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Members' Favorite Dishes Worth Traveling For

From mole poblano and pancakes to pot stickers and petrale sole, Via readers share their favorite dishes from around the West. 

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Via Readers
grilled artichokes served with herbed cream dipping sauce from Bandera restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona, picture
Photo credit
Photo: Jessica Greenfield
Photo caption
Grilled artichokes in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Arizona

"When I travel to Scottsdale, Ariz., for spring training, I always stop at Bandera for the grilled artichokes, which are next level. As a native Californian, I love artichokes, but these are especially meaty, and they're cooked in a way that I never thought of."—Teresa Laharty

California

"I trek from San Francisco to Los Angeles once a year to visit Original Tommy's Hamburgers. Almost 800 miles for a burger? Oh, yes! I do it for the messy burger served outside at a standing counter—unpretentious and simply delectable."—Michael Carion

"To my mind, restaurants in the West, and especially in Northern California, excel in their treatments of petrale sole. For the best version, try Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco."—William Prucha

"The dish that I've traveled the West for is the crab sandwich with a bowl of clam chowder at Spud Point Crab Company in Bodega Bay, Calif. There's always a line—and for good reason. The meal tastes even better when you take it to go and eat it at Bodega Head, overlooking the ocean."—Nancy Jensvold

Hawaii

"Bamboo Restaurant and Gallery, on the Kohala Coast of Hawaii's Big Island, has the best chicken pot sticker plate. Pair your meal with a mai tai, and it's worth trekking across the Pacific to get there."—Shannon Chircop

Idaho

"I'd travel for the huckleberry pancakes at the McCall Pancake House in Idaho. We're not talking about regular pancakes here. These are big enough to hang over the edge of a dinner plate, filled to bursting with huckleberries, topped with maple or boysenberry syrup. Most delicious."—Marjorie Gerratt

Nevada

"I love the double bacon pancakes at Tamarack Junction Casino and Restaurant in Reno. The dish includes bacon mixed into the batter, plus bacon slices on top."—Judi Caro

New MExico

"Without a doubt, the Palacio Café in Santa Fe, N.M., has the world's best flan. We have shamelessly planned our flight to arrive in town before the restaurant closed. I wouldn't hesitate to make the 700-mile one-way trip for this decadent dessert."—Janis Collins

Oregon

"There's a dish called Hummus on the Range, at Joolz in Bend, Ore., that can't be beat: crisp, brown, savory elk tidbits seared in olive oil and served over authentic Middle Eastern hummus topped with pine nuts and cilantro. Mmmm."—June Forsyth Kenagy

"The pastrami sandwich at River Daze Cafe in Hood River, Ore., comes on melt-in-your-mouth bread with local kraut, nuanced mayo, and even mustard on request. At first we thought the large sandwich was a tad spendy, but one bite and it was omg."—Gail Jeidy

"Living in Portland, I have access to many places with travel-worthy food. And I've never had a better plate than Ike's Vietnamese fish-sauce wings at Pok Pok."—Kay Lyn Chase

Utah

"I would cross the Great Salt Lake just for Red Iguana's mole poblano, and I live in California! If it's your first time at this Utah institution, try a mole sampler to experience all of the Cardenas family's traditional sauces. You can't go wrong with earthy mole negro, pumpkin-seed red, or sweet and spicy amarillo."—Jonathan Rose

This article was first published in Fall 2017. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.