A lovely slice of rib-eye topped with seasoning gives an amazing taste that one should enjoy more than once in a lifetime. Just one reason why there is a great number of steakhouses in America. However, care should be exercised in a bid to enjoy the best. The menu, atmosphere, and level of services should be considered before deciding. This list shows the best steakhouses in the country.
Cattleman’s Club (South Dakota)
It comes as no surprise to find such a classic steakhouse in the city of Pierre in South Dakota. Cattleman’s club is a combination of quality with affordability. It is one of the best inexpensive steakhouses in the country. While the menu has changed a bit in its 30 years of service, its drive for heavenly taste has not.
The menu includes different ounces of top sirloins, prime ribs, and porterhouses. T-bone and bone-in rib-eyes rubbed with seasoning are also available. If one is feeling alive, the Chislic is also available. This is a combination of deep-fried chunks of sirloin sprinkled with house seasoning. Guess what? Chislic is the South Dakota regional specialty.
Jess & Jim’s Steak House
If one is in the great and spacious Kansas City in Missouri and happens to be in search of a classic steakhouse with decades of experience, Jess & Jim’s Steak House fits all the criteria. The steakhouse has been Family-owned and operated since 1938.
The beef is hand-cut daily, and trimmings are ground into meat for some of the best burgers in America. What’s special about Jess & Jim’s? One gets to enjoy the steaks without seasoning. The original taste is maintained for types of order. One of the standouts on the menu is the “Playboy Strip.” This is a two-inch-thick, 25-ounce sirloin. It is surely worth the experience.
Hy’s Steak House
What are the options at Hy’s Steak House? Well, a lot. Boneless or bone in the Rib-eye, filet mignon, T-bone, boneless or bone in New York strip, and so much more.
This restaurant is more than 40 years old and has been serving beautiful city of Honolulu with USDA Prime. Another interesting point; the meat is grilled over native kiawe wood. This gives the meat a deep, smoky taste that leaves one’s taste bud with deep pleasure for a long time. This is another example of top steakhouses in America.
For more than seven decades, Ringside has been a steakhouse noted for excellence and traditional servings. The excellent services make this steakhouse stand out. But ringside offers more than just excellent services, there is a wide range of assorted meats on the menu.
Dry-aged steaks of 28 days and hand-cut are available. One can try the bone-in New York strip, the bone-in rib-eye, and 34-ounce rib-eye. While at it, one should definitely try the onion rings. There is also a great wine list at this steakhouse. Located in the lovely city of Portland in Oregon.
Chamberlain’s Steak & Chop House
Looking for an unconventional, unique, and special kind of Steakhouse? Chamberlain’s is the place to be. The steakhouse starts the meat experience with an awesome list of appetizers that include unconventional steakhouse dishes that include fresh pea soup with smoked pork belly and Vermont cheddar, ahi tuna poke with sesame ponzu.
Texas wagyu are also available to get the excitement going. There are about 16 different steak options on the menu. There is 40-day dry-aged filet mignon and the 14-ounce Texas wagyu rib-eye. This steakhouse has been functioning in Dallas, Texas since 1993.
Oak Steakhouse surely qualifies as one the best steakhouses in the country. Its wide variety of options on the menu makes each experience at the restaurant mouth-watering. The eye-catching part of the menu includes Filets, rib-eyes, and strips.
This restaurant is more than a decade old and sits pretty in the Charleston, South Carolina. It is worth a visit if one is in town. Special dishes like house made charcuterie, pan seared sea scallops and roasted root vegetables makes the steakhouse stand out from the rest.
The options here include truffle bearnaise, yuzu chimichurri, foie gras and bone marrow butter. The steaks are carefully cooked under a 1200-degree boiler. One can also try out the risotto tater tots, and macaroni and cheese.
Anyone staying in Nashville, Tennessee most likely would have heard of M street. They run a network of successful restaurant groups in the city. they also run this exquisite steakhouse. Visiting for a taste is necessary and one would surely find that the effort is worthwhile.
The combination of dark woods, vaulted ceilings, soft lighting is what makes Al Beirnat’s a place to be. since its start in 1998, Al Biernat has been in charge of the steakhouse, gaining experience and improving the taste. It is a place where one is treated like a royalty; such excellent services.
There are few feelings in the world that can be the feeling one derives from tasting the 22-ounce ribeye filet at this steakhouse. Other options include 30-ounce porterhouse, a Prime New York strip and a 14-ounce ribeye filet. There is the prime rib special on Fridays. This lovely steakhouse is located in Dallas, Texas.
Kevin Rathbun Steak
In love with steakhouse classics? Options like escargots, seafood towers, dry aged steaks for two and three, cowboy rib-eye, and 16-ounce New York strips are available for those who fancy the traditional classics.
That is not all. There is a whole list that is not on the menu. Sonoma Jack cheese pecan fritters with red pepper jelly, smoked foie gras with red grits and sauce au poivre, and Dover sole with field peas and preserved lemon are also available. Kevin Rathbun steak is located in the city of Atlanta, Georgia at the popular Inman Park.
Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse
If one is visiting New Orleans in Louisiana and enjoying Prime steaks is a part of vacation plans then one would need a map or guide to Dickie Brennan’s steakhouse. With a classic environment, a basement-level space, a swanky bar, and six private dining rooms everything is set to welcome a host of loving customers.
Items on the menu include 6-ounce house filet topped with fried oysters and bearnaise sauce, barbecue rib-eye topped with barbecue shrimp, 16-ounce strip that is seared in a cast iron skillet, and many more. All the steaks serve here are USDA approved.
Mr. B’s is a classic Italian steakhouse where steaks are cooked in high-heat wood-burning oven. It surely gives one a different taste that is unique to this steakhouse. One can chose the Angus rib-eye or New York strip if one is flying solo.
If in pairs or group, the 44-ounce porterhouse would be a classic option. To top the taste, there is Diane sauce, made with brandy, mustard, cream and mushrooms. Mr. B’s is located in Brookfield in Wisconsin. Though this state might not be a popular one on the list, the steakhouse is no doubt, one of the best in the country.
A steakhouse of impeccably sourced meat; Alexander steakhouse has so much to offer to customers. It is another name on the list of best steakhouses in America and this one happens to be in one of the most popular States in this list; California.
This time, in the city of San Francisco. Alexander steakhouse serves exotic options like wagyu beef of different Japanese sources. The sources include A5 Hyogo Kobe and others. One can also enjoy 12-ounce bone-in filet with butter and caramelized onion glace, and the 19-ounce T-bone which is served with black garlic miso sauce and leek fondue.
St. Elmo Steak House
Fancy the saloon-style décor of the early 1900s? Then, one might just need to take a train down memory lane. That is exactly what happens when someone visits St. Elmo steak house for the first time. However, the restaurant is more than just what the eye sees.
The menu list includes options like wet-aged steaks, dry-aged steaks and chops, a wedge salad, classic shrimp cocktail, and a loaded baked potato. The steakhouse serves old and traditional steaks with new method of cooking and grilling. This place offers something unique, a steakhouse where one can go back in time and enjoy nourishing meats. One can’t expect less from a 119-year-old steakhouse. It is excellent.
Cattleman’s Steakhouse (Oklahoma)
There are a number of “Cattleman’s Steakhouse” in the country. A fact that this list would show very soon. However, this particular Cattleman’s is located in Oklahoma City in Oklahoma. That is not what makes it special though. Its 109-year-old experience is what makes this steakhouse standout from the rest.
The steaks at Cattleman in Oklahoma are broiled under an intense charcoal fire and served with natural jus. One could have sliced and deep-fried lamb testicles to get one’s grove flowing. If that is done, the T-bone is waiting in line, ready to be enjoyed. This can then be finished with a slice of homemade pie.
Spark has survived the difficulties of New York City for more than 50 years. This is not mere coincidence but a product of excellent services and top-quality steak meats. Despite the many changes in the kitchen world, Spark has maintained its old-fashioned look and approach to steak.
A place with a classic Manhattan style and a masculine atmosphere. The standout options here include the filet mignon and a sirloin topped with a pile of Roquefort. Its cultural style of preparation takes one back in time to an elevated sense of taste. Find the way around New York City and enjoy the sumptuous steaks available.
Looking for a steakhouse with classic decorations? There is Prime. With Tiffany blue velvet draping, commissioned artwork on the walls, richly upholstered chairs, and a stunning view of the famed Bellagio fountains. Looking for a steakhouse with wide range of traditional steak servings?
There is Prime! The menu is stocked with options like caviar, seared foie gras, Dover sole, dry-aged bone-in rib eye. One can also enjoy the highly sought after A5 certified Kobe beef from Japan. A combination of taste and services makes Prime one of the best steakhouses in the country. Travel plans to Las Vegas in Nevada should include visiting the Prime.
Just because one is visiting the Twin City does not mean that one should not enjoy the singular taste of classic steaks. Murray’s steakhouse is ever available to provide a classic experience.
Some of the menu options include a 28-ounce strip loin, Chateaubriand for two, New York strips, porterhouses of different sizes, rib-eye, and the 8-ounce top sirloin dinner steak. Murray’s steakhouse is located in the city of Minneapolis in Minnesota.
It is one of those steakhouses that one would enjoy when in groups. Why? Well, when one asks for The Carnivore; an 8-ounce portions of beef tenderloin, bison tenderloin, venison loin, and American Wagyu that is sliced and intended for sharing, one would see the need to share with friends. To take it to an extra level of class is to ask for the wagyu carnivore.
Wagyu Carnivore is Australian wagyu filet and New York strip, Gabriel Farms American wagyu, and A5 Miyazaki strip. No one would want to enjoy that alone. And if flying solo is the order of the day, there are 30-day, dry-aged strips, and rib-eyes to satisfy one’s taste. GT Prime is one best steakhouses in the city of Chicago, Illinois.
