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Iconic East Coast Foods Roadtrip

Close up of food

The question isn’t “Why should I take a food tour of the East Coast?” It’s most definitely, “Why shouldn’t I?” From New Hampshire cider doughnuts to New Jersey disco fries, local specialties abound in our part of the country. We did the research and found the most iconic East Coast foods from states in our region.

And, in addition to food tips, we’ll also help set you up for your food tour with road trip resources and drive times to major cities in our region:

Now, let’s dig into the food (listed for each state in no particular order).

Well done!Eat These Iconic East Coast Foods From Our Region

If we forgot your favorite, let us know what it is and where it’s from by leaving a comment!

1 Connecticut

  • New Haven pizza – Locals call it “apizza.” Typically, it’s sprinkled with pecorino romano (mozzarella is considered a topping).
  • Lobster rolls – Internet lore has it the hot lobster roll was invented here. It’s served with butter, not mayo.
  • Steamed cheeseburgers – The epicenter of this ooey-gooey dish is a “world famous” restaurant in Meriden, CT.

2 Massachusetts

  • Clam chowder – A quintessential MA dish. In the Midwest, it’s sometimes called “Boston chowder.”
  • Fried clams – Arguably the best way to eat them is with a view of the ocean. Here are some of the best fried seafood spots in New England.
  • Boston baked beans – “Boston” is actually in the name! The dish is flavored with molasses, salt pork, black pepper and more.
  • Boston cream pie – Again, “Boston” is in the name! A hotel in Boston claims the iconic dessert was first made there back in the 1800s.

3 New Hampshire

  • Cider doughnuts – Pick-your-own is a fall family tradition and pairs exceptionally well with fresh fried cider doughnuts.
  • Poutine – French fries, rich gravy and squeaky cheese curds … what’s not love?
  • Boiled dinner – This is also called New England boiled dinner, but seems to hold a special place in NH cuisine. It typically contains corned beef or brisket, cabbage, carrots, potatoes and sometimes turnips.
  • Pumpkin pie – New Hampshire designated pumpkins as the state fruit in 2006. Plus, this dessert pairs well with the state’s famous fall foliage.

4 New Jersey

  • Salt water taffy – This boardwalk favorite has a proud history in NJ going back to the 1880s – which color is your favorite flavor?
  • Disco fries – Fries topped with gravy and mozzarella cheese … Mm-hmm. This dish is a NJ diner classic. And speaking of NJ diners, here are 14 you need to try.
  • Pork roll – Pair it with egg and cheese, put it on a hard roll and you’ve got another NJ diner classic.
  • Pizza – There’s a good case to be made that the best pizza in New York actually comes from NJ. Here are some of the best pizza places in NJ.

5 New York

  • Bagels – New York bagels are legendary. But, savory only … keep the sweet ones.
  • Buffalo wings – This sports bar staple was invented right in Buffalo, NY back in the 1960s.
  • Pizza – New York-style pizza. Dollar slices. Coal-fired pizza. So. Much. Good. Pizza.
  • Cheesecake – New York-style cheesecake is rich and dense, with smooth and creamy consistency. Another legendary dish.

6 Pennsylvania

  • Scrapple – Do yourself a favor and don’t ask what it is – just try. It resembles a brick on your plate.
  • Cheesesteaks – Whiz or provolone, wit (wit means “with onions”). 
  • Pierogi – Served fried or poached in butter. A famous Pierogi Co. has a home in Shenandoah, PA.
  • Birch beer – This is a uniquely Pennsylvania Dutch treat. Bonus if you can find a place with birch beer in its soda fountain.
  • Pittsburgh salads – It starts as a regular, standard salad. Then it’s TOPPED WITH FRENCH FRIES. Mind=blown.
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