Each city has its own “iconicness.” The things that make it special. Seattle has its space needle and Philadelphia has the Liberty Bell. Among of course a wide variety of other things that make each city its own unique place to visit. But what might even be more important to a foodie, is the iconic dishes the city has to offer. Because let’s face it, Chicago isn’t just the Adler Planetarium or the Willis Tower (formerly Sears), it’s also about the people and their taste buds! So if you’re going to visit Chicago, don’t just tour the museums or see the monuments, let your taste buds have a vacation too with these three must haves!
Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza
This isn’t your average thin crust pizza. It takes a little longer to make, but it’s worth the wait. It’s baked in a deep dish pan (as the name suggests) and has a much thicker crust. The cheese and other toppings are usually layered first, then followed up by the sauce on top. This may seem backwards if you’re used to the typical chain pizza. However, the end result is delicious. The tomato sauce is often chunky and the cheese is usually pretty generous. It’s filling and satisfying. And unless you have a large appetite, you’ll probably have leftovers.
Italian Beef Sandwich
Chicago doesn’t skimp when it comes to their iconic foods. This sandwich is definitely filling. It’s a long roll stuffed with Italian beef, gravy (au jus), and either giardiniera (hot) or green Italian sweet peppers (sweet). You can also request a side of gravy (au jus) to dip it in, which is highly recommended.
Step away from the ketchup. Chicago believes in a different way to make a hot dog. Their dogs are topped with yellow mustard, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices, pickled sport peppers, white onions, bright green sweet relish, and a sprinkle of celery salt. The hot dog is served up in a poppy seed bun. Try it, you may be surprised how good a hot dog can taste, even without ketchup.
These are just three of the foodie must haves in Chicago. There are a variety of tasty treats available for the tourist and the local alike. If you’ve been to Chicago, share in the comments section what your favorite Windy City foods are.