A fan of hot mesquite charcoal seared steak would surely love the Metropolitan grill. They steaks have been dry-aged to perfection. On the menu, one would find exotic options that include Dungeness crab cocktail, New York strip loin, porterhouse, and chateaubriand.
This steakhouse also has a classic bar with award winning martinis to add to the one of a kind experiences that one gets to enjoy. The scenery is something special with crown moldings, oversized booths, cuts of beef on display, soaring ceilings and so much more. This steakhouse is located inside the beautiful and cool city of Seattle in Washington.
On a trip to San Francisco, California? The vacation wish list is not yet complete if there is no plan to visit the Harris’ steakhouse. Steaks here are sourced from the Midwest’s best farms, dry-aged and butchered in house. Orders here include a thick-cut bone-in strip which is known as the Harris steak, there is Prime rib and American wagyu rib-eye.
This steakhouse combines potted palms, chandeliers, dark woods, Chesterfield style booths to give the complete steakhouse experience. It is more than just good meat; it is an awesome experience of meat love. Has been in service since 1984.
Cattleman’s Steakhouse (Texas)
At Cattleman’s steakhouse, there is meat, meat, and more meat. Since its opening in the year 1973, Dieter Gerzymisch, the owner, has always been concerned about serving the best kind of meats. This lovely steakhouse sits gorgeously in the city of Fabens in Texas. Where do they have?
Options here include top sirloin, New York strip, filet, and rib-eye. The steaks here come with baked potato, beans, coleslaw, bread, butter, and sour cream. It is no doubt one of the best steakhouses in the country. Options like one-pound T-bone of Wagon Master and full two pounds of T-bone of The Cowgirl are what makes Cattleman special.
Charlie Palmer Steak
Anyone with a level of interest in steaks and steaks chef would know the famous Charlie Palmer. He has opened top quality steakhouse in different locations. These include New York city, Washington DC, and Las Vegas. There is also a lovely Charlie Palmer Steakhouse in Napa, California and in Reno, Nevada.
There is a combination of new and traditional steaks menu at these steakhouses. Options available include 22-bounce bone-in rib-eye, the Imperial Ranch wagyu strip steak, and porterhouse for two. One can add sautéed foie gras or butter poached lobster to the plate to make it all good and special.
There are many top steakhouses in Las Vegas, Nevada and Stripsteak is definitely one of them. This steakhouse is a combination of new and traditional menu. The servings range from Caesar salad and a shellfish platter to a Kaluga caviar “Twinkee,” Mishima Reserve beef tataki, tuna “poppers” with crispy rice cakes and Colorado lamb loin “katsu.” Japanese Wagyu and Angus steaks are all cooked on wood-burning grill.
This is to give one that sumptuous char taste. This steakhouse is chef Michael Mina’s first Steakhouse in Las Vegas. He has combined excellent services with years of experience to give the best.
Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouse
Well, what do we have here? A top steakhouse with a classic bar to top the enjoyment. If one is a fan Prime steaks sourced from Midwestern Producers that has been aged for a minimum of 40 days, then Gibson’s Steakhouse should be on one’s list of places to visit, especially if the trip would take one to the gorgeous city of Chicago in Illinois.
There is the old-fashioned menu of steakhouse classics that includes spicy lobster cocktail in a steamed artichoke. There is wedge salad and classic cuts of beef including bone-in filet mignon, a 26-ounce or 48-ounce porterhouse. All this with services that include wood paneling, martinis, excellent services and so much more.
A Prime, Certified Angus rib-eye, wet-aged for 20 days and then dry-aged for 20 days. Now, who wouldn’t want that signature steak to grace one’s tongue. Well, that is one option for those visiting Red steakhouse. Other options include traditional classics like oysters, French onion soup and shrimp cocktail.
There is the Italian-influenced fare like free-range veal chop parmigiana, the housemade Italian sausage and linguini with clam sauce. The best bit is that Red steakhouse gives one two different locations. One in Miami, Florida and another in Cleveland, Ohio. There is so much to enjoy. Toppings like bone marrow, or blue cheese makes this place one of a kind.
This steakhouse has been in operation since 2006. With more than a decade of experience in the books, one can rest assured of great service. Killen’s steakhouse was opened by chef Ronnie Killen, a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef. They serve varieties of steaks and give consumer of wide range of options.
There is a different section for wet-aged steaks and dry-aged steaks. There are exotic meats like Japanese A5 Wagyu and Australian Wagyu. Chicken fried steak, mesquite-smoked pork belly and pan-seared Gulf snapper are also available to add to their impressive range. One of the best steakhouses in the country.
It is quite amazing that one can order five different assortments of roasted mushrooms. However, Craftsteak Steakhouse has so much more to offer. Most residence of Las Vegas, Nevada would agree that this is one of the best steakhouses around.
The variety of options here include Japanese Wagyu, New York strip, Angus dry-aged in-house and also offers a wide choice of domestic servings. The menu here is around eight different steaks. This is just one of Tom Colicchio Craft empire. It is definitely worth a visit if one is in town.
