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An overhead photograph of a aluminum oven tray filled to the brim with custard- and jam-filled kolache pastries
Custard- and jam-filled kolache pastries at Brooklyn Kolache.
Dara Pollak/Brooklyn Kolache

Where to Find 14 Iconic Regional American Dishes in NYC

From kolaches and po’ boys to Juicy Lucys, these transplants are thriving in New York

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Custard- and jam-filled kolache pastries at Brooklyn Kolache.
| Dara Pollak/Brooklyn Kolache

New York City is filled with transplants from all over the country who come here for all sorts of reasons — school, jobs, a dream of living in a major metropolis. No matter where the city’s nearly 9 million residents come from, though, it’s not uncommon to experience some homesickness. Fortunately, New York’s culinary landscape lends its hand to help transplants get a taste of home without needing to buy that plane ticket. Whether it’s the famous green chiles of New Mexico or Chicago-style deep dish pizza, here are a few suggestions on where to find some regional nostalgia in NYC.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Hudsonville Ice Cream at Select ShopRite Locations

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1994 Bruckner Blvd
Bronx, NY 10473
(718) 794-1690
Visit Website

For any West Michiganer, particularly those from the greater Grand Rapids area or more specifically Holland, Michigan, Hudsonville Ice Cream is a fundamental part of the regional identity. For most of its history, the ice cream brand has been purposefully provincial but not anymore. Natives will be particularly pleased to see Traverse City Cherry Fudge. Hudsonville Ice Cream is available at the two Shoprite stores in Brooklyn and at the location in the Bronx.

2. Detroit Pizza at Lions & Tigers & Squares

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268 W 23rd St
New York, NY 10011
(917) 261-6772
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Aptly named after two local sports teams and the shape of their pizza of choice, Lions and Tigers and Squares is the perfect place for any homesick east Michigander to get their fix. ​​Founded by Artichoke Basille’s Pizza co-founders Francis Garcia and Sal Basille, this Chelsea pizza shop offers a slim menu with about five pies, all of which include cheddar cheese.

Lions & Tigers & Squares’ Italian sausage pie
Detroit-style pies are the specialty at Lions & Tigers & Squares.
Robert Sietsema

3. It’s It Ice Cream Sandwiches at Bedford Cheese Shop

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67 Irving Pl
New York, NY 10003
(718) 395-3080
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Hailing from San Francisco, It’s It Ice Cream Sandwiches blew up in popularity during the 70s and 80s. With a scoop of ice cream sandwiched between two old fashioned oatmeal cookies, interest grew nationally for the dessert, but it still remains limited in availability. For the homesick San Franciscican, you can find these delicacies at select stores across Manhattan and Brooklyn including Bedford Cheese Shop and Green Grape Provisions in Fort Greene.

Ice Cream Sandwich
It’s It is an iconic treat from San Francisco.

4. Whitmans

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406 E 9th St
New York, NY 10009
(917) 261-2858
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The Juicy Lucy is a Minneapolis masterpiece. The sandwich, which is a cheeseburger with cheese inside the meat rather than on top of the patty, is available at Whitmans, which has locations in the East Village, Hudson Yards, and Soho. This restaurant is known for its indulgent burgers and offers two different renditions of the Minnesota classic: The original, of course, but also a blue cheese-stuffed alternative.

5. San Diego-Style Burritos at Electric Burrito

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81 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10003
(646) 870-0104
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San Diego natives may have finally found a place for their burrito fix at Electric Burrito, which San Diego transplant Alex Thaboua runs with co-founder Will Wyatt. Their California burrito is filled with cheese, french fries, and pico de gallo. While carne asada is often the protein by default, there are options for pollo asado and carnitas here.

6. Chicago Deep Dish Pizza at Emmett's

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50 MacDougal St
New York, NY 10012
(917) 639-3571
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For transplants from Chicago seeking out deep-dish pizza, Emmett’s is the place to go. Founded by Emmett Burke, a Chicago transplant since 2013, the Chicago deep-dish pizzeria serves several deep dish specialty pies including the meat lovers and the ‘Magnum P Eye’— a take on the Hawaiian pizza.

7. Musubi at Noreetuh

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128 1st Ave
New York, NY 10009
(646) 892-3050
Visit Website

Whether you’re a native Hawaiian or have visited the island state, there’s a soft spot for 

musubi. Noreetuh’s menu features several different musubis: The Hawaiian snack is most famous for its Spam version but here, there are riffs with pork jowl, galbi, and shiitake mushrooms.

spam musubi
Spam musubi at Noreetuh.
Cassandra Wang/Noreetuh

8. Whataburger Ketchup at Kings Kolache

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321 Starr St Unit F
Brooklyn, NY 11237
(845) 614-3226
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Run by Paul Ashley, a native of the Houston area suburb of Katy, Texas, and his wife Sarah, Kings Kolache in Bushwick goes all in on the Texas nostalgia. They serve dishes far beyond the Czech-Tex delicacy with breakfast tacos, frito pies, and a rare find in NYC: Whataburger ketchup, a spicier version of the tomato-based condiment from the well-known chain. While you’re there, get a cup of coffee from the famous Austin coffee shop Mozart’s.

kolache
A variety of kolaches from Kings Kolache.
Andy Hirschfeld

9. Kolaches at Brooklyn Kolache

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520 Dekalb Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205
(718) 398-1111
Visit Website

This Bed-Stuy cafe is a godsend for any displaced Texan, especially those from the central part of the Lone Star state. The Czech-Tex pastries are stuffed with sweet or savory fillings. This hot spot — which recently opened up a second location in Manhattan — has a robust set of options ranging from chorizo, egg, and cheese to blueberry sweet cheese.

