Exploring America's All-Time Favorites and Surprisingly Trending Restaurant Meals
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10 May, 2024

Exploring America's All-Time Favorites and Surprisingly Trending Restaurant Meals

Ever find yourself mulling over the endless menu options at your favorite eatery? Should it be sesame chicken or lasagna tonight? Quesadilla or nachos? And what about vegan choices? Perhaps you've even been tempted to order what that guy over at table three is having. No worries, Restaurantji is here to simplify your dining dilemmas!

We've sifted through every one of the 160 million-plus reviews in our database to spotlight the culinary heroes and zeroes in America's dining scene. Thanks to our ‘Customers’ Favorite’ algorithm, we can tell the difference between soup and miso soup, butter chicken and grilled chicken, and over 350 varieties of pizza. Ready to dive into the data and discover which dish reigns supreme in America’s heart—and what other tasty trends we’ve uncovered?

Who’s #1?

French fries take the gold medal as America's favorite dish by a landslide, with a whopping 225,342 mentions—135,000 mentions ahead of the runner-up, Chips & Salsa, at 90,695. Not only are french fries a crowd-pleaser, but they're also a staple found in over 48,000 restaurants nationwide, making them a more common sight on menus than any other dish.

Iconic Duo

But let's not forget the humble burger, a worthy contender in its own right. Together, burgers, hamburgers, and cheeseburgers rack up 197,000 mentions. With more than 400 varieties of burgers that have been cited over 100 times, it's clear: burgers and fries are the iconic duo gracing American dinner tables.


Most of America's top 10 favorite dishes proudly hail from the U.S., with the exceptions of Chips & Salsa from Mexico, and Pepperoni Pizza from Italy. The hamburger edges out the cheeseburger with 77,000 mentions to 53,000, while Pepperoni Pizza claims the top pizza spot with 75,000 mentions, followed by cheese pizza at 34,000 mentions.

Most Popular Dishes by State

French fries claim the title in 40 out of 50 states. The exceptions? Standouts include Chicken Wings, Onion Rings, and Chips & Salsa. But the real curveball? Cheese Curds in Wisconsin. Although some might scratch their heads at the mention of cheese curds, in the Badger State, they’re a culinary superstar with 2,848 mentions, pushing fries to a rare second place with 2,442 mentions. Despite their local fame, cheese curds are a modest 122nd nationally, with a whopping 23% of all mentions hailing from Wisconsin alone—that’s 2,848 out of 12,320!

Chips & Salsa Anomaly

It's typical to see a dish's popularity on menus mirrored by its buzz online. Most of the top 10 menu items are also top contenders in dining discussions. However, Chips & Salsa break the mold. Ranking second in diner mentions, they surprisingly only place 12th in menu appearances, making them a delicious exception to the rule.

Who Wants Some Pizza?

Think you can list 20 pizza varieties? Our database boasts over 350! Whether this trivia serves to underscore your uniqueness or offers a nugget of wisdom to aspiring pizzeria owners crafting their menu, it’s clear the world of pizza is vast and varied.


The soup scene is similarly diverse, with 171 types cataloged. Notably, “Miso Soup” pops up more frequently than the generic “soup” (29,979 to 21,249 mentions). Here’s a shoutout to the top 10 most beloved soups heating up our reviews:

What Are the Most Disliked Meals?

Just as they top the favorites list, french fries also lead the pack in not-so-glowing reviews, with 18,771 one-star ratings. Cheeseburgers and sandwiches follow, not far behind, with 6,153 and 6,034 one-star reviews respectively. For a full view of the culinary underdogs, check out the graph below detailing the top ten most critiqued dishes.