The Best Signature Breakfast Foods in Every State

Signature Breakfast Every State

Cheapism / Liza Lagman Sperl (CC) / rez-art / iStock

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Signature Breakfast Every State
Cheapism / Liza Lagman Sperl (CC) / rez-art / iStock

Morning Specialties

Breakfast in the United States is no small deal, with regional varieties stretching from the green chile-laden corners of New Mexico to the bountiful blueberry fields of Maine.

Want to know what kind of signature breakfasts locals are eating in every single state? I researched regional specialties all across the country and pulled together this guide; here are signature breakfast foods from every state in America — plus Washington, D.C., — along with great places to try those dishes.

Biscuits and Gravy
Egg Benedict - Poached egg with smoked salmon on toasted with fresh hollandaise sauce, Delicious homemade breakfast.
Food Photographer/istockphoto

Alaska: Smoked Salmon Benedict

Where to try it: Snow City Cafe

Alaska is known for its seafood, especially salmon. Smoked salmon Bennies are huge in the Last Frontier, especially at Snow City Cafe in Anchorage.

Adrian's Mexican Food, Mesa, Arizona
Meg S./Yelp

Arizona: Chilaquiles

Where to try it: Original Breakfast House

Chilaquiles are more than just "breakfast nachos," though the description is understandably appealing. Traditionally, chilaquiles are made out of leftover tortilla chips, often refried and basted with leftover salsas. 

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Biscuits and Chocolate Gravy, Southern Appalachia
Jenn S./Yelp

Arkansas: Biscuits and Chocolate Gravy

Where to try it: Bobby's Cafe

The ultimate sweet and savory breakfast is waiting for you in diners across Arkansas, where chocolate gravy is beloved by locals. It's a little thing called starting your morning right. 

Related: The Best Spot for Comfort Food in Every State

Breakfast Burrito

California: Breakfast Burrito

Where to try it: Tacos Villa Corona

California loves breakfast almost as much as it loves burritos, so it makes sense that the two would be in harmony in the state. Beautiful burritos filled with fluffy eggs, salsa, cheese, and restaurant-specific specialties live along every inch of the 840-mile coastline, with thousands more speckled inland throughout the state.

Related: The Best Signature $12 Dish in Every State

Fool's gold loaf
Fool's gold loaf by Food Stories (CC BY-SA)

Colorado: Fool's Gold Loaf

Where to try it: Make your own

This was made famous by a now-closed restaurant called the Colorado Mine Company, and was apparently a favorite of Elvis (one newspaper even suggested it killed him). That guy loved anything with peanut butter, I guess. The Fool's Gold Loaf is simple: an entire loaf of bread, an entire jar of peanut butter, an entire jar of jelly, and a pound of bacon.

I didn't know it was acceptable to eat food this way. Seems more like a TikTok challenge than anything else.

Pepper and egg grinder
Neil T. / Yelp

Connecticut: Breakfast Grinders

Where to try it: Franklin Giant Grinders

Don't call it a sub or a hoagie in Connecticut. Here, we've got grinders, and it's not uncommon to jam down on one in the morning with scrambled eggs, cheese, and sausage.

Philadelphia, PA  US  Oct 14, 2023  Plate of Scrapple an ethnic food of the Pennsylvania Dutch. A mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and wheat flour.
Brian Logan/istockphoto

Delaware: Scrapple

Where to try it: Surfside West Diner

Here's what you do. You take the offal from the pig that didn't get used up yet, like the head and the liver, and you cook 'em up with the bones. Then you remove the bones and fat, mix it with cornmeal, and make a big loaf. Then you slice that loaf and eat it for breakfast, sometimes alongside eggs, sometimes in a sandwich, sometimes on toast.

I like the cut of your jib, Delaware.

Café con Leche and Pan Tostado
Café con Leche and Pan Tostado by Matthew Gonzalez (CC BY-NC-SA)

Florida: Café con Leche and Pan Tostado

Where to try it: Puerto Sagua Restaurant

There's no Floridian breakfast like the one served at a great Cuban cafe. Grab some proper Cuban coffee, some pastelitos, or just some great toasted bread with butter. That's a flawless morning.

Dame's Chicken and Waffles
Dianna H./Yelp

Georgia: Chicken and Waffles

Where to try it: Atlanta Breakfast Club

Chicken and waffles is a dish revered all over the south (though surprisingly has roots in 1600s Pennsylvania), but in Georgia, things are different. Wings are essential to the state's culture, and you'll find them paired with waffles from Savannah to Atlanta.