An overhead photograph of a aluminum oven tray filled to the brim with custard- and jam-filled kolache pastries
Custard- and jam-filled kolache pastries from Brooklyn Kolache.
Dara Pollak/Brooklyn Kolache [Official]

10. St. Louis-Style Pizza at Speedy Romeo

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376 Classon Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 230-0061
Visit Website

This wood-fire pizzeria in Clinton Hill brings a taste of St. Louis to Brooklyn. Missouri natives will recognize the aptly named Saint Louie, a homage to the city. Of course, that particular pizza is topped with Provel (a blend of swiss, white cheddar, and provolone cheese) but it’s not the only one. There are six different pies on the menu that feature the St. Louis-style blend. 

11. Chips and Queso at Güeros Brooklyn

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605 Prospect Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 230-4941
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This Crown Heights restaurant shares a name that anyone displaced from Austin will recognize. Güero’s is an iconic Tex-Mex restaurant on South Congress Avenue, in the Lone Star state’s capital. While it may not be the same, Güeros Brooklyn has the next best thing — the queso is on par to any Austin hot spot.

12. Po’ Boy at Lowerline

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794 Washington Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(347) 533-7110
Visit Website

Lowerline in Prospect Heights is a worthwhile go-to for any Gulf Coast transplant seeking out the culinary classics that define the New Orleans restaurant scene. Chef and owner John Verlander, a Louisiana native, opened the Cajun-inspired spot to bring a taste of the gulf with a collection of regional classics. The menu features several po’ boy classics including the fried catfish and fried shrimp varieties of the sandwich. While you’re there, be sure to try out the crawfish etouffee or gumbo.

Lowerline po’ boy
Po’ boy at Lowerline.
Robert Sietsema

13. Green Chiles at Ursula

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724 Sterling Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11216

There is no more iconic marker of New Mexican cuisine than the green chile, and Ursula in Crown Heights is the best place to find it in NYC. Chef Eric See has spent more than a decade in the New York food scene, and his New Mexican roots take center stage here and is a nostalgic trip down memory lane for any displaced New Mexican. The iconic New Mexican flare is apparent across most of the menu, especially the sopapillas in pork, beef, and vegan options.

Green chile is included across the menu at Ursula.
Noah Fecks/Courtesy of Eric See

1. Hudsonville Ice Cream at Select ShopRite Locations

1994 Bruckner Blvd, Bronx, NY 10473

For any West Michiganer, particularly those from the greater Grand Rapids area or more specifically Holland, Michigan, Hudsonville Ice Cream is a fundamental part of the regional identity. For most of its history, the ice cream brand has been purposefully provincial but not anymore. Natives will be particularly pleased to see Traverse City Cherry Fudge. Hudsonville Ice Cream is available at the two Shoprite stores in Brooklyn and at the location in the Bronx.

1994 Bruckner Blvd
Bronx, NY 10473

2. Detroit Pizza at Lions & Tigers & Squares

268 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011
Lions & Tigers & Squares’ Italian sausage pie
Detroit-style pies are the specialty at Lions & Tigers & Squares.
Robert Sietsema

Aptly named after two local sports teams and the shape of their pizza of choice, Lions and Tigers and Squares is the perfect place for any homesick east Michigander to get their fix. ​​Founded by Artichoke Basille’s Pizza co-founders Francis Garcia and Sal Basille, this Chelsea pizza shop offers a slim menu with about five pies, all of which include cheddar cheese.

268 W 23rd St
New York, NY 10011

3. It’s It Ice Cream Sandwiches at Bedford Cheese Shop

67 Irving Pl, New York, NY 10003
Ice Cream Sandwich
It’s It is an iconic treat from San Francisco.

Hailing from San Francisco, It’s It Ice Cream Sandwiches blew up in popularity during the 70s and 80s. With a scoop of ice cream sandwiched between two old fashioned oatmeal cookies, interest grew nationally for the dessert, but it still remains limited in availability. For the homesick San Franciscican, you can find these delicacies at select stores across Manhattan and Brooklyn including Bedford Cheese Shop and Green Grape Provisions in Fort Greene.

