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50 states
Photograph: Shutterstock/Time Out

50 ways to get a taste of every U.S. state in NYC

Feeling homesick? Use our guide to travel the country without ever having to leave the five boroughs.

By Will Gleason, Rocky Rakovic, Janell Tryon and Christina Izzo
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Hankering for your hometown? We've got a cure for that. Here's where to go in NYC to find a little piece of your (or someone else's) native state without having to hop in a car and drive all the way out to LaGuardia. From the best NYC dive bars to catch a game to hard-to-find regional delicacies and stunning art, take a road trip across America while staying east of the West Side Highway.

Visit all 50 states in NYC

Photograph: Courtesy Blue Smoke/Liz Clayman

1. Alabama

As the seasons change from cold to colder, Alabamians can find a welcome respite around the city in hot plates of chicken wings. Head to Blue Smoke, either in the Flatiron District or Battery Park City, and order the Smoked Chicken Wings, which are slathered in a tangy, peppery white sauce that’s unique to the lush land of ’Bama. After you devour some wings, wash down your barbecue with a chilled glass of virgin or sauced sweet tea.
Flatiron • Battery Park City (bluesmoke.com). $15.

Photograph: Courtesy National Museum of the American Indian/NMAI Photo Services

2. Alaska

The American Museum of Natural History’s Northwest Coast Hall has excellent examples of the striking native art that can be found throughout the 49th state, but the hall closed in 2017 for a multiyear renovation. Never fear: You can stroll through “Infinity of Nations,” a National Museum of the American Indian exhibit that includes totem poles, ceremonial regalia, argillite carvings and other historical artifacts from the Northwest.
Financial District (americanindian.si.edu). Free.

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Photograph: Courtesy Amaranto

3. Arizona

“When I’m longing for Phoenix, I actually find myself heading to Bushwick to hit up one of my favorite Mexican restaurants: Taqueria El Fogon, Los Hermanos or Amaranto. They’re delicious, authentic and could be straight from my hometown,” says Arizona transplant Haley Meeker. “The only thing that lifts my Arizonan spirits higher is buying a churro from the subway platform on my way back home.”
Bushwick (multiple locations)

Photograph: Santiago Felipe

4. Arkansas

“I think it’s a compliment to Arkansas that, when I’m feeling homesick, I go to Flaming Saddles, the Southern, gay iteration of Coyote Ugly. It plays The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and a whole lot of Dixie Chicks,” says Hell’s Kitchen–via-Arkansas resident Mark Schulte. “I recognize that these are both Texas references—but let’s face it, the only thing that meaningfully distinguishes Arkansas from the rest of the South is Bill Clinton.”
Hell’s Kitchen (flamingsaddles.com/nyc)

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Dimes, best brunch NYC
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

5. California

For West Coasters yearning for a taste of home, Lower East Side’s Dimes offers a breezy fix. At the SoCal-inspired café, the lineup can change weekly: Expect colorful plates with equal parts Japanese, South American and Mediterranean influences like a black-rice bowl loaded with sweet potato and turmeric ponzu, and braised chicken with freekeh and Fresno chilies.
Lower East Side (dimesnyc.com

The rooftop chalet at Mr. Purple
Photograph: Courtesy Katrine Moite

6. Colorado

Why rent equipment and fork over funds for a lift pass when you can get the rush of the slopes indoors? (And aren’t après-ski drinks the best part anyway?) The seasonal rooftop chalet at Mr. Purple boasts faux-fur blankets, fireplace logs and warming fondue. Whether you were longing for Aspen or the Alps, this hygge spot will have you heading downtown, rather than downhill.
Lower East Side (mrpurplenyc.com)

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100 best dishes and drinks in NYC 2016
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

7. Connecticut

When the Metro-North is delayed and you’ve got a craving for some coastal 'za, let New York sub in for New Haven courtesy of Pasquale Jones’ littleneck clam pizza. Inspired by the clam-topped classic first cooked up at Rhode Island’s Frank Pepe’s, the PJ pie is a char-puffed beauty covered in briny littlenecks, parsley and a delicate garlicky cream. $29.
Nolita (pasqualejones.com)

