Every state has a famous restaurant that everyone knows about.
Some are fine dining establishments like the Greenbrier in West Virginia.
Others are local barbecue joints like Gates Bar-B-Q in Missouri and Prohibition Pig in Vermont.
From fine dining restaurants to local barbecue joints, every state has at least one legendary restaurant that everyone knows about. The types of eateries vary from the oldest restaurant to the very best, but each has ultimately made a name for itself.
Business Insider went state by state to find the most famous restaurant and measured the winners based on culinary awards, TV and movie appearances, and celebrity sightings.
Keep reading to learn what eatery is the most famous in your state.
ALABAMA: Dreamland Bar-B-Que in Tuscaloosa
Famous for its ribs, Dreamland Bar-B-Que has been satisfying folks in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, since 1958.
Celebrities even come to the restaurant to enjoy the food, including comedians Sean and Penn Teller, actor and singer Reba McEntire, and former president George W. Bush, who ordered some of the restaurant's famous ribs to-go to eat aboard Air Force One, The Tuscaloosa News reported.
ALASKA: Snow City Cafe in Anchorage
Located in Anchorage, Alaska, Snow City Cafe is known around town as a popular brunch restaurant specializing in egg sandwiches and pancakes.
The establishment made a name for itself in 2015 when President Barack Obama came in to buy all of the cinnamon rolls for his staffers and even reporters following the president, NBC reported at the time.
ARIZONA: Durant's Steakhouse in Phoenix
Durant's Steakhouse is a fine dining restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona. The establishment is well-known for its steaks, red booths, and martinis.
The food has attracted notable celebrities through the years, including John Wayne, Joe DiMaggio, and Clark Gable, according to Visit Arizona. The steakhouse is also a popular eatery among Arizona's politicians.
ARKANSAS: Petit and Keet in Little Rock
Additionally, Petit and Keet made the news when the owners announced they were donating 20% of their proceeds to Red Bar, a famous eatery that burned down in Florida in 2019.
CALIFORNIA: Craig's in Los Angeles
Craig's opened in 2011 in Los Angeles, and it specializes in Italian and American fare, including dishes like pizza, pasta, honey truffle chicken, and steak.
However, the restaurant is mostly known for its celebrity clientele. Kim Kardashian and "Vanderpump Rules" star Lala Kent have both been photographed at the restaurant, and Eater reports that Lizzo, Olivia Jade, and Nicky Hilton all dined at the establishment in 2022.
COLORADO: Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs in Denver
Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs started as a hot dog truck, but now it's one of the most famous restaurants in Denver. The eatery allows customers to choose from hot dogs made of beef, elk, ostrich, wild boar, and even a combination of rabbit and rattlesnake. Cream cheese and caramelized onions are also popular choices for toppings at this restaurant.
According to the restaurant's website, the unique offerings at Biker Jim's caught Anthony Bourdain's attention and were featured on his show "No Reservations."
Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs also appeared on the Travel Channel's "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern" and the Food Network's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate."
CONNECTICUT: Mystic Pizza in Mystic
Mystic Pizza opened in 1973 in Mystic, Connecticut, but it wasn't until the late '80s that the pizzeria became famous worldwide after screenwriter Amy Jones visited the eatery and decided to set her movie in Mystic Pizza.
The movie, which starred Julia Roberts and was shot on location at the pizzeria, was released in 1988. "Mystic Pizza" became a national phenomenon, causing many tourists to flock to the pizza eatery to try "A Slice of Heaven."
DELAWARE: Stoney's Pub in Wilmington
Stoney's Pub in Wilmington, Delaware, is best known for its British pub fare like "Mum's poached or boiled fish," shrimp and chips, and roast beef dinner.
However, the eatery was put on the map when it appeared on Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives." During the show, host Guy Fieri said, "You're going to have to pry this out of my hands," when he took a bite of the restaurant's gravy-covered roast beef, according to the Food Network.
FLORIDA: Seaspice Brasserie & Lounge in Miami
Seaspice sits on the Miami River offering customers sweeping views of the city.
