Satisfy Your Taste Buds with these Chicago-Famous Foods and Their Best Locations
Chicago-famous foods and the best places to try them
There are so many things about Chicago that I love, and I’ll be the first to confess that their world-famous food is at the top of my list of favorites!
Every big city has its “thing,” but when it comes to the sheer number of unique foods that can be called its own, Chicago takes the cake. Perhaps there is more than you realize. If your main objective is to eat your way through Chicago with a DIY food tour, I’ve put together a list of my favourite iconic Chicago dishes you have to taste!
The Best Foods & Dishes in Chicago
Chicago Style Hot Dog
A hot dog is frequently thought of as a frankfurter with mustard and/or ketchup. A Chicago-style hot dog, however, is an all-beef frank with yellow mustard sauce, sweet pickle relish, chopped white onions, tomato wedges, a dill pickle spear, spicy sport peppers (or ordinary sport peppers), and barely any celery salt.
It is “dragged through the garden” if you order it with only traditional ingredients. No ketchup, though! Even if you’re used to dousing your hot dog in ketchup, a genuine Chicago-style dog won’t have any.
If you’re looking for a “Chicago dog,” most natives in Chicago will suggest Portillo’s. Portillo’s is located in the Loop, North Loop, and Lincoln Park, among other Chicago neighborhoods.
Where to Find: Portillo’s (all over Chicago, IL), Red-hot Ranch (hot dog stands in Buck town and Lakeview)
Tamales are steamed Mexican food items that are filled with cheese, chicken, or pork and are made of cornmeal and lard. With salsa sauce, they are best savored. One of Chicago’s most unique street snacks is in them. “Tamale Guys” prepare tamales and usually flit from bar to bar serving mouthwatering treats.
Where to Find: Tamale Guy (Wicker Park)
This iconic pizza style is a must-try when visiting Chicago. Lou Malnati’s and Giordano’s are two popular options that serve delicious deep dish pizzas.
Pizza made in a deep dish is the most popular dish in Chicago. The Chicago deep-dish dares to be unique with its thick crust, tangy tomato sauce, custom garnishes, and massive layer of cheese.
Lou Malnati’s keeps the title despite a lot of local rivals claiming to serve Chicago’s best deep-dish pizza. Chicagoans have a special place in their hearts for the thick combination of cheese and vine-ripened tomato sauce inside a distinctive, oh-so-delicious butter crust.
Where to Find: Uno Pizzeria & Grill (River North), Lou Malnati’s (all over Chicago, IL)
It’s probably not all that unexpected that Chicago has a particular style of popcorn given that the city has its own take on hot dogs, tamales, and pizza. The two flavors that make up this well-known Chicago popcorn are cheddar and caramel.
Although it may appear odd, the sweet and salty flavor combination is amazing! Chicago claims ownership of the cheese and caramel popcorn mix because Garrett’s Popcorn, a well-known local institution that has been in operation since 1949, made it famous.
Since then, Garret’s Popcorn Shop has flourished, expanding to nine nations with locations, including corporate headquarters in Chicago, Tokyo, and Singapore.
If you’re in Chicago, you have to give it a try and decide for yourself whether the hype is true. You’ll discover it was well worth it, I bet!
Where to Find: Garrett Popcorn Shops (different locations in Chicago, IL), Jewel-Osco (grocery stores all over Chicago, IL)
In Chicago, where one can never get enough of them, tacos have grown in importance. One of the best taco restaurants to check out is Antique Taco, managed by a Mexican couple who cook with their hearts and souls and serve amazing tacos to everybody who walks through their door. Their menu ranges from traditional Mexican fare to fusion Korean flavors.
Despite the name, this is more of a new-age restaurant serving everyone’s favorite delicious hand-held meals. Their grilled ribeye tacos, crispy fish tacos, pork carnitas tacos, and many other delicacies are just a few of their specialties.
Rainbow Cone is a classic Chicago ice cream parlor that serves up a unique ice cream cone consisting of chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House (New York vanilla with cherries and walnuts), pistachio, and orange sherbet flavors all in one cone.)
Where to Find: The Original Rainbow Cone (Beverly and Near North Side (at Navy Pier)
These are just a few of the many delicious foods and places to try them in Chicago. Happy eating!
About The Author: My name is Alisa Smith. I have more than six years of experience working with large and small businesses to develop and implement customer-focused, long-term growth strategies. I help you remember how to provide better service to customers. Furthermore, I have conducted extensive research and written menus of USA restaurants on Central menus.