's the name of them, Morels? You know it may have been in Bloomington where I had them. We lived in Holland, and dad managed a bowling alley in Huntingburg, but then we lived in Bedford and he managed a bowling alley in Bloomington. Sometimes I get them confused. Whichever one it was our bowling alley had a little coffee shop in it with a woman named Vi who was the cook. Locals came in early for her pies! The best in town! Always ran out of pie, no matter how many she made! Thanks for the info!

                        2. re: nofunlatte

                          I am originally from Evansville, IN and the first thing that occured to me was the brain sandwich and German food in general. It's very very popular in the area and was the reason Evansville was featured on Alton Brown's show.

                          1. re: ArikaDawn

                            I was never brave enough to try the brain sandwiches at the Fall Festival. My favorite was the huge pork chop sandwiches and the funnel cakes.

                            But the pork tenderloin sandwich is king. As well as sweet corn on the cob and tomatoes from the garden.

                            Edit - Persimmon pudding! I totally forgot - my Grandmother's was the best.

                          2. re: nofunlatte

                            Amen to the Indiana tenderloins. When I moved away to the southwest, I had no idea that they weren't everywhere.

                            1. re: sausagefinger

                              I'd kill for a tenderloin, pork fritter whatever you want to call it but alas they do not exist here in TX. Makes me miss home in the midwest.

                              1. re: pickychicky1979

                                They are really simple to make. I use real pork tenderloin but most commercially produced ones are sliced from the loin. Which ever you choose to use pound the meat out thinly then flour, dredge in an egg and milk wash and coat thoroughly with bread crumbs, I use panko. Some people prefer to use a batter as one might use to make fried chicken. So however you want to coat it do it thoroughly and pan fry turning once until golden on each side.

                                If you give it a thought it is a pork schnitzel, and with all of the Germanic roots in southern Indiana it is kind of a logical dish to have.

                          3. Essex County NJ born and raised:

                            1 - Sloppy Joe Sandwich - not the ground meat "Manwich" style but Corned Beef, Turkey, (maybe tongue), cole slaw, russian dressing and three thin slices of rye bread
                            2 - Taylor ham grilled on a roll. At breakfast add cheese and egg
                            3 - Hot Dogs - jfood did not realize how great the hot dogs in Jersey were until he went to college. Only places that conpare are CT and Chicago
                            4 - Bagels - Second only to some in NYC
                            5 - Pizza - Top five with NYC, New Haven, Chicago and you can add your hometown

                            That's the top five jfood can think of.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: jfood

                              You left out the Jersey Tomato. Best eaten directly off the vine while swatting away our state bird the moskeeter.

                              1. re: Eric in NJ

                                I thought moskeeters were from eastern New England...the land of the Law of Conservation of Rs.

                                1. re: Eric in NJ

                                  Don't forget NJ blueberries..........

                                2. re: jfood

                                  Essex County here too. Agree with everything, except you forgot about the Diner. I have more diners per capita in my hometown than probably anywhere else.

                                  1. re: ESNY

                                    Blue crabs and soft shell crab sandwiches are NJ too.

                                  2. re: jfood

                                    jfood...when I think of Essex County, I think of all those wonderful Portuguese Places in Newark. I had never heard of Taylor ham until I started working in NJ but quickly learned to love it.

                                    Just two bridges/tunnels away on in the Land of Saturday Night Fever it was always Brooklyn Pizza, Brooklyn Bagels, Nathan's hot dogs, Mrs Stahl's knish's, Junior's cheesecake, and the romanced Egg Cream. My family was unique they hated Mrs Stahl's and we never went to Junior's for cheesecake (we went for sundaes).

                                    1. re: MrsT

                                      cudo's to jfood...exactly what I was thinking about with the above additions that others offered...how about Jersey Sweet Corn or Strawberries...both very seasonal....

                                  3. I was born and raised in Vegas. I can't say we have a regional food. Buffets? Steak and egg breakfasts? No clue.

                                    We lived in Salt Lake for a little while. I remember that those flatbread tacos were pretty popular. The doughy ones that are deep fried so they become bubbly and yummy. I actually saw a Throwdown with Bobby Flay on these same tacos, whatever they called them. There could more, but I was pretty young and that's the only thing I remember.

                                    After SLC we moved to Boise ID. Potatoes? Of course. But, Boise isn't known for it's culinary delights. I do remember there was some wonderful cheese curds at the cheese factory. Chocolate covered potato chips taste like kit kat bars but with some salt. You can easily make them at home and they are pretty tasty!

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: Azizeh Barjesteh

                                      I have been tourist to Vegas once, and yes, my impression of the It food there was buffets ;)

                                      1. re: Azizeh Barjesteh

                                        I grew up just outside Salt Lake. Those flatbread tacos are called navajo tacos. But Utahns generally call all fried dough "scones." There's even a chain there called Sconecutters where you can get fried dough with sweet and savory toppings; I like mine best with honey butter. I was shocked when I moved out of state and discovered that meant something totally different to the rest of the world. There's also fry sauce that's unique to Utah and the surrounding states.

                                        1. re: mollyomormon

                                          Hey Molly...Did you know there was once a "Sconecutter" in Baltimore? It was years ahead of its time. I worked there for two years (about 18 years ago) and I still crave those scones with honey butter and cinnamon!

                                          1. re: kimmer1850

                                            I had no idea! I find it so hilarious now that everyone else in the world thinks of scones as pastries to eat with tea while people in Utah (and apparently people from Baltimore 18 years ago) think of scones as deep fried dough. But yum! I often try to grab when when I'm visiting Utah.

                                            1. re: kimmer1850

                                              Man, so mad I missed out on that! Where in Baltimore was it, Kimmer?

                                              1. re: charmedgirl

                                                It was in Brooklyn Park on Ritchie Highway (where the discount matress store is now.)
                                                I really miss their milkshakes and spicy fries with special sauce, too.

                                        2. Jackson, MS- fried catfish, fried chicken and pig ear sandwiches...

                                          1. St. John's, Newfoundland -- fish and chips, or -- even more particular -- chips, dressing and gravy with a side of peas.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: mwright

                                              Oakland, Md (western tip-minutes from WV border) Very rural area-not a food mecca by any means...but it would be peperoni rolls and ramp dinners in the spring. And morel mushrooms if you are lucky enough to know someone to find them!!

