Food and Drink

States, Ranked by Guy Fieri's Love for Them

Megan Chong/Thrillist
Megan Chong/Thrillist
Megan Chong/Thrillist

Guy Fieri is a lot of things: An oft-misunderstood King Midas for restaurants big and small. An unlikely health advocate. Definitely not Violent J from ICP. And for an incredible 28 seasons and counting, the impossibly popular TV chef has cruised the country in a red Camaro as the face of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.

Over the course of the series, Fieri has visited over 1,000 restaurants, proclaiming love for all. But some states get more love than others. With the help of OG Fieri fan site FlavorTownUSA, we’ve ranked the states by the number of restaurants Fieri has visited within them. Get ready. Things get slamma-jamma gangster pretty fast.

Editor’s note: As Triple D is currently airing, the numbers in this article could change at any moment, depending on Guy’s whims/airdates. As a tie-breaker for states with the same number of visits, we considered the Fieriness of the foods he consumed. And for places he hasn’t visited, we gauged their potential appeal to his Guyness.

Claws Seafood House
Claws Seafood House
Claws Seafood House

50. Delaware

Restaurants visited: 0
OK, so Guy’s never been here, or to five other states, so their place in this rank will depend on how much Fieriness there is in each state. To that end, there are very few enthusiastic adjectives in Guy Fieri’s vernacular to describe the state of Delaware. Gangster this is not.
The Fieriest bite: Rehoboth Beach is a must-visit, and watching Guy wield a mallet on some blue crabs at Claws Seafood House would be great television.

49. North Dakota

Restaurants visited: 0
We get the fact that Guy doesn’t want to tool around North Dakota, but we’re still going to lament the fact that we’ve never heard lutefisk referred to as “funkalicious” or “slamma jamma.”
The Fieriest bite: But seriously, a trip to Medora’s Pitchfork Steak Fondue — where they skewer meat on a pitchfork and fry it in a vat of oil — seems like a cool enough prospect to warrant a trip unto itself.

48. Vermont

Restaurants visited: 0
Maybe it’s just so cold that the flames on Guy’s signature bowling shirts would look out of place, but Vermont should be a destination, given there seems to be a strong love of gigantic pancakes in Fieri’s heart, and this is the maple syrup capital of the world.
The Fieriest bite: Once Guy does make it to the land of Bernie Sanders, he’s all but required to visit Papa Pete’s for a pancake the size of a bike tire.

47. Arkansas

Restaurants visited: 0
Come on, Guy. You’re one Southern state away from being an honorary member of Skynyrd. Just get to Arkansas!
The Fieriest bite: Might we recommend the chopped beef at McClard’s, one of the best damn BBQ places in the US?

46. South Dakota

Restaurants visited: 0
South Dakota’s underrated as hell, and the perfect place for one of Guy’s road trips, especially given the prevalence of fried beef, the unexpectedly upscale food in Sioux Falls, and all the Indian tacos to be had.
The Fieriest bite: We’d LOVE to see a special where Guy hits up the food carts during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, a food culture so intense and crazy that it’s been the subject of many an hour of television. He’d have to trade in Camaro for the weekend, but still…

45. Montana

Restaurants visited: 0
This is beef country. Which we’re pretty sure qualifies it for at least honorary status as a Flavortown satellite. Montana is looooooong overdue for a visit from Guy.
The Fieriest bite: This is a long shot, but we’ve seen Guy eat Rocky Mountain oysters before, so why not visit the Testicle Festival, an entire event centered around seeing who makes the best ones? This is about as out there as the DDD host could get.

44. West Virginia

Restaurants visited: 2
Guy’s dad is from West Virginia, so he definitely has roots there, but you wouldn’t know it if you just went by his DDD visits. Come on, Guy. Reconnect with your past. There are pepperoni rolls, like, everywhere in the Fatherland.
The Fieriest bite: The Homewrecker hot dog at Hillbilly Hot Dogs, a deep-fried, 15-inch hot dog loaded with habanero sauce, jalapeños, and coleslaw, most of which he wears while wincing in pain from the heat.

43. Alabama

Restaurants visited: 4
Honestly, Fieri’s visits to Bama include some of the least insane dishes he eats on the series, with a roster of po-boys, paninis, gumbo, and bouillabaisse offered, none of which are served via bucket. The episodes simply highlight an oft-overlooked part of the Fiery mystique: Dude just kind of loves finding great food in unexpected places, redonkulousness notwithstanding. In a state with no shortage of crazy, Guy finds normalcy. Who’d have thunk it?
The Fieriest bite: We’re giving the points to Manci’s Antique Club, largely because the place is loaded with so many vintage ‘50s model cars that it’s almost surprising that Guy doesn’t revert to his childhood self upon entry.

