Hot and Spicy Food Paradise

Get Travel Channel's restaurant picks for hot and spicy cuisine across America.

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A cameraman films Andrew Zimmern near the Chicago River. On this trip to the Windy City, Andrew discovers some of the best food in the world. 960 1280

  

Andrew visits George's Kabab Grill in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood. Andrew eats pacha, an Iraqi stew made with lamb-stomach dumplings, lamb trotters, stewed head and dried mint. 960 1280

  

A butcher prepares several hogs each day to stock the deli counter at Gene's Sausage on Belmont Avenue. 960 1280

  

Andrew stops at Rick Bayless' XOCO, a quick-service restaurant inspired by the Mexican street-food scene. 960 1280

  

Ruby's Fast Food has a variety of tasty Filipino delicacies on their menu. 960 1280

  

Take a look at Franks 'N' Dawgs' tur-dawgen, a turkey and date sausage topped with crispy duck confit, herb garlic aioli, house-pickled onion relish and pickled carrot. 960 1280

  

At George's Kabab Grill, Masma Jajou shows Andrew how to make lamb-stomach dumplings, a key ingredient in pacha. 960 1280

  

This boiled pig head is made into head cheese at Chicago's Mado Restaurant. 960 1280

  

Andrew samples this delicious cheddar risotto bratwurst with beer-braised onions and cheese snack crackers. 960 1280

  

Take a look at Alinea Restaurant's famous sardine antenna made with country bread, yellow tomato, sardine poached in olive oil and aromatics, horseradish, red chili flakes, fried caper, and arugula flower. 960 1280

  

Andrew and Rick Bayless try mango chili and guava ice cream at Maxwell Street Market. 960 1280

  

Graham Elliot's foielipops are made with foie mousse, fleur de sel and strawberry pop rocks. 960 1280

  

The Bizarre Foods production crew films at Graham Elliot's restaurant, where having fun while creating whimsical dishes is required. 960 1280

  

Visit Alinea Restaurant to pick up this unique dish. It's English pea paired with iberico ham, burrata cheese, honeydew melon and sherry wine. 960 1280

  

Be sure to try the stewed goat at XOCO in Chicago. 960 1280

  

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concession stands

concession stands

First stop at the Colorado State Fair: the concession stands where you’ll find deep-fried items like Oreos, cheesecake and peanut butter. 960 1280

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chocolate covered bacon

chocolate covered bacon

Who doesn't love chocolate? What about bacon dipped in chocolate? Get some at the Famous Dave's stand at the Minnesota State Fair. 960 1280

  

little girl eats ice cream

little girl eats ice cream

A young girl enjoying her sweet corn ice cream from the Blue Moon Dine In Theater at the Minnesota State Fair. 960 1280

  

cream puffs

cream puffs

One of the main attractions at the Wisconsin State Fair: freshly made cream puffs on a tray from the Original Cream Puff Pavilion. 960 1280

  

Fried bubblegum

Fried bubblegum

Fried bubblegum, a 2011 Big Tex Award winner for most creative food item at the Texas State Fair. 960 1280

  

grill

grill

Delicious! The grill at Juicy's stand at the Arizona State Fair. 960 1280

  

maggots on a sandwich

maggots on a sandwich

Feeling brave? Try a "maggot melt" sandwich at Jungle George’s food concession stand at the Colorado State Fair. 960 1280

  

Close-up of Nutty Bar ice cream

Close-up of Nutty Bar ice cream

Nutty Bar, an Iowa State Fair tradition. Classic vanilla ice cream on a stick dipped in chocolate and covered with nuts. Try one at the Oasis Concessions. 960 1280

  

Sign for baked chocolate chip cookies

Sign for baked chocolate chip cookies

Minnesota State Fair goers line up at Sweet Martha's Cookies for freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. A state fair tradition. 960 1280

  

Close-up of Belgian waffles

Close-up of Belgian waffles

Belgian waffles waiting to be dressed at the Belgian Waffles stand at the State Fair of Texas. 960 1280

  

Cardinali's Woodfire Pizza stand is "home of the world’s largest fair food," at the Arizona State Fair. 960 1280

  

6-foot pizza

6-foot pizza

Cardinali's pizza -- the giant 6-foot pizza is shown off by Cardinali's owners and employees at the Arizona State Fair. 960 1280

  

hot beef sundae

hot beef sundae

Cattlemen’s Beef Quarter's hot beef sundae is one of the star food items at the Iowa State Fair. 960 1280

  

prepared ribs

prepared ribs

Pounds of ribs are prepped for smoking at Famous Dave's at the Minnesota State Fair. 960 1280

  

brownies

brownies

Blue ribbon brownies, another decadent treat baked at the Original Cream Puff Pavilion at the Wisconsin State Fair. 960 1280

  

10. Grilled Caesar Salad, California State Fair

10. Grilled Caesar Salad, California State Fair

Who said fairs only do food that’s crummy for you? Leave it to the Californians to give us some healthy fair foods like grilled Caesar salads and peaches with cottage cheese. That being said news of the Big Beef Rib (24-ounce steak on a 17-inch cow’s rib) has traveled all the way to me in Minnesota … gotta try that next time!California State Fair1600 Exposition Blvd Sacramento CA 95815 960 1280

  

9. Cream Puffs, Wisconsin State Fair

9. Cream Puffs, Wisconsin State Fair

It's said that the Original Cream Puffs are the essential food at 'Sconnie's state celebration. How can you argue with a mountain of sweet cream and sandwich it between a puff shell? You can’t. I implore you to also eat a brat or 2 along with some cheese curds. ’Cause hey you're in Wisconsin!Wisconsin State Fair640 S 84th St West Allis WI 53214 960 1280

