Best of the Best

Is there another dish as malleable as pizza? It can be an utterly simple tomato pie – nothing but sauce on crust – or it can be a multi-meat bomb, a veggie special, an Hawaiian pie topped with pineapple and Spam, deep dish or thin crust, skimpy or swanky. Traveling around the USA, a devoted pizzaphile will find at least two dozen distinct regional styles. Among the standouts are deep dish at Pizzeria Uno, Ohio Valley at Beto’s, Neapolitan at Apizza di Napoli, Detroit at Cloverleaf Restaurant and Bar, New Mexican at Golden Crown Panaderia, pizza subs at the Shortstop Deli, Old Forge at Salerno’s, New Jersey tomato pie at De Lorenzo’s Tomato Pies, upstate New York bakery style at Roma Sausage & Deli, vintage Greenwich Village at John’s Pizzeria, original thin-crust by-the-slice New York at Patsy’s Pizzeria, ultra-thin hot oil at Colony Grill, Greek at Jordan’s, white clam at Zuppardi’s, New Haven style at Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana, Portuguese bakery at Marzilli’s Bakery, Boston at Santarpio’s, St. Louis at Riley’s Pub, BBQ at Coletta’s, Wisconsin extra cheese at Winghaven Pizza Farm and grandma pie at Gino’s Pizza.

Best of the Best

Dayboat fish, pink shrimp, stone crab claws, and conch are just the nautical highlights of a Key West eating expedition. With Cuba 90 miles away, strong coffee and plancha-pressed sandwiches are as good as they get, as are such Havana street food favorites as fritas burgers, empanadas, and sweet plantains. Of course, there is great Key lime pie, and we’ve also found spectacular donuts and world-class French pastries. Aside from their memorable Caribbean-accented food, Roadfood’s favorite Key West eateries deliver dreamy ambiance: bright waterside seating, sunset views, and colorful thatched-roof watering holes where potent tropical drinks rule.

Best of the Best

A favorite vacation destination for southerners eager to escape summer heat and enjoy the cooler climate of the Blue Ridge Mountain foothills, the area around Landrum, South Carolina, and Tryon, North Carolina, is a treasury of good eats. Memorable meals in this pretty part of the world include traditional comfort food at Caro-Mi (since 1945), kick-ass BBQ at Hubba Hubba Smokehouse, inventive breakfast at the Village Bakery and Honey & Salt, superb coffee ‘an at Openroad Roaster, and definitive chili dogs at Boots’ and Sonny’s.

Best of the Best

For adventurous seekers of Roadfood, a brief visit to Savannah can be frustrating. There are too many good eateries to savor them all. Of course, one wants great seafood, of which there is plenty at Pearl’s Saltwater Grill and Driftaway Cafe. For soul food, consider BBQ ribs at Randy’s and breakfast at Narobia’s Grits & Gravy. More breakfast essentials include bacon at Two Cracked Eggs, hoppel poppel at Clary’s Cafe, and buttermilk biscuits at Back In the Day Bakery. How about a cutting-edge New American lunch counter (Grey’s Market)? Sweet tooths will find ecstasy in the South’s most famous cookies at Byrd’s, artisan ice pops at Savannah Square Pops, and sundaes at century-old Leopold’s ice cream parlor. No visit is complete without a boarding-house meal at legendary Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room — true Americana. But, should your appetite yearn for a taste of Britain — such as steak & kidney pie, Victoria sponge, or Cornish pasty — Pie Society fills the bill.

Best of the Best

Whatever you like to eat, Chicago has it – humble and swanky, familiar and exotic, healthful and decadent, from anywhere on earth and in every imaginable setting. But what are the tastes, dishes, and eating experiences that are Chicago’s alone? That’s always the goal of Roadfood: to find a meal that you won’t find anywhere else, especially one that reflects the flavor of its place and its people. Here is a baker’s dozen opportunities to savor Roadfood that says Chicago, either because they’re found nowhere else or because they’re better in Chicago than anywhere else. The dishes include all-beef hot dogs dragged through the garden, deep-dish pizza, chicken Vesuvio, shrimp de Jonghe, Italian Beef, CaramelCrisp (and the corollary Chicago Mix), a thin-sliced corned beef sandwich, and breaded steak.

Best of the Best

Aside from a couple of irresistible bakeries that make beautiful buttermilk biscuits – plain as well as dressed to a fare-thee-well – Richmond’s Roadfood treasures include stylish modern restaurants that reconfigure classics from Southern shrimp & grits to Jewish bagels & lox. Good eating around the capital city also includes superior hot dogs, artisan ice cream, and a vintage storefront where old-fashioned box lunch has been the draw for nearly 100 years.