Homemade Hawaiian Loco Moco

Hawaii: Loco Moco

Where to try it: Rainbow Drive-In

A great loco moco lies somewhere between breakfast and lunch, but it's right at home on a brunch menu. Usually, you'll find it prepared with white rice, brown gravy, a burger patty, and a sunny-side up egg. 

Egg Mann and Earl hash browns
Dan D./Yelp

Idaho: Hash Browns

Where to try it: Egg Mann and Earl

Idaho is famous for potatoes for a reason. Diners in Idaho take their browns seriously, with heartier local potatoes that feel richer in flavor.

Hoppel Poppel
Hoppel Poppel by Manfred Werner (Tsui) (CC BY-SA)

Illinois: Hoppel Poppel

Where to try it: The Bagel Restaurant & Deli

It's not easy to find this old-school German dish in restaurants, but it's distinctly Midwestern. The scramble-like breakfast usually contains eggs, hearty potatoes, onions, and some type of breakfast meat. It varies from place to place; hoppel poppel is a canvas waiting to be painted.

Related: Best German Restaurant in (Almost) Every State

sugar cream pie, hoosier pie, custard cream pie

Indiana: Hoosier Pie

Where to try it: Gather 22

Sugar cream pie, known as Hoosier pie in the Hoosier state, is an eggless custard pie that finds itself onto breakfast tables just as often as on dessert tables. Gene Hackman not included.

Homemade Chili Soup and Cinnamon Roll
Brisket hash
Brisket hash by jeffreyw (CC BY)

Kansas: Burnt Ends Hash

Where to try it: The Bar Prairie Village

Kansas City-style barbecue would be nothing without its love of burnt ends, which caramelize magically when doused in the highly sweet barbecue sauce that makes the style famous. And like all great meats, they pair just beautifully with eggs in the morning.

Hot Brown monsieur
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Kentucky: Hot Brown

Where to try it: The Brown Hotel

In the mid 20s, two chefs at the Brown Hotel created an alternative way to cook ham and eggs, playing off a classic Welsh rarebit. The open-faced sandwich is served with turkey breast, ham, bacon, and creamy Mornay sauce, and there's no better place to get one then the hotel it was created.

Munch on French Beignets
Marie D./Yelp

Louisiana: Beignets

Where to try it: Café du Monde

You may have been looking for more of a deep cut than the pillowy, deep-fried French treat that's become synonymous with New Orleans. There's no reason for deep cuts here. Coffee, a bag of beignets, and a swimming pool's worth of powdered sugar from Café du Monde is as signature as it gets.

blueberry pancakes
blueberry pancakes by Liza Lagman Sperl (CC BY-NC-ND)

Maine: Blueberry Pancakes

Where to try it: Timber Kitchen and Bar

Maine's soil and climate are very agreeable for blueberries, so despite the fact that the state is far from the largest producer, it can still boast some of the tastiest berries. Naturally, that means blueberry pancakes are a special around these parts.

Crab cake benedict
Yuhan Y. / Yelp
Boston cream donut
Boston cream donut by Bing (CC BY-NC-SA)

Massachusetts: Boston Cream Donuts

Where to try it: Back Door Donuts

Inspired by Boston Cream Pie (which was invented in Boston at the Parker House Hotel in the 1850s), the classic treat is a glazed, chocolate donut stuffed with Bavarian cream.

Red donut
Red donut by (None)

Michigan: Cherry Donuts

Where to try it: Apple Fritter Donut Shop

Michigan loves donuts. Michigan loves cherries. This one ain't rocket surgery.

breakfast casserole
breakfast casserole by cobalt123 (CC BY-NC-SA)

Minnesota: Breakfast Hotdish

Where to try it: The Buttered Tin

Hotdish is a Midwestern classic a lot like a casserole, and often seen made with tater tots as the star. Get some eggs, cheese, and breakfast meat involved, and you've got a nostalgic Minnesota breakfast.

Biscuits and Tomato Gravy
Biscuits and Tomato Gravy by chapstickaddict (CC BY-NC-ND)

Mississippi: Biscuits and Tomato Gravy

Where to try it: Rooster's Restaurant

There's a lot more in the world of gravy than just brown, white, and chocolate. There's tomato gravy, for instance, which in Mississippi is made from fried meat drippings, flour, and juicy tomatoes.

