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Published: 05/01/2017
By Meredith Heir, Thrillist — There are 50 states. All of them nifty. And each with its own unique flavor. As a site dedicated to unabashed love of food cities, we know more than most that not all cities are cut from the same culinary cloth. We also know that some states are home to more great food towns than most countries thrice their size. But what's the best, most essential, go-to food city for each and every state?

Well, we'll tell you. Using our roster of nationwide editors and writers and probably a couple of hobos, we diced our weird-shaped melting pot 50 ways and identified the best overall food city in each state. Some choices are painfully obvious (Rochester, NY FTW!), while others are contentious as all hell (maybe Cali will finally split in two). Will this cause civil wars? As long as there are burgers, we're OK with that.

Utah: Salt Lake City
For a city that gets teased for its temperance, Salt Lake City certainly is an indulgent town (it's also, you know, an actual city in Utah, so there's that), and we're not just talking about its world-class beer scene. These folks can eat. They've been doing it since 1930 in Ruth's Diner, getting down on gigantic biscuits and pulled pork Benedict. They do it at R&R BBQ -- where burgers come topped with pulled pork, smoked sausage, fried jalapeños, Jack cheese, and sauce – and at high-end, pan-Euro, farm-to-table favorite Pago. Thai and tapas? Waffles & FritesRed Iguana's legendary Mexican? Temperance, it seems, done left SLC and got replaced with elastic waistbands.