Here is a traditional steakhouse with red leather booths, bucolic paintings, and cool white interior. It is not only the design that is fantastic, there is more to this steakhouse than just cultural looks. There is the Prime Creekstone Farms rib-eye, one also has the genuine Japanese wagyu rib-eye from Miyazaki Prefecture.
They are grilled over white oak and mesquite charcoal. All this high level of enjoyment and scenery awaits anybody visiting Beverly Hills in California. There are also a number of seafoods like grilled swordfish, Alaskan king crab and Louisiana shrimps Louis and so much more.
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
Anyone visiting Dallas or Houston in Texas should definitely visit Pappas Bros. it is one of the best steakhouses in America. Why is that so? Well, when a steakhouse can boast of more than 3,000 options on the steak menu, it surely puts them in the “best steakhouse” conversation.
One gets to enjoy Prime beef that is dry-aged in-house for at least 28 days and served bone-in or bone-out. Other options include 8-ounce filet mignon, an 18-ounce bone-in New York strip, and a Texas Akaushi filet mignon. Added to the steaks for seasoning are salt, pepper and some butter. A complete steakhouse experience.
This steakhouse has gathered a lot of accolades and deservedly so. They are committed to serving the best at the most affordable option available. One can get the show-stopping Piedmontese Rib-eye, or steaks with garlic butter.
These are grass-finishing slice of beefs. This innovative way has earned the owner the name “Danny Meyer of Williamsburg.” A former restaurant critic once referred to St. Anselm as “Keens for the Millennial set.” If one is in the city of Brooklyn in New York, it is worth the try to visit this steakhouse and enjoy much as possible.
Stock Hill Steakhouse
Here, one experience a top level of services and delightful cooking. The steaks are carefully sourced from top farms, hand-selected, aged 30 days and from different ranches depending on the type of steaks.
One can enjoy the wet-aged bone-in rib-eye that comes from Quenemo in Kansas or the imperial Beef Wagyu Kansas City strip that comes from Omaha, Nebraska. Cocktails like Smoking hill with hickory-smoked ice makes this Stock Hill one of the best steakhouses around. Located in Kansas City, Missouri, this place offers more than just what the eye sees. It is a combination excellent service and great scenery.
MAPLE & ASH
Another top steakhouse from Chicago, Illinois. This city truly loves eating steaks. This has no doubt created a healthy level of competition among the different steakhouses in the city. Be one of the best or be out of business.
MAPLE & ASH is definitely one of the best. they offer a rare collection of steaks like the Wagyu filet mignon from Pittsburg, or the 80-day dry-aged New York strip. One of the rarest is The Eisenhower; a 40-ounce porterhouse cooked directly in the coals. This incentive of offering what no one would makes it special place for the most special of occasion for many.
A must visit for anyone travelling to the city of Portland in Oregon. This is especially true if the said person is a fan of locally sourced beefs. Some of the option at this steakhouse include Snake River Farm Wagyu Coulette with a grand charred green onion sauce.
This is made using the grass-fed beef from Cottage Grove. Different ounces of rib-eye are also available for those that wants to play it safe with the classic and traditional options. Laurelhurst has more than 10 years of experience under the belt to serve customers the best.
Edge Steak and Bar
There are various options available at this amazing steakhouse. One can opt for the foie gras and truffle bon bons. Another option is the grain-fed prime porterhouse from Creekstone. What about grass fed filet from Southern Australia? Those are available too. Imperial Real Wagyu from Miyazaki Prefecture in Japan is another option on the menu.
Rib-eye fans can also enjoy the 100-day dry-aged prime rib-eye. There is surely enough for everyone to get their fill. This is one of those places where people tag as life changing. Edge Steak and Bar also has a wide range of cocktails to quench one’s thirst. Edge Steak and Bar is located in Miami in Florida.
Georgia James Steakhouse
Georgia James is a popular name in culinary conversations in America. He made his name from running other forms of culinary services. However, his fame and reputation hasn’t been affected in any way since he moved into the steakhouse business.
With more than five years in the steakhouse service, this steakhouse has continued to raise the roof for others around. It is located in Houston, Texas, one of the most meat loving city in the country. The menus feature steaks both dry-aged and wet-aged sourced from Black Angus producer in Cameron, Texas. A 100-day fire grilled Hanger steak is also on the menu.
All of the meat here is aged in-house, including a 31-day dry-aged rib-eye and strips. One can also enjoy tenderloin and strip A5 Japanese Wagyu at Doris Metropolitan. In the lively city of New Orleans in Louisiana sits a lovely steakhouse founded by three Israelis.
They have on-staff kind of service that allows for guests to take home some of their dry aged meat if they want to. Most people visiting this steakhouse often develop a habit of going back. If a resident of New Orleans is looking for the best steakhouse around, there is no need to look any further from Doris Metropolitan.
Cote Korean Steakhouse
Ever had the traditional soy marinated short rib called Galbi? No? well, Cote Steakhouse is just the place to turn that answer to “yes.” One can also enjoy the 45-day dry-aged rib-eye, Japanese Miyazaki Wagyu, or the steak omakase consisting of 10 cuts of beefs plus dessert.
