Every State's Signature Dishes—Ranked | Eat This Not That

A part of the enjoyable that comes with touring is having fun with the native delicacies. And that is true even in the event you're staying inside the USA—every state has those specialty foods, in any case. You understand, the meals that occur to style simply that significantly better since you're in a particular state. (In the event you've ever had a New York bagel, then you definately perceive why it is simply not the identical anyplace else!)

However whenever you're interested by what to eat from a vitamin standpoint, how do traditional state dishes stack up?

So whether or not you are occurring a street journey this summer time otherwise you're merely exploring your individual state, we uncovered simply how wholesome every state's most cherished meals is, because of findings from Optibac's dietary therapists. They went forward and did a examine by which they analyzed every state's signature dish and in contrast them to at least one one other, taking a look at a number of key components:

  • Essentially the most nutritionally balanced dishes (based mostly on their micronutrients)
  • Essentially the most calorific dishes
  • Essentially the most protein-packed dishes
  • Candy vs. savory dishes (Are the candy dishes typically extra nutritionally balanced than the opposite—or vice versa?)
  • Wholesome alternate options for a few of the much less dietary dishes

Curious how your state's go-to meal did? Right here is Optibac's breakdown of each U.S. state's signature dish, ranked from the least nutritious to probably the most nutritious. And for extra, try these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.

fried pickles

Arkansas is house to the dish that's fried pickles. Whereas tasty, it scored the bottom out of all of the state's dishes because it has only a few of the important micronutrients wanted to maintain a wholesome, well-balanced weight-reduction plan. Plus, deep frying the pickles will increase the quantity of sodium and total energy. That is undoubtedly a meals you solely need to eat as soon as in a blue moon!

dry-cured bacon

Bacon makes nearly the whole lot higher, and in Iowa, they get it. Whereas this dish is packing in protein, that does not essentially make it the healthiest choice.

smoked ham

Whereas a smoked ham may deliver tons of taste, it is also loaded up with sodium. In the event you actually need to indulge whereas in Virginia, simply hold your portion small.


Not precisely positive what runza is? Properly, it is a bun that occurs to be full of floor beef and cabbage. A real Nebraskan staple, however one you do not need to eat on a regular basis.

funeral potatoes

We all know, the identify of this dish is a bit somber. Nonetheless, it is meant to be a dish that brings on all of the consolation. It is made up of frozen hash browns, cheese, bitter cream, a can of cream of rooster soup, butter and chopped onion that's sprinkled with buttered, and crushed cornflakes. In Utah, it is a casserole that's mentioned to be made for post-funeral dinners. It is true that traditional consolation meals does not actually are typically wholesome, and this dish is a chief instance.

coney dog

Oh, the new canine. An American staple. In Michigan, a Coney Canine is the go-to order, which implies the new canine is loaded up with extra chili, onions, and mustard. Including extra meat onto a meat-based meal is usually a bit problematic on your well being, although!

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chicken fried steak

Steak is breaded like a rooster cutlet and fried to golden perfection? Scrumptious, sure. Good on your total well being? Not a lot!


When in Mississippi and also you're within the temper for some catfish, maybe order a grilled model.

hot chicken

In Tennessee, you are prone to discover tons of Sizzling Hen. Meaning you will be feasting on fried rooster that's loaded up with spices, so you recognize it packs a kick. Fried-food dishes are ones you at all times need to eat sparsely, and with the added spices, you are taking a look at a sodium-heavy meal.


Salmon is often a good-for-you meal choice, so simply be certain you are maintaining a tally of the way it's ready to be sure you're getting the utmost well being advantages.


Once more, all of it comes all the way down to how the lamb is ready whilst you're eating out in Colorado!

maple cream pie

It does not actually come as a lot of a shock that Vermont's signature dish is centered round maple. A maple cream pie is, as you seemingly guessed, a sugar-filled deal with.

clam chowder

Massachusetts and clam chowder simply go collectively, do not they? Once you're visiting, making an attempt some New England-style clam chowder is a should. However simply bear in mind any cream-based soup mechanically will get knocked down some demerits.

finger steaks

In Idaho, it is not the rooster fingers that reign supreme, however the finger steaks. That is proper, it is steak that's battered and deep fried, making up the state's signature dish. Try to few and name it a day after that!

sugar cream pie

In the event you've by no means had a sugar cram pie earlier than, then you definately may not have made your approach to Indiana but! It is a regional favourite product of a buttery crust that if loaded with a wealthy vanilla custard filling. Sugar overload, sure, however one thing you must style not less than as soon as in your life!

pork roll

When you have ever eaten a bagel breakfast sandwich in New Jersey, then you recognize precisely what pork roll is. For individuals who are unfamiliar with the breakfast meat, it is basically Jersey's model of ham. And paired with some eggs and cheese, it provides bacon a real run for its cash. However, you recognize, it's a processed meat, so not the perfect morning meal choice on the market.

strawberry rhubarb pie

A fruit-based pie barely edges out different pies on this record.

cincinnati chili

Cincinnati Chili is a kind of staple American dishes that can perpetually stay a factor. And sure, it is typically eaten over a bowl of spaghetti or served alongside some oyster crackers.

