Iconic Foods From Cities Across America

Updated: Feb. 29, 2024

Travel across the country without leaving your kitchen with these city-inspired recipes.

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Crustless New York Cheesecake

This rich cheesecake is incredibly creamy. Even though the cake doesn't have a crust, I guarantee everyone will love it. —George Parsell, Flushing, New York
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Honey Bagels

Who has time to make from-scratch bagels? You do, with this easy recipe! The chewy golden bagels offer a hint of honey and will win over even the pickiest eaters. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Ultimate Pastrami Sandwiches

This peerless pastrami sandwich was adapted from a menu favorite at Primanti Bros. Restaurant in Pittsburgh. We took the basic ingredients—grilled cold cuts, cheese, fried potatoes and tomatoes—and created a tasty replica that includes our version of their secret coleslaw topping. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

I like to dunk these appetizer meatballs in blue cheese or ranch salad dressing. If I make them for a meal, I often skip the dressing and serve with blue cheese polenta on the side. —Amber Massey, Argyle, Texas
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Boston Cream Cupcakes

Boston cream cupcakes have been my favorite bakery treat since I was a child, so I put together this easy-to-make version. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
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Contest-Winning New England Clam Chowder

This is the best New England clam chowder recipe, ever! In the Pacific Northwest, we dig our own razor clams and I grind them for the chowder. Since these aren't readily available, the canned clams are perfectly acceptable. —Sandy Larson, Port Angeles, Washington
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A Bit Nutty Boston Brown Bread

Hearty and dense, my homemade Boston Brown Bread features hazelnuts for a delightfully nutty taste. Thick slices pair well with just about anything, from soup and stews to pasta and meat entrees. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Philly Cheesesteaks

Any kind of steak makes my husband happy. Philly cheesesteaks are a nice dinner choice or a great option instead of burgers. —Susan Seymour, Valatie, New York
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Easy Crab Cakes

Ready-to-go crabmeat makes these delicate patties easier than other crab cake recipes. You can also form the crab mixture into four thick patties instead of eight crab cakes. —Charlene Spelock, Apollo, Pennsylvania
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Cuban-Style Pork Sandwiches

Loaded with tangy flavor, this is a lighter version of a favorite restaurant-style sandwich. If you don’t have a panini maker, tuck the sandwiches under the broiler until the bread is browned and the cheese melted. —Robin Haas, Cranston, Rhode Island
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Marshmallow-Almond Key Lime Pie

Summer is peak season for Key limes—a must for this pie’s distinctive sweet-tart flavor. Unlike other Key lime pies, mine has a smooth marshmallow layer on top. This makes it stand out as a crowd favorite. —Judy Castranova, New Bern, North Carolina
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Creole-Spiced Shrimp Po'Boys

My father is Cajun, and I grew up eating Cajun food. This easy recipe makes me think of happy childhood memories. Sometimes I use oysters or crawfish instead of—or in addition to—the shrimp. —Stacey Johnson, Bonney Lake, Washington
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New Orleans Beignets

These sweet French doughnuts, inspired by the ones found in Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, are square instead of round and have no hole in the middle. They're a traditional part of breakfast in New Orleans. —Beth Dawson, Jackson, Louisiana
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New Orleans Gumbo

I’ve been making this New Orleans gumbo for at least 30 years. I’m originally from New Orleans, and I think it’s a nice taste of the Vieux Carre (French Quarter). Everyone who tastes this gumbo wants the recipe. It’s an old standby for my family, who requests it frequently. —Dolores M. Bridges, Danville, Kentucky
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Mini Hot Browns

Here's my take on the famous Hot Brown sandwich. Guests quickly saddle up for juicy turkey slices and crispy bacon piled on toasted rye bread and then topped with a rich cheese sauce. —Annette Grahl, Midway, Kentucky
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Toasted Ravioli Puffs

I call toasted ravioli a fan favorite because it disappears faster than I can make it. With just five ingredients, this is how you start the party. —Kathy Morgan, Temecula, California
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Healthy Cincinnati-Style Chili

My husband had this type of chili when visiting a friend in Ohio and was thrilled when I made it at home. Serving it with spaghetti, cheese, onions and beans makes it what Cincinnatians call five-way. —Tari Ambler, Shorewood, Illinois
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Kansas City-Style Ribs

Our family recipe for ribs has evolved to near perfection. These country-style beauties are a legend in our close circle. —Linda Schend, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Chicago-Style Hot Giardiniera

I've been living in Chicago for the last 12 years and have grown to love the spicy giardiniera served at restaurants. So I developed my own to use at home. We love it on everything from eggs to sandwiches and even pizza! —Andrea Quiroz, Chicago, Illinois
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Deep-Fried Cheese Bites

These beer-battered cheese curds are the ultimate in delicious comfort food. Some folks like to serve them with ranch dressing, ketchup or barbecue sauce for dipping. —Katie Rose, Pewaukee, Wisconsin
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Oven Denver Omelet

I like omelets but don't always have time to stand by the stove. That's why I favor this oven-baked variety that I can quickly pop into the oven at a moment's notice. My family frequently requests this for Sunday brunch. They always empty the dish. —Ellen Bower, Taneytown, Maryland
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Chiles Rellenos

Chiles are a must where I live. I find they almost always improve a recipe that uses cheese. Sometimes I make this into a heartier main dish by adding shredded cooked chicken after the chile layer. It really tastes good! —Irene Martin, Portales, New Mexico
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Classic Avocado Toast

This is such an easy way to add avocados to your diet. Use healthy multigrain bread and top with sliced radishes and cracked pepper or lime zest, or chipotle peppers and cilantro. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Chicken & Waffles

My first experience with this dish sent my taste buds into orbit. I first made this chicken and waffles recipe into appetizers, but we all love them as a main course, too. —Lisa Renshaw, Kansas City, Missouri
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Cioppino-Style Soup

This classic San Fransisco soup makes an easy, healthy and flavorful dinner. I serve it every New Year's Eve, and I'll often include salmon along with the cod, shrimp and crab. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Smothered Burritos

My brother-in-law teased that I only knew five ground beef recipes. I proved him wrong with my inventive spicy burritos. —Kim Kenyon, Greenwood, Missouri
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Sage & Gruyere Sourdough Bread

A sourdough starter gives loaves extra flavor and helps the rising process. This bread, with sage and Gruyere cheese, comes out so well that I’m thrilled to share it. —Debra Kramer, Boca Raton, Florida
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Baja Fish Tacos

Crisp mahi mahi pans out beautifully when dressed up with fresh lime, cilantro and smoky adobo. One bite and you’ll be hooked on these baja fish tacos! —Brooke Keller, Lexington, Kentucky
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Brown Sugar-Glazed Salmon

Pop these protein-packed brown sugar salmon fillets in the oven before whipping up a sweet basting sauce. This tangy entree cooks up in minutes, making it a perfect meal for busy families and unexpected weekend guests. —Debra Martin, Belleville, Michigan
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Poutine

The ultimate in French-Canadian junk food, poutine commonly features warm fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. This side dish is quick to fix with frozen potatoes and packaged gravy but has all the traditional greasy spoon comfort. —Shelisa Terry, Henderson, Nevada