67 Irving Pl
New York, NY 10003

4. Whitmans

406 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009

The Juicy Lucy is a Minneapolis masterpiece. The sandwich, which is a cheeseburger with cheese inside the meat rather than on top of the patty, is available at Whitmans, which has locations in the East Village, Hudson Yards, and Soho. This restaurant is known for its indulgent burgers and offers two different renditions of the Minnesota classic: The original, of course, but also a blue cheese-stuffed alternative.

406 E 9th St
New York, NY 10009

5. San Diego-Style Burritos at Electric Burrito

81 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

San Diego natives may have finally found a place for their burrito fix at Electric Burrito, which San Diego transplant Alex Thaboua runs with co-founder Will Wyatt. Their California burrito is filled with cheese, french fries, and pico de gallo. While carne asada is often the protein by default, there are options for pollo asado and carnitas here.

81 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10003

6. Chicago Deep Dish Pizza at Emmett's

50 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

For transplants from Chicago seeking out deep-dish pizza, Emmett’s is the place to go. Founded by Emmett Burke, a Chicago transplant since 2013, the Chicago deep-dish pizzeria serves several deep dish specialty pies including the meat lovers and the ‘Magnum P Eye’— a take on the Hawaiian pizza.

50 MacDougal St
New York, NY 10012

7. Musubi at Noreetuh

128 1st Ave, New York, NY 10009
Read Review |
spam musubi
Spam musubi at Noreetuh.
Cassandra Wang/Noreetuh

Whether you’re a native Hawaiian or have visited the island state, there’s a soft spot for 

musubi. Noreetuh’s menu features several different musubis: The Hawaiian snack is most famous for its Spam version but here, there are riffs with pork jowl, galbi, and shiitake mushrooms.

128 1st Ave
New York, NY 10009

8. Whataburger Ketchup at Kings Kolache

321 Starr St Unit F, Brooklyn, NY 11237
kolache
A variety of kolaches from Kings Kolache.
Andy Hirschfeld

Run by Paul Ashley, a native of the Houston area suburb of Katy, Texas, and his wife Sarah, Kings Kolache in Bushwick goes all in on the Texas nostalgia. They serve dishes far beyond the Czech-Tex delicacy with breakfast tacos, frito pies, and a rare find in NYC: Whataburger ketchup, a spicier version of the tomato-based condiment from the well-known chain. While you’re there, get a cup of coffee from the famous Austin coffee shop Mozart’s.

321 Starr St Unit F
Brooklyn, NY 11237

9. Kolaches at Brooklyn Kolache

520 Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205
An overhead photograph of a aluminum oven tray filled to the brim with custard- and jam-filled kolache pastries
Custard- and jam-filled kolache pastries from Brooklyn Kolache.
Dara Pollak/Brooklyn Kolache [Official]

This Bed-Stuy cafe is a godsend for any displaced Texan, especially those from the central part of the Lone Star state. The Czech-Tex pastries are stuffed with sweet or savory fillings. This hot spot — which recently opened up a second location in Manhattan — has a robust set of options ranging from chorizo, egg, and cheese to blueberry sweet cheese.

520 Dekalb Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205

10. St. Louis-Style Pizza at Speedy Romeo

376 Classon Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

This wood-fire pizzeria in Clinton Hill brings a taste of St. Louis to Brooklyn. Missouri natives will recognize the aptly named Saint Louie, a homage to the city. Of course, that particular pizza is topped with Provel (a blend of swiss, white cheddar, and provolone cheese) but it’s not the only one. There are six different pies on the menu that feature the St. Louis-style blend. 

376 Classon Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238

11. Chips and Queso at Güeros Brooklyn

605 Prospect Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11238

This Crown Heights restaurant shares a name that anyone displaced from Austin will recognize. Güero’s is an iconic Tex-Mex restaurant on South Congress Avenue, in the Lone Star state’s capital. While it may not be the same, Güeros Brooklyn has the next best thing — the queso is on par to any Austin hot spot.

605 Prospect Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11238

12. Po’ Boy at Lowerline

794 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Lowerline po’ boy
Po’ boy at Lowerline.
Robert Sietsema

Lowerline in Prospect Heights is a worthwhile go-to for any Gulf Coast transplant seeking out the culinary classics that define the New Orleans restaurant scene. Chef and owner John Verlander, a Louisiana native, opened the Cajun-inspired spot to bring a taste of the gulf with a collection of regional classics. The menu features several po’ boy classics including the fried catfish and fried shrimp varieties of the sandwich. While you’re there, be sure to try out the crawfish etouffee or gumbo.

794 Washington Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238

13. Green Chiles at Ursula

724 Sterling Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11216
Green chile is included across the menu at Ursula.
Noah Fecks/Courtesy of Eric See

There is no more iconic marker of New Mexican cuisine than the green chile, and Ursula in Crown Heights is the best place to find it in NYC. Chef Eric See has spent more than a decade in the New York food scene, and his New Mexican roots take center stage here and is a nostalgic trip down memory lane for any displaced New Mexican. The iconic New Mexican flare is apparent across most of the menu, especially the sopapillas in pork, beef, and vegan options.

724 Sterling Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11216

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