The Classic American Cafe Dishes – Part 1


When it comes to iconic American food, the phrase the bigger the better comes to mind, but this is not always the case. Casual dishes that can be found in many American cafes across the country are delicious and quite adventurous. From home cooked pies and desserts to adaptations of other cuisines that have had a big influence on American culture. American cuisine has developed into a melting pot of experimentation, and some of the best dishes can be found not in expensive restaurants but in the cafes, diners and delis that can be found absolutely everywhere. In this blog we take a peek into some of the most classic American dishes that have fed the American people for generations.

Corned Beef

Americans love their one-pot type dishes and true corned beef, not the type from a funny shaped can, is a dish that can be found all over America. Real corned beef is delicious and quite a treat, it takes patience to prepare but is well worth the wait. Good American corned beef that you would find in many cafes across the States starts with a fairly cheap cut of beef such as a brisket. One brined for four or five days it is then slowly cooked for about five hours then left to cool. The result is spectacular thick slices of slightly salty and spicy meat ideal served in sandwiches or with vegetables and gravy, a true classic.

Buffalo Wings

Nearly every food outlet in America has their own version of this simple but iconic American favourite. Ideal as a starter buffalo wings can be simply served in a bucket and plonked on the table so everybody can enjoy. The real differentiating factor is the sauce, some people prefer a blisteringly hot sauce that is spicy full of chili and vinegar. Others prefer a slightly more BBQ smoky flavour that does not burn the tongue. The dip that is served alongside the buffalo wings is also highly important, and here once again is a big factor for the cafe to stamp their own personal touch to the dish. Favourite dips include: blue cheese, sour cream & chives, ranch dressing or barbecue.


The hamburger is craved by many American, and there are so many variations of this iconic American classic that the choice is bewildering. With its roots in Germany the humble beef patty is simply delicious in a fresh bun with some salad. Most hamburgers are smothered in gooey cheese, lettuce, tomato and a zesty pickle sauce. The best patties are cooked medium rare and the choice of toppings bewildering: caramelized onions, mustard, mayo, relish, bacon, the list is endless. Traditional hamburgers are made from good minced beef, but there are options including, lamb, chicken, and even tofu. Almost any adaptation is acceptable and whatever you decide is served with good old fries on the side.

We take a break from our culinary musing until part two of classic American cafe dishes where we feature the iconic hot-dog as well as some of the other delectable American dishes that can be found in every part of the United States.