There is finger meat, hanger, filet and so much more. All are USDA Prime. Cote Steakhouse has a little bit of Korean culture in its cooking especially with the barbecue. Located at the great and vast New York City, New York. One of the best steakhouses in the country, no doubt.
The website shows that the meat here are self-owned, self-fed with grass and self-finished, so one has a knowledge of where the goodness is coming from. During the process of achieving the best steak, the meat is dry-aged for at least 21 days.
One of the unique features of this steakhouse is its appearance. A different view from the traditional steakhouse designs; a bright, airy kind of setting. However, it is as excellent as it is different. This lovely Bateau Steakhouse is located in Seattle in Washington State.
In the great city of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania is located an exquisite delight of a steakhouse. Alphen Rose serves a wide range of varieties that include grass fed fillet, 18-ounce New York strip, 45-ounce tomahawk and so much more. Most of the steaks served at Alphen Rose are dry-aged on the premises.
This gives the atmosphere a unique feel and one can always the non-steak options. This includes bone marrow appetizer topped with beef cheek, old school Baked Alaska and others. The steakhouse is small in size and it gives off a family kind of setting.
Gene & Georgetti
Chicago would surely top the list if there is one about cities that loves meat, especially steaks. This is why we find a lot of steakhouses in the city. However, it takes something out of the ordinary to stand out.
That is exactly what Gene & Georgetti offers. This steakhouse has been in top business since the year 1941, proudly serving the city of Chicago. It is an Italian-flavored steakhouse. One can start with 24-ounce rib-eye and roast prime rib. There also serve Italian sausage and peppers, baked clams, and fried ravioli.
45 Things People Actually Ate in Colonial Times
Roasted Beaver Tails
Today, they’re usually a protected species, but in the 17th and 18th centuries, beavers were hunted all over North America for their pelts. Hungry trappers stuck out in the wilds didn’t want to waste any part of the beaver, so they ate the tails too.
It’s been described as having a gamey flavor, but it was pretty much just fat. It became a popular dish throughout colonial America — almost as popular as the beaver pelts they originally came from!
My My, Eel Pie
Not many people today would consider an eel to be a delicacy, but in colonial times, eels were considered to be such a desirable dish that people in New England would actually use lobsters as bait to catch them. Eel meat was eaten in a variety of ways, but a popular way to prepare it was in a pie.
If you’re keen on trying eel today, you might be interested to know that eels are still sold in shops in London and throughout England. Make a trip out there if you’re feeling brave enough to try something your great-great-great-grandparents had for special occasions!
Ambergris (AKA Whale Vomit)
You may have known that whale vomit has been a component of perfume for centuries, but did you know that in the 1700 and 1800s, it was a popular ingredient in many luxury dishes as well? It was used in beverages, served alongside eggs, or added to hot chocolate in not only America but also around the world.
Ambergris is actually very hard to find since it’s only produced by a small percentage of sperm whales. It forms on the ocean surface and floats, but will only rarely make landfall. Because of that, it’s been a very valuable substance for years.
Weird Ice Creams
You may not know that ice cream was first introduced in colonial America in the mid-18th century, but it was with the advent of ice houses where it could be made and stored. Ice cream was a popular dessert and even in the beginning, there were tons of delicious flavors available.
You may also not know that ice cream wasn’t all sweet at first — it was also flavored with eels, asparagus, or chestnuts, in addition to the normal sweet or fruity flavors.
Calves’ Feet Jelly
You may not think of animals when you think of a substance like Jell-O, but its main ingredient is gelatin, which is derived from animal collagen. Colonists took this gelatin and made what’s called calf’s foot jelly, which is exactly what it sounds like.
Believe it or not, calf’s foot jelly is still made in parts of the U.S. and around the world. You can find plenty of recipes online, and if you add sugar, it becomes a sweet dessert. Something to try next holiday?
Lobsters Were Really Cheap
Lobster isn’t an unusual food nowadays, but that’s not why we included it in this list. In colonial America, lobsters were a dime a dozen, and eating them regularly was a sign of being underclass. As mentioned above, they even used them as bait for eels!
My, my — how the times have changed. Now, lobster is one of the most expensive kinds of seafood you can eat, and eels, well, let’s just say you won’t be buying a lobster to use as bait for one.
Clabber — It’s Basically Yogurt
Before you get scared off by the name (or the description for that matter), consider that yogurt is just fermented milk. We tend to be adverse to the concept of sour milk, but it’s actually used for plenty of delicious foods. One of those foods was clabber, which was very popular in colonial times.
Before you toss your sour milk next time, check out some recipes for clabber. Colonists used to season it with nutmeg, cinnamon, or pepper. Sounds yummy!
Snake Meat Stew
Snakes have a long history of having an “icky” factor that keeps Americans from eating them, but that hasn’t always been the case. Remember that usually, colonists didn’t have the luxury of being picky, and they ate anything they could find. Well, one of those things was snake meat.
