The USA's 10 Ultimate Foodie States

Photo of Marcelina Morfin
30 November 2016

While every state in the USA will offer something unique and delicious, we have put together a list of some of the top food destinations. Some states have Michelin starred establishments while others have incredible bounty and specialties plus one that might be seen as emerging.

Fields of red and green lettuce in California | © Malcolm Carlaw/Flickr


The West Coast state of California is a definite must-visit for any foodie. The top agricultural state in the nation, California is home to over 80,000 farms producing everything from milk to fruits to vegetables to nuts and more. Due to the abundance of incredible bounty, farmers markets abound no matter the size of the city or town. Talented chefs throughout the state find inspiration in California’s ingredients and create delicious fare that represents cuisines from around the world.

California, USA


Illinois has many seasonal farmers markets, which usually run from May to October, providing fresh produce to chefs and home cooks alike. Illinois is also home to Chicago, which is one of the great food destinations in the world. With its varied culinary landscape that has something for every taste and every budget, the city has everything from great Michelin-starred restaurants, such as Alinea, to budget-friendly choices covering a wide range of global cuisines. The area also has specialty dishes, including Chicago-style deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs.

Illinois, USA


From the north with its soul food to the south with its Creole and Cajun dishes, Louisiana is brimming with delicious flavors. Most famous for its Creole and Cajun recipes, visitors flock to this state each year for a true taste of these unique cuisines. Creole cuisine is often associated with cities as chefs could visit local markets to get access to many ingredients while Cajun cooking is rustic and described as country food because it was about living off the land, which varied from season to season. Popular dishes to note include gumbo, jambalaya, and beignets.

Louisiana, USA


Minnesota is a great destination for gastronomes. This Midwest state features regional cuisine influenced by Scandinavian and German cultures along with a variety of other global delights courtesy of new immigrants from places like Vietnam, Laos, and Somalia to name a few. It also has one of the oldest farmers markets in the USA. St. Paul’s Farmers Market was established in 1852 and only offers locally grown produce for sale. The North Star State is also a wonderful place to explore the outdoors while searching for wild berries, such as chokecherries, blueberries, and blackberries.

Minnesota, USA

New Mexico

With influences from Mexican, Spanish, and Native American cuisine, New Mexican food is full of bold flavors; therefore, New Mexico should be on the radar of any gastronome looking for unique dishes. Known for their green and red chillis, which show up in both savory and sweet dishes, New Mexico offers up a lot of fantastic eateries plus eclectic experiences for food lovers. For example, visitors can explore the ‘New Mexico True Breakfast Burrito Byway’ or ‘The Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail.’ The Land of Enchantment is also home to one of the best farmers markets in the USA: Santa Fe Farmers Market, which is open year-round.

New Mexico, USA

New York

New York City alone makes New York a foodie’s paradise with a diverse culinary landscape that features global cuisines and includes not only world-class restaurants but also family-run venues and street food. However, the rest of the state will also impress those seeking delectable eats. The Hudson River Valley with its fertile land provides a rich source of bounty, which in turn produces great farm-to-table food. The state also has many regional specialties, including Buffalo wings and beef on weck. Food festivals and many farmers markets abound as well.

New York, USA


With its location along the West Coast and its fertile soil, it’s no wonder why Oregon is known for its delicious food landscape. From small coastal towns to bigger cities, food lovers will never have to look too hard to find mouthwatering cuisine. Award-winning chefs work their magic everyday transforming the great bounty of the state into something exquisite. Not only will foodies find fine-dining options but also casual spaces plus excellent food trucks ensuring that there is something for every taste and price point. The state also hosts many food festivals and events, including Feast Portland, plus numerous seasonal farmers markets.

Oregon, USA


Being the second largest state in the USA, it should come as no surprise that Texas has numerous delicious choices for food lovers. The area, which includes cities such as Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, is not only brimming with regional specialties, including barbecue, chili (no beans), and Tex-Mex cuisine to name a few, but also a variety of multicultural delicacies thanks to its growing and diverse population. As with many other states, Texas also hosts many food-related events and festivals each year with the Austin Food and Wine Festival and the long-running World Championship BBQ Goat Cook-off held in Brady being two great choices.

Texas, USA


From Spokane to Seattle, Washington is another foodie’s haven in the Pacific Northwest. From the freshest seafood — visiting Pike Place Market with its fish market and other edibles is a must-visit for anyone in Seattle — to fruits and vegetables, the state provides chefs and home cooks with a bountiful selection of delicious ingredients. Restaurants range from upscale establishments to casual venues to mobile eateries specializing in a diverse range of cuisines making Washington a great place to suit any taste. Plus, farmers markets can be found everywhere selling the bounty of the area along with other unique food items.

Washington, USA


Map View
Vermont is a beautiful state located in the northeastern region of the USA known as New England. Even though it is one of the smallest states in the country, its flavors and food options are anything but small. Known for maple syrup — it’s the largest producer in the USA — and incredible cheese, the agricultural sector provides homes and restaurants alike with some of the best ingredients available. Indeed, many eateries in Vermont pride themselves on showcasing the area’s bounty by being farm-to-table establishments. In addition to visiting the many farmers markets dotting the state, foodies can also take a driving tour of the Vermont Cheese Trail to sample a host of award-winning cheeses.

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