It is possible to eat very well today in virtually every corner of America. It could be homemade waffles or classic burgers at a popular restaurant, lively foods from other cultures (like Thai, Colombian, or Moroccan cuisine), or a fine Michelin-starred dinner at a temple in fine dining – or something in between.
In every state, however, there is inevitably at least one establishment that has achieved iconic status, a place emblematic of its surroundings – a restaurant no foodie should miss in the vicinity.
Sometimes these places are simple, sometimes they are fancy. They can be relatively new to the food scene or have been around for a century or more. What matters is that somehow they represent and define their time and place – sometimes just by perfecting a unique local specialty. (These are the signature dishes of 50 American cities.)
Click here to see the must-see restaurant in each state
The places on the list are the kind that someone might say, “You’ve been to [wherever] and you haven’t eaten there ??? ”
Remember that every state or city has rules governing social distancing and mask wearing in public places, and those rules are constantly changing as cases of COVID-19 increase and decrease locally. It is always important to recheck the situation before planning meals.
To put together this list of must-see restaurants across the country, 24/7 Tempo consulted reviews on Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Zagat, as well as many iconic and / or important restaurant roundups from a wide range of publications. online, including Food & Wine, Eater, Thrillist, Travel Channel, and The Daily Meal, plus many city and state specific sites. We also studied menus and historical information on restaurant websites, making the final choice editorially based on all of these sources.