Food & Drink

The Most Iconic American Foods, In Order From Good To Absolute Best

Not all foods are created equal.
05/13/2014 07:00am ET | Updated May 13, 2014

America is a melting pot of flavors. We've borrowed all the best recipes from the various cultures that make up our people and have made them very much our own. Some of our most iconic dishes don't seem American at all, like spaghetti and meatballs, but they are -- don't let the marinara fool you. Also, nachos. Those belong to us.

These foods -- for better or worse -- are the very dishes that define our American food culture. But more important than reflecting upon the origins of America's food and the way it has been molded over the years is to rank our favorite, most iconic dishes in order from good to downright ethereal -- just because.

And that's exactly what we (or really, this editor) just did. Here are America's 25 most iconic foods, ranked -- with number one being the very best. Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below.

25
Buffalo Wings
Flickr: Meng He
Good when done right -- crispy and hot -- but sadly they're almost always made so wrong.
24
Cobb Salad
Flickr: Henry Work
Redefining the very meaning of salad.
23
Corn Dogs
Flickr: Jon Ellis
We like this hot dog's commitment to corn.
22
Cheesesteaks
Flickr: Phil Denton
It's what every steak aspires to be.
21
Banana Splits
Matthew Ireland via Getty Images
The only way bananas should be eaten.
20
Reuben
Flickr: Michael Saechang
Corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing on rye -- the Reuben is an impressive combination of so many different flavors.
19
Chili
Flickr: The 10 cent designer
Chili is basically a pot of awesomeness, especially when it comes with all the fixins'.
18
Cheese Curds
Flickr: Connie Ma
Especially when fried.
17
Lobster Rolls
Flickr: Henry
It's lobster + buttered bread, duh.
16
Macaroni And Cheese
Maren Caruso via Getty Images
We love macaroni and cheese because it cuts right to the chase. This dish understands that when it comes to pasta, all we really want with it is so much cheese.
15
Biscuits And Gravy
Curt Pickens via Getty Images
Biscuits and gravy make it totally acceptable to eat decadence on top of decadence.
14
Spaghetti And Meatballs
svariophoto via Getty Images
On a cool, fall evening, nothing hits the spot like a pile of spaghetti and meatballs.
13
Barbecue Ribs
Flickr: Joshua Bousel
Actually, just barbecue in general.
12
Apple Pie
diane39 via Getty Images
This pie symbolizes all that is great, beautiful and holy about life. Plus, it's really good with a scoop of ice cream.
11
S'mores
Camping wouldn't be worth it if there weren't s'mores.
10
BLT
Flickr: Khush N
Because, bacon.
9
Meatloaf
Lauri Patterson via Getty Images
No frills, all flavor. That's what this country's all about.
8
Grilled Cheese
The GIF says it all.
7
Tater Tots
Flickr: Scott Henderson
Tater tots are living the potato's version of the American dream -- with just a couple of scraps they became something absolutely great.
6
Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich
Flickr: Michael Josh Villanueva
It's the backbone of every great childhood.
5
Nachos
Flickr: Breanna Schulze
The messier the better.
4
Cheeseburgers
Flickr: Bradley Hawks
No one does burgers like we do burgers. A burger will make you feel better on the worst of days, and happy on every other day. For this reason it almost made it to the number one spot -- only it didn't, because some foods are still just better.
3
Root Beer Float
Flickr: TripleScoop
Of course there should be ice cream in your soda. Of course.
2
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Flickr: Christi @ Love From The Oven
This is what every other cookie wishes it could be.
1
Pepperoni Pizza
Flickr: Daremoshiranai
YAAAAS.

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