                                              1. re: mwright

                                                What about seal flipper pie, toutons or brewis? Is that more for the tourists?

                                              2. Rhode Island is crammed with local foods - it's possibly one of the concentrated localized food areas in the US in that regard. Jonnycakes, coffee milk, iced coffee (born in RI), stuffies, cabinets, Del's lemonade, Saugy's hot dogs *and* New York system wieners, et cet. It's actually rather amazing.

                                                Other highly localized foods in New England that are not well known outside those areas would include: Maine's "Italian" sub, the roast beef joints in towns immediately north of Boston (very unknown compared to the much more famous fried clam shacks of the same region - and some of the roast beef joints have better fried clams or chowder than the clam shacks (like Royal Roast Beef in East Boston (fried clams) and Kelly's Roast Beef in Revere (clam chowder)), hot buttered lobster rolls in southeastern Connecticut, et cet.

                                                Just to illustrate - this is far from comprehensive.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Karl S

                                                  i cannot agree with you enough about the fried clams at royal. fabulous.

                                                  1. re: Karl S

                                                    Don't forget clam cakes. Never seen anything like it elsewhere. Delicious, but do you know a better way of describing them beyond the horrid "it's kinda like a clam donut."

                                                  2. When I lived in Minnesota, I was served a plate of what was ostensibly tater tots on a bed of warmed up Alpo. The natives were shocked that I had never seen, tried, nor heard of their favorite comfort food: Minnesota hotdish.

                                                    1. Buffalo here
                                                      Also Beef on Weck, Sponge Candy, not sure how big fish fries are other places, but they are HUGE here.

                                                      And Wings

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: L_W

                                                        And Ted's Hot Dogs. Which can easily hold their own against NJ, Chicago, "Pinks".

                                                      2. Albany NY here. Fish fry sandwiches, with long thin pieces of fish that hang out the end of the hotdog bun (new england style bun with the slit on top). I think Bob & Ron's makes it best, but some prefer Ted's.

                                                        1. Maryland here...blue crabs steamed with lots of spicy Old Bay seasoning. Gotta be served on a picnic table (covered with newspaper or brown butchers paper) with pitchers of cold beer, corn on the cob and vinegar and melted butter for dipping. Some of my best and earliest memories are of crab feasts with the family...often in our backyard and sometimes even in the rain!

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: kimmer1850

                                                            absolutely---washed down with some ice cold Natty Bo beer...and howabaout the crabcakes made from the pickin's of the leftover crabs? Or hardfries?

                                                            1. re: recordkitten

                                                              Or spicy crab soup made with the carcases? Or soft shells picked up in Oxford and sautedd with just a dredge of flour and a sprinkle of Old Bay?

                                                            2. re: kimmer1850

                                                              You guys! That's exactly what I was going to say! Maryland born and raised --- it wouldn't be summer without Chesapeake Bay blue crabs!

                                                            3. when i was growing up in central Illinois, the particular local favorite was the "horseshoe." or, one to two pieces of white toast, topped with one or two hamburger patties, covered with french fries and then topped with melted cheese sauce. its so yummy, so delicious, and so bad for you. everytime i go back though, i get one. and, for those of you who want a smaller sized portion... you get the "ponyshoe."

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: elnora

                                                                Oh gosh how I miss the horseshoe sandwiches. One of my fondest memories is how Gov. Edgar's doctor had to specifically tell him to stop eating horseshoes if he wanted to stop having heart attacks.

                                                              2. Chicago here.

                                                                The two things I miss the most & have a hard time finding when I am outside of Chicago are:

                                                                #1 Italian Beef sandwich - I cant even find a close facimilie anywhere

                                                                #2 Chicago style hot dogs. -

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: swsidejim

                                                                  I used to live in Chicago back in the late 60's. There was a family place (like a Denny's type place) down the street from the bowling alley my parents ran. They had an amazing hot dog that was big, partially sliced open, cheese inserted and then wrapped with bacon and grilled? broiled? I don't know how they did it, but the bacon was a bit crispy, cheese oozed, and it was a great treat! When I think of Chicago I think of those hot dogs, little shops on the streets, or in a grocery store parking lot, that sold ham and cheese sandwiches on burger buns, by the bag full, and the incredible delis!

                                                                  1. re: danhole

                                                                    I also love the Italian delis that are around for their specialty lunch meats & sandwiches.

                                                                    1. re: swsidejim

                                                                      We were in a part of town that had a polish deli on one street, jewish deli on another, and italian also close by! Talk about lunch meat heaven - hence, my love of sandwiches, bread, cheese and pickles!

                                                                      1. re: danhole

                                                                        You were lucky, I can believe I forgot about the jewish delis with the corned beef, etc.

                                                                2. Houston, Tx here.

                                                                  Chicken Fried Steak, Smoked brisket, smoked steaks, smoked ribs, smoked whatever you can! And Chili. Oh yes, and Tex-Mex - not authentic (although we have that too) but I think we are more known for Tex-Mex.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: danhole

                                                                    Actually, TexMex is authentic. Calling it Mexican food, as we Texans are prone to do, is the not authentic part.

                                                                    I'm in Dallas and I'd say anything beef, particularly BBQ and steaks. Also Tex-Mex and chili.

                                                                  2. i grew up in WV - so pepperoni rolls. i miss them. i need to get some soon.

                                                                    1. Southeastern Ohio here.....chicken & noodles! This dish is sold at every town carnival, fund raiser, football games, etc. My mom would make it for dinner at least once a week. She would serve it over mashed potatoes. Yumm...

                                                                      1. Colorado is really known for its green chili.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Megiac

                                                                          New Mexico too. Stacked enchiladas and the soppapilla, w/honey or stuffed w/ pork, pinto beans and green chile. Yum!