The restaurant specializes in "gastro-classic dining" serving dishes like steak tartare, crab tempura, and truffle brie tart. Seaspice often has over a two-hour wait and is a favorite among celebrities like Marc Anthony, the Miami Herald reported after he arrived by yacht to dine at the restaurant in 2016.
GEORGIA: STK in Atlanta
In addition to a hearty lineup of steaks, STK specializes in seafood dishes like oysters, shrimp cocktail, and salmon, as well as other dishes like roasted rack of lamb and short ribs.
The restaurant has drawn in a lot of celebrities over the years, including Selena Gomez and Denzel Washington, according to Discover Atlanta. Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans were also spotted eating at STK while "Captain America 3" was being shot in Atlanta, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
HAWAII: Manago Hotel Restaurant in Captain Cook
The Manago Hotel and Restaurant dates back to 1917, years before Hawaii officially became a state, and is popularly known as the oldest restaurant in Hawaii.
Among the restaurant's most famous offerings are its family-style pork chops, which attract tourists from across the country.
IDAHO: White Horse Saloon in Spirit Lake
White Horse Saloon in Spirit Lake, Idaho, was opened in 1908 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
Since the restaurant opened over 100 years ago, the establishment has a lot of history and is known as the oldest operating saloon in the state.
ILLINOIS: Manny's Cafeteria and Delicatessen in Chicago
Named by Time Out as "the most prominent Jewish deli in Chicago," Manny's Cafeteria and Delicatessen has been owned by four generations of the same family for 80 years, according to the restaurant's website.
In addition to classic deli fare like Reuben sandwiches and corned beef hash, the restaurant also serves unique dishes like tongue and mushrooms.
INDIANA: St. Elmo Steak House in Indianapolis
St. Elmo Steak House in Indianapolis, Indiana, is well known for its shrimp cocktails, steak, chicken, and seafood.
However, the eatery became known by many more people when it appeared on a 2013 episode of NBC's "Parks and Recreation," which is set in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana.
Indianapolis Monthly reported that in the episode, Rob Lowe, Aziz Ansari, Adam Scott, and Nick Offerman go out for steaks at the establishment.
IOWA: Northwestern Steakhouse in Mason City
Northwestern Steakhouse in Mason City, Iowa, opened over 100 years ago in 1920.
Today, the restaurant is still operating, serving steaks that are covered in olive oil, butter, and a Greek seasoning. In 2017, Northwestern Steakhouse was named the "most iconic restaurant" in Iowa by Thrillist.
KANSAS: Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que in Kansas City
Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que may be a former gas station, but it's now famous nationwide for its burnt-ends sandwich and ribs.
Founded by Jeff and Joy Stehney in 1990 after the couple attended a local barbecue contest, Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que now has three restaurants across the state, in addition to a private tasting and event space.
KENTUCKY: Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum in North Corbin
Located in North Corbin, Kentucky, the Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum is a popular tourist attraction for KFC enthusiasts and history lovers alike.
According to the restaurant's website, Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, operated the restaurant from 1940 to 1956, during which time he developed his signature recipe for fried chicken that is still used by the fast-food chain today.
Visitors to the museum can take a look at historic memorabilia and exhibits related to KFC's history, as well as snack on some fried chicken.
LOUISIANA: Commanders Palace in New Orleans
Situated inside a bright blue-and-white Victorian-style building in New Orleans' Garden District, Commanders Palace opened in 1893 and has been serving locals ever since.
According to Explore Louisiana, celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse worked as the iconic restaurant's head chef after a stint of restaurant jobs in France, New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. He worked at Commanders Palace for eight years, during which time he perfected his signature Creole-influenced cooking style.
MAINE: The Lobster Shack at Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth
Open since the 1920s, The Lobster Shack at Two Lights sits atop the shores of Cape Elizabeth, serving lobster rolls and fried seafood by the basket all summer long.
The restaurant became even more well known when, according to Food Network, celebrity chef and TV personality Bobby Flay visited the eatery on his show "FoodNation," bringing the Lobster Shack into the national spotlight.
