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Best Junk Food In the World!

Last Updated on September 2, 2021 by Chef

America is known for many things, one is its love affair with junk food. Not the usual junk you would associate with the well-known multinational companies but well done junk food that leaves you wanting more. After years of travel to over 50 countries, investigating and researching the best junk food, I bring you my findings, American junk food is the best! I’m not even American, I’m an Aussie, but nothing can compare to the greasy, cheesy, carb-heavy, junk food delights we can find in America.

American Junk food with Turkey legs at Disney
My 9 year old enjoying a large turkey leg at Disney World, Florida. New junk food eating experiences for the whole family.

Best Junk Food in the World

My home country of Australia has plenty of junk food, as do most western countries, but it’s mostly limited to the big chains with a few local specialities. I would routinely go months without so much as touching any junk food back home. In fact, when we planned our US trip we were determined to avoid the junk here, despite being on a tight budget and without cooking facilities. That all changed when we saw the sheer volume and variety of American junk food on offer. Everything from a Philly cheese steak , chilli cheese dogs, tacos, sloppy Joes, brisket burgers and my new favourite, nachos with the works.

nachos with all the trimmings
This enormous plate of nachos was sold as a starter!!

Is This Now the World Travel Chef American Junk Food Tour?

Watching Man Vs Food had us inspired as we moved across Asia to try a few new foods but became a whole new challenge when we we docked in New York . I loved the whole deli eating scene in NYC, I found a new deli to try every day. The huge slices of pizza at just $1 where some of the best I’d ever tried. The Philly cheese steak was another favourite as we headed up state towards Canada via Philadelphia and Lancaster, PA.

American junk food with the philly cheese dog
Disney World does a wicked Philly cheese steak hot dog.
Is squirty cheese available outside of the states?

 American Junk Food IS Cheaper

We have on occasion stopped in the supermarkets to get the healthier options such as fresh fruit, cheese and yogurt, but the cost was usually higher than the neon lit delights along the US highways. But this does allow us to balance out the great with the good. A limit of one large junk fest a day normally means we can skip a meal. We end up saving both ways.

an american junk food favourite chicken and biscuits
Biscuits have a whole new meaning in the US, as my kids found out when they ordered fried chicken and biscuits in South Carolina

Is My Fitness Suffering?

Most would assume that my fitness would have dropped, but the reality is that I’m still running sub 5 minute km which isn’t too shabby. I must admit that if I had to run more than about 12 km I wouldn’t feel so confident. The sugars keep the pace but not the distance, is the rule. I guess I won’t be putting nachos into my saddle bag on the next ironman race. Of course we have put on some winter pounds that have kept us warm in the current polar vortex that is sweeping the US. We were pretty skinny when we left Asia after months of healthy food, so nobody is too worried.

egg cheese burger kfc
This eggy, cheesy burger was a breakfast item from KFC. Looked terrible but tasted pretty good.

What’s Your Favourite American Junk Food?

Ollie loving this American Junk food in Georgia
Ollie looking very pleased with this pizza in Darien, Georgia

We’re really enjoying our American junk food, there is plenty of variety and plenty of new things to try. What’s your favourite, can you recommend anything? Is there one dish that should be nominated as the best junk food in the world?

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Valen-This Way To Paradise

Friday 21st of February 2014

A Philly cheesesteak hot dog? Now that just sounds ridiculously good. Sometimes you just have to treat yourself to a little junk food!


Saturday 22nd of February 2014

Thanks for reading Valen, Yes sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and just eat up! Looking forward to all the Cajun food as we cut across the deep south.


Friday 21st of February 2014

This is all great news for us Chef, we'll be able to split a starter between the two of us as a main meal when we hit America eventually! We have seen plenty of junk food here in Asia too, everything in moderation I guess!


Friday 21st of February 2014

Thanks for reading Andrew, Yes you will have no worries splitting the starters between the two of you. You can get great food as well but have to really look a lot harder. Tough when you're driving along the major roads.


Thursday 20th of February 2014 be honest these pictures make me feel sick...all that grease.. I love a little bit of junkfood once in a while but looking at this all together.. Great post! :)


Thursday 20th of February 2014

Thanks for reading, I'm hearing you Emiel. We didn't nor could we try all this in one day. Survived this over a 3 week period :)

Erin Bender (Travel With Bender)

Tuesday 18th of February 2014

OMG I love US food so much, it's lethal - good for you guys to put on a few kilos :) YUM! Josh loved the philly steak as well. Get to NOLA and try the poboys they are divine and the beignets yum!!!


Tuesday 18th of February 2014

Thanks Erin, Will do our best with the time left :)

Renee - RambleCrunch

Monday 17th of February 2014

FYI in Los Angeles back in the 90s my favorite crap food at 2 am after a few drinks was an Oki Dog...two hot dogs, pastrami, chili, and cheese all wrapped up in a tortilla. Toxic but oh so yummy!


Monday 17th of February 2014

Ok may have to change our plans and head west. That sounds right up my alley! May have to chase up the Oki Dog here in Florida.

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