                                                                        2. I suppose someone has to say it--southern/ central California: In-n-Out.

                                                                          1. Northeastern Ohio...about 20 minutes from Mosquito Lake...

                                                                            walleye and perch, caught fresh that morning
                                                                            pierogies on Fridays from the Catholic church
                                                                            egg pizza and Briar Hill pizza on Fridays NOT during lent from the Catholic church
                                                                            wedding soup
                                                                            greens and beans
                                                                            stuffed cabbage
                                                                            and if you ever get the honor...Fernando's Wedgewood Pizza

                                                                            1. grew up in northern new jersey. loved the hot dogs, took them for granted. sure miss them now.

                                                                              1. Philly here. Philly Cheese Steaks!
                                                                                Living in NYC now, and continually jonsing for the real thing...They can call it a Philly Cheese Steak, but either the bread isn't right, or the provolone isn't right....but just found a place here that makes the real deal.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: howboy

                                                                                  i'm in nyc too - who lived in philly for a bit and jonsing for a good cheesesteak. where did you go that makes teh real deal? i tried shorty's and was disppointed.

                                                                                  1. re: atraxia

                                                                                    I went to Shorty's and I liked it.They get all the ingredients from the same supplier as Tony Lucas'....personally, I grew up on Pat's King of Steaks.

                                                                                    1. re: howboy

                                                                                      Philly pork sandwich, Ninth St. Italian sausage sandwich, soft pretzel.

                                                                                2. Minnesota here. As JungMann points out, Tater Tot hotdish could justifiably be pinned to us. But know this: we in this part of the Midwest seem to call any casserole or covered dish, a "hot dish." Some are phenomenal, some are abysmal. Lots of church dinner type food. Always a Tater Tot in the bunch, but there's so much more.

                                                                                  Also: fresh fish. Fried Walleye, fried crappies, sunnies, smelt. Lake Superior herring and whitefish and trout. Eye-rollingly delicious on a summer evening

                                                                                  Finally, as a cold winter state, we have a wonderful tradition of preserving. Pickles, jellies, jams, canned meats, etc. I'm certain this is the same in other cold states as well; the Minnesotans seem quite proud of the "puttin' up" for the winter.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                    And don't forget the classic summer staple of food on a stick at the State Fair.

                                                                                  2. In Michigan it's Whitefish and Michigan cherries. We were up north over the 4th of July, and I have never seen so many cherry stands, and the freshly caught Whitefish was fabulous.

                                                                                    1. Where I live currently, Fort Myers, FL, it is definitely grouper, specifically fried grouper. It seems to be the food people seek out when in town and is also what restaurants seem to be most competitive about. Every local seems to have a definitive opinion of where to get the best fried grouper and what makes the best.

                                                                                      1. Virginia Beach & Norfolk, VA border the Atlantic Ocean, the Chesapeake Bay & many inlets/rivers, so seafood obviously is a major focus; however, it is Virginia & we love our ham !

                                                                                        ***Breakfast - Bakfin Bennie's (traditional eggs benedict with lump backfin crabmeat in lieu of canadian bacon).
                                                                                        ***Lunch - Grilled Salmon Caesar's Salad, She Crab Soup with a splash of sherry, or a broiled lump crbcake sandwich (no filler of course).
                                                                                        ***Dinner - Jumbo Fantail Fried Shrimp (Steinhilber's style served with roumalade sauce) or in the winter a Virginia Ham Biscuits...

                                                                                        1 (14 to 16-pound) fully cooked, spiral-cut smoked ham, on the bone
                                                                                        6 garlic cloves
                                                                                        8 1/2 ounces mango chutney
                                                                                        1/2 cup Dijon mustard
                                                                                        1 cup light brown sugar, packed
                                                                                        1 orange, zested
                                                                                        1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

                                                                                        Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the ham in a heavy roasting pan.
                                                                                        Mince the garlic in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the chutney, mustard, brown sugar, orange zest, and orange juice and process until smooth. Pour the glaze over the ham and bake for 1 hour, until the ham is fully heated and the glaze is well browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.

                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: JayVaBeach

                                                                                          I grew up on the other side of the bridge-tunnel in Hampton. I will agree that we love our ham. However I am not familiar with the other items you mentioned. I will admit, Va Beach is a bigger city. For Hampton and Newport News I would say barbecue - the minced NC style on a bun with hot sauce and coleslaw. I would also say yat gaw mein - I remember eating it as a kid. I'm not sure if it's still popular. It's a Chinese American noodle dish with brown sauce with onions and pork, chicken or shrimp. I also remember going crabbing at Ft. Monroe - then buying some crabs on the way home for a crab feast.
                                                                                          I live in Baltimore city now. I think, of course, the crab cake says Baltimore. I would also add the chicken-box - a combination of fried chicken wings with your choice of fried rice or french fries. I would also add fried lake trout. Lake trout is actually whiting but some marketing genius renamed it. Fried lake trout is usually served as a 'sandwich' between two pieces of white bread. The fish is not eaten as a sandwich. The bread is used to sop up errant grease and/or push down a fish bone swallowed by accident.

                                                                                          1. re: amethiste

                                                                                            Don't forget pit beef sandwiches. Oh, I do miss those from when I lived in B'more. A huge hunk of beef, slow grilled rotisserie style, sliced off to order and piled high on a bun. I always prefered horseradish and a little mayo on mine. Heaven on a bun. And be sure to get the ranch fries (batter dipped wedge fries) with that lake trout sandwich, hon!

                                                                                              1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                I remember passing through Baltimore and I was fascinated by this pit beef sandwich so I Got one. Absolutely fantastic. Reminded me of a "pulled beef".

                                                                                              2. re: amethiste

                                                                                                Hi Ame - yes - you're right about minced Pork Barbecue topped with cole slaw & hot sauce. I still love Doumar's Barbecue best; however, Pierces on your side of the water is a close 2nd.

                                                                                                1. re: JayVaBeach

                                                                                                  Hey Jay - I did not know Doumar's had barbecue. I just know that they invented the waffle cone. I need to make it across the bridge one day when I visit home. You know crossing the bridge tunnel is like visiting another planet if you are from The Peninsula.

                                                                                                  1. re: amethiste

                                                                                                    I know I know - it's such a journey too - haaa. Yes, I grew up on Doumar's minced barbecues, as both of my parents were "Nauufaulk" natives - it's where they hung out as teenagers. My staple order is two "upstairs" (which is a minced pork barbecue with hot sauce & heavy slaw), an order of fries (well done) & a chocolate shake (made with vanilla icecream) & we still do curb service.