Photograph: Shutterstock

8. Delaware

When I’m missing the sea breezes or sunsets over the bay, I head down to Jamaica Bay in Queens,” says former Delaware resident Vanessa Morris. “​Apart from the airplane traffic from nearby JFK, I feel like I’m back on the Delaware shore, surrounded by all my favorite sightings: seagulls, horseshoe crabs, sandpipers, tall grasses and beautiful sunsets​.​”
Jamaica Bay (nycgovparks.org/parks/jamaica-bay-park)

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Photograph: Ann Sullivan

9. Florida

For those from the Sunshine State, cloudy winters in New York may deplete your glowing body of Vitamin D. What to do? Well, first, buy a sunlamp like the rest of us, then get some extra nourishment at Juicy Lucy. The East Village juice bar whips up a glass of freshly squeezed OJ that’ll cure your scurvy and your homesickness in one fell swoop.
East Village (212-777-5829)

Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter
Photograph: Courtesy of Bobwhite Counter

10. Georgia

Thanks to an influx of commercial pepper production in the early 20th century, Georgia was considered the pimento capital of the world by the 1960s. And the best vehicle for enjoying the smoky-sweet pepper is undeniably pimento cheese. The Southern spread shows up in numerous incarnations at Bobwhite Counter in the East Village: Atop chicken biscuits, say, or served straight-up with baked crackers.
East Village (bobwhitecounter.com)

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Photograph: Courtesy Noreetuh Restaurant/Nathan Ma

11. Hawaii

Feel like trading this bustling island for a verdant patch of land in the Pacific Ocean? Skip the flight and board the train to Alphabet City instead. Noreetuh offers native Hawaiian classics, like mochiko fried chicken and big-eye tuna poke, as well as Japan-influenced dishes such as the Imperial Wagyu, to satisfy the palettes of every far-from-home local.
East Village (noreetuh.com)

Loaded baked potato
Photograph: Shutterstock

12. Idaho

For those who hail from the land of river rapids and the Rocky Mountains, a day trip to the Catskills may be just what the doctor ordered. But if that cure still leaves you with a hole in your heart, you can always fill the one in your stomach: Dig into the cheese-smothered, oven-baked spuds from Hot Potato House for a spectacular taste of Ida-home.
Brighton Beach, Brooklyn (hotpotatohouse.com). $15.

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Photograph: Courtesy Hank's Juicy Beef

13. Illinois

“For Prairie State expats living on the East Coast, neither Philly cheesesteaks nor New York hero sandwiches come close to the glory of a wet, spicy, sweet Italian beef sandwich,” says former Chicagoan Clayton Guse. But lo and behold, Hank’s Juicy Beef, dedicated to serving the tastiest slices of roasted beef east of the Windy City. Wistful while vegetarian? Be sure to try Aunt Rose’s Eggplant Parm, served on the same authentic French roll.
Financial District (hanksjuicybeef.com). $7.95.

Photograph: Courtesy Todd Quackenbush/Unsplash

14. Indiana

“If you’ve seen Breaking Away, you probably remember the scene in which college kids and locals swim in a quarry. That’s part of the Empire Quarries, which were the source of the limestone used in the Empire State Building,” says Chris Derrick, an Indiana University alum. “Yankee Stadium is also built from Indiana limestone. If you’re in NYC and want to touch a piece of the Hoosier State, you can stop by either iconic New York location.”
Herald Square • Concourse, Bronx

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Photograph: Courtesy Gotham Quilts

15. Iowa

“Every night, when I curl up with one of my grandmother’s handmade denim quilts, I regret that I never learned to quilt from her. She was a farming woman who raised nine kids in rural Iowa, and she could do it all: cook and can food, refurnish furniture, garden and quilt,” says Des Moines–born Sarah Dohrmann. “She was strong and whip-smart, and she fully supported my move to New York to become a writer. I was only too happy to leave Iowa, but now I wish I’d held on more to my roots. The good news? I can still learn to quilt at Gotham Quilts, where the all-level classes include Intro to the Sewing Machine and Free Motion Quilting.”
Midtown (gothamquilts.com)

