The Best Thing to Eat In Every State
Vacation meals should be as glorious as your vacation. Our state-by-state guide is an invitation to savor the most delicious tastes near and far.
For about 90 years, Mom's Cafe has occupied a squat brick building on Salina's Main Street, in the shadow of the imposing Black Cap Mountain. But inside is the true majesty, namely the thoroughly gravy-coated chicken-fried steak, fresh-baked pies (blueberry sour cream and chocolate cream top our list), homemade chicken soup with rustic noodles and scones so outwardly crusty, you'd never guess at their fluffy-licious centers.... The taffy from Salt Lake City's Sweet's, founded in 1892 and relocated from Portland, Oregon, to Utah in 1900, may offer a softer chew than East Coast iterations (which are typically pulled; Sweet's whips theirs) and comes in more than four dozen flavors, including boysenberry, buttered popcorn, cookie dough, macadamia and rum. Go ahead and book your next dentist appointment.
You may encounter a wait at Burlington's bright and cheery Penny Cluse—or, just maybe, Joe Biden, who's famously a fan—but visions of spice-rich gingerbread pancakes and Penny Picklers (kicky Bloody Marys adorned with a pickle) will help sustain you. And don't you forget about the Breakfast Club, featuring a bacon-cheddar omelet on rye with crisp lettuce and tomato.... Summertime, and the living is maple creemee. When the temperatures climb, seasonal stands sprout across Vermont to peddle thick soft-serve starring the gold-standard syrup. Get a cup if you must, but devotees prefer the classic wafer cone of yore.
If you have fond childhood memories of lovingly packed lunch boxes, you'll be in heaven at the nearly century-old Sally Bell's Kitchen in Richmond, where the $9 box lunch includes your choice of sandwich (gooey pimento cheese, for example), side (such as salads both potato and macaroni, or—yes, indeed—tomato aspic) and cupcake (old-school yellow cake with caramel frosting gets our vote). The tidy array, which comes with half a deviled egg and a cheese wafer topped with a pecan, arrives in checkerboard paper, tucked into a white box emblazoned with Sally Bell's cameo-inspired logo. June Cleaver would definitely approve.