                                                                                                    One of my favorite spots on your side of the water is Cowboy Syd's in the William Styron Square - love it; although, I've not been much since Sydney opened Stove, The Restaurant in Portsmouth. Of course my all time favorite on the peninsula is Christiana Campbell's Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg. We make reservations every year for the grand illumination - so fun !

                                                                                                    1. re: JayVaBeach

                                                                                                      My Dad in Hampton just told me his favorite spot for minced BBQ is Wilkin's on the corner of Victoria Blvd and LaSalle Ave. It's good chow. IIRC it's carryout only.

                                                                                            1. Here in North Carolina it's BBQ. Not ribs or chicken cooked on a grill, but pork shoulder, that has been smoked for hours over hickory wood, until it's so tender you can literally pull it off the bone.

                                                                                              1. Pittsburgh is, unfortunately, known for putting french fries and cole slaw ON the sandwich. In reality it 's only done at one place (Primanti's) and was created so truckers could eat an entire meal with one hand.

                                                                                                We are also known for pierogies. I've yet to see or hear of any natives actually eating pierogies in the five years I've been here.

                                                                                                We're also known for Mancini's bread, which is supposedly Italian, albeit only in some parallel universe called 'Ersatz'.

                                                                                                The good news is we're getting better. Best espresso scene between Chicago and NYC for certain.

                                                                                                As far as Chicago being known for "pizza"... I would've gone with Chicago-style dogs and giant pork chops. Chicago-style deep dish pizza-pot-pies are best left to the locals.

                                                                                                As a side note, was born and raised in Stamford, CT. And the signature food is the same today as it was 33 years ago when I first tried it (with a cold Rheingold on tap): the Colony Grille pizza.

                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Panini Guy

                                                                                                  hot oil and sausage. top 5 pies in jfood's opinion

                                                                                                  1. re: Panini Guy

                                                                                                    Actually Panini Guy, native Chicagoians go for the thin crust Chicago style pizza over the deep dish version by a wide margin. Chicago thin style has a crisp, cracker like crust that doesn't bend much when you pick it up, a spicy tomato sauce, toppings and cheese spread out very close to the edge, and is cut in to squares rather than wegdes.

                                                                                                    1. re: LabRat


                                                                                                      When jfood lived in chicago his pizza maker also used a machine to thin the dough versus using his hands. it looked like a big pasta machine that he placed the dough through to get the thinness correct. Is that typical or was jfood's guy a little lazy. BTW, jfood loves both style chicago pizza.

                                                                                                      1. re: jfood


                                                                                                        The dough used for this style pizza has a much lower hydration level (45% compared to 60%) and a higher fat level (8-9% compared to 2-3%) than your traditional american style pizza dough. It doesn't strech like other pizza doughs, so it has to be rolled out to form the skins rather than being tossed in the air. Most places use machines called "sheeters" to form their crusts rather than roll them out by hand to save time. I also enjoy both the deep dish and thin style, but IMO the deep dish is a little too much to be eaten on a regular basis so I usually only get them when I have family or friends visiting from out of town and they request it. There is also a third style of pizza that is somewhat unique to the Chicago area we call "burnt edge style". It is a meduim thick crust pizza baked in a pan with cheese spread out all the way to the edge. The cheese that comes in contact with the sides of the pan gets quite caramelized and crunchy. Pequod's and Burt's Place (both of which were founded by the same guy) are the two places primarily known for this style pizza.

                                                                                                        1. re: LabRat


                                                                                                          thanks for the explanation. the first time jfood (from NJ) saw this method he was surprised. Then he saw them cut the pie into squares.Jfood thought he was in a bizarro world. but the taste was very good.

                                                                                                          And he agrees that as a 20 year old grad student the deep dish was fun every week as a 50 year old you-know-what it's a once a year event at best.

                                                                                                  2. Here in Harrisburg, PA the closest thing to local cuisine is Pennsylvania Dutch. Lebanon bologna is a staple at the deli counters. It's nothing like the product most people think of as bologna. It's more like salami, but with a smoked flavor. This area is also big on salty snacks. There are at least a half dozen local brands of potato chips and pretzels. The local beer is Yuengling, but nobody calls it that. It's known simply as "lager." On Fat tuesday we eat "fastnacts," which are basically donuts without holes. Pickled beet eggs are popular at holiday meals. And for some reason iced tea in plastic bottles is huge around here. Most families have a gallon of Turkey Hill or Swiss iced teas in their fridge.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: xnumberoneson

                                                                                                      Middleswarth BBQ chips rock! I LOVE pickled eggs... yum. I'm originally from Williamsport PA... they are known for having some of the best hoagies around. Cheese steaks too. And all the local Italian there jar chopped banana peppers w/ garlic and herbs and can them. We call them Italian bread peppers and eat them on bread & butter, sandwiches, salads, etc.

                                                                                                      1. re: lynnlato

                                                                                                        Allentown area: scrapple, soft pretzels, chow chow relish, hot bacon dressing, apple butter; Hazleton: a cold quasi pizza called pitz.

                                                                                                    2. I'm not from there, but I love a Door County, WI fish boil!

                                                                                                      1. Sacramento, Ca here. Fresh everything, seasonal everything, sustainable everything..and we loves our cheese.

                                                                                                        1. Bluffton, SC here - look for shrimp and grits and either grilled or raw May River oysters. The shrimp are amazing and if you've never had a shrimp right off the boat, you've never had a shrimp - period!

                                                                                                          1. Can't believe no one has mentioned New Orleans yet - I only lived there for 7 years but what a culinary impression it's had on me:
                                                                                                            Oysters, crawfish boil, beignets, red beans and rice, muffelattas, po-boys, jambalaya, ettouffet - I could go on and on and on!!!!!

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: lexpatti

                                                                                                              What are beignets? In Seaside Hgts NJ there was a resto with that name but I did not know what it meant.

                                                                                                              1. re: Barbarella

                                                                                                                little french donuts - basically little fried dough squares, dusted with confectionary sugar. Those are the originals but now many make crawfish beignets and other types.

                                                                                                                  1. re: lexpatti

                                                                                                                    They are delicious and I'm not a big sweet eater! I loved the Cafe du Monde.