Missouri slinger
Missouri slinger by Alowplay8 (None)

Missouri: Slingers

Where to try it: Southwest Diner

There are hangover cures, and then there is a Missouri slinger. The St. Louis-born dish usually includes meat, hash browns, and chili. Then it's topped with an egg and served with something like a burger patty, hamsteak, or bacon. Sometimes it's even served with an entire T-bone. Whoever came up with this should be sent to prison. But, with a Nobel prize in hand.

Cajun recipe sausage and eggs
Cajun recipe sausage and eggs by jeffreyw (CC BY)

Montana: Bison Sausage

Where to try it: Meat Palace

Bison production is huge in Big Sky Country, and it's easy enough to see it served breakfast-style next to some eggs. Ranch breakfast, baby. I'll betcha $100 Kevin Costner eats bison sausage.

Liudmyla Chuhunova / iStock

Nebraska: Kolaches

Where to try it: The Omaha Bakery

The doughy, flaky, fruity pastries come from Czech and Slavic baking, but are a staple in Nebraska. Fruity fillings of all kinds are common, but most often you'll see them made with apricots, blueberries, or cherries.

Bacchanal Buffet, Las Vegas, Nevada
Justin C./Yelp

Nevada: Buffet Breakfast

Where to try it: Any casino

It sounds like I'm dunking on Nevada, but I'm not. Casino buffets can be legendary. This is a place of indulgence, so go big or go home. 

Cider donuts
Hailee Laroue/istockphoto

New Hampshire: Cider Donuts

Where to try it: Cider Bellies Doughnuts

We all know just how hard apples are popping off in the fall up in the magical woodlands of the northeast. That means the cider is the best in the country, and that also means the cider donuts match up.

New Jersey pork roll
Lindsey A. / Yelp

New Jersey: Pork Roll

Where to try it: Beckman's Deli & Grill

It’ll be hard to find a New Jerseyite who doesn’t had a pork roll sandwich for breakfast in some way. Served commonly with eggs and cheese, this is the Jersey answer to New York’s iconic BEC.

Enchiladas Montadas
Enchiladas Montadas by jeffreyw (CC BY)

New Mexico: Enchiladas Montadas

Where to try it: Lindo Mexico Grill & Seafood

Fry some tortillas flat until they soften, and stack them with salsa, onion, and cheese. The stacks, rather than the classic rolled shape, separate this dish from traditional enchiladas, alongside a little help from the fried egg the dish often gets topped with.

Bagels, Ess-a-Bagel
Estie S./Yelp

New York: Bagels

Where to try it: Barney Greengrass

Though we no longer live in a time where New York is the only place to find good bagels, we do live in a time where no city does them better. This part of our country is where bagels have been perfected, and no state can attempt to overthrow them.

Livermush by Dale Haas (CC BY)

North Carolina: Livermush

Where to try it: Moose Cafe

Common especially in western North Carolina, livermush is similar to Delaware’s scrapple: a loaf-like patty of griddled liver and cornmeal. You’ll find it served next to eggs and grits for breakfast.

Russian oladii with sour cream
Russian oladii with sour cream by A.Savin (CC BY-SA)

North Dakota: Sour Cream Pancakes

Where to try it: Select diners

They might as well stick sour cream on the North Dakota flag; locals can't get enough of the stuff. That said, it kicks pancakes into gear beautifully, making them oh-so light and fluffy.


Ohio: Goetta

Where to try it: Otto's

The German-inspired sausage can often take a patty-like form, similar to scrapple and livermush, though usually isn’t made from offal. Popular especially in Cincinnati, goetta is usually served as a sandwich or as a meat choice on a breakfast plate.

Fried Okra
bhofack2 / iStock

Oklahoma: Fried Okra and Eggs

Where to try it: Georgia's Country Kitchen

Okra slime is no concern to the people of Oklahoma, who often eat it at diners with eggs and grits.

Marionberries by Foodista (CC BY)

Oregon: Marionberry Pancakes

Where to try it: Mo's Egg House

Marionberries are unique to Oregon, and you’ll see them used in every way they can be. That means pie, that means ice cream, and that especially means pancakes and French toast.

Shoofly Pie

Pennsylvania: Shoofly Pie

Where to try it: Beiler's Bakery

Brown sugar and molasses are at the center of this Amish/Pennsylvania dutch treat. Sounds to me like the inspiration for Milk Bar’s infamous pie.

Rhode Island Johnnycakes
Rhode Island Johnnycakes by Wally Gobetz (CC BY-NC-ND)

Rhode Island: Johnnycakes

Where to try it: Waterman Grille

Johnnycakes are similar to pancakes, but made with cornmeal. These things are somewhere between cornbread and classic pancakes, and have roots in Rhode Island.

