United States: LA (food) Story

Counting down 13 of the best iconic American eats and where to get them, all in one city.
In-N-Out Burger. Photo / Instagram, @leannakrueger
In-N-Out Burger. Photo / Instagram, @leannakrueger

From the popular In-N-Out Burger to authentic Southern pork ribs, the United States is home to some of the most decadent treats imaginable.

Los Angeles may be known for its healthy side - fresh produce at the farmers markets, gym bunnies downing their green smoothies, and brunches of egg-white omelettes - but if you want to cater to your more indulgent side, you can also find America's classic dishes at hotspots all over the city.

We've scoured Instagram to find the ultimate hit list of the most iconic, sought after American eats in LA, from s'mores, hot wings, and mac 'n cheese, through to hot dogs, donuts and tacos. Find them, eat them, Instagram them . . . your feed is about to look good enough to eat.

1 Hit up In-N-Out Burger as soon as you get out of LAX, and you will already be one up on your foodie bucket list - there's a restaurant just a few minutes' drive from the arrivals gate. Ordering is simpler than you would expect, the menu offers only hamburgers, cheeseburgers and double cheeseburgers, plus fries and shakes (oh, and the secret menu which you may want to track down online .

. . )

2 Doughnuts are an institution in the US, and not just for cops. California Donuts are baking up some of the most creative and delicious around town, and good news is they're only a buck each.

3 Buffalo wings are a culinary creation from the 70s but their mouthwatering flavours have stayed in vogue. For something a bit different to the tried and true, make a beeline for POT at The Line Hotel for some deliciously sticky, over the top, spicy Korean-inspired wings.

4 Tacos are big all across California - and the rest of the world - but you'll find the best ones in a food truck roaming the streets of LA. Hunt down Guerrilla Tacos, Kogi BBQ or Mariscos Jalisco for a fresh take on this classic.

5 Genuine barbecue has found its way across the middle states, settling in for a long and happy life in LA. You can't go past the legendary Bludso's Bar & Que - beef brisket, pulled pork, and smoky ribs, served by the quarter, half or whole pound.

6 You think NYC has the best hot dogs? Try LA's Pinks Hot Dogs - a Hollywood institution, with celebrities flocking there from all over town.

7 Macaroni and cheese is another classic that you'll find in nearly every cafe, restaurant, county fair and late-night diner. If you want one that's tried and true, perfect every time, check out Joan's on Third for a chunk of love that won't let you down.

8 The reuben is fast becoming a trademark of the local culinary scene, with food critics crediting LA as home of the best pastrami sandwich in the US. Wexler's Deli, in the bustling Grand Central Market, makes its pastrami on site - curing it, then seasoning, smoking and finally steaming it to perfection. Cue thick juicy slices on dense rye bread, coleslaw, swiss cheese and a sweet russian dressing.

9 Lobster rolls are best when they taste as fresh as the ocean. For purists, you can't go past Knuckle and Claw and its toasted rolls stuffed with tender lobster flesh and drizzled with warm melted butter. The seafood is shipped in daily from the icy cold waters of Maine and served fresh until supplies run out each night. Get in quick!

10 Chicken and waffles are an unlikely combo, but once you try it for the first time, it's hard to get over. There's something oh-so-perfect about sweet maple syrup drizzled over crispy southern fried chicken. Try it at the newly opened Poppy + Rose in Downtown LA.

11 Apple pie consistently tops the poll for America's favourite pie. Whether it's an old-fashioned pastry, a lattice number, or a pie topped with crumble, it's always a crowd-pleaser. North Hollywood's Republic of Pie serves up a darn good version and we hear their pumpkin pie is also a winner.

12 Pizza is undeniably an Italian masterpiece, but that hasn't stopped Americans from claiming it as their own. The various incarnations all have their appeal - there's deep-dish, stuffed-crust and 18-inch pizzas, but nothing goes past the wood-fired version prepared with the freshest of ingredients and a slightly chewy base served up at Gjelina in Venice Beach.

13 S'mores are an American classic that is still going strong - gooey crisp marshmallow wedged between biscuits and oozing with melted chocolate is hard to resist. S'more Bakery is dedicated to this treat, going the extra mile by toasting s'mores to order.

• For more foodie inspiration, visit discoverlosangeles.com

- NZ Herald

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