Snake meat is pretty much tasteless and has a similar texture to some types of fish, so you could see how it wouldn’t be terrible in a soup if you could get past the fact that the snake is a disgusting creature.
Scrapple — Pig/Lamb Scraps
Remember how colonists couldn’t afford to waste any part of an animal? That included pigs, sheep, and cows — and for the first two, they’d take the leftover scraps and make what’s called scrapple. Essentially, it’s a meatloaf made from the ground up “extras,” like the snout, heart, brain, or eyes.
This picture is actually lamb scrapple, but it’s the same idea. Scrapple is still made today, although, for the most part, we don’t use every part of the pig, like we used to.
Yes, They Ate Pigeons
Move over Mimi Siku, pigeons aren’t that weird of an animal to eat! Plentiful birds with a good amount of meat on them, pigeons were often enjoyed by colonists who didn’t have modern sensitivities about what they were eating. Most of the birds we eat now are fully domesticated.
Just think of pheasant and you’ll see that eating a pigeon isn’t actually all that strange. It actually used to be an upper-class dish because of how much work it took to prepare.
Posset, a Type of Custard
Custard is still around today, and it often gets a bad rap for whatever reason. Some really like it, and then there are those that you couldn’t pay to eat it. Posset, the next item on our list, was another type of custard that colonists ate for dessert.
It was also made as a delicious, sweet drink that colonists enjoyed serving at weddings and special celebrations. It was a very popular dish that everyone was crazy about!
Turtle Soup for the Soul
Nowadays, many species of turtle are endangered so it’s a little harder to find a soup made from them, but they didn’t have this problem in 18th century America. Turtle soup was a very popular dish among the rich and upper-class, usually made from snapping turtles.
Turtle soup was actually eaten up until the 1920s when better tasting and easier-to-prepare meats began making their way onto dinner tables around the country. Do you think it’ll ever make a comeback?
A Hard Bread Called Hardtack
The quintessential soldier’s food, hardtack has been around for centuries in some form or another. Basically, an unleavened bread (almost a cracker), hardtack has been favored by navies and armies because of how long it will keep for and how it’s relatively easy to pack into a bag and carry.
Soldiers in the U.S. Army still get something like hardtack in their MREs (Meal, Ready to Eat), but it’s called crackers now. Some things never change, do they?
American as Apple Pie
Not everything on this list is supposed to be weird or gross. Colonial Americans loved apple pie, even though apples are native to Europe. Apples grew well in the colonies because the fruit can survive the harsh winters, and Americans took the apples and made pies much like we still enjoy today.
Apple pie back then probably wasn’t as sweet as it is now, since sugar was often a luxury and very expensive. However, it was still seasoned with nutmeg or cinnamon, and we’re sure it was just as delicious as we know it is today!
Hardened Bear Fat
Ok, so colonists didn’t technically just munch on a piece of hardened bear fat. However, colonists in wilder parts of the country would often kill bears for food, and they’d melt their fat down to make a shortening-like substance, which they’d then use for cooking and baking.
Apparently, it’s very good for frying, and it doesn’t go bad as quickly as pork fat, so some colonists even found it to be a better alternative. Bear fat is still used by some people for cooking and baking today. Who knew?
Biscuits and Gravy
Many people today still love to have biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast, but it was still a very popular dish back in colonial times. It actually made its appearance as a southern dish shortly after the Revolutionary War, but it hasn’t changed much since that time.
This is one of the foods on this list that has stood the test of time. If something’s not broken, don’t fix it, as the saying goes.
Not Your Normal Katchup
Oh cool, you’re probably thinking, colonials enjoyed some condiments with their food? That’s no typo, though — katchup isn’t the tomato-based sauce we use nowadays. Katchup in colonial America was a sauce made from mushrooms, walnuts, anchovies, or oysters.
As a matter of fact, tomatoes were considered poisonous by many Americans during the 18th century, and a type of modern-day ketchup didn’t appear in America until around the time of the Civil War.
Mutton — Old Sheep Meat
Sheep were incredibly valuable to families in the 18th century because of their wool, which could provide clothes for everyone in the household. However, once their wool became inferior due to old age, they were slaughtered and their meat — mutton — became their final gift to their family.
The rest of the sheep would often be used in a similar way to scrapple, but mutton remains a popular meat to this day. It’s technically meat from a sheep that’s over a year old.
Pease Porridge Hot or Cold
It’s not just a nursery rhyme — pease porridge was a popular dish in colonial times because of how plentiful the ingredients were. Also known as pease pudding, it was made of boiled legumes with a boiled ham or bacon joint added for flavor.
Split pea soup remains a popular dish today, and it’s very similar to the way it would have been made back in the 18th century. Nothing beats it on a cold winter’s day!
Roast Squirrel Meat
Rodents are plentiful, and squirrels in America are definitely no exception. Colonists, particularly those in the unsettled parts of America, often trapped and ate squirrels roasted over an open fire. How on Earth do you catch them, though? They’re so fast!