MARYLAND: Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore
Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore, Maryland, is known for its American cuisine and farm-to-table philosophy.
In 2016, Michelle and Malia Obama were spotted dining in the restaurant and social media buzzed with the sighting. The restaurant is said to have many celebrity guests but the establishment has a policy that bars employees from disclosing any information, though the owners did reflect on serving Michelle Obama on the restaurant's 10th anniversary in 2017.
"She gives the best hugs," former server Amy Sherald, who also was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to paint a portrait of Michelle Obama, told Baltimore Magazine. "She walked in and I was thinking she would shake my hand, but she hugged me and the kids."
MASSACHUSETTS: Cheers in Boston
According to the restaurant's website, Cheers was originally named the Bull and Finch Pub and opened in 1969 as a neighborhood spot for classic American grub and beers. Today, it's a landmark in Boston, attracting tourists from all over to grab a pint in the place where everybody knows your name.
MICHIGAN: Hack-Ma-Tack Inn and Restaurant in Cheboygan
The Hack-Ma-Tack Inn was founded in 1894 as a private hunting and fishing lodge, according to the inn's website, and was named the most iconic restaurant in Michigan by local news outlet MLive in 2019.
The restaurant features classic dishes like escargot, prime rib, filet mignon, and roast duck.
MINNESOTA: Matt's Bar in Minneapolis
Staying true to its name, the Jucy Lucy is a burger filled with oozing, melted cheese. The burger is so famous that it was even featured on the Travel Channel, appearing on shows like "Man Vs Food" and "Food Wars," according to the restaurant's website.
MISSISSIPPI: Mayflower Café in Jackson
The Mayflower Cafe is a staple in Jackson, Mississippi, and has been open since 1935. The restaurant has been featured on the Food Network, as well as in the films "Ghosts of Mississippi" and "The Help."
After opening as a humble hamburger stand, the Mayflower Café has occupied the same street corner for over 80 years, the Clarion Ledger reported. The restaurant is known for its Greek and seafood, including Greek salads, crab cakes, oysters, and fried calamari.
MISSOURI: Gates Bar-B-Q in Kansas City
Gates Bar-B-Q in Kansas City, Missouri, opened in 1946 and specializes in pork ribs, barbecue sandwiches, and sides.
The joint's tomato-based secret sauce also helped make the restaurant an institution in Kansas City. The Travel Channel has featured the restaurant as one of the best barbecue joints in the country, and the restaurant now has a line of seasonings and barbecue sauces.
MONTANA: Lucca's in Helena
Lucca's in Helena, Montana, is a fine-dining restaurant that focuses on Italian cuisine.
The eatery serves Italian mainstays like baked ziti, spaghetti, risotto, and chicken. TripAdvisor has ranked it among the best eateries in the state, and Business Insider previously named Lucca's the best restaurant in Montana.
"Lucca's cozy dining room — which holds a mere 15 tables — creates an intimate environment for guests to enjoy Chef Hyyppa's carefully crafted dishes," wrote Business Insider reporter Mary Hanbury.
NEBRASKA: Big Mama's Kitchen in Omaha
Big Mama's Kitchen in Omaha, Nebraska, specializes in comfort food, serving fried chicken and burgers.
Food Network considers the restaurant one of its "Top Places to Eat," and on "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives," host Guy Fieri said his favorite is the pig-ear sandwich.
NEVADA: Mr. Chow in Las Vegas
Mr Chow is a luxury restaurant inside of Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, and it's popular among celebrities. Britney Spears had dinner there on New Year's Eve to ring in 2016, Eater reported, and Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez even held a party at the establishment before their split, according to Access.
The restaurant itself serves Asian cuisine and offers a performance with a champagne trolley.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Moxy in Portsmouth
Moxy in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is known for its tapas menu, which offers guests pork belly bites, short rib crostini, clams, and mussels.
Chef and owner Matt Louis helped put the eatery on the map after he became a semi-finalist for the James Beard Award, a top honor in the culinary world, for four years straight in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. He has also been named as a nominee for Food and Wine's best new chef three times.