shrimp and grits

The mix of shrimp and grits is a real Southern staple. You may undoubtedly need to attempt some whenever you're in South Carolina, however simply attempt to not eat this each single day.

pulled pork

Pulled pork is a tasty approach to benefit from the meat, however the best way it is ready can think about to the quantity of sodium and even sugar you could be consuming.

pepperoni rolls

A bread roll that's full of pepperoni and cheese? It is principally like a conveyable pizza! Pepperoni is one more processed meat, so this is not essentially one thing you need to eat typically. However when in West Virginia!

bison steak

Bison meat is not simply present in each a part of the nation, however Wyoming is a kind of states the place you possibly can simply do this dish.

bbq brisket

This brisket is not going to doubt be full of taste, that is for positive!

key lime pie

Key lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk come collectively to make the Florida candy deal with that's key lime pie.

loco moco

Loco Moco is a Hawaiian dish made up of white rice that's topped with a fried egg and a gravy sauce. A as soon as in a lifetime meal if we are saying so ourselves, so go forward and take a look at it whenever you're visiting the state.


In Louisiana, gumbo is one meal nobody can resist making an attempt.

shrimp cocktail

Shrimp is loaded up with protein, which is a plus. You may need to watch out relating to the cocktail sauce, as eating places can are inclined to load theirs up with sodium. Just a little goes a great distance!


This conventional dish is made up of masa that's steamed in a corn husk. An genuine dish you will need to attempt!


You have not had an actual bagel till you've got had one from New York. Plain and easy as that!


Pheasant is a meat generally present in South Dakota and can get you serving of protein.

Deep dish pizza

There's a long-standing battle between New York and Chicago-style pizzas. So it is no shock that Illinois' state meals is the deep dish pizza. Attempt to follow only one slice!

bourbon balls

Bourbon balls are a real Southern deal with. They're bite-sized desserts made with vanilla, pecans, confectioners' sugar, and bourbon.

marionberry pie

Marionberries are a wide range of blackberries that flip a deep purple colour, as seen in a slice of marionberry pie. A real Oregon staple.

hot dish

Hotdish is a reasonably distinctive tackle a casserole that usually options tater tots. Solely in Minnesota!

toasted ravioli

A baked, bread-crumbed ravioli—who may ever say no to that?

lobster rolls

In the event you've by no means had a lobster roll earlier than, it is one thing you merely have to attempt. You'll be able to usually discover them two methods: In a break up high roll that's filled with chilly lobster meat tossed with mayonnaise, or a sandwich full of heat meat that has been tossed with recent drawn butter.

pecan pie

Pecan pie can actually fulfill that yearning for one thing candy, and but nonetheless has a little bit of a crunch to it. Once you're in Alabama, go for a slice!


Within the Southwest a part of the U.S., you will discover loads of Mexican-influenced dishes. Arizona is all concerning the chimichanga, which is a fried burrito.

bison meatballs

In Montana, you possibly can get pleasure from some and it is a protein-packed and vitamin packed various to common beef.

stuffed clams

Once you're craving seafood in Rhode Island, stuffed clams are a scrumptious alternative.

peach cobbler

Georgia is a state recognized for its peaches, so, in fact, peach cobbler is the go-to dish.

apple cider donuts

Stunned to see a candy deal with within the No. 9 spot? Properly, these apple cider donuts are usually baked as an alternative of deep-fried, so that provides them that barely better-for-you edge, together with its core elements of apple cider vinegar and a seasoning product of cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg.

cheese curds

Cheese curds are a kind of dishes that you simply in the event you get the prospect, it's worthwhile to expertise it for your self.

philly cheesesteak

Take this as your signal to attempt a Philly cheesesteak! There actually is simply one thing about melted cheese, onion, peppers, and mushrooms coming collectively in a single sandwich.  


In the event you've by no means had bierocks earlier than, you may simply assume you have been choosing up a normal roll of bread. One chunk, and you will discover rapidly that you simply're really feasting on cabbage, meat, and onion stuffed dough.

white clam pizza

White clam pizza is a staple for foodies in Connecticut. That is all because of Frank Pepe, who based Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana. He put clams, mozzarella, garlic, oregano, and olive oil on a pizza, and it was this recipe that catapulted his enterprise to success. A unique tackle a typical pizza slice, that is for positive.


Not likely positive what you are taking a look at right here? Properly, scrapple is product of pork meat that's boiled, finely minced, after which mixed with cornmeal, flour, and spices right into a slurry. From there, the semiliquid combination is shaped in loaves that cool and set. And there you go!

avocado toast

It is no secret that now, you could find avocado toast nearly in all places. It is a staple on brunch menus and has grow to be synonymous because the health-conscious alternative for these residing in Cali. Avocadoes are loaded up with tons of health benefits, simply making them a meals that needs to be a weight-reduction plan staple for all. Plus, avocado toast could be very photogenic, in the event you're all about that Instagram life.

crab cakes

When in Maryland, crabs are a must-try. And why not go for the crab desserts?


We have lastly reached probably the most nutritious of all of the state dishes. In Washington, oysters are the signature dish that occurs to be top-of-the-line meals you possibly can get pleasure from. Oysters boast the best variety of micronutrients of all of the state dishes, as they occur to be be low in sodium, and but comparatively excessive in iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C.

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