                                                                                                              2. In the San Francisco Bay Area:
                                                                                                                Dungeness crab, especially cracked crab and crab Louis, and seafood of all types. Chinese. Italian. Southeast Asian. California cuisine. The Joe's burger. And, of course, sourdough French bread.

                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: mpalmer6c

                                                                                                                  and crab season is almost upon us! for SF i would add cioppino, and the mission burrito.

                                                                                                                  1. re: augustiner

                                                                                                                    That was my reply too....burritos. People outside of SF do not take their burritos half as seriously. Man, I miss me some good burritos (live outside CA now). Even outside SF, into San Leandro, Hayward, etc...you can still get some good ones.

                                                                                                                  2. re: mpalmer6c

                                                                                                                    It must be noted though that the best Italian cuisine in SF is California-Italian -- Italian style cooking that is unique to the area due to the ingredients available.

                                                                                                                    Really great authentic Mexican is part of the region too -- lots of Oaxacan and some great Yucatan.

                                                                                                                    Not traditional of course, but the ubiquitous "California cuisine" spawned by Her Aliceness.

                                                                                                                  3. From Philly originally so of course there's the cheesesteak. But roast pork Italian is definitely right up there now.
                                                                                                                    Now I'm in No. Virginia, so basically Washington D.C. where the definitive cuisine is Ethiopian. The "local" food is the half smoke, a sausage. Whatever ;-)


                                                                                                                    1. I'm not a St. Louis native, but we've been here 12 years.

                                                                                                                      The four foods I think of as St. Louisan are toasted raviolis, St. Louis style pizza, St. Paul sandwichs, and gooey butter cake. The last is wonderful, the first very good, I've never had a St. Paul sandwich, and the pizza -- well, most people from here absolutely love it and most people not raised here don't. Me -- other than the crust, sauce and cheese it's not bad.

                                                                                                                      Perhaps a native can expand on this and corect me if wrong.

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Richard 16

                                                                                                                        Please tell me more about "gooey butter cake"!!

                                                                                                                        1. re: BostonCookieMonster

                                                                                                                          Mmmmm.......... gooey butter cake..... mmmmmm

                                                                                                                          While there are variations, gooey butter cake is essentially a very buttery yellow cake bottom with a very sweet and buttery cream cheese top, and "dusted" with a lot of powdered sugar. Recipes commonly call for a whole stick of butter and egg with yellow cake mix, and another whole stick of butter with powdered sugar in the cream cheese. Generously sprinkle with more powdered sugar. There are plenty of recipes online. It is (as I'm sure you can imagine) very sweet, messy, and, well, gooey and buttery.

                                                                                                                          One variation I may try this year at Thanksgiving is a pumpkin version.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Richard 16

                                                                                                                          I'd never had frozen custard until I moved to St. Louis!

                                                                                                                        3. San Gabriel Valley area in SoCal: Asian Food

                                                                                                                          1. Bruce County, Ontario. Like most northern States we love our freshwater fish. But along the Lake Huron coast in the Bruce, fresh, wild Rainbow Trout rules - barbequed, poached, smoked, oven grilled or breaded.

                                                                                                                            The photos show a typical fish, a 5 1/2 Bow and its fillets.

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: DockPotato

                                                                                                                              Do you have any good recipes for the ocean trout? i recently bought some, but not sure what to do with it. Thanks

                                                                                                                              1. re: cmarie

                                                                                                                                Chere cmarie, these are not Ocean Trout. They are freshwater Trout and behave differently in the pan. This is a very wide-ranging thread and I'm sure someone knowlegable will accommodate you. Here is a thread in the interim that may help you.


                                                                                                                            2. I'm the first from AZ, huh? Ok, if I had to pick one Phoenix food that everyone immediately identifies with, it's a carne asada burrito from one of our 24-hour taco shops. A massive tortilla loaded with grilled beef, pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream. Best served at 2 a.m.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: ajs228

                                                                                                                                The Phoenix specialty I remember are chimichangas.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Sharuf

                                                                                                                                  I miss green corn tamales. I've not encountered anything comparable out side of Arizona.

                                                                                                                              2. Grew up in Bonn, Germany. Known for its local brew Bönnsch (like Kölsch, but you're not allowed to call any beer brewed outside of Cologne Kölsch).
                                                                                                                                "Himmel un Ääd" (heaven and earth): pan-fried blood sausage with apple sauce
                                                                                                                                "Halve Hahn" (half rooster): gouda on rye bread with onions -- boy are people surprised when that arrives and they expected half a chicken.

                                                                                                                                Moved to Berlin later, where the "Berliner" was invented: a jam-filled donut, and in Berlin it is actually called Pfannkuchen (pancake). Everywhere else in Germany it's 'Berliner' though. You can get fantastic white asparagus around Berlin, too, and people (including me) go complete apesh!t over it. Probably cause the season is only a mere 2 months long... sigh.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                  same here from Holland, best White Asparagus ever!!!!!1 Oh, how I miss them dearly... with ham, boiled egg, parsley & melted butter.... YUM!!
                                                                                                                                  Also in holland anything mixed with mashed potato... nice wintery dish, especially mixed with crispy bacon bits and sauerkraut....

                                                                                                                                2. Northwestern Iowa: Pork burgers, ham balls, and sweet corn.

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: revsharkie

                                                                                                                                    I'm Philly, so have to go with the cheesesteak (wit). But the husband is from Iowa and I think he's say a "Made Rite" sandwich.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: elayne5

                                                                                                                                      Maid-Rites are bigger in eastern Iowa than they are here.

                                                                                                                                  2. Pacific Northwest chiming in....

                                                                                                                                    Salmon (smoked, baked, grilled, candied, etc), also Alaskan king crab and dungeness crab, perhaps huckleberries, bing cherries, apples and hazlenuts as well.
                                                                                                                                    Real Seattle coffee?

