Whether you’re visiting from overseas or just touring the unique flavors of North America, there are a handful of central locations that have defined themselves in the culinary scene – and those locations maintain their presence in the minds of gourmands and amateur chefs through a tradition of excellence, ingenuity, and flavor.
Chicago, Illinois has earned itself a permanent place in the minds of American fine dining enthusiasts as the spawning point for a variety of dishes – and although their popularity waxes and wanes across the rest of the Continental United States, there’s nowhere better to try them than Chicago.
Perhaps Chicago’s most famous dish comes in one – deep-dish pizza is a saucier, more filling variant on the classic Italian mainstay that’s been perfected in little pizza places across the city. A Chicago hot dog is the classic American hot dog you picture when you imagine ‘the works’ – like everything in Chicago, it’s loaded with flavor and toppings to create a delicious and refined taste.
The culinary jewel of the Pacific Northwest is the Emerald City, Seattle Washington – a city that benefits from an ideal location for fishing and crabbing even as it thrives around a surging urban population.
Seafood is the lynchpin of Seattle’s culinary scene, and there’s a lot to choose from here – oysters served in half or full shell are available in cozy hole-in-the-wall diners near the docks, while more upscale dining offers opportunities like smoked geoduck and smoky clam chowder. One significant benefit for Seattle’s culinary scene comes from Pike Place Market, where an open-air seafood market sells the fresh catch daily to both regular customers and nearby restaurants.
Nashville, Tennessee is located in the heart of the American South and presents some of the finest examples of both Southern music and Southern cooking – the latter is one of North America’s heartiest and most savory dining experiences.
One crucial component of Tennessee cuisine is the Meat and Three, a traditional combination of a meat entree and three sides – the entree differs between meaty, savory dishes like barbecue-rubbed spare-ribs to flaky regional dishes like breaded catfish. Your likely sides are American classics – okra, sweet potato fries or cornbread are relatively common choices.