Photograph: Shutterstock/Cabeca de Marmore

16. Kansas

“I’m nostalgic for gazing far across the endless plains, so the open lawns in Prospect Park are comforting,” says native Kansan Steph Whited. “I also miss exploring the woods, and I’ve gleefully lost my sense of direction on some paths there before.”
Prospect Park (prospectpark.org)

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Photograph: Courtesy Brandy Library

17. Kentucky

If you find yourself singing the blues for the Bluegrass State, look no farther than Brandy Library. Like any good bibliotheca, this bar is encyclopedic. With nearly 80 varieties of bourbon, you can practically taste the sweet corn from your old Kentucky home.
Soho (brandylibrary.com)

Photograph: Courtesy Cheeky Sandwiches

18. Louisiana

Yearning for a taste of the bayou? Don’t get long in the face, get Cheeky. Just eight years in business, Cheeky Sandwiches is becoming a staple of N’awlins-style fare on the Lower East Side. With fried-to-order oysters and shrimp, crunchy rolls, and a harmonious blend of mayo and hot sauce, these po’ boys will sate and sedate you. Before you peel out, pep up with a chicory coffee straight from Café du Monde.
Lower East Side (cheekysandwiches.com). $8.50.

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Photograph: Courtesy Luke's Lobster

19. Maine

If you’ve got a hankering for the taste of the sea, make Luke’s Lobster your Maine squeeze. Don’t let the name fool you: Luke’s offers a wide range of Maine-style seafood (traceable to the harbor of origin), even stacking huge portions of shrimp and crab alongside lobster in its eponymous Luke’s Trio roll.
Various locations (lukeslobster.com)

Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

20. Maryland

“If I’m missing home and have some money to spare, I love going to Brooklyn Crab,” say former Baltimore resident Tolly Wright. “While the crabs aren’t quite as good as Maryland’s, they’re absolutely fucking delicious. On top of that, that area of Red Hook really reminds me of Baltimore, aesthetically—which isn’t really a compliment, but Baltimore’s home.”
Red Hook (brooklyncrab.com)

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Boston cream pie
Photograph: Shutterstock

21. Massachusetts

Get a little taste of Beantown in the Bronx, of all places, thanks to the Boston Cream Pie at Morris Park’s family-run Conti’s Pastry Shoppe. A nearly century-old recipe featuring moist chiffon cake layered with house-made custard, freshly whipped cream, and bittersweet chocolate, one bite will leave you thinking you’re in the North End of Boston, not the northern end of New York City. $17 for small, $25 for large.
Morris Park (contispastryshoppe.com)

Photograph: Shutterstock

22. Michigan

“The one thing I miss the most about Michigan is standing on a dune in the northwestern part of the state and looking out at the lake,” says staffer and Mitten State transplant Will Gleason. “The place that comes closest to replicating that feeling for me is Fort Tryon Park. It’s a forested area that has stunning views of the water—in this case, the Hudson River. Best of all, you can walk through it without getting too much sand in your shoes.”
Inwood (nycgovparks.org/parks/fort-tryon-park)

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Photograph: Gabi Porter

23. Minnesota

While New York City may be surrounded by waterways, it’s certainly no Land of 10,000 Lakes. But Lake Street Bar aims to satisfy even the thirstiest of Minnesotans. Start your Twin Cities tasting tour with a $2 Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll, paired with a bevy of bottled and canned Midwestern brewskis.
Greenpoint (lakestreetbar.com)

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Lauren W.

