Get ready for tingling taste buds, because today we’re bringing you the most famous of Chicago eats. That’s right, if you’re looking for Chicago for foodies, you’ve come to the right place, because we’ll be leading you down the rabbit hole and teaching you a thing or two about what and where to eat when you’re in The Windy City.
#1 Deep dish pizza
Probably the most famous food of them all, Chicago is world renowned for its deep dish pizzas. Whilst for many, the thin crust rules, this is where the deep thick base loaded with mouth-watering toppings takes the lead.
A deep-dish pizza is perfect for the colder months, when you’ve been exploring the crevices of the city and need a well-earned rest and some comfort food. With mountains of tomato and mozzarella, as well as your own choice of toppings to finish it off, is there anything more satisfying than a thick slice of pizza?
The best spots to find authentic deep dish pizzas? Try Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, one of the most famous franchises in the city, or Uno Pizzeria & Grill, which has been open and running since 1943, and was in fact Chicago’s first deep-dish restaurant. If you’re looking for a truly stuffed pizza though, head to Giordano’s, which serves a unique style of deep-dish pizza pie involving a double layer of dough and double the toppings.
#2 The Italian Beef Sandwich
Originally created in the 1930’s in an attempt to make beef stretch that little bit further at the dinner table. While there’s no need for that nowadays, the original Italian Beef Sandwich has stuck around Chicago, and is one of its best loved dishes. It’s served in restaurants throughout the Windy City, and it consists of thinly sliced pieces of beef, peppers, and plenty of gravy, all slapped between two thick slices of French bread.
Head to these spots to catch yourself the best Italian Beef Sandwich:
Roma’s Italian Beef & Sausage, where the sandwiches are so hot they’re renowned to sell out quickly. Don’t be fooled by the name of Bob O’s Hot Dogs, our next contender; their Italian Beef Sandwiches have managed to become a household name. Mr Beef & Pizza is our final hotspot, where they add an extra side of cheese onto their sandwiches, unlike any other restaurants in the area.
#3 A good old fashioned steak
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Chicago is well-known for its tender and juicy steaks that have the locals returning time and time again. In fact, top food critics consistently vote Chicago steakhouses as being the best in the country, so they’re clearly doing something right.
If a thick steak is at the top of your menu, you should head to Artango Bar & Steakhouse, a 1920’s inspired Argentinian steakhouse whose menu is overrun with choice cuts from the grill. There’s also Tango Sur, another Argentinian joint that gets busy fast and a strictly BYOB establishment. It’s well known for offering cheaper food, with a fine selection of sides to add to your order. Finally, there’s Maple and Ash, for the more luxurious diner who doesn’t mind spending a pretty penny on their steak or to have the best ambience there is going. Wherever you choose, you’re bound to eat heartily.
#4 The Chicago Hot Dog
Almost as famous as the deep-dish pizza, the Chicago Hot Dog was created during the Great depression, and remains top dog on list of foods you should try when you’re in Chicago. You’ll find Chicago Hot Dogs on the menu at almost every restaurant, and on almost every street, sold by food vendors for that authentic American experience.
If you want the full dog with all the trimmings, ask for it “all the way”, or “dragged through the garden”. You’ll be given a steaming Hot Dog topped with mustard, relish, pickle spears, tomato, peppers, onions, and celery salt. That’s a meal and a half for sure.
Still not sold on how beloved the Hot Dog is? Chicago runs a Hot Dog Festival once a year to celebrate it to its full potential. It’s a really big deal.
You can find the best Hot Dog’s in the city at a few spots. Superdawg Drive-In is our first recommendation, where you’ll find unique and authentic Hot Dogs served with pickled tomatoes. There’s Wolfy’s, which offers a jumbo Char Dog that’s recommended by almost everyone who eats there, and lastly, why not check out Flub A Dub Chub’s, a spot that promises a wide variety of Dogs no matter what your taste buds are demanding.
#5 Jibarito Sandwich
Created in Chicago with the traditions of Puerto Rico in mind, the Jibarito Sandwich is a flavorful and mouth-wateringly tasty sandwich comprised of steak, garlic mayo, tomato, lettuce, onions and cheese stuffed between two slices of crispy plantain to seal the deal.
The Jibarito is such a popular sandwich, it can be found on almost any menu in the city, and is certainly worth a try. If you’re looking for particular spots to try it, head to El Picosito Jibaro. Here you can tuck into this delicacy and even add an extra portion of meet to your meal (if you need it that is). Secondly, there’s La Cocina Boricua De La Familia Galarza, where you’ll find the garlic mayo served with a bit of a kick. Finally, there’s Casa Tari, a BYOB establishment where you can get your hands on a delicious home-made Jibarito alongside a few extra Puerto Rican goodies.
And to finish it all off, #6: chocolate brownies
Believe it or not, chocolate brownies were created in Chicago, which means that it would be a big no-no not to give them a try.
What’s their story? Apparently, at the 1893 World Fair in Chicago, socialite Bertha Palmer asked a pastry chef to bake something that would easily fit into packed lunches for women at the Women’s Pavilion. The rest is history. The Brownie was born, and it took the world by storm.
If you want to grab a slice of hot, gooey brownie while you’re in town, you could head to Sweet Mandy B’s, where they serve a delicious array of hot brownies in loads of variations. There’s Weber’s Bakery too, which has been in business since the 1930’s and promises a hot chunk of chocolate brownie to satisfy anyone’s cravings. Finally, if you’re looking for a full on dessert, head to Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop for their version of the hot fudge brownie sundae.
With this many options, it’s clear that Chicago is the place for foodies. Which picks are your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!