05/13/2014 07:00 am ET Updated May 13, 2014

The Most Iconic American Foods, In Order From Good To Absolute Best

Flickr: Bradley Hawk

America is a melting pot of flavors. We've borrowed all the best recipes from the various cultures that make up our people and have made them very much our own. Some of our most iconic dishes don't seem American at all, like spaghetti and meatballs, but they are -- don't let the marinara fool you. Also, nachos. Those belong to us.

These foods -- for better or worse -- are the very dishes that define our American food culture. But more important than reflecting upon the origins of America's food and the way it has been molded over the years is to rank our favorite, most iconic dishes in order from good to downright ethereal -- just because.

And that's exactly what we (or really, this editor) just did. Here are America's 25 most iconic foods, ranked -- with number one being the very best. Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below.

  • 25 Buffalo Wings
    Flickr: Meng He
    Good when done right -- crispy and hot -- but sadly they're almost always made so wrong.
  • 24 Cobb Salad
    Flickr: Henry Work
    Redefining the very meaning of salad.
  • 23 Corn Dogs
    Flickr: Jon Ellis
    We like this hot dog's commitment to corn.
  • 22 Cheesesteaks
    Flickr: Phil Denton
    It's what every steak aspires to be.
  • 21 Banana Splits
    Matthew Ireland via Getty Images
    The only way bananas should be eaten.
  • 20 Reuben
    Flickr: Michael Saechang
    Corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing on rye -- the Reuben is an impressive combination of so many different flavors.
  • 19 Chili
    Flickr: The 10 cent designer
    Chili is basically a pot of awesomeness, especially when it comes with all the fixins'.
  • 18 Cheese Curds
    Flickr: Connie Ma
    Especially when fried.
  • 17 Lobster Rolls
    Flickr: Henry
    It's lobster + buttered bread, duh.
  • 16 Macaroni And Cheese
    Maren Caruso via Getty Images
    We love macaroni and cheese because it cuts right to the chase. This dish understands that when it comes to pasta, all we really want with it is so much cheese.
  • 15 Biscuits And Gravy
    Curt Pickens via Getty Images
    Biscuits and gravy make it totally acceptable to eat decadence on top of decadence.
  • 14 Spaghetti And Meatballs
    svariophoto via Getty Images
    On a cool, fall evening, nothing hits the spot like a pile of spaghetti and meatballs.
  • 13 Barbecue Ribs
    Flickr: Joshua Bousel
    Actually, just barbecue in general.
  • 12 Apple Pie
    diane39 via Getty Images
    This pie symbolizes all that is great, beautiful and holy about life. Plus, it's really good with a scoop of ice cream.
  • 11 S'mores
    Camping wouldn't be worth it if there weren't s'mores.
  • 10 BLT
    Flickr: Khush N
    Because, bacon.
  • 9 Meatloaf
    Lauri Patterson via Getty Images
    No frills, all flavor. That's what this country's all about.
  • 8 Grilled Cheese
    The GIF says it all.
  • 7 Tater Tots
    Flickr: Scott Henderson
    Tater tots are living the potato's version of the American dream -- with just a couple of scraps they became something absolutely great.
  • 6 Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich
    Flickr: Michael Josh Villanueva
    It's the backbone of every great childhood.
  • 5 Nachos
    Flickr: Breanna Schulze
    The messier the better.
  • 4 Cheeseburgers
    Flickr: Bradley Hawks
    No one does burgers like we do burgers. A burger will make you feel better on the worst of days, and happy on every other day. For this reason it almost made it to the number one spot -- only it didn't, because some foods are still just better.
  • 3 Root Beer Float
    Flickr: TripleScoop
    Of course there should be ice cream in your soda. Of course.
  • 2 Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Flickr: Christi @ Love From The Oven
    This is what every other cookie wishes it could be.
  • 1 Pepperoni Pizza
    Flickr: Daremoshiranai

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