42. Nebraska

Restaurants visited: 6
Nebraska isn’t exactly known as a food lover’s dream state. Never one to be deterred, Guy tracked down some real gems during his visit, and though he didn’t stray beyond Omaha, he found a genuinely great mix of classic diners plus some unexpectedly great California-style tacos. Like they say, you can take the Guy out of California, but you can’t take the California out of the Guy, especially when there are deep-fried tacos involved.
The Fieriest bite: TV food pilgrims are drawn like moths to a good pig-ear sandwich. Andrew Zimmern at Big Apple Inn in Mississippi, and Guy does it at Big Mama’s Kitchen & Catering, where he starts with some legendary fried chicken, moves over to a hamburger that looks like a brat, and finishes it out, very reluctantly, with a slow-cooked pig ear.

41. Mississippi

Restaurants visited: 5
Guy Fire actually has “BBQ” tattooed on the knuckles of his right hand and “POBOY” on the left, which makes his minimal time eating both those things in Mississippi pretty surprising. OK, that tattoo thing isn’t true. But you believed it for a second, right?
The Fieriest bite: Melissa Cookston, the world’s first world-champion female pitmaster, serves our man a Crunch Burger topped with her signature smoked pork rinds at Memphis Barbecue Co.

40. Maine

Restaurants visited: 5
Look, we get that driving all the way up to Maine in a top-down convertible is cold and taxing, but it’s also home to perhaps the best seafood in the entire US, so, you know, suck it up. Guy seems to love him some traditional Maine food, so we’re guessing the producers realized that getting to Maine is a pain for a camera crew, then kinda figured out that most lobster dishes look remarkably similar and put it on the bottom of their to-do list.
The Fieriest bite: Lobster rolls. Whole lobster… jeez, these things do kind of all look alike. The hypothetical producers were right! But at Maine Diner, guy digs into a lobster pie, which is just kind of a lobster-y pot pie, but hey, more butter!

39. Wyoming

Restaurants visited: 6
Wyoming! It has so much more to offer than pools of boiling acid that will straight-up dissolve you. Given the paucity of Guy visits for some of its Mountain West brethren, a sextet of Fieri fun isn’t a half-bad showing for a state more closely associated with bears than bold flavors.
The Fieriest bite: Generally we’d go with something much, much crazier than the enormous stuffed pretzel at Jackson’s Sidewinders. But Flavortown is built on nostalgia. Fieri’s first business as a kid was a pretzel cart, and now the big softie runs a nonprofit that gives carts to kids so they can start their own journey to Flavortown. Thus, when Fieri gets a look at the pretzel, he gets all misty-eyed and tells his story. It’s surprisingly sweet, and a look into the man’s very soul.

38. Connecticut

Restaurants visited: 7
How Guy has visited seven restaurants in Connecticut — among them a BBQ joint, a hot dog spot, and a luncheria — but has never featured a single slice of New Haven clam pie is beyond us. Maybe all the soft-shell crab was clouding the production budget?
The Fieriest bite: He may have missed the pizza, but Connecticut is also the (debated) birthplace of the burger, and Guy gets down on the 7 Burger at Corey’s Catsup & Mustard, a double patty jammed with brisket and bacon. It’s a pretty far cry from the steamed hams of Connecticut lore, but it does the trick.

37. Iowa

Restaurants visited: 7
Iowa’s signature dish — which Indiana also claims, though come on, Hoosiers, you’ve got a lot more exciting things going for you, so give Iowa something — is a gigantic, wheel-sized piece of pork pounded flat, fried, and served on a bun 1/3 its size. Iowa hasn’t gotten a lot of love from DDD, but its cities should petition to be part of the Flavortown Sister Cities Association, which isn’t a thing, but should be. Guy gets his at George the King of Chili, though it’s a less-ridiculous version of the signature sandwich. But hey, at least the meat fits in the bun.
The Fieriest bite: At Tacopocalypse — run by a Midwestern metalhead trained in Japanese and Korean traditions — Guy gets down on masa fries covered in kimchi, queso, eel sauce, and bulgogi. It’s super crazy, but hey, it’s Des Moines.

36. Alaska

Restaurants visited: 7
Guy doubled his usual episode output for a Season 8 episode titled “A North Pole Christmas,” where he cruised around eating extremely decadent stuff like cinnamon rolls, reindeer sausage, and BBQ. That he didn’t do so in a top-down Snow Cat with flames on the side is a missed opportunity for the ages.
The Fieriest bite: At a place in North Pole called Elf’s Den, guy runs across some unexpected fine dining moves. Here, he eats a beef tournedo that gets grilled, almond-crusted, then deep fried before getting a bath in bearnaise, gravy, and sherry-sauteed mushrooms. “That gravy would have made an old sandal taste good,” he says, in a turn of phrase that could well land him a poet laureate title in the current political climate.

