Chicago, IL is a city that has captured the hearts of many with its vibrant culture, stunning architecture, and bustling city life. But one aspect that often gets overlooked is its diverse and delicious food scene. As a local food expert, I have had the pleasure of exploring and indulging in some of the top must-try foods in Chicago, IL.
The Iconic Deep-Dish PizzaNo trip to Chicago is complete without trying the iconic deep-dish pizza. This thick and hearty pizza has been a staple in the city since the 1940s.
The crust is made with a generous amount of butter and cornmeal, giving it a crispy texture. The toppings are then piled on, followed by a layer of cheese and topped off with a chunky tomato sauce. The result is a deliciously cheesy and filling pizza that will satisfy any pizza lover. While there are many places to try deep-dish pizza in Chicago, Lou Malnati's is a must-visit. This family-owned pizzeria has been serving up their famous deep-dish pizza since 1971. Their secret recipe for the crust and sauce has remained unchanged, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
The Classic Chicago Hot DogAnother must-try food in Chicago is the classic hot dog.
This all-beef hot dog is served on a poppy seed bun and topped with yellow mustard, chopped onions, sweet pickle relish, tomato slices, pickled sport peppers, and a sprinkle of celery salt. It may sound like an odd combination, but trust me, it works. For the best hot dog in Chicago, head to Portillo's. This iconic hot dog stand has been around since 1963 and is a favorite among locals. Not only do they serve up delicious hot dogs, but they also have a variety of other classic Chicago dishes like Italian beef sandwiches and chocolate cake shakes.
The Mouth-Watering Italian Beef SandwichSpeaking of Italian beef sandwiches, this is another must-try food in Chicago.
This sandwich is made with thinly sliced roast beef that is slow-cooked in a flavorful broth and served on a crusty Italian roll. You can choose to have it dipped in the broth for a juicy and messy experience or have it dry for a more manageable sandwich. One of the best places to try an Italian beef sandwich in Chicago is Al's Beef. This family-owned restaurant has been serving up their famous sandwiches since 1938. Their secret recipe for the beef and gravy has been passed down for generations, making it a must-visit for any foodie.
The Sweet Treat: Garrett PopcornNo meal is complete without something sweet, and in Chicago, that means indulging in some Garrett Popcorn. This famous popcorn shop has been around since 1949 and is known for its signature mix of caramel and cheese popcorn.
The combination may sound strange, but it's a match made in heaven. Garrett Popcorn has several locations throughout the city, but the original shop on West Madison Street is a must-visit. The smell of freshly popped popcorn will draw you in, and once you try their famous mix, you'll understand why it's a must-try food in Chicago.
The Unique Chicago-Style Hot ChocolateWhile hot chocolate may not be a traditional food, the Chicago-style hot chocolate is a must-try for any chocolate lover. This rich and creamy hot chocolate is made with melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder, giving it a velvety texture and intense chocolate flavor. For the best Chicago-style hot chocolate, head to HotChocolate in Bucktown. This cozy cafe serves up some of the best hot chocolate in the city, along with other delicious desserts and pastries.
The Delicious Chicago-Style CheesecakeLast but certainly not least, no trip to Chicago is complete without trying the famous Chicago-style cheesecake.
This creamy and indulgent dessert is made with cream cheese, sour cream, and a touch of lemon juice, giving it a tangy and rich flavor. It's then baked in a buttery graham cracker crust and topped with a layer of sour cream. For the best Chicago-style cheesecake, head to Eli's Cheesecake. This family-owned bakery has been around since 1980 and is known for its delicious cheesecakes. They have a variety of flavors to choose from, but the classic original is a must-try.
In ConclusionChicago, IL is a city that has something for everyone, including foodies.
From deep-dish pizza to hot dogs and everything in between, there are plenty of must-try foods in this vibrant city. So next time you're planning a trip to Chicago, make sure to add these delicious dishes to your itinerary. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you.