Best Bacon Dishes in the United States
The bacon explosion of the last decade has been something to behold. We've seen bacon festivals and bacon-specific dishes popping up all over the United States, much to the delight of foodies everywhere.
What's behind the bacon push? You might just say we've embraced what we knew all along — that bacon is awesome and should be incorporated into more foods than just breakfast items.
And now it is. These are the best bacon dishes in America. With only one caveat: one dish per restaurant.
30. Chicken Fried Bacon
Restaurant: Sodolak's Original Country Inn
Location: Snook, Texas
Bottom line: Sodolak's Original Country Inn gets the nod over many, many options when it comes to Chicken Fried Bacon — mainly because it's in Texas, which perfected the chicken fried steak.
The sheer audacity of this menu item screams "Texas" every time it hits the table. Just think of that. You're eating bacon, fried up like KFC, and dipped in white gravy.
Maybe don't think about it too long. Just eat.
29. Brown Sugar Babies
Restaurant: Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Bottom line: Bacon-wrapped little smokies served in a brown-sugar and bourbon reduction at this tiki-themed bar in the middle of ice-cold Minneapolis are pretty wonderful to behold.
Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge — yes that's a great name — doesn't always keep these on the menu for some reason, but make sure to ask, and you can probably swing a plate when you stop in there.
And don't forget to order one of those great "umbrella" drinks while you're there. We suggest a traditional Minneapolis Mai Tai.
28. Caramel Bacon Fritters
Restaurant: Peacock Alley American Bar and Grill
Location: Bismarck, North Dakota
Bottom line: Is it a dessert? Is it an appetizer? That's kind of the appeal of the Peacock Alley Caramel Bacon Fritters — a food item that's essentially the Shohei Ohtani of foods. Which means a plate of this can really do it all.
Heck, we're not even sure how they're supposed to be eaten. With a fork? With our hands? All we care about is where it ends up. In our stomach.
27. Bacon Jam Empanadas
Restaurant:Back in the Day Bakery
Location: Savannah, Georgia
Bottom line: The Bacon Jam Empanadas aren't always on the menu at Back in the Day Bakery. You'll have to ask to get them, but there's a good chance it will be included among their "sweet treats" they are so well known for.
There aren't a lot of bacon-infused baked goods that made the list, but these were a no-brainer. I,f the Bacon Jam Empanadas aren't available give the pimento cheese and bacon sandwich or the bacon-onion panini a shot.
26. Pork Belly House Ramen
Restaurant: Khon's on Palafox
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Bottom line: There might not be a lot of great pho restaurants in the Florida Panhandle, but there is one over-the-top great place to get Pork Belly Ramen. That's Khon's on Palafox, right in the middle of Pensacola's thriving arts and entertainment district.
Some people might prefer the crispy pork belly Ramen or the candied pork belly Ramen, but we think the OG pork belly ramen is the way to go.
Khon's adds shrimp if you want, along with the stand-bys of boiled eggs, diced green onions and spicy curry broth.
25. Fried Oyster BLT
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Bottom line: So you find yourself in New Orleans. And you're hungry. And you want a sandwich.
May we suggest the Fried Oyster BLT from Borgne's? There are so many ways to eat oysters when you're in the South — raw, baked, sauteed, fried — but the rote way to do it is putting it on a Po'Boy. Don't be that person.
Go for the BLT and thank us later. Even if it is a little spendy.
24. Not Your Normal PB&J Sandwich
Restaurant: The Butchery
Location: Brea, California
Bottom line: This sandwich is the bee's knees. Literally. The Peanut Butter and Jelly twist from The Butchery, which has four locations throughout Southern California, is made with Bee's Knees peanut butter, pepper jam and honey comes with a delicious twist — Boar's Head bacon.
It's affordable, at less than six bucks, and we recommend washing it all down with an ice-cold glass of milk.