Shrimp and Grits

South Carolina: Shrimp and Grits

Where to try it: Page's Okra Grill

Shrimp and grits is just about one of the first things you think of when it comes to low country cooking. This is where it began, based in Gullah cooking; it’s South Carolina on a plate.

Many Types of Chislic, Urban Chislic, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Jane E./Yelp

South Dakota: Chislic and Eggs

Where to try it: Fernson Downtown

Whether it’s deep-fried or grilled, you’re getting your chislic cubed, skewered, and probably served with a dipping sauce. Lamb and mutton are common, but beef and goat are common too. Next to some fried eggs, it’s quite a hangover cure.

red-eye gravy
red-eye gravy by Scott Veg (CC BY)

Tennessee: Biscuits and Red-Eye Gravy

Where to try it: The Loveless Cafe

Named for its distinct color (and the fact that legend spoke of truck drivers who ordered it to stay awake at night), red-eye gravy is made from ham drippings and black coffee. The bold flavors are made even more glorious when they seep into a fresh biscuit, too.

Torchy's breakfast tacos
Torchy's breakfast tacos by Scott Beale (CC BY-NC-ND)

Texas: Breakfast Tacos

Where to try it: Flavia's Kitchen

Leftover barbecue from the night before doesn’t need to wait until lunch or dinner. Scramble that meat up with some eggs, layer it into fluffy flour tortillas, and top it with cheese and salsa. Now you’re eating breakfast like a Texan.

Utah Scones
Monica G./Yelp

Utah: Fried Scones

Where to try it: Penny Ann's Cafe

Scones are fine on their own for most of us, but in Utah, they’re frying them up, oftentimes with a healthy drizzle of honey. I can’t say that doesn’t sound 10 times more delicious.

Sugarbush Farm maple syrup
Minkkwan W. / Yelp

Vermont: Maple Syrup

Where to try it: Sugarbush Farm Maple Syrup & Cheese

I’m pretty sure you can just walk up to any tree and stick a spout into it in Vermont. It’s the signature condiment of breakfast up there.

Spoonbread by Haggicentric (CC BY-SA)

Virginia: Spoonbread

Where to try it: Mrs. Rowe's Family Restaurant

Often considered to be a Native American dish, spoonbread isn’t too much different from cornbread. The texture is smoother, more like cake or a soufflé, in such a way that you can eat with a spoon. It’s incredibly delicious.

Seattle's Best Coffee at Pike Place
Seattle's Best Coffee at Pike Place by Frank Kehren (CC BY-NC-ND)

Washington: Coffee

Where to try it: Storyville Coffee Company

Seattle lays an obvious claim to the coffee titan of the planet, but that’s not where the city stops. Today, coffee is still an art in that rainy, green corner of the country, with shops dedicated to artisanal coffee across every inch of the state.

Half-smoke breakfast
Half-smoke breakfast by Eugene Kim (CC BY)

Washington, D.C.: Half-Smoke and Eggs

Where to try it: Ben's Chili Bowl

Named for its half-beef-half-pork makeup, a half-smoke is a sausage that really helps define D.C.’s food culture. Though it’s usually eaten as a hot dog, it’s a breakfast meat in its own right. Eat it at the most famous place there is to eat one: Ben’s Chili Bowl.

Related: These 20 Restaurants Serve the Best Chili in America

country ham & redeye gravy
country ham & redeye gravy by beccapie (CC BY-SA)

West Virginia: Country Ham and Eggs

Where to try it: Tudor's Biscuit World

You need to like salt to like country ham, which is a dry-cured ham that tastes significantly saltier than your typical cut. Regardless, it’s an enormous part of southern cuisine, particularly in the Virginias.

Bloody mary with bacon Oscar's pub and grill milwaukee
Lacey Muszynski / Oscar's Pub & Grill

Wisconsin: Bloody Marys

Where to try it: The Wicked Hop

You already know that Midwesterners can drink, so it only makes sense Wisconsin would claim bloody Marys as its signature breakfast. The garnish game is huge around here, with bars and restaurants offering them with everything from barbecue shrimp, to cheese sticks, to sliders.

Chicken-fried Steak
rez-art / iStock

Wyoming: Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs

Where to try it: Luxury Diner

It’s not just chicken that gets the fried chicken batter treatment. A country breakfast classic, Wyoming loves to fry up a burger patty a la chicken, and locals know how good that is with eggs and biscuits.