Everyone has a list of MUST-EAT foods to try when exploring abroad.

After eating my way through the USA, I’ve compiled my favourite taste bud tantalising, eating-pants requiring, drool-inducing, inexpensive and (often) crazy cuisines you NEED to sink your teeth into.

New York
New York style pizza? ‘Nuff said! Hot dogs from the iconic stands scattered across Times Square? Yes please! Hold up, before you get too excited, trust us when we say what you really need in your hot little hands is a Reuben sandwich made fresh from a local deli. Delish! Even if you only have 24 hours in New York, make sure this is your top priority before everything.

NYC Pizza



Keeping with the pizza theme, nothing screams “FOOD” in Chicago more than deep-dish pizza! We repeat: DEEP. DISH! Imagine: a large meat pie, minus the meat and pastry lid but better – filled and layered with pizza toppings! Guaranteed full bellies.



Boston: home to the one-and-only iconic seafood chowder. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the locals rave about it. With restaurants serving this bowl of steamy goodness daily straight from the Atlantic Ocean, this is a must for all seafood lovers.


Read: CATFISH. No, no. We’re not talking about some guy who looks completely different from their Tinder profile pictures. We mean seafood. Fresh from the Mississippi River, fried and stacked atop thick toast with some of the chunkiest fries you will ever stumble across. Now that’s our ideal catch of the day. Check out Memphis on our epic Coast to Coast trip.

New Orleans
Here, creole and Cajun cultures collide to tantalise and excite your taste buds. Gumbo, beignets, jambalaya, muffulettas, jerky and anything with Cajun spices can be found in the heart of New Orleans. Better put those eating pants on standby…




Fact: no trip to Philly is complete without a cheese steak sandwich. It’s big, tasty, juicy and fresh. Just be sure you don’t drop the best bits on your lap. #RookieMistake.

philly steak

Everyone loves cheese – unless you’re crazy. Do yourself a favour and grab some grits before your main meal. Deemed an appetiser, this bad boy starter will definitely hinder your ability to finish your main meal.


The South
From Texas to Tennessee, over to Georgia and everywhere in between it’s all about the BBQ! Prep your bellies for servings of ribs, mammoth steaks, brisket and chicken.

tex mex


Everywhere else:
No matter where you are, you will always be able to find Mexican food, a fresh apple pie, mac ‘n’ cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (yup, it’s a thing)…and the list goes on!

Planning on eating your way through the US-of-A? Make sure you sign up for plenty of walking tours. You’re definitely going to need to work off all the incredibly delicious fare this country has to offer!

Find the trip of a lifetime here.

James Gottschalk
James “Jimmy” Gottschalk is an ex-full-time Topdecker, self-proclaimed AFL pro and total travel enthusiast. While gallivanting the world, Jimmy is working on his social media celebrity status and mastering the art of living.

You can follow his adventures on Instagram @plenty_of_chalk