The most iconic dishes in America are the timeless dishes that every foodie should try at least once, and these are the top 101.
So what, exactly, makes a dish iconic?
If it’s been around for decades, if the definitive version is still served at the restaurant that created it, and if it’s earned legions of loyal fans, then it might be an icon.
If it’s so good that it’s put the restaurant that serves it on the map and influenced others, it might be an icon.
If it’s become so popular that it’s now a household name, imitated (but never replicated) at countless other restaurants nationwide even as the restaurant that invented it is still going strong, it might be an icon.
If it’s the signature dish of one of the country’s great fine-dining chefs, and a must-order at their restaurant, it might be an icon.
Clearly, the parameters are rather broad. But there’s one thing all culinary icons have in common: You know it when you taste it.