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: wino22

                                                                                                                                      Smelt, during the brief run. Razor clams that the family dug during the last trip to the beach. Apple pies. Blackberry pies. Strawberry shortcake, with berries from the local U-pick.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: wino22

                                                                                                                                        only thing i'd add to the list are oysters. we've got some great ones here. :o)

                                                                                                                                      2. As the name implies - Alaska here. Its a big state with some local musts but I think there is an overall list as follows:

                                                                                                                                        Seafood is #1
                                                                                                                                        Salmon of every kind and while most outsiders prefer sockeye/reds, those in the know are happiest with white king salmon and we cook it any number of ways and of course we smoke it - the hotsmoke kind as opposed to your coldsmoke lox type
                                                                                                                                        Halibut - fish and chips for most tho its like chicken in my house - at least once or twice a week
                                                                                                                                        Crab - we'll argue about whether king is better than dungeness but will eat tanner/snow crab in a pinch too
                                                                                                                                        Shrimp, clams, oysters, scallops - we love them all.

                                                                                                                                        Then there's the meat - moose, deer and caribou are all on the plate

                                                                                                                                        And finally, don't forget sourdough - great for any bread but most common in those light as air sourdough pancakes. MMMMMMM

                                                                                                                                        So our signature dish? To "lower 48ers" the usual preference is copper river king or red salmon bbqed, halibut and chips, smoked salmon and sourdough pancakes in that order. To most "sourdoughs" it doesnt matter so long as you can kill it and grill it

                                                                                                                                        Since I love to eat the "local food" when I travel, this is a great thread to make sure I don't miss those things - thanks!

                                                                                                                                        1. from my time in Louisiana....boudin and mudbugs (sausage and crawfish) and muffuletta sandwich

                                                                                                                                          1. I went to college in Rochester, NY (U of R) and the biggest Rachacha food was the garbage plate originated by a place called Nick Tahou's. God how I would kill for one right now!
                                                                                                                                            Here is the thread for it:

                                                                                                                                            1. A friend who lives in RI took me to the New York System hot dog place in Warwick,and what an experience that was..Hot dog's with ground beef,onions,and celery salt,with a glass of coffee milk..
                                                                                                                                              In Jersey we have many diner's...but also good deli's,pizza,hot dog's,and seafood..

                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: sweetteeth69

                                                                                                                                                Looks like I'm the first Tennessee boy. Hot chicken, pan-fried in a cast-iron skillet with a special blend of spices is pretty big in Nashville. I called Memphis home for awhile, and obviously we lay claim to the dry ribs made famous by places such as Rendezvous. Memphis also has the pulled pork sandwich with slaw and sauce.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: notgreg

                                                                                                                                                  And I'm the first Tennessee girl....born and raised in KY for my early years and now call Nashville home. Growing up in KY, it was country ham, fried pies, bbq (pulled pork), burgoo, fried catfish, beans & cornbread and of course plenty of bourbon!! TN brings more bbq but with different sauces. Oh, and whiskey. I'm a KY girl at heart, so I always favor Maker's Mark over Jack Daniels!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sparkplug

                                                                                                                                                    It's funny that you mention whiskey- after many years of tending bar I am convinced that there is not a Kentuckian alive- man, woman or child- who can't drink me under the table.

                                                                                                                                                    Kentucky mothers must substitute bourbon for breast milk!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Clarkafella

                                                                                                                                                      My family (from KY) used bourbon as medicine when we were young (specifically 'whiskey, honey & lemon'). So maybe you're on to something there.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                                        Wait - my family is from Washington State and Alaska and that's long been the "medicine" for us too!

                                                                                                                                              2. I'm originally from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada and we had the usual lobster rolls, fish 'n' chips, etc. However, donairs are also very popular in that part of the world - they're like gyros but with a sweet, garlicky sauce. Delish after a night out!

                                                                                                                                                1. I'm from a small town in gold country, the Sierra Nevada foothills in northern California. The gold mines hired a lot of Cornish miners for their experience in tin mines so our local food is Cornish pasties: meat (beef, sausage, chicken, whatever), potatoes, turnips, onions, sometimes celery inside flaky pie crust. Served with ketchup and vinegar. So good when it's cold out. Apparently when the miners actually took pasties for their lunch they would fill one side with the meat filling and one side with fruit filling for dessert!

                                                                                                                                                  When I lived in L.A. what stood out was great, cheap Mexican food.

                                                                                                                                                  Now I live in Brooklyn, in a Polish neighborhood. Kielbasa, pierogies, rye bread, cabbage, borscht...

                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Olallieberry

                                                                                                                                                    The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is known for pasties--also brought to the era by Cornish miners. Beef and rhutabaga are the classic but people make other kinds as well.

                                                                                                                                                    Detroit has Coneys--hot dogs with chili sauce.

                                                                                                                                                    Vernor's is unique ginger ale. I don't drink it often but I can see why people in other parts of the country mail order it--when you want one, there is no other substitute.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Olallieberry

                                                                                                                                                      I too am from a small town in the Mother Lode - can still remember Dad giving my sister and me a couple bucks and sending us downtown to the Pasty Place for lunch - couple of pasties, some gravy, ketchup and vinegar - pure heaven!

                                                                                                                                                    2. Calif Central Coast here--

                                                                                                                                                      Santa Maria Style BBQ (originally made with whole top block beef for huge crowds, now made with smaller, more manageable beef Tri Tip. Ubiquitous at backyard grills and restaurants alike.

                                                                                                                                                      Artichokes along with fresh vegetables of all types, but especially the cool weather crops of broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, lettuces, produced 12 months of the year due to the cool ocean 'breezes'.

                                                                                                                                                      Garlic-no longer the top rooducer, but surely still the BEST.

                                                                                                                                                      Fresh sustainably-harvested seafood

                                                                                                                                                      1. I was born on the Texas/New Mexico border, so there's two for me:

                                                                                                                                                        West Texas: chicken fried steak
                                                                                                                                                        New Mexico: green chile stew (which I happen to be making for dinner tonight, thanks to our order of 10 pounds of frozen roasted Big Jims coming in from Hatch this morning)

                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                                                                                                                          OK, I'm jealous... I was born and raised in New Mexico and am currently living in Hawaii, and am dying for some Hatch green chile. Hope you enjoyed your green chile stew!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: clarecat

                                                                                                                                                            It was lovely. Made a couple plates of huevos a la the Frontier Restaurant a couple nights later with the leftovers, and looking forward to 19 similar applications with the rest of the chiles!