NEW JERSEY: Tops Diner in East Newark
Tops Diner in East Newark, New Jersey, opened in 1942 and has been serving its famous burgers, meatloaf, and lobster mac and cheese for decades.
NEW MEXICO: El Pinto in Albuquerque
El Pinto in Albuquerque, New Mexico, serves up huevos rancheros, enchiladas, and burritos.
NEW YORK: Katz's Delicatessen in New York City
Katz's Delicatessen in New York City is known for two things.
First, the pastrami sandwich is considered one of the best in the country. Second, it was also the setting for an iconic scene in the 1989 movie "When Harry Met Sally," starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal.
Today, the restaurant is a popular tourist attraction where people come to reenact the famous scene and chow down on some of the deli's classic offerings, from Reubens to matzah ball soup.
NORTH CAROLINA: Skylight Inn in Ayden
Skylight Inn in Ayden, North Carolina, specializes in southern barbecue.
NORTH DAKOTA: Red Pepper in Grand Forks
Red Pepper has been open for more than 50 years, with students at the University of North Dakota among its many clientele.
The most popular dish served is the everything grinder, which has salami, turkey, ham, and cheese on a roll. The taco burger is also popular at Red Pepper.
OHIO: Red Steakhouse in Cleveland
Red Steakhouse in Cleveland, Ohio, is well-known for its steak, pasta, and seafood, and the eatery even has the Kardashian stamp of approval.
In an episode of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," Kim and Kourtney dined at Red Steakhouse, according to Refinery 29.
OKLAHOMA: Rock Cafe in Stroud
Rock Cafe in Stroud, Oklahoma, sits on the famous Route 66 and has been serving up sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, and chili since 1939. "Betsy," the restaurant's grill, has been used continuously for over 75 years and has "seared more than 5 million burgers, chicken fried steaks, and much more" over the years, according to the restaurant's website.
Food Network reported that Guy Fieri said he loved Rock Cafe's buffalo and alligator burgers while visiting the establishment on "Diners, Drive-ins, and Drives."
However, Rock Cafe has another major claim to fame. The restaurant claims that researchers from Pixar Animation Studios visited the restaurant in 2001 and then used it as inspiration for the movie "Cars." Today, there are homages to the movie throughout the restaurant.
OREGON: Lilia Comedor in Portland
Recently opened in October 2022, Lilia Comedor in Portland was featured in the New York Times' list of the 50 best restaurants in the United States in 2023 and one of Oregon Live's best new restaurants in 2022.
Headed by chef Juan Gomez, Lilia Comedor's menu changes every day but features dishes like pork collar confit, diver scallops, and braised short rib emolada.
PENNSYLVANIA: Victor Cafe in Philadelphia
Established in 1918, Victor Cafe in Philadelphia specializes in Italian food, offering customers ravioli, tortellini, and steak.
However, the restaurant isn't known just for its food. Victor Cafe's claim to fame is its appearances in the "Rocky" franchise, when the restaurant appeared in "Rocky Balboa" in 2006, according to the restaurant's website, and in its spinoff, "Creed." In the movies, the restaurant is called Adrian's.
RHODE ISLAND: Crazy Burger Cafe & Juice Bar in Narragansett
Located in Narragansett, Rhode Island, Crazy Burger is famous for its hamburgers, as there are over 30 varieties. Some notable burgers include the Mahi Mahi Taco Burger, the Poco Loco Vegan Burger, and the Luna-Sea Fish Burge.
Crazy Burger got national attention when Food Network's Guy Fieri visited the restaurant on "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives," eating something called the "Whassupy Burger," which comes with sesame, wasabi, and fennel rub on a beef burger, topped with Brie cheese and onion rings on an ancient grain bun.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Butcher & Bee in Charleston
Butcher & Bee in Charleston, South Carolina, proved it's famous for a reason after it was selected as a 2022 finalist for the James Beard Award for outstanding restaurant.
The restaurant has an ever-evolving menu that changes with the season. However, throughout the year, ingredients are locally grown and fresh, according to the restaurant's website.
