From soothing matzo balls to screaming hot chili, the one thing about soup is that it always gives back. Nourishing, warm and filled with a sense of home, soup is always there when we need it most. Whether you’re over ramen and moved on to bone broth or craving a bowl of your mama’s secret recipe, one thing is for sure: the USA doesn’t fall short when it comes to a great bowl of soup. We wouldn’t want you to miss out, so we’re sharing some slurp-worthy soups that you’ve got to try in every corner of the country.
1. The Brooklyn Star – Brooklyn, NY: Make your way to the borough for the best chili you’ll ever have in your life. As soon as the first spoonful of Brooklyn Stars’ Tripe Chili hits your mouth, you’ll be hooked. This meaty mix is packed with tripe, bacon, ground beef and beans, then crowned with cilantro, radishes, crema and… drum roll… crunchy Fritos on the side. (via Travel and Leisure)
2. Island Creek Oyster Bar – Boston, MA: When in Boston, dine on Island Creek Oyster Bar’s take on clam chowdah. This ocean/farm-to-table seafood joint serves up local, hand-dug, top-neck clams, house-cured bacon and mini melt-in-your-mouth buttermilk biscuits. Totally worth it.
3. Kamasouptra- Portland, ME: If you’re on the hunt for some steamy hot soup, then Kamasouptra is where it’s at. Try their signature Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup, which sounds self-explanatory, but there’s a twist. This vegetarian number doesn’t serve the gooey grilled cheese alongside a bowl of tomato soup — instead, they’re served entwined, creating the ultimate comfort food sensation.
4. Bertha’s – Charleston, SC: This quintessential, bare-bones counter-serve restaurant is where you’ll find the soup that’s integral to Charleston’s cuisine. For foodies wanting to taste a bit of local culture, call out for an order of Okra Soup, and Bertha’ll get you a bowl of southern comfort like you’ve never had before.
5. Red’s Ice House – Seabrook Island, SC: This infamous South Carolina staple is a must-try soup. We suggest you head to Red’s Ice House and order up their she crab soup. This secret family recipe, made from local blue crab meat, sits somewhere between a chowder and a bisque: creamy, hot and served in a fresh bread bowl. (via 160K)
6. Khong River House, Miami FL: We all know that Miami sizzles with a flair for the exotic, and Chef Patricia Yeo’s fragrant Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup doesn’t disappoint. Expect a steaming bowl of herbaceous coconut milk broth laced with fish sauce, fiery red chilis and refreshing lime, ginger and cilantro. Talk about chicken soup for the soul.
7. Ivan Ramen – New York, NY: Get your slurp on at Ivan’s. Boasting homemade noodles, slow and low-roasted broth that’s bursting with flavor, lightly marinated soft-boiled eggs and pork belly that’s basically flawless, this restaurant will have you eating ramen for every meal.
8. Rustic Inn – Fort Lauderdale, FL: If you’re in South Florida, you’ve got to try the famed conch chowder. Conch is difficult to cook, so head to the experts at Rustic Inn for their spicy red Islamorada Conch Chowder.
9. Katz’s Deli – New York, NY: You may be eyeing the pastrami on rye, but be sure to get a steaming bowl of Katz’s Matzo Ball Soup first. New Yorkers jokingly refer to it as Jewish Penicillin without a prescription, and you’ll understand why after your first sip.
10. Cochon – New Orleans, LA: You might classify gumbo as a type of stew, but locals will argue that it is its own food group. For a great meal and unforgettable gumbo, get to Cochon and start things off with their turkey and andouille gumbo.
12. Plain and Fancy – Lancaster, PA: Think you know what a chicken pot pie is? Not until you’ve dined on Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Pot Pie, you don’t. For the real deal, spend a day on the farm and satisfy your every Pennsylvania Dutch craving with this thick chicken noodle stew. (via Lucky Peach)
13. Birria Zaragoza – Chicago, IL: You’ve found yourself in the Windy City and your appetite calls for something hearty and warming… get to Birria Zaragoza. Order the Birria en Barro, and prepare to drool. You’ll get tender goat, lightly drizzled with a tomato consommè and garnished with salsa, onions, cilantro and lime… simply put, perfection. (via Serious Eats)
14. The Old Fashioned – Madison, WI: If you’re in the cheese capital of the USA, you’ve gotta try the best they offer. We couldn’t think of anything cheesier than this famous Beer Cheese Soup made from Wisconsin cheddar and garnished with freshly popped popcorn.
15. Black Bear Lodge – Baxter, MN: Now, here is something that you’ll only find in the great north woods of Minnesota: chicken and wild rice soup. Wild rice, which is the official state grain, grows in abundance here, and the fine folks at Black Bear Lodge make it shine in their recipe for creamy chicken and wild rice soup. (via Urban Spoon)
16. Contigo – Austin, TX: Austin is a foodie city, so it’s a tough sell on where to begin. We’re pointing you toward Contigo, where you’ll relax in an urban ranch oasis and dine on their must-have menu item: rabbit and dumplings. (via Zagat)
17. Tia Sophia’s – Santa Fe, NM: This is Santa Fe’s breakfast haven. Just ask Giada DiLaurentiis, who says, “Tia Sophia’s breakfast burrito makes for the perfect hearty breakfast.” Don’t skip the posole, a spicy, smokey, hominy stew with tender chunks of pork shoulder… word on the street is to go for a whole bowl, not just a side. (via New York Times)
18. Bull Demon King Cafe – Los Angeles, CA: You’ll totally thank us for introducing this gem, known as one of the city’s spiciest restaurants. Go for the Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup with slurp-worthy noodles, tender beef shanks and a flavorful broth that’s brewed for over 12 hours for a taste that’ll awaken your senses. If you finish your entire bowl within 30 minutes, not only will you get a free noodle bowl on the house, but bragging rights with a free T-shirt and your pic on the wall.
19. Beverly Soon Tofu – Los Angeles, CA: If you haven’t tried it yet, prepare yourself. An LA first, Beverly has been dishing out their customized, made-to-order tofu soups since 1986. The signature soon tofu soup is a can’t-miss. You’ll get their original soft tofu in a stone pot with mild, medium or spicy broth and your choice of meat, seafood and fresh vegetables.
20. Orenchi Ramen – Santa Clara, CA: Yoshiyuki Maruyama is brewing a broth that rivals perfection. It’s made with Kurobuta pork that’s simmered for 18 hours… talk about a labor of love! Go for the Orenchi Ramen, or if you’re lucky enough, order the new ore no kuro tan tan men ramen. Only 15 servings are doled out each day.
21. Ha VL – Portland, OR: Known as Portland’s Vietnamese soup sweetheart, Ha VL is the place for a great bowl. Regulars know the drill: each day brings a different soup made with fresh flavors. Owner Voung H. builds his soups around slow-simmered broths from local ingredients that he shops for each day. The soup of choice amongst Portlanders is Wednesday’s Snail Soup, but if you’re not up for a culinary adventure, hit up Sunday’s selection with a double feature of pho ga and bun thang.
22. Wild Ginger – Seattle, WA: The flavors of Indonesia, China, Malaysia and Vietnam have been filling Wild Ginger’s kitchen with exotic aromas since 1989. Chefs make coconut milk in-house, along with spicy chili sambals, slurp-worthy egg noodles and addicting oyster sauce, all from scratch. Make sure to slurp the mainstay on their menu, the seven element soup, a coconut-curry stock with toppings that will make your mouth water. (via The Good Eater)
To all you soup-ophiles out there: Fill us in on some more soups to savor across the USA in the comments below.