                                                                                                                                                        2. Eccles cakes; Manchester tart; black pudding. That's for the metropolitian area.

                                                                                                                                                          1. Born in Brooklyn, raised on LI, lived in Manhattan a long time and now live in Westchester so general NY Metro and burbs are my home territory - great bagels, pizza and Jewish deli. Also the best Chinese-American take-out. All staples. Should be noted however that general availability of quality versions of all of the above has diminished in recent years.

                                                                                                                                                            1. Philly here.

                                                                                                                                                              1. Cheesesteaks (that "wit" is so tourist-y, no native of Philly says that and when I say native, I mean, from the city, not the 'burbs or Jersey).

                                                                                                                                                              2. Soft pretzels with spicy mustard

                                                                                                                                                              3. Utz potato chips. Wise chips too

                                                                                                                                                              4. Tastykakes

                                                                                                                                                              5. Hoagies (I prefer Italian)

                                                                                                                                                              6. Scrapple

                                                                                                                                                              7. Water ice (or "wooder" ice, if you are from the actual city)

                                                                                                                                                              I can go on and on, but these are definitive.

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hotteacher1976

                                                                                                                                                                Butterscotch Krimpets...yes!!! A few years back I was sending Tastykakes to our son in California. When you want a Tastykake, you want a Tastykake.

                                                                                                                                                                In our family, we just say Rapa 'cause there is no other scrapple. We take Rapa with us to Oklahoma when we visit the son. The daughter-in-law prefers not to even think about it.

                                                                                                                                                                In high school the son (and a car load) drove from MD to Philly for cheesesteaks....and I had the gas bills to prove it. Luckily, a relocated Philaidelphian has open a Chesesteak shop in OK and they are as good as any we've had.

                                                                                                                                                              2. Pittsburgh here-I always stock up on the McMurray Dairy Bar's store baked ham when I visit home. To get it still hot from the oven was a treat. And people know what "chipped" means. Unlike down south where you have to explain you want it reallllly thin. Also the Hormel Chip chopped ham. (Chipped fine as well.) I recently saw the hormel ham at a Sam's Club refridgerated case-I seriously thought about purchasing my own electric slicer so I could chip it myself. Sometimes you just take for granted the finer things until you no longer have them.....like good pizza!

                                                                                                                                                                1. Born and raised in Syracuse: Hoffmann "Snappys" on a toasted New England (split top) bun; salt potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                  Now, Brussels: eels in green (sorrel) sauce; tomates aux crevettes, hollowed out tomato filled with tiny grey North Sea shrimp; moules/frites; beer; carbonade; those tiny shrimp croquettes with fried parsley....

                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: briedemeaux

                                                                                                                                                                    I really like Flemish food - particularly the shrimps and mussels. Always make sure I have them when I visit Ieper.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: briedemeaux

                                                                                                                                                                      oh, how I miss those tiny grey North Sea Shrimp....

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Connecticut here...
                                                                                                                                                                      Lobster Rolls
                                                                                                                                                                      Fried Clam Strips
                                                                                                                                                                      Clam Chowder
                                                                                                                                                                      Oyster Stew
                                                                                                                                                                      Cheeseburger with Fried Cheese (at the Shady Glen restaurant) in Manchester, CT

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ctflowers

                                                                                                                                                                        Is your lobster roll hot with butter, ctflowers? I grew up with that kind, in Milford, but I think somewhere in CT the lines blur. I'd be interested to know what regions of CT, if any, think a "true" lob roll is cold with mayo....

                                                                                                                                                                      2. I'm originally from Charleston, SC and whenever I think of home, I crave shrimp and red rice the way my Aunt DeEtte used to make it. I know a lot of people would think "shrimp and grits" when I mention Charleston, but we didn't eat that growing up - it seems to be more of a nouveau thing. We did eat a ton of grits, of course, but usually just with butter, S&P, maybe some cheese, and sometimes a little chopped fresh tomato in the summer.

                                                                                                                                                                        My mom's "people" are from eastern NC, so of course it's pork BBQ all the way. Slow cooked over wood, and the way my family likes it, dressed in a vinegar/pepper sauce with just the tiniest touch of tomato for some color. My grandmother also made killer Brunswick stew - and surprisingly enough, the most similar recipe I've found to hers is the Brunswick stew at the Smithfield's BBQ chain.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. In the Florida Keys every eatery offers conch chowder and conch fritters. Oddly enough, Florida is a no take zone for conch. I think most is imported from the Bahamas (where you cannot go anywhere and not pump into a cow pea and conch).

                                                                                                                                                                          I don't know if anyone is from Boston here, but I found it funny/curious as an outsider the passion the Dunkin Donuts coffee versus Starbucks coffee argument evokes. Politics is a safer conversation. Then again I drink Folgers. I am told that is the devil's drink.

                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                            I am not a coffee drinker, but I will say that coffee debate has many disparate roots. New England has tended to prefer medium roasts and to find Starbucks tasting burnt, which is what DD caters to; the classic high end exemplar in the inner Boston area was the much-missed Coffee Connection - which Starbucks bought out and then got rid of its roasting style. The is also a lingering issue of the idea of making coffee a status-denoting drink being considered frivolous by many. we "have" our coffee, don'tcha' know?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                                                                              This is all pretty much on the money. Local fondness for the Coffee Connection remains strong, well over a decade after George was bought out, and the reason why Dunkin Donuts' ad campaigns for the last several years have been about the coffee and not the doughnuts is that DD's doughnuts haven't been any good for years, but for many, a large cream no sugar from the Dunk is the iconic Boston coffee experience.

                                                                                                                                                                              However, a few years ago, the Herald published a story that I found amusing: for all of the derision Starbucks gets for its prices, and for all of the Dunk's blue-collar, regular-joe image...turns out that ounce for ounce, coffee is more expensive at Dunkin Donuts than it is at Starbucks.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                                                                                Grew up in New England, thus grew up on DD. Even lived in Quincy for a bit. Go try Simon's up on Mass Ave in Cambridge for coffee. Or go to Atomic Cafe on the North Shore. Then get back to us on whether DD is still your choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                Compariing the two is like comparing $2 Chuck Chard to Conundrum. There IS a difference. A big one.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                                                                                                                                                    anyone in Boston who claims DD is the best thing since sliced Wondah Bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                    but mostly the person directly above you....

