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BBQ, seafood, steakhouses – they all have their places in American gastro-history, and hearts and stomachs.

Which restaurants ‘made the cut,’ and are listed as the ‘most iconic,’ by those epic listers, Thrillist.com?

Probably a few that you’d expect, but a few that no one saw coming, either!


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For example, my home state, Michigan’s most iconic is Zehnder’s Bavarian Inn, now just called ‘Bavarian Inn.’  It’s in Frankenmuth, Michigan, north of Detroit, still north of Flint, Michigan. Frankenmuth, itself, is a major tourist attraction. It’s a town directly modeled after a German city, complete with “murals, tile roofs, and an actual glockenspiel.”  You can enjoy big (ok – HUGE) mugs of beer,  buttered spaetzle and the legendary and massive family-style platters of fried chicken.  No lake trout here.


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Here in NC, where BBQ is king, you guessed it – our ‘iconic’ restaurant is a BBQ joint, but it’s found in a tiny eastern North Carolina town, not Lexington, not in Charlotte, and certainly not in the Triad. 

As for South Carolina, well, you may have stopped at this tiny roadside eatery on your way to the beach.  It’s been featured on both the Cooking Channel and the Food Network.