All comfort food is created equal, right? Not exactly. While most Americans can agree that they turn to certain dishes when they’re feeling low, the type of comfort food they reach for varies by state and region. Here are some of the top comfort foods in the U.S., segmented by area.
1. According to the Food Network, New Yorkers have a penchant for pizza and calzones. In Brooklyn, people are even willing to wait for their comfort food favorite for as long as two hours at Lucali, where it can take a long time to fill an order.
2. Old fashioned biscuits are a favorite in Nashville. One of the area’s best places to get them is the Loveless Cafe, which was originally designed as a hangout for those who went to the Grand Ole Opry. Ownership has changed hands a few times since it was opened in 1951, but the biscuit recipe has stayed the same.
3. Good ol’ French fries made it on the Huffington Post’s list of the best comfort foods in the U.S. For the most delicious fries in the 50 states, head to Boise, Idaho, where the hand-cut fries at the Boise Fry Co. are famous.
4. When you can’t make it to Italy for a meal, a traditional plate of spaghetti in either Miami or New York is a close second. Keep it simple with fresh pasta, handmade tomato sauce and olive oil. When the pasta is this good, no other garnishes are necessary.
5. Chicken soup isn’t just for sick days. The best in the country can be found in Philadelphia, specifically at the 4th Street deli. Chicken and broth is complemented by matzo balls, noodles, rich and even a bit of brisket.
6. The best fried chicken can be found in Georgia. Down south, they soak their chicken in buttermilk for up to two days. They soak their fries in lard, too. This isn’t a heart-healthy meal by any means, but it sure is delicious.
7. Mexican food is beloved in San Francisco, where street food popularity shot through the roof and where the standard burrito is often ordered. The meat is so delicious that most places don’t even add rice, which would just detract from the taste.
8. Michigan residents love their macaroni and cheese, possibly because the famous Zingerman’s Roadhouse makes five different mac and cheese dishes. Each batch is cooked in a cast-iron skillet which gives the dish a caramelized crust.
9. Los Angeles residents have taken their grilled cheese upscale, often building sandwiches with more than just bread and slices of American. Popular grilled cheese toppers include tomatoes, apricots and even short ribs.