35. New Hampshire

Restaurants visited: 7
New Hampshire is… well, it’s New Hampshire. But based on the seven DDD visits, you’d think it was the cultural center of the world. Everything from incredible pork tacos, farm-to-table bar food, elevated Irish food, and a place that specializes in street food from around the world is represented. And a vegetarian place. But nope. It’s still New Hampshire. And if you need proof, take note of the sweater tied around your waist.
The Fieriest bite: At the Tuckaway Tavern — a butchery/gourmet lowbrow food emporium — Guy bites into the kind of mashup that seems to fuel his dreams: a deep-fried ball loaded with chili & cheese-filled hot dogs and queso. Even better, they’re called Chili & Cheese Corn Holes.

34. Kansas

Restaurants visited: 8
Guy loves BBQ. So why does Kansas rank so low on this “places to visit” list? Because he’s probably in the other Kansas City.
The Fieriest bite: Ever a lover of wordplay, the chicken- and cheese-stuffed, bacon-wrapped jalapeños known as Atomic Buffalo Turds at Paola’s BBQ Shack charmed our host as expected.

33. Wisconsin

Restaurants visited: 8
How Guy has managed only eight restaurants in the land of fried cheese and brats is beyond us: We’re guessing that dude’s doctor told him to stay the hell out. That’s the only explanation for a roster that hits some solid diners, a pizza joint, and a Mexican place… but zero fish fries or brats or cheese curds. Still, he manages to get to the swollen heart of Midwest comfort food, even if he misses a lot of the staples.
The Fieriest bite: At Milwaukee’s Comet Cafe, Guy gets served a Compact Thanksgiving Dinner, which is basically a croquette made from Thanksgiving leftovers. But he really gets won over when he discovers this place gives you a basket of bacon when you order a beer on Sundays, as God intended.

32. Indiana

Restaurants visited: 9
Guy plays it remarkably chill in Indiana, with some slightly healthy options, non-explosive burgers, and a visit to a historic restaurant for a meatball sandwich. Again, no sign of that gigantic tenderloin sandwich. Is this some sort of conspiracy?
The Fieriest bite: At the now-closed Zest! Exciting Food Creations, Guy takes a bite of Asiago-fried chicken and rosemary/gorgonzola and declares it “golden funk-a cruncha.” So, um, yeah, that’s a pretty Guy Fieri bite.

31. Oklahoma

Restaurants visited: 9
Fried chicken? Check. Chicken-fried steak? Check. Chicken-fried calf testicles? Yes. Yes it’s here too. Along with chicken and waffles, onion burgers,
big-ass chili dogs, and perhaps the greatest two minutes in Triple D history, detailed below.
The Fieriest bite: Preambling about having a soft spot in his heart for old-school steakhouses rooted in his college job at a meat company, Guy hits iconic Cattlemen’s. After eating a delicious pepper steak, he’s goaded into sampling calf brains mixed with eggs (he is a fan of neither). Choking back on some vomit, he reaches up and grabs the first thing on the line. Unfortunately for Fieri, what he gets is lamb fries… deep-fried lamb testicles. Welcome to the wrong side of the Flavortown tracks.

30. Idaho

Restaurants visited: 9
Guy’s a meat and potatoes dude. Idaho’s a meat and potatoes kind of state. Splitting this time between Boise and Coeur d’Alene, he finds tons of both, plus some pizza for good measure. Idaho cuisine’s simple. But hey, it does what it does well.
The Fieriest bite: Once you watch enough DDD, you’ll notice that Guy often hits places that are neither diners, drive-ins, or dives. He’s pretty fond of nice places with high-end food. In Boise, though, he splits the difference, rolling into the Westside Drive In, which was taken over by a real-ass chef who serves succulent prime rib dinners at the window, along with, of course, baked potatoes. Naturally, Guy drinks the au jus.

29. South Carolina

Restaurants visited: 10
There’s a lot of fried chicken on Guy’s voyage through South Carolina: It is, after all, home to some of the best. Along with hole-in-the-wall Mexican and Italian fare, fried chicken is one of Triple D‘s go-tos. Sure, he’s skipped a bunch of BBQ spots in South Carolina, but let’s be real: that’s North Carolina’s territory anyway.
The Fieriest bite: Chili dogs, too, are a staple of Flavortown. Fieri discovers “one righteous” one at Summerville’s Perfectly Frank’s (RIP), where a former college football star followed a career-ending injury to make hot dogs topped with insane things. It’s basically the plot of Point Break, but with hot dogs instead of Swayzean homoeroticism. Guy’s dog is a deep-fried chili dog is topped with slaw, chili, onions, and fried onions. Watching Guy eat is like watching somebody squeeze toothpaste from the middle.