This philosophy may be why A-list celebrities are drawn to Butcher & Bee. Local news outlet The Post and Courier wrote that in 2016, Leonardo DiCaprio ate at the restaurant, sitting on the patio.
SOUTH DAKOTA: Wall Drug Store in Wall
In South Dakota, you can famously see signs along the road for Wall Drug Store more than 1,000 miles before you're even near it. The road signs are a genius marketing strategy thought up by Dorothy Hustead in the 1930s to entice drivers along Route 16 to come to her drugstore, according to the store's website.
Today, the road signs still stand and Wall Drug Store includes a restaurant where tourists come from all over to try the donuts, ice cream, and famous beef sandwiches.
TENNESSEE: Bluebird Cafe in Nashville
Bluebird Cafe in Nashville is a restaurant that operates as a famous music venue. Opening in 1982, Blue Bird Cafe serves minimal comfort foods, including chicken fingers and pork sandwiches.
However, the real draw is the music performances and the famous guests, which have included Johnny Cash, Taylor Swift, Jon Bon Jovi, Melissa Etheridge, and Garth Brooks. The ABC show "Nashville" was also filmed there in 2012.
TEXAS: Franklin Barbecue in Austin
Established in 2009, Franklin Barbecue has been a staple in the Texas and Austin barbecue scenes for years and has even gained a reputation worldwide for its mouthwatering brisket and barbecue sides.
Eater reported that Anthony Bourdain visited the spot for an episode of "No Reservations" in 2012, where he waited in line for over an hour. The barbecue was apparently well worth the wait since he called the brisket "earth-shatteringly good."
Franklin Barbecue owner Aaron Franklin is also one of the top names in barbecue. In 2015, he became the first chef specializing in barbecue to be awarded the James Beard Foundation Award for best chef in the Southwest.
UTAH: Ruth's Diner in Salt Lake City
Ruth's Diner in Salt Lake City, Utah, allows guests to dine in railroad cars that were operating during the early 1900s. The restaurant focuses on brunch foods, serving French toast, huevos rancheros, and deep-fried mac and cheese.
When "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" host Guy Fieri visited the restaurant, he said he couldn't get enough of the fluffy biscuits.
VERMONT: Prohibition Pig in Waterbury
VIRGINIA: Beach Pub is famous for its various seafood dishes.
Located in Virginia Beach, Beach Pub serves crabs, shrimp, scallops, and fish-n-chips.
Their popular seafood dishes attracted Food Network host Guy Fieri in 2011. While there, he ate the oyster Rockefeller, baked rockfish, and fish hash, giving the pub national attention and fame.
WASHINGTON: Canlis in Seattle
Before Canlis opened in the 1950s, founder Peter Canlis wanted to build the restaurant in downtown Seattle, but he couldn't afford it. Instead, he built his eatery outside of the city and on the edge of a cliff.
The second-choice location seemed to pay off because Canlis has been nominated for 15 James Beard Awards, has won 22 Wine Spectator Grand Awards, and the restaurant is famous for its views as well as its food.
WEST VIRGINIA: The Main Dining Room at Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs
The Greenbrier Resort's main dining room has been serving customers for over 100 years, becoming a landmark in the state.
The fine-dining restaurant serves impressive dishes like corn-crusted scallops, beef bourguignon, pan-seared ribeye steak, and Maryland crab carbonara.
WISCONSIN: Mader's Restaurant in Milwaukee
Located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mader's Restaurant has been open for over 100 years, serving mostly German foods like wiener schnitzel, beef and mushroom strudel, and Hungarian-style beef goulash.
However, throughout its long history, Mader's has served nearly 100 famous guests, including John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Frank Sinatra, according to the restaurant's website.
WYOMING: Snake River Grill in Jackson Hole
Snake River Grill in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is a fine-dining restaurant focusing on American cuisine. Pork shank, duck breast, risotto, and spring rolls are all menu options at this establishment.
However, one menu item that has caught the Food Network's attention is the Eskimo Bars, which is ice cream dipped in chocolate and caramel. Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis raved about the dessert on "The Best Thing I Ever Ate," and Snake River Grill was named one of Food Network's top places to eat.
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