Thrillist’s Culinary Roadtrip Brings the Nation’s Regional Specialties to LA

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”

~James Beard

Been hankering to eat your way across the country on a coast-to-coast road trip but don’t have the time? Thrillist has the solution for you.

Whenever I visit a new location, I try to experience the local food delicacies. I want to enjoy the foodie spots and items that a local experiences. Well, Thrillist had the same idea. So this weekend it hosted the “Culinary Roadtrip,” which was a smattering of local delicacies at Siren Studios in Hollywood.

All of the delicious food and none of the driving? Let’s dig in.

Luke’s Lobster- Various locations, New England

I have determined that I love Maine Lobster. This stop at Luke’s Lobster featured a Maine Lobster Roll. The freshness of the huge chunks of Maine lobster piled on a split bun with a combo of toppings: mayonnaise, butter, lemon and their secret seasoning (which I believe contains some garlic). It was decadent. If you ate the lobster meat separately, it was great, but the whole sandwich together… well that was a game changer. The sweetness of the lobster paired perfectly with the warm bread and the savory butter. And Luke’s was not skimpy with the lobster meat! It definitely made me want to go to Maine and just eat lobster for a good long weekend.

Black Seed Bagels- New York City

I will admit, by the time I got to Black Seed Bagels, I was terribly full from all of the food. And I am not a huge bagel eater. But I forced myself to try the Sesame Seed Bagel sample.

I am so glad I did. The soft bagel, topped with a smoked salmon and dill cream cheese and cucumbers, was complex and flavorful. The crispness of the cucumbers paired perfectly with the salmon cream cheese. I was certainly glad I freed up some room to try the sample. A great New York bagel.

Sweetgreen- Washington D.C.

The only “healthy” food option at the event was the Rad Thai Salad from Sweetgreen. The salad was made of fresh, organic arugula, sprouts, carrots, shredded cabbage, cucumbers, and featured spicy sunflower seeds, basil, and a spicy cashew dressing. It was sweet and refreshing and a great change of pace for the dense food offered at other stations. Perfectly light and crisp for summer eating.

Georgetown Cupcakes- Washington D.C.

A tower of cupcakes and a blinged-out mixer were the first things that caught my eye at the Georgetown Cupcakes booth. With a wide selection of cupcakes to sample, I wasn’t sure which to pick.

That is, until I saw the Cookies & Crème cupcake adorned with Oreo cookies. The Madagascar bourbon vanilla cake topped with Oreo-infused buttercream frosting and Oreo bits on top. It was decadent. And the best part for Angelenos is that there is a location in Beverly Hills (along with other nationwide locations)!

Tony Luke’s – Philadelphia

A foodie tour of the country requires a few key items. One such item is the Philly Cheesesteak. The roll was delicious. I could have used a little more cheese (we know how much I love cheese), but the peppers on the side were a nice, spicy touch for an authentic Philly. It was savory and densely packed with meat.  It was the first item I sampled and it definitely set the tone for the entire event.

Gino’s East- Chicago

Another required item at a foodie roundup: Chicago-style, deep dish pizza. Tasty. Fantastic. Filling!

I tried all three different types: Chicago Fire, Spinach Margherita, and Meaty Legend. My personal winner: The Meaty Legend. Thick Chicago style topped with Canadian bacon, bacon, pepperoni, and Italian sausage. It immediately transported me home. The buttery crust, the rich, thick sauce… it allowed people to experience what Chicago pizza is all about. It was definitely a little slice of home.

Lardo- Oregon

The first thing I saw at this stand was the meat-piled sandwiches on a stand that said “Pig Out.” Upon checking out the menu, I saw that the sandwiches were Griddled Mortadella sandwiches. I had no idea what that was, so I asked the chef. He explained that it is a cured pork, almost like bologna, but thin sliced. The sandwich was adorned with provolone, “Mama Lil’s Peppers,” and mustard aioli.

The sandwich was salty and dense. It was so rich and piled high with meat, I couldn’t even finish eating it all!

Stumptown Coffee- Oregon

I am not a coffee drinker, but I tried the chocolate milk chilled coffee at Stuptown Coffee from Oregon. The combo of chocolate milk (which I love) and coffee was unique so creamy, and the coffee really brought out the chocolate flavor. They also offered a Nitro infused chilled coffee. I know good coffee comes from the Northwest, and this was definitely good coffee.

The Extras


There were a few additional vendors there that rounded out the group. Spendrift Seltzer and Soda out of Boston featured flavored seltzers with no calories, and the juices have fresh squeezed juices. The Orange Mango sparkling soda was light and refreshing, and the crowd favorite, as they ran out! And the cucumber seltzer water was like sparkling spa water.  Route 11 Potato Chips were kettle cooked and the dill pickle flavor was tangy. And Boxed Water was super dope! Instead of having bottled water the company boxes the water as a more sustainable option. And before we left we got a spin art record from 97.1 AMP Radio.

Thrillist’s Culinary Roadtrip was a great event that allowed Angelenos to experience the tastes of other regions from across the country, from the comfort of home. Genius! I give it an A+.


I am a lawyer. I am a journalist. I am a writer. I am a photographer. And I love to travel.

32 comments on “Thrillist’s Culinary Roadtrip Brings the Nation’s Regional Specialties to LA”

  1. Wow, all I can really say about this Post is… YUM… YUMMY… AND YUMMIER! I personally am a salad person… love the salads with everything in them. Yours posted here really looked rather scrumptious!!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. omg where was my invite?!? Lol… Being a total foodie this is my kinda event! Looks like you had a tasty time!

  3. This is a pretty awesome concept. I love that you could try different things from around the country without going all over. Give you an idea of what to expect when you do go. I will have to try Luke’s Lobster, sounds yummy. I have heard of SweetGreen they have a music festival every year. Also a friend of mine had boxed water a few weeks ago and said it was good.

  4. Wow, that looks like so much fun! I have a friend whose son went to college in Georgetown, and she was always excited to visit him there for those same cupcakes. And there is NOTHING in the world like a NY bagel!

  5. Wow. Words cannot describe how much my mouth is watering listening to all of this amazing food that you had. You got to try the best of the best from the places that are known for having different foods and I think that is beautiful. Thanks for sharing this wonderful experience with us!

  6. I would have gained a lot of weight and enjoyed every single second of it. Of course I happen to like NY Pizza being from NY (and you really can’t beat our bagels) and the controversy continues–which os the best pizza–New York or Chicago.

  7. I love that you were able to try so many different foods without leaving town. I love bagels with smoked salmon and there is nothing better than Chicago style pizza. What a great night.

  8. I’m from Chicago so I know how yummy Gino’s East is! I’ve been to D.C and I really like the chocolate cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes. I’ve also been to Philly and NYC but haven’t checked out those places, I’ll have to during my next trips there <3

  9. definitely my kind of event! It all looks delicious! Chanel wrote about Luke’s Lobster in her NYC top restaurant post and I ate lobster daily while on MV last summer. I love Georgetown cupcakes! Besides DC I went to the one in LA last year and we now have one in Atlanta. That Pig Out sandwich looks unreal!

  10. This looks absolutely incredible, I hope they bring this roadtrip to NY one day soon. I’m actually not a huge fan of Blackseed and prefer the mom & pops, but I would definitely take a bagel over most foods any day 😉

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