23. Sweet Pepper Bacon Cheeseburger
Restaurant: Heroes Sports Bar & Grill
Location: Wichita, Kansas
Bottom line: There is no greater bacon delicacy served up in Wichita's Old Town entertainment district than the sweet pepper bacon made at Heroes Sports Bar & Grill. Ignore the critics who say this was ripped off from Eskimo Joe's in Oklahoma City.
While the sweet pepper bacon cheeseburger is the most well-known item on the menu, you can also get a sweet pepper bacon grilled chicken sandwich for the same price, a sweet pepper bacon pizza ($9.99), sweet pepper bacon mac and cheese ($7.99) and even sweet pepper bacon cheesecake ($5.99)
Pro tip: It's not on the menu but you can get the sweet pepper bacon just by itself to go for around $6.
22. Maple Bacon Bar
Restaurant: Voodoo Doughnut
Location: Portland, Oregon
Bottom line: The most famous donut in America, hands down, comes in the form of the maple bacon bars from the most famous donut shop in America, at Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, Oregon.
What's crazy about this donut becoming so popular is that it's such a simple idea, a maple donut bar, topped with a couple of slices of bacon.
21. Irish Nachos
Restaurant: Harry's Bar & Grill
Location: Brighton, Massachusetts
Bottom line: Leave it to an Irish bar to take a beloved dish like nachos and put their own twist on it, swapping out waffle fries for the tortilla chips.
Harry's Bar & Grill originally started to serve Irish Nachos as a seasonal item – not sure which season — but we do know that when that season ended and they were taken off the menu, people were not happy.
After over 3,000 of them signed a petition, the delectable item topped with one metric ton of bacon, sour cream and cheddar jack cheese came back for good.
20. Bacon Biscuit (Add What You Want)
Restaurant: Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen
Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Bottom line: The great thing about the biscuits at the Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen is you can get it any way you want. You can start with just the bacon and the biscuit. Then you can add an egg. And cheese. And chicken. Hell, you can even turn it into a BLT.
We think you're starting to get the picture and you can get all of that at both Sunrise Biscuit locations, in Chapel Hill or Louisburg,
But we want to know — and maybe this question can never truly be answered — why do biscuits just taste better in the South?
19. Pimento Cheese Jar
Restaurant: Bacon Bros. Public House
Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Bottom line: You might find yourself at Bacon Bros. in several different locations, but please remember that the original location in Greenville, South Carolina, is where it all started.
It's also where you're going to get the cutting-edge items on the menu, where they're tested before being sent out to a wider audience.
The Pimento Cheese Jar is one of those items. You get artisan crackers and a jar of melted pimento cheese topped with bacon jam. It's the perfect appetizer.
18. The B.E.A.T. Sandwich
Restaurant: Snooze, an A.M. Eatery
Location: Various locations throughout the U.S.
Bottom line: Don't get confused when you don't necessarily see this item on the menu anymore. It's still The B.E.A.T. Sandwich. They've just decided to call it the less-catchy "Bacon Sensation" as the restaurant has expanded to five states.
Tender Belly strips are the base, but it's still Bacon, Egg, Arugula and Tomato on a toasted ciabatta bun with the to-die-for bacon-tomato aioli.
It's as good as it sounds.
17. Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Tater Tots
Restaurant: High Life Lounge
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Bottom line: Think of this symmetry. You're in Des Moines, Iowa, for the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival, and you end up at the High Life Lounge, drinking a Miller High Life, and you order some of their famous, bacon-wrapped jalapeno tater tots.
While you may have achieved Food Nirvana at that point you're still going to have to eventually eat these delicious appetizers, which are served with ranch dressing, and if you're feeling ambitious, you can also order up some of their bacon-wrapped little smokies, which are also dipped in brown sugar glaze.
And, of course, served with ranch. Because it's Iowa, and everything comes with ranch.
16. Bacon Cornbread
Restaurant: Husk Restaurant
Location: Nashville, Tennesee
Bottom line: Husk is a super-fancy restaurant in Nashville that changes its menu quite a bit, but don't ever (even in your dreams) sleep on the bacon cornbread created by Sean Brock and Allan Benton.
We're not sure why it's not on the menu — maybe it's just served with dishes — but we gave them a call, and they said it's readily available.
