Must-Try Fried Food in Every State

3 Min Read

Fried food is an American obsession, and each state has its own iconic crispy delicacies.

From the Gulf Coast to the Midwest, we’ve scoured the nation to bring you the best fried dishes.


Whether you’re a fan of seafood, comfort food, or spicy bites, there’s something for everyone.

So buckle up for a 50-state fried food road trip!

Alabama: Fried Catfish

Long before sweet tea and ‘Bama football, catfish inhabited every conceivable body of water in the South.

Alabama, as both a major producer and consumer of catfish, boasts destination-worthy restaurants serving classically prepared, well-sourced fried catfish.

Don’t miss Johnny’s in Homewood, where chef Tim Hontzas serves up this Southern favorite1.

Alaska: Halibut and Chips

In the land of pristine waters and abundant seafood, halibut reigns supreme.

The perfectly white, firm, and buttery fish is a treat rarely found elsewhere.

Alaska’s ubiquitous “halibut and chips” features crispy fried halibut paired with golden fries.

You’ll find this iconic meal in nearly every corner of the state1.

Arizona: Chimichangas

While chimichangas’ exact origin is debated, Arizona claims them as their own.

These deep-fried burritos are typically filled with shredded beef, beans, and cheese.

Crispy on the outside and savory inside, they’re a must-try when exploring Southwestern cuisine.

Arkansas: Fried Pickles

Arkansas knows how to pickle!

Crisp dill pickle slices are coated in seasoned batter and fried to perfection.

Dip them in ranch dressing or spicy mayo for a tangy, crunchy snack.

California: Fish Tacos

California’s coastal influence shines through in its fish tacos.

Freshly caught fish, lightly battered and fried, are nestled in warm tortillas with slaw, salsa, and a squeeze of lime.

It’s a taste of the Pacific on a plate.

Nutritional Facts (per serving):

Calories: Varies by dish

Total Fat: Varies

Carbohydrates: Varies

Protein: Varies

Health Benefits:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fish-based fried dishes provide heart-healthy omega-3s.

Comfort and Satisfaction: Fried foods evoke nostalgia and comfort.

Social Bonding: Sharing fried treats brings people together.


Are fried foods unhealthy?

Moderation is key.

Enjoy them occasionally as part of a balanced diet.

Can I make these dishes at home?


Many recipes are accessible for home cooks.

What oil is best for frying?

Use oils with high smoke points, like vegetable oil or peanut oil.

Can I air-fry instead of deep-fry?

Yes, air-frying offers a healthier alternative.

Where can I find the best fried food in my state?

Explore local eateries and food festivals for authentic flavors.

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