Every few years we visit North Dakota to see my husband’s brother and his family. This year we mixed it up a bit, turning it into an adventure that would take us on an unlikely journey from Winnipeg, all the way to Newport Beach.


Our trip began with a visit to The Forks food market in Winnipeg, packed full of exciting food outlets on the riverfront. The food stalls offer a world of cuisines under one roof including Caribbean, Japanese and Sri Lankan dishes. Spoilt for choice, I opted for Steak Frites from Simon’s Steaks and was expecting loaded fries with a few strips of steak – what I got was so much better! A whole juicy sirloin steak covered in Chimichurri with the crunchiest fries.

According to my brother in law no trip to Winnipeg is really complete until you’ve visited Stella’s! A local café and bakery chain, there are seven to choose from across the city and the perfect stop before our five-hour drive to North Dakota. Highlights from the breakfast menu include Chorizo Hash, Maple Caramel French Toast and Buttermilk Pancakes.

North Dakota

We planned our visit in time for the North Dakota State Fair, serving up every kind of fried food you can imagine. Fair staples include foot-long corn dogs, funnel cake and blooming onions. Sweet treats grabbed my attention this year with a deep-fried chocolate pie and cookie dough waffle stick – yep it’s as indulgent as it sounds.

Next up was Kroll’s, a 50’s style diner serving German & American dishes with buttermilk pancakes the size of dinner plates. Famous for it’s Knoephla Soup and generous portions, even the extra thick milkshakes are super-sized.

Cramming in as many of our favourites places as possible we couldn’t resist a trip to Perkin’s for breakfast with a slice of pie to go, lunch at Buffalo Wing’s & Rings, drive through at Sonic Shakes and a late-night trip to Dairy Queen to pick up Blizzard’s – don’t worry this wasn’t all in one day!


After a heartfelt goodbye to our family, we flew to Los Angeles and made our way to the historic Old Towne Orange. Famous for its antique shops, this town is different to anything I’ve experienced in America before and is packed full of vibrant restaurants, cafes and pie shops. We had a fantastic dinner at Smoqued where they make all their barbecue dishes on site in their old hickory smoker named Ruth! Dishes include brisket burnt ends, buttermilk fried chicken with mashed potatoes and jalapeno sausages.

We can skip over the part where we spent three wonderful days in Disneyland – it really is the most magical place on earth!We finished our trip with a few days at Newport Beach, full of buzzing beach bars serving up a mix of Mexican and Hawaiian dishes and smoothie bars with build your own Acai bowls.

North Dakota may be the road less travelled, but for us it is becoming a second home and I am excited to see what American foodie adventures it may have in store for us next time!