24. Mississippi

You can find some of the best fried chicken and okra in the city at Mitchell’s Soul Food in Prospect Heights. On top of that, your dinner comes complete with an authentic Southern diner vibe. If you’re still hungry and looking for dessert,  don’t think twice about ordering a slice of the sweet-potato pie.
Prospect Heights (718-789-3212)

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Gooey butter cake
Photograph: Shutterstock

25. Missouri

Cake legend has it that St. Louis’s signature gooey butter cake was invented back in the 1930s when a baker accidentally screwed up the butter ratios of a coffee cake recipe. His mistake was the world’s delicious gain. Fast-forward nearly a century, and you can find a fittingly nostalgic rendition at Gooey & Co from Mound City native Matt Swanston-Mota—it’s a from-scratch version of the boxed favorite his Midwestern mom always made. $18 for nine "gooey bits."
Williamsburg, Brooklyn (gooeyandco.com)

Photograph: Courtesy KaShing Lin

26. Montana

“Whenever my friends and I are missing Big Sky country, we go to Stout, which is near Grand Central.” says former Montanan Gillian Todd. “It’s a great place to watch Grizzlies and Bobcat games. And when that fails, just a cozy night in with Montanans does the trick.”
Midtown East (stoutnyc.com)

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Photograph: Lorraine M. Nesensohn

27. Nebraska

“Some say the Reuben was invented in Omaha. If so, New York, you are welcome for our improvements upon your humble sandwich of just cured meat and bread,” says Eric Kleveland, formerly of Hastings, Nebraska. “For more of that Nebraska fighting spirit, come to Hudson Station Bar & Grill on a Cornhusker game day: The place turns into Little Lincoln. And, no, they don’t advertise a Reuben sandwich. They probably know how persnickety Nebraskans can be.”
Midtown (hudsonstation.com)

Photograph: Gabi Porter

28. Nevada

If the bright lights of Atlantic City are too much of a trek and eloping isn’t your thing, there’s a less risky—and chapel-free—way to get your Nevada nostalgia on: Luxuriate in the glitz and glam of vintage Vegas while sipping on classic cocktails at Goldie’s in Greenpoint. The bar boasts lots of kitsch but no kitchen, so be sure to grab some off-the-strip grub on your way inside.
Greenpoint (718-389-2348)

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Photograph: Courtesy GrowNYC

29. New Hampshire

“Anything that reminds me of a cozy fall day takes me back to New Hampshire. So when everything in New York feels autumnal, I take it to the next level with an apple-cider doughnut,” says New Hampshire transplant Jenn Zilioli. “McCarren Park Farmers Market is my go-to spot.”
Williamsburg (GrowNYC.org)

Photograph: Courtesy Tick Tock Diner

30. New Jersey

Yeah, yeah, yeah: You can see (smell?) Jersey from the West Side. But if you truly miss the Garden State, all you need to do is step into Tick Tock Diner next to Penn Station, order a plate of disco fries (steak fries with gravy and melted mozzarella cheese) and reminisce about that time in your life when driving around your boring little town constituted a wild weekend.
Midtown (ticktockdinerny.com)

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Buffalo wings
Photograph: Shutterstock

31. New York

Who best to trust with Buffalo wings than two Buffalo-bred gents? Dan Borowski and John Henninger first tinkered with the wings of their hometown in Dan’s Brooklyn apartment to satisfy their craving during Bills games. Thankfully, they since have shared their knowledge of the bar-food staple with the rest of New York, and the result is cultishly good wings that are simultaneously crispy, saucy, and juicy, in five spice levels of Buffalo sauce. Better load up on those Wet Naps, folks.
East Village, Murray Hill (danandjohns.com)

Photograph: Courtesy Superfine

32. New Mexico

One hot thing New Mexicans crave above all else is traditional-style Hatch green chili sauce, with its creamy, cactusy flavor. Luckily, you don’t have to take a train all the way to Santa Fe to get your hands on some. Every week, the owners of Superfine fly in chilies all the way from Albuquerque to make a green-chili sauce for their weekend breakfast burritos. You can also order some slathered on quesadillas or over mahi-mahi, also wrapped in flour tortillas.
Dumbo (superfine.nyc)

