29 Iconic East Coast Foods To Try

The East Coast of the United States is known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and diverse cuisine. 

new england clam chowder with oyster crackers

From seafood and sandwiches to sweets and snacks, the region is home to some of the country’s most iconic and delicious foods. 

Whether you’re a fan of classic New England clam chowder, crave a Philly cheesesteak, or have a sweet tooth for Maine blueberry pie, there’s a famous East Coast food that’s sure to satisfy your taste buds. 

East Coast Food

Join us as we take a culinary journey along the Eastern seaboard.

Clam Chowder

The savory aroma of a steaming bowl of clam chowder is enough to make anyone’s mouth water. 

clam chowder in a bowl

The tender and juicy clams are the star of the show, providing a briny and salty flavor perfectly balanced by the creamy, buttery broth.

Clam chowder is a famous food from New England, but there’s also Manhattan clam chowder in New York for a lighter rendition.


Bagels are another iconic food of New York City – so much so that they have become synonymous with the Big Apple itself. 

everything bagel with lox, red onions, and capers

While New York bagels are famous, those from New Jersey will argue that they have the best bagels.

Bagels here are boiled before baking, giving them their distinctive chewy texture and shiny exterior – perfect for slathering on cream cheese or topping with lox and capers. 

Boston Cream Pie

Each bite of Boston Cream Pie is a symphony of textures and flavors.

boston creme pie

The soft and spongy cake contrasts beautifully with the creamy and luscious filling and the intense and rich chocolate ganache brings everything together in a blissful explosion of taste. 

Crab Cakes

There is nothing quite like the decadent taste and texture of a perfectly prepared crab cake. 

two crab cakes on a plate

These delectable treats feature fresh, succulent crab meat mixed with flavorful herbs, spices, and seasonings. 

Combining sweet, juicy crab meat and savory spices creates a symphony of flavors that tantalizes the taste buds with every bite. 

Lobster Rolls

Whether enjoyed on a sandy beach or a bustling city street, lobster rolls are a true delicacy that celebrates the joys of coastal cuisine.

mouthwatering lobster rolls prepared in boston

These mouthwatering sandwiches are made with fresh, succulent lobster meat, lightly dressed in a tangy and creamy mayonnaise-based sauce, and nestled inside a buttery, toasted split-top bun. 

Philly Cheesesteak

When it comes to iconic American cuisine, few dishes are as beloved and recognizable as the Philly cheesesteak. 

World famous Philly cheesesteak with waffle fries

This mouthwatering sandwich combines thinly sliced beef and melted cheese on a soft and chewy hoagie roll. You can find them along the East Coast, but you really need to try this iconic Philly food in Philadelphia.

Toppings can range from sautéed onions and bell peppers to mushrooms and hot peppers.

Whoopie Pies

Whoopie pies are a beloved treat with their signature round shape and playful name.

chocolate whoopie pies

The cake portion of the whoopie pie has a tender and decadent texture that melts in your mouth.

It’s the ideal vehicle for a creamy, buttery filling that comes in classic flavors like vanilla, tangy lemon, and indulgent chocolate. 

Joe Froggers

Joe Froggers are iconic New England cookies that have been around for centuries.

The delicate crunch of the sugar coating on the outside perfectly complements the soft and chewy texture of the cookie. 

The notes of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg provide a warm and comforting flavor that is simply irresistible.

Pastrami on Rye

Picture this: a beautifully crafted pastrami on rye sandwich with thick layers of juicy, tender, and perfectly smoked pastrami between two slices of marbled bread. 

pastrami on rye bread with a pickle

Each bite is a journey of flavors and textures together in perfect harmony, creating an indulgent culinary experience.

Brown Bread

The rich, nutty flavor of brown bread comes from whole wheat flour, rye flour, and molasses, giving it a unique and complex taste.

brown bread on cutting board

The texture of the bread is dense and chewy, with a slight sweetness from the molasses that lingers on your tongue.

American Chop Suey

Looking for comfort food that will satisfy your cravings and warm your soul?

american chop suey

The combination of textures and flavors in American chop suey is simply divine – the tender macaroni pairs perfectly with the hearty beef, while the tangy tomato sauce and rich cheese create a harmonious balance of flavors.

Baked Beans

Rich, savory baked beans undergo a meticulous cooking process that includes simmering them in a blend of savory seasonings, smoky bacon, and sweet molasses until they are perfectly tender and flavorful. 

baked beans in cast iron skillet

The aroma makes your mouth water, with the tantalizing scent of garlic, onions, and herbs wafting through the air.


Whether enjoyed as a midday snack, a decadent dessert, or a nostalgic childhood favorite, fluffernutter is a teeth-achingly sweet treat.


The marshmallow spread is light and airy, complementing the rich peanut butter. The result is pure bliss when these two flavors come together between two slices of pillowy bread.

Pumpkin Pie

With autumn comes the arrival of one of America’s most beloved desserts: pumpkin pie.

pumpkin pie with whipped cream and cinnamon

The filling is made with ripe pumpkins, slow-roasted to bring out their natural sweetness.

The pumpkin is mixed with warm spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, giving the pie its signature fragrance.


Succotash celebrates vibrant colors, bold flavors, and wholesome ingredients. 


At its core, succotash is a medley of corn, lima beans, and bell peppers, gently cooked with butter and a host of herbs and spices.

A touch of cream or cheese can give the dish a rich and creamy texture, while fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, or parsley can add freshness and fragrance.

Yankee Pot Roast

Yankee pot roast is a classic American dish that brings together tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef, savory vegetables, and rich, flavorful broth that is hearty and comforting. 