  

8. Fried EVERYTHING, State Fair of Texas

8. Fried EVERYTHING, State Fair of Texas

The State Fair of Texas is the largest state fair in the US when measured by annual attendance. When it comes to foods it’s all about the deep fryer. There’s deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches fried cookie dough fried peach cobbler on a stick zesty fried guacamole bites deep-fried lattes fried chili Frito burrito fried hot dogs chicken fried bacon fried banana split fried grilled cheese sandwiches ... I could list about 100 more but I am getting queasy just writing this down. State Fair of Texas, 3921 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Dallas TX 75210 960 1280

  

7. Sweet Martha's Cookies: MN State Fair

7. Sweet Martha's Cookies: MN State Fair

I think I remember Martha telling me they make a million cookies every day of the fair. This is a fair must and one of those food experiences that cannot be accurately replicated at home even if their dough is available for purchase in your grocer?s freezer. Few things can beat piping hot messy chocolate chip cookies served with an enormous glass of milk. Martha (yes Sweet Martha is a real person) I adore you!Minnesota State Fair1265 Snelling Ave N St. Paul MN 55108 960 1280

  

6. BBQ Chicken, Arizona State Fair

6. BBQ Chicken, Arizona State Fair

I am a self-proclaimed BBQ snob and was pleasantly surprised at the caliber of 'cue at the Arizona State Fair. From drummies and ribs to sliders and pizza (that only kind of counts) I'm a fan.Arizona State Fair1826 W McDowell Rd Phoenix AZ 85007 960 1280

Shaiith  

5. Kiwanis Strawberry Malt, MN State Fair

5. Kiwanis Strawberry Malt, MN State Fair

There are a lot of great dairy items at the great Minnesota Get-Together (hello, we carve our fair princesses out of butter). My favorite is the little stand run by the Kiwanis ladies adjacent to the Fine Arts building. I have a hard time picking among chocolate, strawberry or vanilla … so I like to go with friends and order all 3. I’m not sure if this is actually the very best malt at the fair, but it’s been around since 1969 and I think they still employ some of the original folks. It's just a warm, fuzzy kind of place. 960 1280

  

4. The Original Deep-Fried Cheese Curds, MN State Fair

4. The Original Deep-Fried Cheese Curds, MN State Fair

All curds are not created equal. Trust me, I have tried them all. My go-to MN State Fair cheese curd purveyor has gotta be The Original. Look for the bright yellow sign with the long, fast moving line. 960 1280

  

3. Navajo Tacos, Arizona State Fair

3. Navajo Tacos, Arizona State Fair

Think of this as a culinary lesson in cultural hybrids -- traditional Navajo fry bread smothered in taco stuff, like ground beef, lettuce, cheese, beans and tomatoes. It's fantastic, and you can't really find it anywhere else. 960 1280

  

2. Gizmo, Iowa State Fair

2. Gizmo, Iowa State Fair

If I could pick only one state fair food this would be it: ground beef and Italian sausage smothered in their secret sauce and seasonings covered with melted mozzarella cheese and served on a delicious toasted Italian roll. It?s like an Italian sandwich torpedo. I?m lucky enough that these guys hit both the Iowa and Minnesota state fairs so sometimes I get to eat them twice a year.Iowa State Fair3000 E Grand Ave Des Moines IA 50317 960 1280

Jaimie Duplass  

1. About a Foot-long Hot Dog, MN State Fair

1. About a Foot-long Hot Dog, MN State Fair

I love the classics, and it just doesn't get better than this one. I think this stand has literally been at the fair since the Stone Age and simply put, they do a hot dog better than anyone else. 960 1280

Henrik Freek  

French Toast

French Toast

Served thick and with powdered sugar, syrup and plenty of butter, nothing says breakfast all day like french toast. 960 1280

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Turkey Club

Turkey Club

This turkey club sandwich is likely one of the healthier diner items - which doesn't mean it skimps on portion size. 960 1280

iStockphoto  

Cheeseburger and Fries

Cheeseburger and Fries

It's not a real diner unless it has a deliciously greasy cheeseburger and fries. This one comes complete with onion rings and bacon as a bonus. 960 1280

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Banana Split

Banana Split

Why choose just 1 flavor of ice cream for dessert? This banana split is sure to be on your favorite diner's menu. 960 1280

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Reuben

Reuben

For those who prefer their sandwiches hot, a Reuben sandwich is a perfect diner choice. 960 1280

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Apple Pie

Apple Pie

If you have room for dessert after all that diner food, apple pie will be sure to hit the spot. 960 1280

ThinkStock  

Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberry Pancakes

Flapjacks are another diner mainstay, such as this short stack of blueberry pancakes. 960 1280

ThinkStock  

Chili

Chili

Chili is sure to fill you up, whether you like it Texas-style or vegetarian. 960 1280

iStockphoto  

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict

For a breakfast with a little class, and a lot of buttery hollandaise sauce, eggs Benedict is sure to be a hit. 960 1280

iStockphoto  

Sloppy Joe

Sloppy Joe

Tuck a napkin into your shirt and dig in to a dinner classic, the sloppy Joe. 960 1280

iStockphoto  

Chili Cheese Fries

Chili Cheese Fries

Regular fries not greasy enough for you? Try these chili cheese fries. 960 1280

iStockphoto  

Cherry Pie

Cherry Pie

This cherry pie is sure to satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth. 960 1280

iStockphoto