Hot and Spicy Food Paradise

Get Travel Channel's restaurant picks for hot and spicy cuisine across America.
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Photo By: Fried Catfish

In Naperville, IL, Crosstown Pub & Grill’s hot sauce ("Devil's Sweat") uses 3 types of ghost peppers.

Dried cayenne pepper is a popular spice used to add “heat” to dishes. It is most commonly used in powder form.

New Orleans Li’l Dizzy’s owner Wayne Baquet, serves up his signature dish: the spicy jambalaya omelette.

The habanero chili pepper is considered exceptionally hot -- hotter than the popular jalapeno pepper, according to the Scoville heat unit scale. Unripe peppers are green and turn orange or red as they ripen.

Li'l Dizzy's Café in the Treme section of New Orleans, serves up some of the hottest Creole cuisine in the Big Easy.

In 1912, Wilbur L. Scoville invented a technique to measure the pungency of a pepper. The scale ranges from 0 Scoville units for a bell pepper, to over 1,000,000 units for the super hot Bhut Jolokia.

In addition to the XXX hot wings, Chicago’s Jake Melnick’s is also known for its 2011 Wing Fest champion Firecracker Wing and their “Best in Show,” the wood-fired Pancho wings.

Tolbert's Restaurant outside Dallas serves up traditional Texas fare, including Paris (Texas) Fried Catfish.

In New York’s East Village, on East 6th Street (also known as Old Indian Row), a giant red pepper hangs ominously over the door to the Brick Lane Curry House as a warning to diners: Enter at Your Own Risk.

As the mecca for all things curry, Brick Lane is known for preparing some of the hottest vindaloo (Indian curry made with meat or fish) west of the Ganges.

Courageous customers of Brick Lane are welcome to its blistering buffet of spicy Indian offerings.

A sampling of Brick Lane’s hot curry dish called Phaal.

Tucked underneath a parking structure in downtown Chicago is a hot wings haven called Jake's Melnick's Corner Tap.

At LA’s Jitlada, the “Chef Tui’s Dynamite Spicy Challenge” consists of chicken, Thai eggplant, red bell pepper, whole baby peppercorns and sliced Thai chilies all doused in a pungent, chili-curry sauce.

Jake's offers an impressive beer selection and great food, but everyone comes for the wings.

Jitlada's Chef Tui uses fresh ground chili powder and house-made Sriracha -- a sauce made of pureed fresh chili and garlic -- to spice up their Thai dishes.