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Popular foods in the USA

Popular foods in the USA

This comprehensive article aims to explore some of the most popular foods in the USA. It goes without saying that the popularity of American food has risen dramatically in the last several years alone. In places like New York, Portland, and San Francisco, it is not uncommon to find people willing to wait hours in queue for a bowl of hyper-articulated gazpacho or a plate of fries with goat cheese and chili honey. After all, America is home to some of the most influential culinary minds on earth.

List of popular foods in the USA

A detailed literature review reveals that there are a big number of popular foods in the USA. For instance, Joseph (2021) has identified 50 dishes that Americans indeed have an impressive appetite for. However, this article highlights only 10 popular foods in the USA by examining the work of several writers on this topic.


The humble hamburger has been a mainstay in the American diet for more than a century. It is estimated that more than 50% of Americans eat it at least once a week. The research by SWNS Digital (2022) shows that 58% of self-identified hamburger enthusiasts frequently order burgers when dining out.

While the origins of hamburger are somewhat hazy, some historians opine that it was first served at an 1885 fair in Seymour, Indiana (Ofgang, 2021). Since then, it has become a staple of American life, making appearances in everything from TV sitcoms to presidential campaigns.

Hot dog

Hot dog is one of the most popular foods in the USA. Its popularity on American menus can be traced back to the 1880s. Although it has many variations, most are traditionally stuffed into a small roll and topped with ketchup and mustard.

Hot dog is often considered a comfort food and is frequently featured in TV shows and movies. In fact, it is so popular in the USA that it is one of the few foods that is commonly eaten on Super Bowl Sunday.

Chicken sandwich

Chicken sandwiches have experienced the greatest rise in popularity over the past decade. Unsurprisingly, Chick-fil-A’s menu consists almost entirely of chicken sandwiches. The popularity of this food is such that there are now entire websites and apps devoted to reviewing chains that sell them.


Although the exact origins of pizza are disputed, most food historians agree it was first consumed in America sometime around 1905. Since then, it has spread to every corner of the country. It has countless variations; however, the most basic formula consists of a thin crust topped with tomatoes, cheese, and a variety of other toppings.

While people can find pizzas almost anywhere in America, some regions are famous for their styles. For example, New York-style pizza has a large size and thin hand-tossed base, while California-style pizza combines the basic elements of the New York and Italian thin-crust pizza with different toppings.

New Mexican enchilada

New Mexican enchilada casserole is a traditional dish that has become increasingly popular in the United States. The exact origins of the dish are unclear, however, many historians agree that it was first eaten in New Mexico sometime in the mid-19th century. Like many other American dishes, it is often served with a side of chili, beans, and some form of rice.


Cheeseburger is one of the most popular foods in the USA. While it is possible to find it at almost any American diner, the biggest chains are generally McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s. Although it has many variations, most are made with a ground beef patty, cheese, and lettuce. It is frequently eaten as a full meal; however, some people consume it as a side dish for other foods.

Chocolate-chip cookies

Baking chocolate chip cookies is a common activity in American households. Depending on the baker, chocolate chip cookies can be made with a variety of different ingredients. They are often baked in the classic cookie-cutter shape, with the center being filled with chocolate chips.

Buffalo wings

A Buffalo wing in American cuisine is a deep-fried chicken wing. It is so popular that Americans consume more than 1.33 billion pieces every year. An average American consumes around 290 wings a year (SWNS Digital, 2022).

In the United States of America, buffalo wings are traditionally served with a variety of different sauces, including blue cheese, and hot sauce. They can be eaten as a snack, or even as a full meal.

Baked beans

Baked beans are a traditional dish that was once eaten by American farmers; however, has grown in popularity over the yea. They are now a staple of American cuisine and can be found on many restaurant menus. They are often served as a side dish; however, can also be used as a main meal with a sandwich or other snack foods. They are usually made with a variety of different ingredients.

Potato chips

Americans have developed a love for chips that is rivaled only by the love they have for french fries. Since they are so easy to make, chips are now found in almost every store in the country and are eaten by almost every person. There are countless variations on the potato chip, but the most common is a thin slice of baked potato sprinkled with salt.

Summary of the popular foods in the USA

Certainly, hamburger, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, pizzas, New Mexican enchiladas, baked beans, and potato chips are just some of the many foods that have become iconic in American culture. While the way people consume food has changed dramatically over the years, these dishes have remained steadfastly consistent.

Hope you like this article: Popular foods in the USA. Please share the article link on social media to support our work. You may also like reading:

Biggest fast food chains in the USA

A brief introduction to fruit and vegetable carving

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Last update: 07 November 2022


Joseph, D. (2021) American food: The 50 greatest dishes, available at: (01 November 2022)

Ofgang, E. (2021) Who invented the hamburger? Biting into the messy history of America’s iconic sandwich, available at: (accessed 06 November 2022)

SWNS Digital (2022) Average American eats about 60 burgers per year, available at: (accessed 05 November 2022)

Author: Joe David

Joe David has years of teaching experience both in the UK and abroad. He writes regularly online on a variety of topics. He has a keen interest in business, hospitality, and tourism management. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management.

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