28. Rhode Island

Restaurants visited: 10
Fieri does a solid job finding more than the standard seafood offerings in Rhode Island, including a hole-in-the-wall Italian joint and a combination juice bar/burger spot. But the actual seafood spots he does hit run the gamut between lobster rolls, clam cakes, and much more unexpected fare, generating a pretty fascinating little road-trip itinerary that you could probably do in, like, two days. Because Rhode Island is very small, you see.
The Fieriest bite: At Evelyn’s, the host is confronted with a seemingly confusing plate of lobster chow mein (his RI travels feature a number of Asian-fusion lobster dishes that seem to befuddle). He initially seems offended. He very quickly changes his tune.

27. Kentucky

Restaurants visited: 12
On his many trips to Kentucky, Guy has eaten boatloads of BBQ: spice-rubbed chicken wings, smoked burgers at a now-defunct truck stop, and hickory-smoked goat. Unsurprisingly, his many spirited, adjectival comments have centered around the many flavors of BBQ: “spicy,” “good smoke,” “nice rub,” “dynamite sandwich.” Truly, the bard of BBQ.
The Fieriest bite: The Seafood Lady‘s aptly named The Hulk is a towering concoction of deep-fried lobster tail and shrimp piled on a house-made waffle, drizzled with Sriracha mayo, and dusted with powdered sugar.

26. Utah

Restaurants visited: 13
Utah is certainly the home of fry sauce and family skiing vacations, but Guy has also managed to call the state home, rolling up to Salt Lake City and its surrounding areas 13 times. He’s sniffed ever-so dubiously at vegan burgers, powered down 10-ounce meatballs the size of softballs, and downed Mexican-approved crispy carne adovada tacos. No Jell-O, though. Not Yet.
The Fieriest bite: Tin Roof Grill‘s pound cake raspberry cheesecake, aka America’s arteries drizzled with glistening white chocolate ganache and towering hunks of chopped pound cake. The bottom half gets its sweetness from house-made pound cake — which is used as the crust — and raspberries gentled folded into rich cheesecake batter.

25. Michigan

Restaurants visited: 14
Yes, at one point Guy Fieri took a tour of Metro Detroit with Kid Rock. Somehow, the universe didn’t completely implode into itself as they ate steak & mushroom pie, inhaled mac & cheese, and drank beer while thankfully not discussing being running mates for a future election. Guy has returned a few times, Rock-less, to indulge in Polish food and falafel, though the lack of a true coney on his roster is a tad sad, and would definitely count against him in any hypothetical primaries But he could rebound with a pasty tour of the UP with Bob Seger and become governor, uncontested.
The Fieriest bite: At Clarkston’s Union Woodshop, the unlikely besties eat a burger-ish monstrosity consisting of a ground pork patty, a split hot link, and maple bacon. Yet they never describe it as “bawitabawller,” which seems like a waste.

24. Georgia

Restaurants visited: 14
With all its delicious soul and Southern food, wealth of BBQ, and seemingly endless supply of pie, we’re honestly surprised that Georgia isn’t one of the top destinations for Triple D. Like, to the point that if Guy started speaking in a thick Southern accent and saying stuff like “bless my stars,” we wouldn’t bat an eye.
The Fieriest bite: This is a state where Guy Fieri ventured into Fox Bros. BBQ and housed some chicken-fried ribs that were smoked, breaded, and fried. Enough said.

23. Louisiana

Restaurants visited: 14
When it comes to Louisiana, it’s all about Cajun food and po-boys. Guy focused his trips to mostly New Orleans’ classics, plus Cajun-smoked pork pizza (crisp dough covered in pork butt, garlic butter, and cheese), beef po-boys brimming with boiled meat and homemade gravy, and a comforting, meat-heavy breakfast hash of sausage, corned beef, andouille, and potatoes.
The Fieriest bite: Guy inhaled the not-so-traditional muffuletta at the famed Parasol’s Bar and Restaurant, a warm muffuletta dressed up with crisp, grilled prosciutto, as well as ham, salami, Swiss cheese, and olive salad.

22. Nevada

Restaurants visited: 17
While Guy spent most of his trips to Nevada searching the Strip for aptly over-the-top and absurd food (think hot links at a place called John Mull’s Meats and Road Kill Grill), he also made a couple of pit stops on the other side of the state in Reno, tasting things like a steak sandwich drenched in ketchup and grape jelly, as well as Basque-inspired rabbit stew.
The Fieriest bite: The Sonoran crepe at Crepe Expectations has Mexico meeting France in a fusion of burrito and crepe. With the French surely weeping, Guy inhaled the carne asada steak spiced with lemon and orange that had been rolled into a crepe along with cheese, guacamole, and fire-roasted salsa.

