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Where are the Best Food Landmarks in the U.S.A.?

August  1, 2016

If you don't already have a ticket for the Museum of Ice Cream in New York City, you're out of luck: It's open for one month only and all 30,000 tickets have already sold out. (Don't be so disappointed: According to some reviewers, you'll see enough of the sprinkle pool on social media to feel as if you too have whooshed your feet through the plastic "sprinkles.")

But there's still time this summer to hit the road (or the tarmac) and seek out some of the country's best national food monuments.

Have you been lucky enough to get a tour of "some of the greatest original carbonized culinary artwork in the world" at the Burnt Food Museum in Arlington, Massachusetts? (We'd hope to see a big slice of Burnt Toast on display.) Or maybe you've crossed the National Mustard Museum or the International Vinegar Museum off your list?

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“Not food, but drink: Celestial Seasonings offers free tours at the factory in Boulder--visiting the Mint Room is an experience worth having. I was also impressed by the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle, where we spent a good hour tracing the path of the beans, talking to the people working the line, and just appreciating all the beautiful machinery.”
— MargaretB
Comment

We need your help to map these out! Tell us the best food destinations—museums, monuments, pick-your-owns, or anything else worth a trek—in the country in the comments.

Is a pool of plastic sprinkles a let-down or a hygienic godsend? Tell us your thoughts—oh, and your food destination recommendations!—in the comments.

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22 Comments

Chef L. August 7, 2016
Avery Island in Southern Louisiana is the source for Tabasco. The island is a salt dome with rich heritage, beautiful grounds of exotic plants and serves as a bird sanctuary. Worth the drive!
 
marc510 August 5, 2016
Here are some eclectic food-related tours and museums in the greater S.F. Bay Area:<br />* the Jelly Belly Factory Tour in Fairfield, California<br />* Takara Sake Brewery and Museum in Berkeley, one of only four sake breweries in the U.S. Tastings, a video about sake production, plus a museum of sake making tools.<br />* Boudin Bread Museum in San Francisco (near Fishermen's Wharf). Exhibits about bread, production bakery downstairs, bread artists who make loaves shapes like crabs, alligators, and more.<br />* Luthur Burbank sites in Sebastapol (Gold Ridge, an experimental farm, http://www.wschs-grf.pon.net/bef.html) and Santa Rosa, California (the Burbank home in the center of the city). In his over 50 year career, Burbank bred over 800 strains of plants, including the potato used in most fast food french fries (the Russet Burbank potato), the Santa Rosa plum, the July Elberta peach, and the Shasta daisy.<br />* Anchor Steam Brewery, San Francisco. Lots of breweries give tours, but few have the historical importance of Anchor Steam<br /><br />Here's one in greater Los Angeles that stretches the boundaries of this exercise: Tours of the Port of Long Beach. This is related to food because a large fraction of food and drink imports to the U.S. enter through the Port of Long Beach. They give free monthly boat tours which give you an up-close view of the operations. Tours usually fill up, so planning far ahead is necessary. I went last year and found it amazing.
 
Pamela August 5, 2016
Mac and Manco's pizza in Ocean City, NJ!
 
Jennifer M. August 4, 2016
Chicago finally has a museum dedicated to food. It's called FOODSEUM. The first exhibit was dedicated to...encased meat. Here is the link...http://www.foodseum.org/#home<br /><br />
 
Patrick Z. August 3, 2016
Woodman's in Essex, Massachusetts. They've been in business since 1914 and, legend has it, the fried clam was invented there.
 
Vivian R. August 2, 2016
I think that the Minnesota State Fair also deserves a mention. It's such a hot bed for American food, and really upholds some strong American ideals. Anything goes; vendors and visitors are willing to try anything. No idea is too absurd. It's an outstanding event.
 
MargaretB August 2, 2016
Not food, but drink: Celestial Seasonings offers free tours at the factory in Boulder--visiting the Mint Room is an experience worth having. I was also impressed by the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle, where we spent a good hour tracing the path of the beans, talking to the people working the line, and just appreciating all the beautiful machinery.
 
BerryBaby August 2, 2016
My sister told me they just visited the SPAM museum in Minnesota.
 
amysarah August 2, 2016
It's been a while, but I think it's still there - Tastee Treat in Bucks County, PA: http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM4E8P_Christines_Twistee_Treat_Bristol_PA<br /><br />Also, what about a moving food monument? The Weinermobile - I saw it once in Madison, WI - heard university students are hired to drive it around. Apparently, it has its own Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thewienermobile/<br /><br />Can't forget Claes Oldenberg - e.g., his giant ice cream cone in Cologne, Germany: http://oldenburgvanbruggen.com/largescaleprojects/droppedcone-01.htm and Spoon/Cherry Bridge in MN: http://oldenburgvanbruggen.com/largescaleprojects/spoonbridge.htm <br /><br />Last, but not least, Bluth's Frozen Banana stand (not real, but wish it were): http://arresteddevelopment.wikia.com/wiki/Bluth's_Original_Frozen_Banana_Stand
 
amysarah August 2, 2016
A colleague from Buffalo, NY just told me there's a Jello Museum in that area. She also reminded me that there's a Pasta Museum in Rome. (Yes, this is what we discuss at 'business meetings.')
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. August 3, 2016
Thanks, amysarah! And thanks to everyone else who commented!
 
Claire S. August 2, 2016
Giant metal fork-twisting-spaghetti in Omaha, Nebraska! http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/46983
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. August 8, 2016
So fun!!
 
creamtea August 1, 2016
The Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. It is covered with corn husks, corn, etc. and there is a new design every year!<br />
 
Mrs. V. August 1, 2016
The Big Chicken in Marietta, GA.
 
Chelsey H. August 1, 2016
Tillamook Cheese Factory in Oregon!
 
cv August 1, 2016
The PEZ Museum<br /><br />http://burlingamepezmuseum.com/
 
Anna H. August 1, 2016
Added it and a few others I missed out on!
 
Anna H. August 1, 2016
I work for Roadtrippers.com, and some of the weirder food museums are my favorites to write about. Here's a quick list of some of the best: https://roadtrippers.com/trips/15430138
 
Samantha W. August 1, 2016
The Big Peach in Bruceville, Indiana! Gotta get your picture with the giant peach sculpture.
 
Emily August 1, 2016
Vivian Robbins, I was JUST about to leave exactly the same comment! Matt's Bar for SURE.
 
Vivian R. August 1, 2016
Matt's Bar in Minneapolis, MN. Home of the original Jucy Lucy burger. A Midwest classic.