These 10 State Dishes Are the Most Popular in America


These 10 State Dishes Are the Most Popular in America

With 50 states in the U.S., there are bound to be plenty of unique dishes amid all the different cultures represented. Many of the most popular state dishes have been around for years but they’re just as iconic today as they were when they were first created.

When you order a slice of apple pie or avocado toast at your favorite restaurant, you might not think about where these dishes originated or where they’re most popular. While some state dishes, such as gumbo, are enjoyed mainly in their origin state, other state dishes are popular nationwide.

The state dishes that are most popular in America include everything from enchiladas to lobster rolls. No matter which state dish on the list is your favorite, what they have in common is they’ve gained a lot of attention as some of the most popular dishes in the country.

While the most popular meals certainly change over time, the dishes on this list are based on recent data collected from social media sites such as Instagram and TikTok. With the cost of dining out consistently rising, restaurants must find creative ways to sell some of these popular dishes to make them appealing to customers. (After this article, check outthe most unusual food from each state.)

To create this list of the state dishes that are the most popular in America, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data collected by The Cookie Rookie, which used information from social media and Google to determine the most popular state dishes. The dishes are listed in descending order below.

Here are the 10 most popular state dishes in America:


Eating red jelly or jello, spoonful of jelly on the side (Selective Focus, Focus in the middle of the image)
Source: Ildi Papp / Shutterstock.com

  • Most popular in Utah

Jell-O is one of the classic American desserts. Many of us remember eating it throughout our childhood and even making Jell-O jigglers for special occasions. The original Jell-O is a gelatin dessert, although the Jell-O brand now also sells pudding and cream pie mixes.

Pearle Wait, a carpenter, created the original recipe for Jell-O. However, he lacked the skills necessary to market his product and sold the idea to another man in town. Eventually, Jell-O became popular in the early 1900s.

Lobster Roll

Lobster roll
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  • Most popular in Maine

A lobster roll is a dish made with seasoned lobster meat and served on a white roll. This New England dish has a filling that typically includes lobster, butter, mayo, lemon juice, and seasonings.

Although the origin of the lobster roll is credited to a restaurant in Milford, Connecticut, it’s the most popular state dish in Maine. This meal is usually made with Maine lobster, but you’ll also find it in the other New England states.


Stock photo of a creamy and hot clam chowder served in a restaurant on a cold day.
Source: Agave Photo Studio / Shutterstock.com

  • Most popular in Oregon

Clams are a type of shellfish that are the most popular state food in Oregon. There are numerous types of clams, but bay clams are one of the most popular types in this state. Clams are often used to make clam chowder, but they can also be eaten grilled, boiled, fried, or even raw.

Maine, Massachusetts, and Maryland bring in more clams than any other state but Oregon harvests about 2 million clams each year as well.


Fish walleye cooked in the coals of the fire.
Source: Dmytro Lopatenko / Shutterstock.com

  • Most popular in North Dakota

Walleye is a freshwater fish that’s the most popular state food in North Dakota. This type of fish is also a staple in Canada and you can purchase deep-fried walleye at the Minnesota State Fair.

Even though Minnesota has the most walleyes, they’re a popular fish to catch in North Dakota as well. Garrison, North Dakota, is even known as the Walleye Capital of the World. In the middle of town, you can see Wally, the 26-foot Walleye.

Philly Cheesesteak

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  • Most popular in Pennsylvania

The Philly cheesesteak, true to its name, was first created by two Philadelphia residents. The brothers who created this sandwich owned a hot dog stand but wanted to add new sandwiches to their menu.

Later on, the manager of another Philadelphia restaurant adjusted the recipe by adding provolone cheese. Many restaurants since then have offered their own version of the Philly cheesesteak and this sandwich is still a staple in Philly today.


Source: from_my_point_of_view / iStock via Getty Images

  • Most popular in Louisiana

Gumbo is the most popular state dish in Louisiana and it’s a great example of Louisiana cooking. This dish was first referenced as early as 1803 by the Cajuns in New Orleans. However, the origins of gumbo are also connected to West Africa.

The name of the dish itself comes from a word used for okra in West Africa. There are several versions of this delicious Louisiana stew with most versions containing onions, celery, peppers, okra, and some kind of meat.

Apple Pie

Homemade apple pie
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  • Most popular in Vermont

There are few desserts considered more American than apple pie. While the original version of apple pie didn’t originate in America, the dessert as we know it today dates back to the 1600s in the U.S.

The pilgrims started to use apples to make apple pastries and pies but with butter pie crusts, which was different from the recipes from overseas. The first American cookbook, “American Cookery,” included two recipes for apple pie in 1796.


Enchiladas | Spicy beef enchilada
Source: Bartosz Luczak / Getty Images

  • Most popular in New Mexico

An enchilada is a traditional Mexican dish that’s made with meat, cheese, beans, and other fillings. The filling is then wrapped in a tortilla and cooked in an enchilada sauce.

Even though filling tortillas with meat and other ingredients can be traced back to the Mayans, enchiladas are also commonly associated with New Mexico, since the state was previously a part of Mexico.

Avocado Toast

Avocado toast
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  • Most popular in California

While there is some debate about the origins of avocado toast, a writer by the name of Martin Fesler first published a recipe for avocado on toast in a California newspaper in 1931.

Australian cook and restaurant owner Bill Granger is credited with popularizing avocado toast in 1993, but he certainly wasn’t the first to think of the idea. Avocado toast became an even bigger trend in the 2010s with the rise of Instagram.


Source: Ozgur Coskun / iStock via Getty Images

  • Most popular in New York

Out of all the state dishes, bagels are by far the most popular. While the bagels we know and love today originated in New York, the history goes back further than that.

The original bagel recipe made its way to the U.S. through Polish Jewish immigrants. Although the recipe changed over time, the bagels sold today were adapted from this recipe. Even though bagels are popular across the country, there are still arguments about where the best bagels come from. (Don’t miss the signature dessert of every state all of us should try.)

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