They say “Midwest is Best” — and that certainly applies to the food. From Michigan fudge to Cincinnati chili, Hoosier pie to Buckeyes, the Midwest is known for some downright delicious food.
Our Midwest Foodie Tour has a rundown of the top must-try foods and destinations you can only find in here:
Peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven. In Ohio, the buckeye isn’t just the state tree — it’s also the unofficial state candy! Usually made around the holidays, this signature state confection will satisfy any sweet tooth. And for hardcore buckeye buffs, the Ohio Buckeye Candy Trail celebrates all the different varieties of this only-in-Ohio treat, all year round!
Cincinnati’s famous chili may not be considered “real chili” by outsiders, but locals know it as one of the best meals around. Whether piled high atop spaghetti or spread across a hot dog, Cincinnati’s spicy, slightly soupy chili is as unique as it is ubiquitous. Skyline Chili’s 3-Way is a Cincy rite of passage, featuring spaghetti noodles, heaps of shredded cheddar cheese and a generous serving of chili.
Pickles are kind of a big dill in Indiana, and nothing beats a batch of freshly fried pickle slices. You’ll find these bad boys all around Indianapolis, but the aptly named Staked Pickle is a local favorite.
Michigan is known for outdoor adventures … and fudge. And Michigan’s Mackinac Island is the unofficial fudge capital of the world! Today, there are 13 fudge shops on Mackinac, which churns out 10,000 pounds of fudge daily during peak tourism season. Sampling fudge remains one of the favorite activities of Mackinac visitors, with classic chocolate being the most popular fudge flavor.
There are a few foods that truly define Cincinnati, and one of them is goetta. This savory, spicy meat-and-grain dish is of German origins, and tried-and-true Cincinnatians know their goetta. Glier’s Goetta can be found at most Cincinnati supermarkets, but locals will tell you that the best goetta in the city can be found at Eckerlin Meats in Findlay Market. This family-owned butcher shop is legendary, and their goetta, egg and cheese sandwich is a must-try.
Jungle Jim’s is a legendary food lover’s destination in Cincinnati, and people travel from all over the Midwest to visit. It’s so much more than a grocery store, as they carry a diverse selection of items from all over the world, including an entire store devoted to hot sauce. And their “Big Cheese Festival” each year is a true homage to fromage.
It’s impossible to have grown up in Indy without trying this classic Hoosier sandwich. Both breaded and grilled, this thin pork patty is the unofficial food of the entire state, and Indy has some of the best places to grab one.
It’s hip to be square, and Dayton takes this mantra to heart with its iconic square-cut pizzas. Marion’s is a Gem City institution, serving up squares of cheesy goodness for over 50 years and garnering national attention for its beloved ‘zas.
Sugar Cream Pie
This beloved Indiana classic pie is simple, yet decadent. Also known as Hoosier pie, this regional treat pairs a buttery crust with a rich vanilla custard filling and is frequently the centerpiece of holiday parties. Whether homemade or from a bakery, this sugary sweet pie is the pride and joy of Indiana.