Maybe you are heading off on a solo road trip to see America in all its glory. Maybe you'll be traveling with your family for a lovely vacation. Whatever kind of trip you're on, there's one thing that's consistent — you've got to eat.
If your adventures will be taking you to any of America's 10 biggest cities, then you've got to try these famous foods while you're there.
New York, New York
With a population of over 8 million people and a mix of cultures from around the world, New York is a culinary delight with something to please every palate. Whether you've come to the city for upscale shopping, exploring the arts, or simply taking in the sights and sounds of the city that never sleeps, you're sure to find some amazing food during your visit.
Famous Food You've Got to Try: New York Cheesecake. It's right there in the name. This iconic dish has spread across the whole country, but when you're in New York, you've got to try the dish in its original form. To truly appreciate it, try it plain or with a simple addition like raspberry sauce. While there are many spots to get a truly delicious slice of the rich dessert, Junior's Restaurant in Brooklyn consistently tops the lists.
Honorable Mentions: Nathan's Famous hot dogs, New York bagels
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles is bursting with the flavors and variety that its almost 4 million inhabitants bring to the city. You can find food from cultures all over the world, and many of the ingredients are fresh and locally grown. While some have noted that Los Angeles seems to be made up of a transient population in flux and therefore does not have a cuisine culture of its own, locals beg to differ. While Los Angeles' famous foods may have originated elsewhere, you'll find the L.A. versions have a flair all their own.
Famous Food You've Got to Try: Tacos. Whether you are looking for elevated cuisine in a sit-down restaurant or something quick you can grab off of a food truck, the City of Angels promises to deliver delicious tacos. Tacos El Venado has plenty of locations to help you get your taco fill. Guerrilla Tacos is a food truck-turned restaurant with lots of innovative flavors if you're looking for something more unique.
Honorable Mentions: Burgers from The Apple Pan, Dodger Dog
When you're in the Windy City, you'll find plenty to do. Whether you're walking the Navy Pier, visiting the Skydeck, or hitting the art museums, there will be plenty of food options calling to you along the way.
Famous Food You've Got to Try: Deep dish pizza. This is the dish Chicago is best known for, and you shouldn't leave the city without giving it a try. While locals may quibble over what restaurant serves the best version, you can't go wrong with Lou Malnati's or Giordano's.
Honorable Mentions: Garrett Popcorn, Portillo's Original Chicago-Style Hot Dog
With its proximity to the Gulf, the Mexican border, and its 2.3 million residents representing a plethora of different cultures, Houston is the perfect place to find some unique food fusions you won't find anywhere else.
Famous Food You've Got to Try: Viet-Cajun crawfish. This is a unique combination of Vietnamese-style crawfish and the more traditional Southern Cajun method made famous just around the corner in Louisiana. This Asian–Cajun fusion is a truly delectable dish, and many restaurants boast about secret recipes, so you may just need to try a few and see which one is truly the best.
Honorable Mentions: Breakfast tacos, chile con queso
Phoenix is a popular destination for people seeking out a sunny retirement, but its bustling urban center and job opportunities also draw families and professionals from all around the country. With its 1.7 million people, it has plenty to offer.
Famous Food You've Got to Try: Many cities put a spin on the hot dog, and Phoenix is no different, offering up one of the best styles around. The Sonoran dog includes bacon (usually wrapped around the hog dog itself), beans, mayo, tomatoes, onions, and a variety of sauces that call upon the Southwestern flavors of this desert locale. There are many restaurants that put their twist on the classic.
Honorable Mentions: Burritos, fry bread
The 1.6 million residents of the City of Brotherly Love come together to create one of America's most historic and interesting cities to visit. Whether you want to tour a bit of American history or get your fill of the modern-day nightlife, there is plenty to do here — and plenty of great food to try along the way.
Famous Food You've Got to Try: Obviously, it's the Philly cheesesteak. The only debate is which one and in which variety. We recommend Whiz wit, which means Cheez Whiz and fried onions. You might need to sample a few different choices and weigh out the competition. Classics include those from Pat's, Geno's, Tony Luke's, Dalessandro's, and Jim's.
Honorable Mentions: Soft pretzels, roast pork sandwich
San Antonio, Texas
This city of 1.5 million people is in the heart of Texas, and its cultural influences reflect both its Southern American roots and its proximity to the Mexican border. While you're visiting, there will be plenty of delicious treats to try.
Famous Food You've Got to Try: Puffy tacos. It comes as no surprise that Tex–Mex would be among San Antonio's top foods, and these little pockets of deliciousness are a fan favorite. Like many of the items on this list, locals dispute who has the best, but you can't go wrong with this treat.
Honorable Mentions: Sweet potato fries, chilaquiles verdes
San Diego, California
Many people are drawn to this city for its gorgeous beaches and even more beautiful weather. The 1.4 million people who call it home and the tourists who visit may be spending their days lounging on the shore, whale watching, or checking out the art museums, but they're also eating some delicious food.
Famous Food You've Got to Try: Like many of the cities on this list, the Mexican cultural influence shows up strongly in the cuisine of San Diego. That's why carne asada is the famous dish you've got to try while you're there. Whether you're eating carne asada alone or putting it on a street taco, this spiced meat is not to be missed.
Honorable Mentions: Fish tacos, ramen
As the third Texan city to grace the list, Dallas, with a population of 1.3 million, is the most steeped in traditional Southern cuisine. Visitors should take in the sights of the zoo and the famous arts district and be sure to grab some of the delicious food available.
Famous Food You've Got to Try: Barbecue. As you travel across the United States, you'll find several states handle their BBQ in different ways, and Dallas is no exception. East Texas BBQ style tends to be chopped rather than sliced and is often served with a spicier sauce.
Honorable Mentions: Chili, pecan pie
San Jose, California
San Jose is one of the most beautiful cities in the country. It boasts wonderful weather and a booming tech industry. Perhaps that's why just over 1 million people call it home despite the high cost of living. The vibrant cultural melting pot also offers up a lot of different cuisines and fusions.
Famous Food You've Got to Try: Sushi. The city has a bustling Japantown, and the sushi there is authentic, fresh, and absolutely delicious.
Honorable Mentions: Chicken katsu, Naglee Park Garage hamburger