21. New Mexico

Restaurants visited: 18
Eighteen trips to New Mexico and a whole lot of Mexican food later, Guy certainly provided his taste buds with a host of Mexican and New Mexican delicacies: green chile mac & cheese, crisp sopapillas plump with chicken, and even an all-around American rib-eye served in a bona fide steakhouse hidden behind a liquor store.
The Fieriest bite: The Texan pizza at Back Road Pizza hones both American and Mexican influences: the thin cornmeal crust is dotted with sesame seeds, then heaped with hunks of sausage, green chiles, rounds of pepperoni, and Canadian bacon, the most polite of all bacons.

20. Washington

Restaurants visited: 20
From Spokane to Seattle and Tacoma to Olympia, Guy has crossed the great northwest, devouring an international menu of spam musubi, Moroccan beef kebabs with couscous and raita, braised pork shoulder tacos paired with oozing Parmesan tots and moonshine, and Dungeness crab-stuffed cannelloni.
The Fieriest bite: The chili burger at Mike’s Chili Parlor is the most oversized behemoth of a burger that even Guy Effing Fieri is willing to remark that he’s frankly stunned by the thing. The chili recipe has been passed down from generation to generation, and here a massive portion is dumped over a burger, then piled with chopped onions, peppers, and shredded cheese.

19. Pennsylvania

Restaurants visited: 20
We get it: there are plenty of Philly cheesesteaks in Pennsylvania, Guy. But when you do push aside those sandwiches, there are things like a platter of brisket covered in Fritos (just because???) and a veal Parmesan sandwich larger than Guy’s face, an achievement deserving of a medal.
The Fieriest bite: The fried PB&J from South Philadelphia Tap Room is a cinnamon-, sugar-, and Frosted Flakes-coated sandwich, fried in a cup of butter, sliced into four hefty pieces, and devoured with a side of nostalgia, a spice that is basically the MSG of Flavortown.

18. Missouri

Restaurants visited: 21
If you can somehow ignore all the BBQ sauce and meat that gets coated in Guy’s goatee (he eats many a burnt ends and brisket sandwich here), Missouri has produced things like monster pot pies and the questionably named BBQ Sundae, which (thankfully!) does not contain a lick of ice cream.
The Fieriest bite: Guy’s Italian heritage and love of BBQ combine into a heap of spaghetti at The Highway 61 Roadhouse and Kitchen. A plate of pasta is swirled with spice-rubbed pulled pork and barbecue sauce while Guy twirls mismatched and while insists it has to be sacrilegious.

17. Virginia

Restaurants visited: 22
So what if Virginia’s abundant BBQ is overshadowed by Guy’s intent on smashing mac & cheese grilled cheese sandwiches and sporting sequin-bedazzled collared shirts? Only those close to him possess the answer.
The Fieriest bite: At Guy marvels at spaghetti and cold cut-stuffed meatballs at Rigoletto Italian Bakery & Cafe, where meatballs the size of a man’s palm are packed with ham, salami, spicy capicola, provolone, and mozzarella. For reasons still unknown, they’re listed on the low-fat menu. Maybe it’s time for Bethenny Frankel to jump on the Flavortown express?

16. Maryland

Restaurants visited: 23
Between its famous crabcakes and legendary pit beef, there’s enough deliciousness in Maryland to have warranted its own episode of DDD, with Italian fare, the requisite taqueria (seriously, Guy can’t NOT hit a taqueria in every state, even Maryland), and other staples thrown in. But at the end of the day, Maryland’s dominated by crab, and Guy seems intent on trying all of it.
The Fieriest bite: Crabcakes. Deep-fried crab. Cream of crab soup. At Stoney Creek, Guy says “screw choice” and digs into a crab feast, with full steamed crabs just dumped at the table and ripped apart by hand. (Don’t worry, he also eats that other stuff.)

15. Ohio

Restaurants visited: 24
Ohio’s kind of a paradise for eaters like Guy Fieri, a place where decadence reigns, pierogies are king, and spaghetti is not complete before somebody dumps chili all over it. Which is to say, Guy could probably just spend a couple months driving back and forth from Toledo to Cleveland and find enough troughs of delicious Polish food and overstuffed sandwiches to fuel a whole season.
The Fieriest bite: Legendary grilled cheese emporium Melt Bar & Grilled is a new-wave Ohio legend offering up 30+ sandwiches. Guy gets a bit of local knowledge and a pierogi fix with the Parmageddon, named after nearby Polish enclave and featuring vodka-kissed cabbage and pierogies stuffed into a grilled cheese.