Imagine some bacon cornbread with some chili. Wouldn't that be a delight?
15. OT Bites
Restaurant: Over Time Sports Grill
Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Price: $14.99 (full)/$8.99 (half)
Bottom line: We would like to nominate whoever at the Over Time Sports Grill in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, thought up OT Bites for one of those MacArthur Fellowship Genius Grants they hand out every year. The foodie version.
Here's what you get — chicken breast cubes and jalapeno slices wrapped in bacon, then served with ranch or blue cheese dressing.
Seriously. Who thinks this stuff up?
14. Candied Bacon Brownie
Restaurant: Nose Dive Gastropub
Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Bottom line: James Brown will be screaming in your head — "Good God" — when you take your first bite of the Candied Bacon Brownie from the ultra-bougie Nose Dive Gastropub in Greenville, South Carolina.
Bacon accentuates the great parts of this dessert dish. A warm brownie topped with peanut butter ice cream, chocolate caramel sauce and topped with candied bacon.
You'll hear Louis Armstrong after you take that last bit. "And I think to myself ... what a wonderful world."
13. B'B'B Bacon Burger
Restaurant: Slater's 50/50
Location: San Diego, California
Bottom line: Iconic Slater's 50/50 hits you with bacon from several different angles. The patties are made with half beef and half bacon, and the burger is also topped with bacon.
This is one of those hamburgers that look delicious on paper, but we have some questions about how we actually eat this. Bring a friend? Get a to-go box? Bring several friends? It's a daunting task.
We volunteer as tribute.
12. Foie Gras Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers
Restaurant: Million Dollar Cowboy Steakhouse
Location: Jackson, Wyoming
Bottom line: One of the more disheartening things about putting together this list was getting a closer look at the impact the last 18 months have had on the restaurant industry. So many great food establishments were forced to close, and that included even legendary ones like the Million Dollar Cowboy Steakhouse, which shut its doors for good in March 2021.
So consider this our one throwback item. You probably won't be able to replicate it. But it's so unique and wonderful we had to put it on here. That's the bacon-wrapped, foie gras stuffed jalapeno poppers.
We actually had it once. It was divine.
11. The MAC
Location: Boise, Idaho
Bottom line: Boise's BACON restaurant claims it sells eight tons of bacon each year. We don't necessarily believe that. But they do spread a lot of bacon across omelets plus signature lasagnas and meatballs and a macaroni and cheese that's to die for.
The MAC is a decadent, egg, bacon, mushroom, tomato and cheese combo that might be the perfect brunch food. It also was voted as one of the best omelets in the country by Food & Wine Magazine.
Pair it with one of their signature bacon bloody marys or wash it down with a shot of bacon vodka. Go crazy.
10. Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon
Restaurant: Fogo de Chao
Location: Various locations throughout the U.S.
Price: $30-$50 (lunch/dinner)
Bottom line: You can get bacon-wrapped filet mignon at a lot of different restaurants, but we wanted to give a special shoutout to Fogo de Chao for seemingly perfecting this order.
It might be intimidating to try making this at home, but gift yourself with an extra toothpick or two to keep the bacon in place and watch the magic unfold when you serve it up to your guests.
9. Shrimp and Grits with Bacon
Restaurant: Big Bad Breakfast
Location: Oxford, Mississippi
Bottom line: We went back and forth with which bacon-addled item to include on this list from Big Bad Breakfast in Oxford, Mississippi, but settled on the Shrimp and Grits with Bacon. Mainly because you can't be in the South and not get shrimp and grits. But having it topped off with brown sugar-cured bacon is the chef's kiss.
The runner-up item bears mentioning. It's a breakfast sandwich called The Elvis, which is spicy breakfast bacon, peanut butter, bananas and mayonnaise.
Which The King reportedly loved to make at home.
8. Notorious Bacon Sundae
Restaurant: Green Goddess
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Bottom line: We don't have a ton of dessert items on our list of bacon dishes, but The Notorious Bacon Sundae — actually "Our Notorious Bacon Sundae" on the menu — is still a draw to the famous Green Goddess restaurant in New Orleans.