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Photograph: Andrew Tess

33. North Carolina

“Bleary-eyed in an Uber en route to JFK, I had to do a double take when I caught sight of Carolina Country Store. With its old-timey lettering and wood-paneled interior, it resembles the countless roadside shanties with peeling paint and tin-can wind chimes that dot the Blue Ridge Mountains, where I was raised,” says staffer Courtney Duckworth. “The South is shaped by its foodways, and the big draw here is the rare victuals: yellow watermelon, country ham, chowchow, okra, hush-puppy mix, liver pudding, pimento cheese and bologna thick enough to fry. Everything at CCC reminds me of grandma’s house or those out-of-the-way counter spots that, even back home, are starting to disappear.”
Bedford-Stuyvesant (718-498-8033)

Photograph: Courtesy Socrates Sculpture Park/Bortolami Gallery & White Cube/Nicholas Knight Studio

34. North Dakota

The Enchanted Highway that runs for 32 miles in the southwestern part of the Roughrider State offers views of trippy sculptures made of reclaimed scrap metal. Along the waterfront in Astoria,  you can find similarly whimsical industrial art as part of Socrates Sculpture Park’s ever-changing collection.
Astoria (socratessculpturepark.org)

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Photograph: Courtesy Edward's

35. Ohio

If Cincinnati’s attitude were a Demi Lovato song, “Sorry, Not Sorry” would fit the bill. Daughters and sons of the Queen City are unapologetic about eating spaghetti with chili, cheese and beans. Happily, on the last Monday of every month, Edward’s in Soho serves Skyline Chili, along with Montgomery Inn ribs and Graeter’s ice cream.
Soho (edwardsnyc.com). Starting at $6.

Photograph: Courtesy Red Rooster Harlem

36. Oklahoma

For Oklahomans, nothing can take you back to the Sooner State like a bite into a warm piece of buttery cornbread, which so happens to be a key component of the official state meal. “Cornbread and barbecue is always a good call when I’m missing home,” says ex-Okie Matt Schulke. Red Rooster in Harlem offers some of the best in the city.

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Photograph: Courtesy Culture Espresso

37. Oregon

Even if you’ve left your heart on the West Coast, you can still get a solid Portland buzz out East. Culture Espresso serves only coffee varieties chosen and roasted by Heart Coffee Roasters, based in Portland. For extra authenticity, go ahead and bike there.
Midtown (cultureespresso.com)

Photograph: Courtesy Tastykake

38. Pennsylvania

“Little Debbie, take a seat. Anyone from the Philadelphia area knows that Tastykake is the only highly processed, trans-fat–filled baked good worth shoving in your piehole,” says Allentown-born Jennifer Picht. “Although the Keystone State borders New York, they’re a rare find. But the next time you’re missing Pennsyltucky, grab some spongey Butterscotch Krimpets or chocolate-covered Kandy Cakes at any Compare Foods in the city.”
Various locations (tastykake.com)

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Photograph: Courtesy Sylvia's Restaurant

39. South Carolina

Before she became the queen of soul food in the big city, Sylvia Woods learned how to cook in Hemingway, South Carolina (current population: 426). Because of her contribution to the culinary landscape in New York, many Manhattanites first think of her South Carolina home cooking when they hear the words soul food.
Harlem (sylviasrestaurant.com)

Fried calamari
Photograph: Shutterstock

40. Rhode Island

"When I’m missing the Ocean State sometimes I find myself at Merchants River House, overlooking the Hudson. Sure, where I come from we don’t junk up our islands with a big statue celebrating liberty, but I can make do with the view," says Rocky Rakovic, our Narragansett-born skipper of content. "Quick question: Do I know Rhode Island’s General Law Section 42-4-19? For definite—I’m squid squad for life. It was passed in 2014 and officially named calamari as Lil Rhody’s 'state appetizer.' Merchants River House sources their tubes from the fishing village on RI’s southeastern bend called Point Judith—wicked—and they serve it Rhode Island-style, which means a handful of pickled banana peppers tossed in to add texture and cut the grease. Once you have them that way it will be like the first time you folded a slice of pizza, no turning back." Battery Park (merchantsriverhouse.com)

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Photograph: Courtesy AMNH/D. Finnin

