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Culinary Journeys: Street Foods of Chicago Illinois to Try
Chicago, Illinois is renowned for its vibrant food scene, and one of the best ways to experience the local flavors is through its street foods. From classic Chicago-style hot dogs to deep-dish pizza slices, the street food options in the city are diverse and delicious. In this article, we will explore ten must-try street foods in Chicago, each offering a unique culinary experience. So, grab your appetite and get ready to embark on a mouthwatering journey through the streets of Chicago.
Chicago Style Hot Dog
- Vienna Beef Hot Dog: A true Chicago classic, the Vienna Beef Hot Dog is an all-beef hot dog served on a poppy seed bun. It is traditionally topped with yellow mustard, chopped onions, neon green relish, dill pickle spear, tomato slices, sport peppers, and a sprinkle of celery salt.
- Portillo’s: Portillo’s is a famous Chicago chain known for their delicious hot dogs. They offer a variety of toppings and even have a secret menu item called “The Big Beef,” which is a hot dog topped with their famous Italian beef.
- Superdawg Drive-In: Superdawg is an iconic drive-in restaurant with a retro vibe. Their hot dogs are served in a box and come with all the classic toppings.
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Deep Dish Pizza
- Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria: Lou Malnati’s is a Chicago institution when it comes to deep-dish pizza. Their signature dish features a buttery crust, chunky tomato sauce, and gooey cheese.
- Giordano’s: Giordano’s is another popular spot for deep-dish pizza in Chicago. Their pies are known for their flaky crust and generous amounts of cheese and toppings.
- Pequod’s Pizza: Pequod’s is a local favorite known for their caramelized crust. Their deep-dish pizza is unique and definitely worth a try.
Italian Beef Sandwich
- Al’s Beef: Al’s Beef is a Chicago institution and a go-to spot for Italian beef sandwiches. Their sandwiches are loaded with thinly sliced beef, served with sweet or hot peppers, and dipped in flavorful au jus.
- Mr. Beef: Mr. Beef is another popular spot for Italian beef sandwiches. Their sandwiches are known for their generous portions of beef and flavorful gravy.
- Johnnie’s Beef: Johnnie’s Beef is a local favorite that has been serving up delicious Italian beef sandwiches for over 50 years. Their sandwiches are packed with flavor and always hit the spot.
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Maxwell Street Polish
- Jim’s Original: Jim’s Original is a legendary spot for Maxwell Street Polish sausages. Their sandwiches are served on a bun with grilled onions and mustard.
- Maxwell Street Depot: Maxwell Street Depot is another popular destination for Maxwell Street Polish sausages. Their sausages are grilled to perfection and served with your choice of toppings.
- Fatso’s Last Stand: Fatso’s Last Stand is a casual joint known for their delicious Maxwell Street Polish sausages. They offer a variety of toppings to customize your sandwich.
Chicago Mix Popcorn
- Garrett Popcorn Shops: Garrett Popcorn Shops is famous for their Chicago Mix, a combination of caramel popcorn and cheese popcorn. It’s the perfect sweet and savory snack.
- Nuts on Clark: Nuts on Clark is another popular spot for Chicago Mix popcorn. They offer a wide variety of flavors and combinations to satisfy every popcorn lover.
- Popcorn Palace: Popcorn Palace is a local favorite that offers a range of flavored popcorn, including the classic Chicago Mix.
Max’s Italian Beef
- Max’s Italian Beef: Max’s Italian Beef is a hidden gem known for their mouthwatering Italian beef sandwiches. Their sandwiches are loaded with flavor and are a must-try for any beef lover.
- Pop’s Italian Beef and Sausage: Pop’s Italian Beef and Sausage is a local favorite that serves up delicious Italian beef sandwiches. Their sandwiches are packed with flavor and always leave customers satisfied.
- The Patio: The Patio is a classic Chicago restaurant that offers a variety of dishes, including their famous Italian beef sandwich. It’s a hearty and flavorful option for any meat lover.
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- Eli’s Cheesecake: Eli’s Cheesecake is a Chicago institution known for their delicious cheesecakes. They offer a variety of flavors, including classic New York-style and specialty options.
- The Cheesecake Factory: While not exclusive to Chicago, The Cheesecake Factory is a popular chain that offers a wide selection of cheesecakes, including their signature Original Cheesecake.
- Magnolia Bakery: Magnolia Bakery is a charming bakery that serves up delectable desserts, including creamy cheesecakes in various flavors.
Chicago Style Popcorn
- Chicago Kernel: Chicago Kernel is a local popcorn shop that specializes in Chicago-style popcorn. Their flavors include classic cheese, caramel, and a mix of both.
- Popcorn Palace: Popcorn Palace also offers a Chicago-style popcorn option. Their blend of cheese and caramel popcorn is a crowd-pleaser.
- Kernel’s Gourmet Popcorn: Kernel’s Gourmet Popcorn is a family-owned business that offers a variety of gourmet popcorn flavors, including Chicago-style.
Chicago, Illinois is a food lover’s paradise, and its street foods are a testament to the city’s culinary heritage. From the iconic Chicago-style hot dog to the deep-dish pizza and Italian beef sandwiches, there is something to satisfy every craving. Don’t forget to indulge in some Chicago Mix popcorn and finish off your meal with a slice of Eli’s Cheesecake. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, exploring the street foods of Chicago is an essential part of the Windy City experience.