It's made with coffee pecan brittle ice cream, bacon-infused caramel and topped with special-made Nueske's applewood bacon.
Layer that all with smoked whipped cream and top it with a luxardo cherry or two. Those are the extra-tasty purple/black cherries, by the way.
7. Devils on Horseback
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Bottom line: There are a lot of restaurants that almost made this list because of how wonderful their bacon-wrapped dates are. But only one made the cut.
Upscale Las Vegas restaurant Therapy gets on here because their bacon-wrapped dates leveled up. Their Devils on Horseback are stuffed with truffled goat cheese and almonds and served on a bed of Romesco sauce, which has a base of roasted tomatoes, garlic and almonds.
6. Bacon Jam Burger
Restaurant: Spenard Roadhouse
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Bottom line: Spenard Roadhouse understands the draw of bacon. They have a Bacon of the Month special where they are actually creating new items with bacon.
The one bacon-specialty item that never drops off the menu is the Bacon Jam Burger, which will make you want to take a nap just by its list of ingredients — the patty, bacon jam, cambozola cheese, grilled apple, arugula and mayonnaise.
Is it nap time yet?
5. Bacon Waffle
Restaurant: The Nest
Location: Bellflower, California
Bottom line: This menu item for The Nest breaks down why this is so great: bacon-infused waffle and topped with bacon whiskey syrup.
The Nest is known for its great variety of breakfast food but the Bacon Waffle stands out because not only is it topped with bacon bits and the bacon whiskey syrup, the batter is also made with bacon crumbles in it.
It's a monster serving, but the item is so popular you can also buy it in a smaller-plate version.
4. Ketchum Buffalo Pie
Restaurant: Buffalo Cafe
Location: Whitefish, Montana
Bottom line: There is no better way to welcome yourself to Big Sky Country (in a foodie sense) than making your way to the Buffalo Cafe in Whitefish, Montana, where the first food they ever served in 1979 were the famous "Watch Ur Step" pies that they clarify "aren't actually pies." And the most famous of those is the Ketchum Buffalo Pie.
What is it then? A stack of hash browns grilled up and topped with green chiles, sour cream, bacon, cheese and two over-easy eggs.
3. Kentucky Hot Brown
Restaurant: Brown Hotel
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Bottom line: It would be really hard to say where the best Kentucky Hot Brown is served, but we do know where the original comes from — Louisville's iconic Brown Hotel.
This open-faced sandwich has some tried-and-true components so if you don't get the original, make sure it's lining up with what a true Kentucky Hot Brown should be.
At the Brown Hotel, it's roasted turkey breast served on toast points with mornay sauce, smothered with pecorino romano cheese, tomatoes and bacon, and baked for 20 minutes.
2. Grilled Blue and Bacon
Restaurant/Food Truck: Ms. Cheezious
Location: Miami, Florida
Bottom line: You will need to keep your head — and your Facebook updates — on a swivel to track down Ms. Cheezious, one of the most popular food trucks in South Florida.
And when you are lucky enough to find Ms. Cheezious, please, for the love of God, get yourself a Grilled Blue and Bacon. It's crispy bacon with creamy blue cheese and chopped up green onions, grilled and served on sourdough bread.
No, it's not good for you. But you can wash it down with some churros and horchata afterward to double down on hardening your arteries. Bienvenidos a Miami.
1. The Heart-Stopping BLT
Restaurant: Crown Candy Kitchen
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Bottom line: The de facto gold standard for a BLT comes from the Crown Candy Kitchen in St. Louis, Missouri, where the simplicity of the sandwich comes into sharp focus.
You can point to one distinct reason why Crown has reigned on top for so long — the sheer amount of bacon they put on their sandwiches. It's 14 kettle-fried pieces of bacon. To the point where it's spilling out the sides. A study in decadence.
That they keep it just white toasted bread, tomatoes, lettuce and mayo to accompany the bacon is another reason they're still GOATed.