14. Tennessee

Restaurants visited: 25
Fried chicken and BBQ are core food groups in the Flavortown food pyramid, though the absence of hot chicken from his roster — in Nashville, Guy opted for Italian, grilled cheese, tacos, and Jamaican goat curry — might point to a bias against extreme spice. Or maybe he’s just a Memphis man: After all, it was in the land of Elvis that he did an official BBQ tour, and found what he dubbed some of the best (non-Nashville hot) fried chicken he ever ate at Uncle Lou’s.
The Fieriest bite: Marlowe’s offers exceptional ribs served alongside a nigh-impossible number of people with Elvis hairdos (it’s by Graceland), but there are two things that make this a true Flavortown classic. First, it’s a combo Memphis BBQ joint and Italian restaurant. Second, they have a fleet of pink limos with custom Elvis plates that they send out to pick patrons up. And if there’s anything Guy Fieri loves more than BBQ and Italian food, it’s subtle transportation.

13. North Carolina

Restaurants visited: 27
To quote the poet Petey Pablo: North Carolina, come on and raise up, take your shirt off and wave it ‘round your head… wait, no. No, please. Not after a rampage through Lowcountry that includes Serbian stuffed pizza, chili burgers, enough fried seafood to fill an aquarium, and, of course, a metric shitton of chopped pork. North Carolina is a food paradise. But it does not a beach body make. Luckily, there are no beaches in Flavortown. Just vats of glorious nacho cheese.
The Fieriest bite: Touring Charlotte with NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer, Guy enters the wonderland that is Pit Road Bar & Grill, a go-kart track that happens to also serve insane foods. Guy plays it safe with the Hot Lap sandwich, a Latin-style shredded chicken. Somehow, though, he does not partake in the featured Moon Pie sliders, an unholy combo of burger and candied bacon jammed between chocolate-covered marshmallow cake sandwiches. Were this real politics, the oversight might result in a mayoral recall.

12. Oregon

Restaurants visited: 27
Oregon’s a sneaky state, one that everybody thinks is a vegan commune until they show up and are immediately confronted with stuff like Portland’s Pine State‘s fried chicken biscuit covered in cheese, egg, bacon, and sausage gravy. On his many trips to the state, Guy’s dined on pork belly Cubanos and hit some of Portland’s finer restaurants like Spanish mainstay Ataula and Southern classic Country Cat, once again reaffirming that Guy’s got as much love for lowbrow food as he does finer dining. Then he eats a donut burger, just in case you forgot who you’re fucking with.
The Fieriest bite: Speaking of finer dining, Guy once ventured to Junction City’s Junkyard Extreme Burgers + Brats, between Portland and Eugene, and ate a goddamn pizza that featured a gigantic disc of fried cheese instead of crust. It was… exactly what you’re imagining.

11. New Jersey

Restaurants visited: 30
New Jersey: Home of the pork roll, Springsteen, and enough red sauce Italian joints to populate Sicily. Guy hits them all, and then does Jersey one better by consuming everything from Buffalo crabcakes to coal-fired pizza. Jersey is also the diner capital of the country and a huge consumer of hair gel. Which is to say, Fieri’s right at home.
The Fieriest bite: At the Vincentown Diner, Guy finds the ultimate comfort food: A meatloaf tower covered in fried onions and a thick gravy made of veal stock, mirepoix, and prime rib au jus, making it basically a skyscraper on the skyline of Flavortown.

10. Illinois

Restaurants visited: 31
The city of Chicago is one that’s exploding at the seams with mashups and fusion foods, and Guy’s right at home with classics like Cemitas Pueblas, Kuma’s, and the White Palace Grill, one of the city’s ultimate diners. Basically, dude could tour the state endlessly on his decadent quest, gobbling up horseshoes, underrated BBQ, and Italian beefs. That Illinois is only his 10th most visited state is a little befuddling, but hey, there’s still time. We’re guessing DDD is going to make it for at least 55 seasons, give or take.
The Fieriest bite: Guy loves him some gigantic pancakes, and gets that plus his horseshoe fix at Springfield’s Charlie Parker’s. Said horseshoe is covered in enough madness — toast, eggs, bacon, cheese sauce, sausage gravy, and fries for the “breakfast shoe,” variations with pork tenderloin, steak, and burger patties for lunch — to feed seven people, or 1.5 Fieris, for a day.

