Nachos, in all their cheesy, crunchy, meaty goodness, are quite possibly the finest appetizer/ bar food/ party snack known to man. But unlike, say, chips and dip, nachos are very easy to screw up. When they’re good, though, they’re good, and these 10 places serve America’s best.
Nachos were invented by a (now-legendary) maître d’ named Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, who whipped up the first batch for a group of hungry U.S. Army wives circa 1943 at a restaurant called the Victory Club in Piedras Negras, Mexico, just across the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass, Texas. He fried up some tortilla chips, topped them with some shredded Cheddar and sliced jalapeños, and served them as canapés. He named them after his nickname, and the rest is history.
The first nachos were a decidedly tame (and arguably boring) affair, but they were enough to light the flashbulb of innovation, leading us to the nacho utopia we’re currently living in. But what exactly does a perfect plate of nachos look like? For one, the ratio of chips to toppings needs to be spot on, with even distribution of toppings across the chips. Two, the toppings themselves need to be high quality, with new flavors and textures in every bite. Three, a little bit of culinary creativity and a chef’s hand can go a long way.
These 10 nachos all fit the bill and more. Ordering nachos at a bar or restaurant is always a bit of a crapshoot; you never know if you’ll be getting a congealed mass of chips and cheese with a few token shreds of chicken on top or a culinary masterpiece. Great nachos can’t just be thrown together slapdash; they need to be created by a true artist. And after trying any of these nachos, you’ll want to run into the kitchen and hug the chef.