Chicago is a city well-known for its iconic foods. From Chicago-style pizza to hot dogs, there are plenty of regional specialties to try while visiting the Windy City. Here are ten of the most popular Chicago foods that you have to try if you’re ever in town.
Chicago Cuisine Influence
Chicago is definitely one of the most culturally diverse cities in the United States. Chicago’s cuisine has been greatly influenced by the city’s immigrants. Chicago’s famous deep-dish pizza was created by an Italian immigrant. Chicago is also home to many other famous foods such as the Chicago-style hot dog, the Italian beef sandwich, and the Chicago-style popcorn. These Chicago foods are just a few examples of how immigrants have shaped the city’s cuisine. Chicago is a food lover’s paradise, and its diverse cuisine is definitely worth exploring.
Top 10 Chicago Foods
Chicago pizza is especially famous, and for good reason. Chicago-style pizza is a deep-dish pizza with a thick crust that is usually filled with cheese, sausage, and vegetables. The crust is then covered with a layer of tomato sauce, and the entire pizza is baked in a special pan that helps to create a crispy, golden-brown crust. Chicago pizza is typically served with a side of garlic bread, and it can be found in almost any pizzeria in the city.
Garrett Popcorn is a local favorite that has been serving up delicious popcorn since 1949. The company offers a variety of flavors, but the most popular is the “Chicago Mix”, which is a mix of cheddar and caramel popcorn. If you can’t make it to one of Garrett’s locations while in town, don’t worry – you can order their popcorn online and have it shipped anywhere in the world.
Chicago-Style Hot Dogs
Chicago is well-known for its unique hot dogs. Chicago-style hot dogs are typically made with all-beef franks, poppyseed buns, yellow mustard, sweet onion, sliced tomato, pickle relish, and celery salt. These ingredients may seem simple, but they come together to create a delicious and iconic Chicago dish. Chicagoans take their hot dogs seriously – there are even debates about the best way to dress a Chicago dog. While some purists prefer the traditional version with mustard, others like to add ketchup or various other toppings. However you like your Chicago dog, one thing is for sure – it’s a delicious way to enjoy this iconic Chicago food.
Chicago-style bagels are a delicious example of Windy City’s culinary scene. These bagels are made with malt syrup and baking soda, giving them a crispy exterior and a chewy interior. Chicago-style bagels are also larger and denser than their New York counterparts, making them perfect for satisfying hunger. Whether you enjoy them plain or topped, Chicago-style bagels are a delicious way to start your day.
Italian beef is a type of sandwich that originated in Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood. The sandwich consists of thinly sliced roast beef that has been simmered in a flavorful broth and served on a crusty roll with sweet peppers or giardiniera (a mix of pickled vegetables). You can find Italian beef sandwiches all over the city, but for the best sandwich around, head to Al’s Italian Beef.
The jibarito is a Puerto Rican sandwich that has become popular in Chicago over the past few years. The sandwich consists of plantain leaves that are used in place of bread, filled with meat (usually steak or chicken), cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion. You can find jibaritos all over the city now, but they were first popularized by Puerto Rican restaurants like Borinquen Restaurant and La Bombonera Restaurant.
Fried chicken is a classic comfort food that can be found all over the country – but if you want to try some of the best-fried chicken around, you have to head to Chicago. The city is home to many great fried chicken restaurants, like Honey 1 BBQ and Harold’s Chicken Shack. These restaurants serve up crispy fried chicken that will leave you wanting more.
Chicago Ice Cream
Chicago is home to many great ice cream shops where you can enjoy a delicious scoop (or two) of your favorite flavor. Some popular ice cream shops in the city include Margie’s Candies and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. If you want something truly unique, head to Bobtail ice cream shop where they make their ice cream with natural ingredients like locally sourced milk and honey.
Maxwell Street Polish Sausage
A Maxwell Street Polish sausage is a grilled or fried Polish sausage that is served on a bun with mustard, onion, and pickle. This sandwich originated from the Maxwell Street market in Chicago, which was a popular destination for immigrants in the early 1900s.
Chicago Chicken Vesuvio
One of the city’s signature dishes is Chicago Chicken Vesuvio. Often imitated but never duplicated, this dish is a must-try for anyone visiting the Windy City. The key to Vesuvio’s success is in its simplicity. Chicken, potatoes, and green beans are simply roasted in garlic and olive oil, creating a mouthwatering flavor that has made Chicago Chicken Vesuvio a Chicago legend. While there are many great Chicago foods, Chicago Chicken Vesuvio is truly a one-of-a-kind dish that any Chicagoan would be proud to call their own.
These dishes are all delicious examples of the city’s culinary scene and are sure to satisfy any appetite. If you’re visiting Chicago or just want to try some of the best food the city has to offer, be sure to check out one of these iconic Chicago foods.