9. Massachusetts

Restaurants visited: 32
In his nearly three dozen visits to Massachusetts, Guy Fieri has consumed as many lobsters as even the saltiest fisherman, had a gigantic burger named after him at Mr. Bartley’s (it’s a double with bacon, cheese, BBQ sauce, and a $21 price tag), inhaled piles of pierogies at Patti’s, and given Philadelphians pause with a stuffed pretzel jammed with beer-braised beef. At this rate, dude deserves an honorary degree… but probably not from Harvard. Maybe Becker?
The Fieriest bite: The burger that bears his show’s name at Mr. Bartley’s has nothing on the monstrosity Guy devoured at Boston Burger Company: the Mac Attack is loaded with gooey mac & cheese, a gigantic portion of bacon, and zero shame. Mac burgers aren’t anything new. That Guy declares this one “gangster” really means something.

8. Arizona

Restaurants visited: 33
Oh come on, like the state that invented the goddamn chimichanga wasn’t gonna be in the top 10?
The Fieriest bite: And yet, chimichangas be damned, because Guy finds Chino Bandido, a fusion explosion that makes onetime Fieri venture Tex Wasabi’s seem slightly tame (wait, no, nothing does that). Chinese + Tex-Mex + Jamaican food? A sauce that Guy describes as “a ketchup hot tub in Flavortown?” And a burrito filled with Chinese pork? Based on the noises Guy makes when eating at Chino Bandido, it’s a flavor that defies vowels (we’re pretty sure he said “zmbrrrrrtw”). There are 96,000 possible combinations that come in bowls, quesadillas, and burritos. This place’s menu should replace common core math.

7. Hawaii

Restaurants visited: 33
Guy Fieri and Adam Sandler have a lot in common: They’re both goofballs with everyman charm, they’re both impossibly popular despite naysayers, and they’re both really good at leveraging their jobs to take sweet vacations, which explains why a whopping 33 restaurants on the islands have made their way to Triple D. At this point, it’d be surprising if the dude didn’t bleed loco mono and poke. Honestly, though, the Hawaii episodes show DDD at its best: as an exploration at local holes in the wall that largely (but not entirely) avoids the more touristy spots, no small feat for a Food Network show in Hawaii.
The Fieriest bite: If there’s a food that captures the essence of Guy Fieri better than beer-can chicken, we’ll eat a shoe covered in nacho cheese. He finds the perfect version (plus ramen) at Three’s Bar & Grill, one that jams Maui coconut porter into a chicken that’s glazed up with citrus hoisin sauce and served with bacon-fried Brussels.

6. Colorado

Restaurants visited: 34
Colorado’s a state that doesn’t really have a defining culinary identity, which is actually a good thing. It’s a mishmash of Western and Southwestern influences related only in the fact that they’re generally very, very good. That’s the perfect recipe for DDD: Basically, Guy travels around every state looking for variety (sometimes at the expense of the iconic dishes, but whatever). Colorado makes it possible for him to hork everything from bomb Brazilian food, Korean BBQ, curry, BBQ, pizza, empanadas, the best pork rinds he’s ever had (at Highland Tavern in Denver), and a goddamn burrito filled with bacon and gyro meat without missing some sort of local icon. It’s an identity crisis everybody can get behind.
The Fieriest bite: Guy says that it’s a common misconception that he eats a ton of burgers, and that when he does it has to have that extra oomph. At Longmont’s Samples he finds it with a poutine burger loaded with gravy, curds, and hand-cut fries. As he bites in, it basically rains gravy. It’s glorious.

5. New York

Restaurants visited: 37
During his trips to New York, Guy’s proven that the state is more than just pizza and more than just New York City. He’s conquered Long Island, noshing on fried kreplach in a Jewish deli; he’s driven upstate to Syracuse for Irish meatloaf with cabbage cream sauce; and deep in the Rust Belt of Buffalo he discovered a rebooted diner serving upscale classics.
The Fieriest bite: The Spicy Atomic Fireballs at Queens Comfort, a bona fide haven for avant garde, redefined brunch specialties, are a blistering combination of spice, mac & cheese, and fried food, all rolled into one fiery ball. These bite-sized, browned balls of of mac & cheese are mixed with a host of spices, doused in hot oil, and then served with an atomic spicy dipping sauce. Not Donkey Sauce, but hey, it works.

4. Minnesota

Restaurants visited: 39
The land of 10,000 lakes is also the land of 10,000-calorie meals, and Guy’s right at home among the insane offerings throughout the fine state of Minnesota. He’s gotten his Polish fix at icons like Nye’s Polonaise Room and Kramarczuk’s, crammed a “Blucy” in his mouth (and avoided the third-degree burns) at Blue Door in St. Paul and rocked a crazed combination of Filipino tradition and English pub fare at George and the Dragon. When DDD is in town, every day is the Minnesota State Fair.
The Fieriest bite: A traditional Italian sub stacked with salami, ham, pastrami, and moss at the Herbivorous Butcher, an all-vegan sandwich shop. Oh? Didn’t see that coming? Guy Fieri works in mysterious ways, friend. The more you try to understand, the more it hurts.