Yeah, little buddy, we’re shocked too. Squirrel meat was served in pies, in stews, or simply fried. Squirrel-hunting was a particularly enjoyed pastime in Connecticut.
Stewed Swan Meat
The next entry on our list is stewed swan, which we admittedly don’t see much of these days. Swans are usually seen as a symbol of nature’s beauty, so we hesitate to eat them nowadays. Colonists didn’t have those same sensitivities, so they’d often eat stewed swan.
When you think about it, a swan is pretty much like a goose, and those get eaten all the time. Apart from stewing, early Americans would also roast them. Something to try next Thanksgiving?
Syllabub — Whipped Cream Dessert
Syllabus, no relation, is the thing your college professor gives you at the beginning of the year that you probably never read. Syllabub, on the other hand, was a whipped cream dessert similar to custard that was a big hit among colonial Americans.
Surprisingly enough, you can still find various syllabub recipes today! Who’s trying it for dessert this week?
Tripe, Animal Stomach Lining
You may have heard of tripe before as an example of something gross your mother threatened to make you eat (mixed with liver probably), but tripe was quite a popular dish in colonial times. It’s the soft lining of animal stomachs like cows or deer.
Believe it or not, tripe is actually very healthy. It’s rich in selenium, zinc, and vitamin B12. Maybe that’s how colonists got their daily dose of vitamins.
Other Kinds of Porridge
Porridge was a very popular breakfast dish in the 18th century because of how easy it was to prepare and how plentiful the ingredients were.
Porridge is usually made from ground corn, but it’s really any sort of ground-up vegetable that’s been mashed up with milk or water. Oatmeal is a type of porridge, but not all porridge is made from oats.
Tragically, slavery was a part of life in southern colonial America, and slaves had to eat too. A popular food among them was ash cake or ash bread, which was a corn-based bread that was baked in a pile of ashes from a fire.
You can still find recipes for ash cakes today among outdoor enthusiasts, and it’s a quick easy meal to make if you’re camping or outdoors in the wilderness.
Molasses, Syrup From Sugar
Another key ingredient in many colonial dishes was molasses — a thick, brown syrup that’s a byproduct of refining sugar cane into sugar. Molasses in rum was very popular until Great Britain passed the Molasses tax, one of the taxes which ultimately led to the American Revolution.
Once molasses started being taxed, many colonists found a different vice. Molasses has never been as popular in the U.S. as it once was because of it.
Have you ever heard of pokeweed? We didn’t before now. It turns out that roots, leaves, and berries of common pokeweed were used medicinally by both the Native Americans and colonists to treat various types of conditions — from a headache to a cough, and more. Of course, colonists also ate pokeweed.
Considering that this kind of herbaceous perennial plant is poisonous, though, people that used or ate pokeweed had to boil the shoots and leaves in water several times prior to consuming it. Very interesting…
Cooked Chitlins (Pig Intestines)
Lower-class Americans, especially in the south, had food that was often made from pigs, and this included every part of the pig. Chitlins were cooked pig intestines, and they were a popular dish among the lower classes in the southern colonies.
You can still find chitlins to make today at butcher shops, and it’s often called chitterlings as well. It’s most often fried up or boiled, and served with vinegar and/or hot sauce. Delish!
Fried Chicken Livers
As already mentioned several times, the lower classes needed to use every part of an animal to stretch out the amount of food they got out of it, and chickens were no exception. Out of the chicken’s organs, one popular dish was fried chicken livers.
Chicken livers are actually very healthy, and you can still find them today if you’re feeling culinarily adventurous. Serve them with sauteed mushrooms and onions for a tasty, different meal!
Roasted Opossum Meat
Opossums, which are native to North America, have the distinction of being America’s only marsupial, which means they’re related to kangaroos. This didn’t stop colonists from roasting them, however, and opossums were a popular game animal throughout the colonies.
Nowadays, the only time people see opossums may be at night or as roadkill, but they were once a popular dish in the 18th century. We wouldn’t recommend trying to bring back their popularity!
Yes, Raccoon Meat Too
Even though we jokingly refer to them as trash pandas, if there’s anything we’ve learned by now, it’s that no food sources were off-limits for colonial Americans. Raccoons were trapped and use for meat as well as opossums and squirrels, although this was also mainly done by lower classes.
Raccoon is still eaten in parts of the U.S. today, and its meat has been described as greasy and similar to dark-meat off a chicken. It can be roasted, boiled, added to a stew, or just eaten with vegetables and a side.
Cornbread, Another American Classic
Colonists ate a lot of cornbread, but you may not be aware that this delicious type of bread was actually adopted from Native American diets. Corn was a staple among Native American tribes, and it was ground up into a meal and used to bake bread all the time.
Colonists adopted Native Americans’ affinity for corn as well as a number of other fruits and vegetables they enjoyed, like squash and beans.
Pepper was an exotic spice first making its way to Europe in the 18th century, and anything that was in vogue in Europe was quickly adopted in the American colonies as well. Though we wouldn’t think of it as a spice for sweets today, that didn’t stop colonists from baking it into a cake.