41. South Dakota

Everyday New Yorkers don’t have to travel far to get a glimpse of the prairie experience. The American Museum of Natural History features dioramas of stuffed bison and South Dakota antelope just across the street from Central Park’s less stately pigeons and raccoons.
Upper West Side (amnh.org)

Photograph: Courtesy Craig V Samuel. B+C Restaurant Group

42. Tennessee

Lately, the country has gone nuts for Nashville hot chicken—it’s like the Southern-fried poke bowl or something. While many have tried to hop on the trend (we’re looking at you, KFC) Peaches HotHouse comes correct with its faithful rendition.
Bedford-Stuyvesant (bcrestaurantgroup.com)

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Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Aaron W.

43. Texas

The lively Williamsburg watering hole Skinny Dennis makes you feel like you’ve galloped into Austin.The portrait of Willie Nelson, the chicken wire, the coolers packed with Lone Star beer and the scattered peanut shells all amp up the country-time vibes. Come the weekend, some toe-tapping honky-tonk groups often hold court in the corner.
Williamsburg (skinnydennisbar.com)

Photograph: Courtesy Kings of Kobe

44. Utah

If you don’t mix mayonnaise and ketchup for french-fry dunking, you’ve lost touch with your inner Utahn. Shake yourself off, go to Kings of Kobe, get a side of their Royal Fry Sauce, down it like a shot, then enjoy your meal eating the rest of your sauce the conventional way. After, head home to make green Jell-O.
Midtown West (kingsofkobe.com)

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Photograph: Courtesy Barn Owl Maple

45. Vermont

There’s nothing that comes close to tapping a maple tree in Vermont, but this is probably your second-best bet: Based in the Green Mountain State, Barn Owl Maple makes single-source syrup that can be found at restaurants across the city, including Buvette, M. Wells and Dig Inn.
Various locations (barnowlmaple.com)

Ham at & Sons
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

46. Virginia

Ibérico and prosciutto have had their moment—we’re here to talk about homegrown Virginia ham, those sweet ribbons of fed-on-peanuts-and-peaches swine made to be piled on a buttery biscuit or draped directly into your waiting mouth. You can taste all the cured, country goodness for yourself at And Sons’s ham-and-cheese bar. 
Prospect Lefferts Garden, Brooklyn (andsonsnyc.com)

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Photograph: Courtesy Caffe Vita/Nicholas Doyle

47. Washington

New York is beginning to be a coffee-bean town, thanks in part to excellent curation. Caffé Vita pours some of the finest in the city—just a waft and you’re back strolling through the leafy Seattle neighborhood of Queen Anne.
Lower East Side • Bushwick (caffevita.com)

Photograph: Shutterstock/Brent Hofacker

48. West Virginia

Paying homage to their respective childhoods in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, Ben Turley and Brent Young of Meat Hook fame opened this ode to Appalachian cooking in fall 2020. On the menu, find plenty of pickling, fermenting, and regional specialties like salt cod dip, Appalachian “antipasti” starring house-made bologna, and that coal-miner favorite, the pepperoni roll.
Williamsburg, Brooklyn (cozyroyale.com)

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Courtesy: Yelp/Tyler G

49. Wisconsin

Cheesehead central in NYC is Kettle of Fish. “It’s a Greenwich Village bar with a strong Wisconsin tint,” says owner Pat Daley. “If you are a Badger State expat, you will find a home away from home when you enter Kettle. If you happen to be here for a Packers, Badgers, Brewers or Bucks game, all the better.”
West Village (kettleoffishnyc.com)

Photograph: Courtesy: Yelp/Aaron P

50. Wyoming

If there’s one thing Wyomans love, it’s chowing down on some meaty game, from reindeer and elk to juicy bison. Smokey Burger’s Mighty Bison Deluxe is one of the finest bison burgers in the city, pairing a patty with spicy pepper jack, jalapeño, red peppers, chipotle sauce, avocado and caramelized onions. Close your eyes and you’ll be staring at the Grand Tetons.
Hell’s Kitchen (smokeyburgernyc.com). $16.95.

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