Special Report

The 20 Most Iconic Food Destinations Across America

Every city has that one place that tourists and locals alike go to for local flavor. Which one is the best?

Oklahoma Joe’s barbecue ribs (Courtesy of Flickr user Joe Newman)

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.

Ben’s Chili Bowl

(Courtesy of Wikipedia)
Washington, D.C.
For tourists walking down U Street, Ben’s is immediately recognizable because of its old timey façade. It’s well-known for its famous clientele—President-elect Barack Obama dined there before his inauguration in 2009 and Bill Cosby has been a loyal customer since he served in the Navy in nearby Quantico and Bethesda in the 1960s. And it has a storied past: Riots erupted in the area after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968, shutting down the city, but Ben’s stayed open. But the restaurant’s claim to fame is the half-smoke, a spicy quarter-pound pork and beef sausage on a warm steamed bun, topped with mustard, onions and a spicy homemade chili sauce. You can even order the half-smoke, along with hot dogs and burgers, during breakfast hours, and grab a booth or stool that hasn’t budged since 1958.
Website: benschilibowl.com
Twitter: @benschilibowl

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