Yankee Pot Roast

The beef is slowly braised to perfection, infusing it with deep, savory flavors and a texture that practically falls apart with every forkful.

Blueberry Pie

Few desserts encapsulate the joys of summer more deliciously than blueberry pie. 

blueberry pie

The rich buttery crust, with its flaky layers and golden-brown color, provides the perfect foundation for the sweet and tangy blueberry filling.

Each blueberry is plump and bursting with flavor, offering a juicy and refreshing contrast to the richness of the crust.

Anadama Bread

Anadama bread is a delicious and hearty loaf of bread that is as beautiful as it is tasty.

Its golden, crumbly crust gives way to a soft, slightly sweet interior flecked with brown specks. 

When toasted, the crust becomes crisp and caramelized, releasing a symphony of nutty and sweet notes that dance on the tongue.

Fried Clam Strips

Crunchy, golden, and perfectly fried, fried clam strips are the ultimate seaside treat that will transport your taste buds to the ocean.

fried clam strips

These crispy strips of succulent clam meat are battered and deep-fried to perfection.

When served with a side of tangy tartar sauce or zesty cocktail sauce, fried clam strips become a genuinely irresistible and addictive snack. 


Looking for a sweet treat that’s both playful and indulgent?

Hand holding a dripping ice cream cone with colorful sprinkles

Whether you call them sprinkles, jimmies, or hundreds and thousands, there’s no denying the joy and delight they bring. 

With their rainbow hues and tiny, oblong shape, they add a pop of color and texture to any frozen dessert

Grapenut Pudding

Grapenut pudding, made from a deliciously creamy custard base, is infused with vanilla’s subtle and sweet aroma and topped with a sprinkling of crunchy Grapenuts.

The dessert is often served warm, with a dollop of whipped cream, providing the perfect balance of sweetness and creaminess.

Harvard Beets

Whether served as a side dish or a standalone entrée, Harvard beets are timeless and will impress even the most discerning palates.

harvard beets

The tender and succulent beets are sliced into perfect rounds, allowing the tangy vinegar, earthy cloves, and sugar to seep into every bold bite.

Necco Wafers

Necco wafers are a candy that never goes out of style, consistently delighting and charming with their crisp, crumbly mouthfeel, beautiful colors, and delicious flavors. 

necco wafers candy

Each intricately carved wafer features classic flavors like lemon, lime, and orange or unique options like clove and licorice.

Salt Cod

One of the most remarkable things about salt cod is its versatility in the kitchen. 

salt cod

I use it in many dishes, from hearty stews and soups to delicate salads and appetizers.

Boiled Lobster

With its plump and juicy meat, the indulgence of boiled lobster is a true celebration of life’s finest pleasures.

boiled lobster

The rich and decadent flavor of the lobster meat reaches a new level of exquisiteness when dunking into the subtle sweetness of the drawn butter.

Salmon and Peas

Salmon and peas is an elegant and flavorful dish with a delightful mix of textures and tastes that will leave your palate singing joyfully. 

The salmon has crispy skin and tender flesh that flakes easily with a fork, which contrasts beautifully with the vibrant freshness of the peas.

The dish is finished with a savory sauce, adding luscious depth and richness.

Toll House Cookies

The golden brown exterior of Toll House cookies gives way to a soft and gooey interior packed with pockets of melty chocolate chips that burst in every bite.

toll house cookie tub

Whether enjoyed warm and fresh from the oven or savored as a midnight snack with a tall glass of cold milk, Tollhouse cookies are a classic East Coast indulgence.

Cranberry Sauce

Vibrant cranberry sauce consists of fresh, plump cranberries cooked down with sugar and spices, with notes of cinnamon, orange zest, and vanilla.

cranberry sauce

The result is a versatile condiment that pairs well with savory meats such as turkey, pork, and chicken, as well as cheeses and bread. 

Cranberry sauce is a classic Thanksgiving side and goes great on sandwiches too!


One of the most iconic aspects of a soft pretzel is its shape. Twisted into a knot, each pretzel is a work of art in its own right.

philly soft pretzel with mustard

Beyond the exterior, pretzel dough is also a thing of beauty. Warm and golden brown, it has a texture that is both tender and resilient, with a delicate layer of salt crystals that adds a satisfying crunch.

For those looking for a sweet treat, soft pretzels coated in cinnamon sugar or drizzled with chocolate are decadent.

East Coast Food

  1. Clam Chowder
  2. Bagels
  3. Boston Cream Pie
  4. Crab Cakes
  5. Lobster Rolls
  6. Philly Cheesesteak
  7. Whoopie Pies
  8. Joe Froggers
  9. Pastrami on Rye
  10. Brown Bread
  11. American Chop Suey
  12. Baked Beans
  13. Fluffernutter
  14. Pumpkin Pie
  15. Succotash
  16. Yankee Pot Roast
  17. Blueberry Pie
  18. Anadama Bread
  19. Fried Clam Strips
  20. Jimmies
  21. Grapenut Pudding
  22. Harvard Beets
  23. Necco Wafers
  24. Salt Cod
  25. Boiled Lobster
  26. Salmon and Peas
  27. Toll House Cookies
  28. Cranberry Sauce
  29. Pretzels

What’s Your Favorite Food from the East Coast?

Try these classic East Coast foods and tell us which is your favorite, or tell us what we missed!

Check out famous West Coast foods as well!

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin is an editor and food writer who loves traveling and trying new foods and fun cocktails. Erin has been writing and editing professionally for 5 years since graduating from Temple University, and has been on the Restaurant Clicks team for 3 years. She has a long background working in the restaurant industry, and is an avid home chef and baker. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.