3. Texas

Restaurants visited: 54
The only surprise here is that a gigantic state where casual dining is defined by world-famous BBQ, steakhouses, queso, enormous chicken-fried steaks, and Tex-Mex doesn’t have triple the Triple D visits of any other state. In a perfect world, there would be a Texas equivalent of Mount Rushmore with the faces of Sam Houston, Guy Fieri, Aaron Franklin, and a can of Lone Star Louie Mueller
The Fieriest bite: At Spring’s Q-Shi, Guy gets a flashback to his Tex Wasabi days with a surf & turf roll, a hunk of sushi loaded with tempura shrimp, snow crab, and avocado and topped with smoked brisket and jalapeños. Flavortown, again, proves to bring cultures together.

2. Florida

Restaurants visited: 58
Guy Fieri hits Florida with a regularity normally reserved for Midwestern spring breakers, hurricanes, and insane shit in the news. It makes sense, too. The weather’s great for the Camaro. Old people absolutely love him. And the food offerings throughout the state represent some of Guy’s favorite things, from ocean-fresh seafood to Jamaican jerk, steamed buns, and a nearly endless roster of Cuban and Mexican fare, the latter being a clear favorite, along with fried chicken and BBQ, both of which are also well represented. Even more so, Florida allows our hero to indulge in his love for big, ridiculous cities like Miami and Orlando while also getting down in some truly far-flung locations. This is the essence of Guy.
The Fieriest bite: On a recent episode, Guy found himself at gourmet fried dough emporium Mojo Donuts & Fried Chicken, which specializes in, well, donuts and fried chicken. Together. Which isn’t really a new concept, but the addition of a nacho-like cheese sauce to a donut/fried chicken sandwich is some next-level funkalicious. Basically, it’s like somebody crashed an Arby’s delivery truck into a Dunkin’, shrugged, and just started selling everything in the wreckage.

1. California

Restaurants visited: 168
Flavortown is, without a doubt, somewhere in California, and it’s not even close: with nearly three times as many Fieri visits than the closest competitor, Florida, the Bear Republic is also Fieri’s kingdom. It makes sense. Guy lives in Santa Rosa. The state is enormous, and the road-trip capital of the country, a place where roadside shacks and off-highway diners are as essential to the culinary lifeblood as haute cuisine and Mission burritos. So where IS Flavortown? Is it in the greater Los Angeles area, where Guy’s plowed into hipster pastrami in Eagle Rock, hit up some genuine Compton BBQ, and endless taco and tamales shacks? Is it among the pho and fish tacos of San Diego? Tucked amid the Latin American fare in Guy’s beloved Sonoma? Underneath a coastal grill firing up some tri-tip by the marina?

Trick question. Flavortown is a state of mind. It’s wherever Guy Fieri is. And it just so happens, dude’s always in California.
The Fieriest bite: In Manhattan Beach, Guy comes across a series of ingredients that seem like they found themselves together via drunken Mad Lib. Wasabi mojo sauce. Kalua pig. Ham. Cheese.  Monte Cristo. Eggroll. Nobody loves mashing ingredients together willy-nilly quite like Guy Fieri, and thus North End Caffe‘s kalua pig Monte Cristo egg roll bites represent California’s Fieriest bite. “Mega, super, out-of-bounds, supercalifragilistic tender” he word-vomits upon eating the pork, then looks at the camera like he just got tased. It’s magic.Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Andy Kryza has never eaten Donkey Sauce, but he has eaten his fair share of fried testicles. Follow him to his own personal Flavortown @apkryza.

Amy Schulman has a very real, rational fear of one day waking up with frosted tips. Follow her on Instagram

Food and Drink

Red Rooster Is Serving Free Chicken and Piping Hot Cash This Christmas in July

Get your early dose of festive cheer.

Red Rooster Christmas in July
Instagram / @redrooster_au

The cold weather in most parts of Australia coinciding with EOFY celebrations is the closest thing that we’ll get to snowy Christmas vibes. And if you’re in dire need of some festive cheer after the first six months of 2023, grab your ugly sweater and head to your nearest Red Rooster for Xmas in July deals.

From June 29 – July 31, 2023, Red Rooster is serving up free food items, a chance to win $10,000 or one of 10 merch packs valued at $400 and other fun prizes. All you have to do is sign up as a Red Royalty member and spend $5 on at a location near you or online.

Each week there’ll be new delicious deals and prizes to win. The week one deals have already dropped and they’re looking pretty tasty. You can get access to them via your Red Royalty account. The more you purchase, the more chances you have to win.

Spoiler alert: you can get 10 chicken nuggets for free, right now. Brb running to Red Rooster.

Terms and conditions apply. Visit Red Rooster’s Christmas in July to see all the deals.


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