Bagels and lox American Jews popularized the combo of lox, cream cheese, and a fresh bagel (with capers and red onion, preferably). New York delis and brunch places serve a bagel with silky smoked salmon.
Lobster roll Maine lobsters top fresh American food. Lobster sandwiches used to be cheap. The 1920s lobster roll is served on a buttered hot dog bun. Butter or mayonnaise enhances lobster meat in the tastiest rolls.
Gumbo Gumbo, a Cajun stew with Choctaw, French, and West African roots, is a Louisiana favorite. Okra, filé, or a dark flour roux thicken the savory stew, which contains shellfish, poultry, sausage, and veggies.
Lime pie Key lime pie, Florida's official pie, is revered in American culture. The pie uses key lime juice, which is tarter than regular limes and smaller and rounder. Traditional key lime pie uses sweet condensed milk to balance the sourness.
Eggs Benedict A late-1800s New York restaurant may have invented Eggs Benedict. A brunch favorite is poached eggs, ham, and hollandaise on an English muffin. Many Benny recipes replace ham with spinach, smoked salmon, short rib, or other tasty ingredients.
Clam soup Manhattan clam chowder is tomato-based, while New England is cream-based. Both are full of clams and other seafood, although the latter is most popular. Though it's most associated with the East Coast, great chowder can be found in most US oceanside cities.
Taco salad American-made taco salad is Mexican-inspired. This famous dish combines all the ingredients and flavor of an American taco in a colorful and crispy tortilla bowl that can be broken up and eaten after the salad. Taco salads require a cilantro-lime dressing and heaps of ground meat.
Rueben sandwich Pastrami (or corned beef), Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, and rye bread make the Reuben one of America's best deli sandwiches. Like several century-old meals, Rueben invented it before 1930. Jewish Americans love the combo.
Chop suey Chop suey, another American Chinese takeout staple, is not Chinese. Chinese-American restaurants made a diversified stir-fry in the late 1800s. Popularity fuels American love of Chinese-American food.