The ultimate American menu
America - it’s the land of the free and the home of the cheeseburger. If you’re heading to the USA then this list will help you plan the ultimate menu from breakfast to dessert and everything in between!
It’s the most important meal of the day and with a huge day of sightseeing ahead, you need to make sure you are set up for success. You can choose a hearty old fashioned fry up or you can follow the new crowd and go for something lighter.
There is no more authentic way to start off your day than in a traditional style diner with a plate of one of the following:
Pancakes: A great American favourite, a stack of fluffy pancakes is sure to kickstart a great day. Keep it traditional with butter and syrup or spice it up with fresh fruit like blueberries and bananas.
Waffles: After a day or two of pancakes, mix it up with waffles. You can have them savoury with sausage or sweet with fruit and whipped cream.
Biscuits: American biscuits are similar to scones. They are usually served with ham, bacon, sausage, hash browns and the required lashings of gravy.
If all of these get a little heavy, then grab something lighter from one of the many juice and smoothie bars that are popping up across the country. Green juices, smoothie bowls, kombucha and sandwiches are a-plenty and if you’re in Los Angeles you’ll probably even notice a few mobile juice trucks on the streets.
Also light but maybe not as healthy is one of America’s fastest breakfast options, pop tarts. If you have a kitchen in your room you can heat up a couple of these before you even step foot out the door.
When the hours of exploring start to take their toll and you’re ready for your midday meal, the options are endless. Some favourites include:
Hot dogs: Some sources estimate that on average, American’s eat approximately 70 hot dogs each per year. With so many variations you could almost eat that many and never the same one twice. Find them with chilli beans, sauerkraut, spicy mustard, pickles, crunchy slaw or cheddar cheese.
Pizza: The Italians may have invented it but the Americans have embraced it. From a New York slice to the Chicago deep dish there is always a pizza nearby.
Cobb salad: Cobb salad is a mix of lettuce, tomato, crispy bacon, grilled chicken, boiled egg, avocado, onion and blue cheese. It was apparently invented when a Hollywood restaurant owner threw together a late night meal with whatever he had available at the time.
Philadelphia cheesesteak: A long crusty roll with thinly sliced steak and cheese. The name is a giveaway - this sandwich is native to Philadelphia. Cheese types can vary so see what’s on offer.
The days can grow long travelling between sights and if three o’clock hits and you’re feeling peckish these are some of America’s favourite snacks.
Twinkies: For such an unassuming treat these little golden sponge cake bars filled with creamy vanilla have garnered a lot of fans over the years. Not only are they delicious but they also make a convenient on-the-go snack that you can pop in your bag to keep the whole family happy.
Whoopie pies: Part cake, part cookie, named after a pie but they are actually more of a sandwich. Two cake pieces are sandwiched together with a creamy filling to make a delicious treat. They come in lots of flavours and you’ll find them almost everywhere.
Frozen yoghurt: If America does one thing well it is chain restaurants. The latest craze has been chains of frozen yoghurt stores opening up all over the country. Choose your own toppings and flavours and enjoy this cool treat with all the cool kids.
There are hundreds of choices when it comes to dinner especially depending on where you are in the country. A sure bet for some true American fare would be one of the following.
Buffalo wings: These deep fried chicken wings are coated with a hot sauce and served with a blue cheese sauce. They are a great sharing dish; just make sure you grab an extra napkin.
Barbecue ribs: If you also ordered barbecue ribs with your wings you better make that two extra napkins. These sticky ribs are quintessentially American with lashings of barbecue sauce.
Fried chicken: Popularised and taken global by KFC, nobody does fried food quite like America.
New England clam chowder: An East Coast favourite, New England clam chowder is a creamy, rich soup that dates back to the 1700s. It usually includes heavy cream, potatoes and clams.
Mac and cheese: One for the kids, or the young at heart. Enjoy a warm bowl of macaroni and cheese and you might start feeling homesick for a country you never lived in!
After a huge day of eating, it’s good to know there is always room for dessert and in America there is no better dessert then a good old fashioned pie. Try one of these pies to round out your day:
Apple pie: Apple pie was introduced by settlers in the 17th century after they had waited long enough for the European apple varieties that they brought with them to bear fruit. It is now a classic and available almost everywhere.
Peach cobbler: A cobbler is similar to a pie but usually is made in a deeper dish with a biscuit (think scones) crust. Popular in the Deep South of the country nothing quite says American hospitality like a warm peach cobbler.
Key lime pie: Similar to our lemon meringue the key lime pie is a fresh and creamy dessert that hails from the Florida Keys giving it a unique tropical feel.