According to Martha Washington’s book — Booke of Cookery — pepper cakes weren’t just delicious, they would last for months if stored at the right temperature. For a time without preservatives, that’s not bad!
Sassafras Tree Leaves
You may have heard of sassafras tea, but in the 18th century, it was a normal part of people’s diet. They’d often add it as part of stews or creole dishes, like gumbo, and it was a regular part of Native Americans’ diet as well. It’s a leafy green vegetable.
What you may not know is that sassafras was a popular remedy for syphilis in 18th century England, so the colonies became a pretty big exporter of the leafy green.
Tongues of Every Kind
We’ve seen multiple times already how the colonists liked to use every part of the animal, and the tongue was absolutely no exception. They’d roast it, boil it, or chop it up and fry it, and pretty much every animal that had a large tongue was fair game.
Nowadays, you don’t see tongue very much but it’s still grilled, fried, braised, or pickled and served in a variety of ways. When cooked correctly, it can be a slice of very flavorful meat.
Jellied Moose Nose
Colonists sure loved their jellies made from various melted down animal parts, and moose were a plentiful animal. Put both those facts together and you inevitably get something like jellied moose nose. It was made by boiling the upper jaw of the moose, then taking the meat, and letting it sit overnight in moose broth.
You can still find recipes to make this interesting dish online, but it might be harder to actually find a moose. However, we see no reason why you can’t also make this from pig snout or a cow nose.
Salting is an ancient method of preserving meat for a long period of time; the salt acts as a natural preservative and meats that have been salted can last for months when stored in a cool basement. This is mainly how Americans used to store their food over the winter.
Salted fish is only one of essentially any sort of meat product that could have been salted. Americans also salted beef, pork, and venison to help feed their families through the long, cold winter.
Humble (or Umble) Pie
Another decidedly lower-class dish was humble pie, or as it was otherwise known, umble pie. Basically, it was made from whatever leftovers there were of an animal (typically the innards) and mixed up with apples, sugar, and spices to make a meal.
Humble pie is actually a very old dish, with records of it existing back to the middle ages. The upper classes would feast on the meat of the animal, while the peasants would get what was left and make it into a filling pie.
Another type of mush (porridge) was hasty pudding, which was made from corn or flour, mixed with boiling water or milk, and eaten while warm. It was so named because it was quick to make, and it was a popular breakfast food both in America and in England.
American hasty pudding was usually made with ground Indian corn, not flour. Since corn wasn’t a huge crop in England, it wasn’t necessarily as popular.
Plum Cake (AKA Election Cake)
Plum cake has been around for centuries, and it’s usually made with some sort of berry, although the specific ingredients vary by region of the world. American plum cakes were made with various types of fruit, so it’s probably what you’d consider fruitcake today.
It was also served at elections, so it came to be known as election cake. Before the Revolutionary War, they were called muster cakes because they were made for the men called to drill with the British Army. It’s had a lot of names!
Partridges are medium-sized birds, with a wide native distribution throughout Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa. During colonial times, these non-migratory birds were a popular choice when it came time for a nutritious meal.
Although this kind of meat isn’t a household staple nowadays, there are plenty of recipes you can find. The meat is supposedly delicate and tender — plus it’s quick and easy to cook! It’s full of flavor but not too gamey. And partridge happens to be a healthier option than most farmed meats!
Good English Tea
A list about 18th century American cuisine wouldn’t be complete without mentioning tea. It started a revolution and a whole new country! Americans before the war really loved English tea, just like their brothers and sisters across the ocean. That’s why the tea tax was such a slap in the face.
Once the British started taxing tea heavily, Americans were done with the stuff. They replaced it with a beverage that they didn’t have to depend on foreign imports for, and we still drink it to this day…
Thank the Colonists for Coffee!
Coffee is a decidedly American drink, although it was originally from Ethiopia. After Americans wouldn’t buy the King’s tea anymore, they switched to coffee, and it was off to the races from there. Before then, coffee was more time-consuming to make than tea, but they would enjoy a cup at a coffeehouse.
Coffee was a status symbol in colonial America; it wasn’t as expensive as tea, but it did require more effort to prepare. Ever since, coffee has been a staple in the American diet.
While fish is still a very popular dish of choice today, we bet that many of you have never tried sturgeon. It’s okay — neither have we. When the first English settlers in the New World founded the colony of Jamestown, they caught a gigantic sturgeon from the James River.
At that point in time, colonists had more than enough of this type of fish to go around. In fact, according to John Smith, “We have more sturgeon, can consume as humans and dogs.”
Perry — Fermented Pear Drink
Pears were another plentiful fruit in colonial AmericaPerry is a fermented beverage made from pears, and it made its way over from England and France to the American colonies, where colonists enjoyed it every now and then.
For some reason, apple beverages are more popular than pear-based beverages nowadays in the U.S. We’re not sure why, but this perry stuff sure sounds delicious!