1. Burger

9 Iconic San Diego Foods You Have to Try
Photo: SanDiego Magazince

A quintessential American food, burger evolved from the German Deutsches beefsteak, according to the New York Times food critic Mimi Sheraton. Its other name (hamburger) is a result of the fact that many German immigrants originally came from the port of Hamburg.

Burger is a succulent dish consisting of, ideally, medium-rare seared beef patties tucked in fresh, lightly toasted buns, accompanied by onion slices and ketchup or Dijon mustard. Of course, there is a variety of other condiments and vegetables such as salad greens and tomatoes, but they tend to turn the meat cold, according to Mrs. Sheraton.

If cheese is added, it should be mozzarella, Gruyere or Cheddar, slightly melting and mildly pungent. It is yet unclear who first thought to encase the beef patties with buns. Giovanni Ballarini, a food historian, says that the immigrants were given grilled meat between sliced of bread, so there would be no plates involved, and no water was wasted for washing the dishes, cited tasteatlas website.

An interesting fact about American's consumption of burgers revealed in SanDiego Magazine that American Americans eat 50 billion burgers a year. Lined up, that’s 800,000 miles of burgers. Enough to circle the earth 32 times, or go to the moon and back, and then go to the moon again. Burgers account for 60 percent of all sandwiches sold.

2. Onion rings

9 Iconic San Diego Foods You Have to Try
Photo: tasteatlas.com

Another top-listed food that Tasteatlas suggests is onion rings. Onion rings are a popular American side dish item that is usually served alongside burgers or other fast food varieties, and they are usually accompanied by ketchup, mayonnaise, or some other dipping sauce. These crispy rings are commonly found in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Asia, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

This popular side dish is made by dipping onion rings in batter, then deep-frying them until golden and crispy. It is still unknown who made the first onion ring, but the earliest recipe for this caloric side dish is found in John Molland's 1802 cookbook titled The Art of Cookery Made Easy and Refined, where the recipe suggested that the rings should be fried with parmesan cheese.

Today, numerous restaurants claim that they invented the onion rings, one of them being Pig Stand from Oak Cliff, Texas. Regardless of the inventor, there is a large variety of onion rings today, such as beer batter onion rings, blooming onion rings (using whole onions), and kanda bhajiya, a fritter with gram flour batter.

Onion rings are so popular that there is even a National Onion Ring Day, celebrated every year on June 22.

3. Uramaki

9 Iconic San Diego Foods You Have to Try

Photo: tasteatlas.com

Uramaki, California roll, or upside-down sushi is a unique sushi variety which has its origins disputed between Los Angeles and Vancouver, although most people claim that it was invented in California in the 1960s by a Japanese chef named Ichiro Mashita.

This sushi roll is prepared with sushi rice, nori, crab or surimi, avocado, and cucumber. It differs from other sushi types because the rice is on the exterior, wrapped around nori seaweed that is in the inner part and surrounds the filling. Uramaki is often rolled in roasted sesame seeds.

It's recommended to serve this unusual delicacy with soy sauce, gari (pickled ginger), and wasabi on the side.

4. California burrito

9 Iconic San Diego Foods You Have to Try

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California burrito is the specialty of San Diego, which is also the place where it was invented. It was originally made as a way to feed the city's hungry surfers, because there is a dominant beach culture in San Diego. The burrito usually consists of a flour tortilla stuffed with carne asada, large amounts of cheese, french fries, sour cream, and guacamole.

It is believed that the potatoes and avocados were added to the burrito in order to mask or neutralize the intense Mexican spices. Interestingly, the earliest mention of California burrito was found in an article from the Albuquerque Tribune, published in 1995.

5. Cronut

9 Iconic San Diego Foods You Have to Try
Photo: Tastealas.com

The unusual New Yorker creation known as a Cronut is a hybrid between a croissant and a doughnut, characterized by its soft and creamy interior, and flaky layers of pastry on the exterior. These treats are fried in oil, filled with cream, rolled in sugar, and glazed on top.

Due to their short shelf life of about 6 hours, the cronuts are intended to be consumed as soon as they are made. The dessert was invented in 2013 by a French pastry chef named Dominique Ansel at his bakery in New York City, when a customer pointed out that his menu did not have any version of the American classic – doughnuts.

Ansel had experimented for about two months before he made the perfect Cronut. He trademarked the name within nine days, and Cronut has been gaining huge popularity ever since. Recently, other bakeries have started making their versions of the trademarked Cronut, selling them under the following names: Dosant, Doughtssant, Dough'Ssant, Cro-Knot, Double Decker O-Nut, 100 Layer Donut, Crodough, Crullant, Cro-crème, French Donut, and Cro-Bar.