A tour of the United States invites the opportunity for visits to some of the most famous historical sites, landmarks, buildings, and natural wonders in the world—but we’re here to talk food. The US is home to some incredibly iconic restaurants, a handful of which have been around for well over 100 years. If you are a die-hard foodie who wants to go beyond amazing eats and experience the atmosphere of an iconic location, these are four restaurants you will definitely want to visit.
1. Katz Delicatessen in New York
Remember that scene in When Harry Met Sally? Yep, that was filmed in Katz Delicatessen, easily the most famous and iconic diner in Manhattan—and not just because of the classic Nora Ephron film. If you’ve ever found yourself watching the cinematic staple of the ’90s and thinking you just have to try whatever sandwich Meg Ryan was eating, you can make that dream a reality. It’s not a bad idea to try to visit Katz during a weekday afternoon or evening since this popular New York eatery is typically loaded with patrons on the weekend. So iconic is this restaurant that some of those patrons have included a few of the biggest names in pop culture, ranging from legendary comedians to A-list actors to pro NBA players. And why does everyone love it so much? You only have to have one bite of the Rueben on rye or matzo ball soup to understand. Stand in the queue, grab your meal ticket, get your grub in the cafeteria-style diner, and prepare to feast yourself on the biggest sandwich of your life.
2. St. Elmo’s Steakhouse in Indianapolis
Can you justify traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles to this Indianapolis steakhouse? The answer is “yes and always yes.” Why? Because not only is it arguably the most iconic steakhouse in the country, but it’s seriously not an overstatement to say you’ll find some of the juiciest steak in the world at this place. Any kind of steak you’re craving can be found at St. Elmo’s Steakhouse. Their dinner menu features filet mignon, ribeye, the porterhouse steak, the USA Prime New York Strip, and other meats including rack of lamb, pork chops, and roasted chicken breast. If you really want to go all out, order some seafood with your steak. You can choose among South African lobster tails, crab-stuffed shrimp, and sashimi yellowfin tuna. Finish your night off with a cappuccino and a decadent dessert like the St. Elmo crème brûlée, a New York-style cheesecake, lemon butter cake, or vanilla bean ice cream.
3. The Berghoff in Chicago
For over 120 years, The Berghoff has been serving Chicago locals and visitors with world-class German eats and drinks and has cemented itself as a fixture in Chicago culture. At the bar, you can happy hour your way into the evening with a hefeweizen before ordering the spinatknoedel, rahm schnitzel, or wiener schnitzel for dinner. Top off your night with a moist German chocolate cake, berghoff root beer float, or an apple strudel!
4. Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami
Key lime pie. Architectural elegance. Summer dining. And fresh crab cuisine. What do you get when you combine all of these things? Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami. All you need to do is bring your appetite and they’ll provide the rest. Bibs, instructions, mustard, and all. For over 100 years, this Miami Beach eatery has taken a holistic approach to the dining experience. After all, when Joe Weiss first opened the restaurant, it began as a lunch shop where he cooked, cleaned, and served patrons on top of operating the business. Today, it is one of the most famous seafood restaurants in Miami and a recognizable name all across the country.
Although it had modest beginnings, Joe’s Stone Crab now boasts an extensive menu, featuring items such as jumbo lump crab cakes, Maine lobster, ginger salmon, and king crab legs in addition to many non-seafood options for people who would prefer to stick to land animals or a vegetarian diet. For dessert, try Joe’s Famous Key Lime Pie, the blueberry crème brûlée, or the warm chocolate lava cake. And the best part about Joe’s Stone Crab? You don’t even have to be in Miami to enjoy the fresh stone crab claws that the restaurant is so famous for. They’ll actually ship them to your home address provided you live in any one of the 50 US states or Puerto Rico.
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