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Panini Guy

                                                                                                                                                                                      Just because a food (or in this case, beverage) experience is iconic to a place, that doesn't mean we think it's the best. As Karl S rightly points out, the coffee we're actually most fiercely loyal to is George Howells', both in the old CC days and now with Terroir.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                It's funny you mention the Bahamas. My husband and I honeymooned there over 15 years ago and can still taste the conch fritters and we still to this day call beans and rice "peas and rice".

                                                                                                                                                                              3. Toronto is probably best known for it's variety of ethnic foods - most done quite authentically and well (esp. Asian, Greek, Middle Eastern, West Indian). However, the most 'Toronto' food is probably a peameal bacon sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                                                                                                                                                    Butter tarts are pretty much all Canada, not just Toronto.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: thenurse

                                                                                                                                                                                    Personally, I consider "street meat", a.k.a. grilled sausages on a bun to be the most Torontonian thing around... although really the law applies to Ontario. Just that Toronto has a lot of them in the downtown area.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3. I don't see many chiming in from Los Angeles, so here goes for a few:

                                                                                                                                                                                    - California Pizza
                                                                                                                                                                                    - Sushi and Fusion Rolls
                                                                                                                                                                                    - Taco Trucks
                                                                                                                                                                                    - Hole-In-the-Wall Mexican restaurants to die for
                                                                                                                                                                                    - Asian anything in the San Gabriel Valley
                                                                                                                                                                                    I could go on and on.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ElsieDee

                                                                                                                                                                                      We have a TON of both taco trucks and good Mexican restos in North Carolina - there's a very large Hispanic population here. I'd kill for some better sushi, though!

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. For Tucson, it's any Mexican food cooked Sonoran style. I wasn't a big fan of the ginormous tortillas, but loved eating the old fashioned tortillas made from lard. I had never had them before I lived in Tucson and always hunted them down while at the market.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. As already mentioned Cheesesteaks are what Philly is known for along with soft pretzels. Are we also known for chocolate covered pretzels or are they found everywhere?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DaisyM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Ham here in VA !

                                                                                                                                                                                          Smithfield Ham biscuits - they're yum-yum !

                                                                                                                                                                                          Peanuts too.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Kansas City BBQ baby!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Plattsburgh, NY (and I am told there is a place in Colchester, VT.) for Michigans. It is a special type of coney, it has a very dense chili and no beans or cheese. New England roll, chopped onions and a squiggle of yellow mustard. They will be my first and last meal when visiting back there for Christmas.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Toronto here, but I grew up in northeastern Ontario where it would be moose; fresh water fish like trout, pike, or pickerel; Northern Ale, as made by Doren's Brewery; Timagami Dry ginger ale, which was more piquant than Canada Dry, and not as sweet, but more subdued than ginger beer like Golden Cockerel; pie made from real, wild blueberries.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hungry_pangolin

                                                                                                                                                                                                My husband is from northwest Ontario, Thunder Bay, and they have this pastry (danish, donut, not sure how to describe) with pink icing called a persian. He said he was addicted when he was growing up, so when i was up there i had to have one, ...two, three...ok lots. its like a honeybun with pink icing, i don't know what they put in them, but when they are fresh....they are so good, in a very bad sort of way.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Central Florida - fish, Mexican (lots of migrant workers here), citrus fruit

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. When I was a kid we were in Western Iowa: Sweet Corn, loose meats (tavern sandwich) and pork anything. Bacon is still a dietary staple for me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Then I moved to Memphis: more pork but in the heavenly variation of BBQ pulled shoulder and ribs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Spent some time in Maine: Lobster fresh off the boat with drawn butter. Every other lobster has been lacking.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  From there to Northern California: Hard to pin-point but always something new, fresh and fantastic. I ate lots of Asian and Mexican food while there.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now back to Tennessee: here in Nashville it is the concept of a meat and three. Traditional southern food items like catfish, ham, fried chicken, greens, squash casseroles, congealed salad, green beans, fried corn etc pick a meat and three sides and you are having a Nashville food tradition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. did anyone mention a flutternutter sandwich (peanut butter and fluff marshmellow) from New England - Fluff originates in Lynn, Ma.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. In Boston(or New England) the most obvious one is chowder but I think fried seafood is often overlooked. Fried whole clams and fried scallops in particular.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. In the Bahamas is Conch...Conch Salad, Conch Fritters, Conch Chowder, Cracked Conch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Actually, in Chicago we're also known for Maxwell Street- style hot dogs and sausages (Polish), beef subs, Taylor Street-style Italian American food, Eli's cheesecake, and Garrett's popcorn too. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I used to live in Wilmington, Delaware - a pretty small city. Two things that I found unique to that area were "crab sauce" and this pizza sort of stuff that was on thick bread and smothered with marinara (that's all) and served cold. You used to be able to get the pizza stuff at several local bakeries, and it was a staple at casual social gatherings. I believe the "crab sauce" was some sort of au jus that you would dip the meat into when you were cracking hard shells. I grew up about two hours away - in the heart of blue crab country - and had never seen the stuff until I moved to Wilmington.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Deep-fried artichoke hearts for the Monterey Bay area..

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Well, historically Wichita's known for the NuWay and hamburgers in general, but because of the large number of Middle Eastern/Lebanese immigrants who have settled here and opened restaurants, I might have to say the Fattoush Salad, which is served at dozens of restaurants in Wichita. Basically romaine lettuce, tomatoes, olives, diced pickle, feta cheese, pita bread chips and a rather garlicky vinagrette (grilled chicken or salmon sometimes added).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                And if you consider Kansas as a whole, probably steak, maybe fried chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. In Maine, Whoopie Pies are all the rage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. The very NW corner of WA State here. Being west coast types most of our food delights aren't dishes, but ingredients. We've got renowned reefnetted Fraser River salmon here, glorious oysters and clams, raspberries, honeycrisp apples, and hazelnuts. From a more state-wide perspective, I am devoted to exposing people to Washington wines. Walla Walla, I praise thee to all visiting tourists!