The residents of major American cities have a lot to brag about: sports teams, notable citizens, famous architecture. But few things instill as much civic pride like food does. Whether it’s a hole-in-the-wall deli, a decades-old steakhouse or a hot dog drive-in, every city seems to have that iconic eatery locals swear by and tourists regularly swarm. Here are the must-eat spots from 20 big cities.
For 85 years, servers at the world’s largest drive-in diner have been asking customers, “What’ll ya have?” The answer is usually The Varsity’s signature hot dog. Knowing the lingo is essential for ordering: “red dog” means pile on the ketchup, “yellow dog” calls for mustard and “heavy weight” signals extra chili. The same goes for sides: potato chips are dubbed “bags of rags,” and “ring one” gets you a single order of the diner’s signature onion rings. Each day, two miles of hot dogs, 500 fried pies and 300 gallons of chili are made from scratch on site at the eatery, which caters heavily to nearby Georgia Tech students.