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17 Mouthwatering Dishes That Deserve A U.S. Road Trip

Rental car? Check. Stretchy pants? Check. If these don't convince you to hit the road, nothing will. Let DiscoverAmerica show you the flavors of the USA.

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1. California Burritos

What it is: Take a regular Mexican burrito. Quadruple it in size. Add steak, cheese, salsa, guacamole, and, most importantly, french fries. Proceed to have your life changed.

Where to get it: You can get these beautiful creations all over Cali, but San Diego, California, is the birthplace and the absolute best place to grab one.

2. Chicken and Waffles

What it is: Heaven on a plate, chicken and waffles is an American soul food dish that usually consists of a breakfast waffle with butter and syrup, served with fried chicken.

Where to get it: Traditionally considered to be a Southern delicacy, this dish is now served all across America. Restaurants in New York and L.A. are specifically known for whipping up this specialty.

3. Korean Tacos

What it is: A beautiful fusion of Korean and Mexican foods, these resemble your everyday tacos, but they're filled with Korean delicacies like bulgolgi and kimchi.

Where to get it: These are especially popular among food trucks on the West Coast; check out Los Angeles, California for the best of the best.

4. Deep Dish Pizza

A Gude / (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: agude

What it is: Basically a pizza cooked in a cake pan — the perfect, gooey, indulgent cross between a pie, a pizza, and some sort of tomato casserole.

Where to get it: Chicago, Illinois, is the home of deep dish (often called "Chicago-style pizza").

5. The Hamburger

What it is: In the USA everything is bigger, and burgers are no exception -- featuring every meat from bison to buffalo chicken, and every topping from foie gras to kimchee, you'll find the most inventive (and delicious) burgers down South.

Where to get it: It's almost impossible to get a bad burger in the USA. Take a pit stop at a roadside diner, duck into a family cookout, or make a reservation at a fancy restaurant; the hunt for the greatest burger in the States will take you all over.

6. Cobb Salad

Cass Greene / Getty Images

What it is: This dream salad is typically made up of salad greens, tomatoes, bacon, avocado, grilled chicken breast, a boiled egg, roquefort cheese, and served with red-wine vinaigrette dressing.

Where to get it: The Cobb salad is named after Robert H. Cobb, owner of old L.A.-based restaurant chain Brown Derby. You can now find the salad all across the U.S.

7. Gumbo

jeffreyw / (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: jeffreyww

What it is: A bowl of pure heaven, gumbo is a stew that usually consists of meat or shellfish, flavored stock, thickener, celery, bell peppers, and onions (though there are many variations). Due to its deep roots in Louisiana, many gumbos are cajun based and spicy.

Where to get it: You finally have an excuse to visit New Orleans, Louisiana. Why not head there to simultaneously party and indulge?

8. Cheesesteak

jeffreyw / (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: jeffreyww

What it is: A bread roll filled with thinly sliced steak, onions, and a generous helping of Cheez Whiz (which is the not-so-secret secret ingredient).

Where to get it: It's called the Philly Cheesesteak for a reason. Hit up the great foodie city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to get the best of the best (and thank us later).

9. Fruit Cobbler

What it is: A beautiful creation that usually consists of fruit filling topped with pie crust (or sometimes biscuit or batter), served with ice cream. Fillings depend on seasonality and region, whether it be berry or the famous peach. The "Deep South" version of this takes it one step further and has crust on the bottom AND top. It's your fruity, pastry-centric destiny.

Where to get it: The Deep South, naturally.

10. Barbecue

F. D. Richards / (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: 50697352@N00

What it is: There are many variations of barbecue around the world and in the United States as well. Kansas prefers to slow-smoke over wood and pile on the sauce. Memphis favors pork -- both "wet" and "dry." In Texas, they tend to forego the sauce and seasonings for perfectly cooked brisket. No matter where you go, you can count on incredible barbecue the likes of which you've never had before.

Where to get it: Texas is renowned as a hot spot for barbecue, and Austin has a reputation for being the best BBQ city.

11. Lobster Rolls

What it is: Take a freshly baked roll and fresh lobster meat, then soak the meat in delectable butter. Add mayonnaise (sometimes), and you have the greatest roll on earth.

Where to get it: Cities by the water are your best bet for these, but New England is famous for them — specifically Maine, where the lobster rolls will change your life. You've been warned.

12. New England Clam Chowder

Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar / (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: hinnosaar

What it is: There's no set recipe for this one, but there is a set taste: unbelievably yummy. Clams, broth, and many other ingredients come together to create this chowder — and, if you're lucky, you'll have it served to you in a bread bowl. Caution, though: Manhattan has its own type of clam chowder (this one thinner, using tomatoes) and the debate over which is better is heated.

Where to get it: Anywhere in New England is where it's at.

13. Hush Puppies

jeffreyw / (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: jeffreyww

What it is: Hot, savory, fried balls of cornmeal batter. AKA the greatest side dish ever.

Where to get it: These puppies (get it?) originated in the South -- specifically New Orleans, Louisiana -- but now they're widespread and can be found all across the country. Just keep your eyes peeled!

14. Lowcountry Boil

What it is: Take some fresh shrimp, sausage, corn, and potatoes. Add crab, butter, and whatever else your heart desires. Boil them all in a giant pot, serve to a hungry crowd, and there you have it!

Where to get it: Southern cities that are also by the water are perfect for this dish -- Charleston, South Carolina, has a particularly great reputation.

15. Po' Boy Sandwiches

What it is: The bread is key to a good po' boy. It all starts with a fresh, crisp baguette. Add tomato, lettuce, some sort of remoulade or mayonnaise, and a meat -- usually fried seafood or roast beef -- and you have an unbeatable sandwich.

Where to get it: New Orleans, Louisiana, is the home of the po' boy, but you'll find them all over.

16. Zucchini Fries

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What it is: Long, thin slices of zucchini, coated with bread crumbs, spices, and sometimes parmesan, and baked until crisp.

Where to get it: This dish can be found all over the U.S., but restaurants that specialize in fresh vegetables (farm to table) are the best place to find it.

17. Baked Alaska

What it is: A bed of sponge cake topped with a heap of ice cream and then covered in a meringue casing. It's stored in a freezer and then either put in the oven or, for the adventurous, subjected to a blowtorch in order to brown the outside of the meringue while keeping the inside perfectly chilly.

Where to get it: Surprisingly, not Alaska. Stop by any city with a renowned food scene, and you'll find one of these.


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