Chicago is certainly beloved by its residents for its delicious casual dishes and acclaimed restaurants. For those that grew up in Chicago, but have since moved elsewhere, every visit home must include one or two dishes from this list. Visiting Chicago and looking to try some delicious regional food? This list of the best Chicago food is the perfect starting point for your visit.
The Italian Beef sandwich is a well-loved classic in Chicago and throughout Illinois. With famous establishments like Al’s Beef, that now have countless locations in Illinois, residents can get themselves an Italian Beef just about anywhere in the state. What is an Italian Beef exactly? It is a yummy sandwich featuring seasoned shredded beef, topped off with ‘sauce’ (au jus) as well as plenty of giardinieras, which are spicy pickled veggies.
A jibarito is a type of Puerto Rican inspired sandwich made famous in Chicago, Illinois. Although a jibarito can have all kinds of fillings, which makes it stand out is that it does not include bread. Instead of a roll or a bun, the jibarito is made with two big slices of fried plantains. This island inspired dish is a must-try when visiting Chicago.
A Chicago style hotdog is a street food staple throughout Illinois. It includes some very specific ingredients that residents have come to expect when ordering. This classic dish starts with a beef hotdog on a poppy seed bun and is topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, sweet pickle relish, tomato slices, sports peppers and of course celery salt. Restaurants like ‘Gene and Jude’s’ even offer over the top variations of this classic dish, such as a hotdog topped with crispy french fries.
Chicken Vesuvio is available on the menu of many Italian restaurants throughout the United States, but Illinois is widely considered the origin of the dish. For those that have never tasted it before, Chicken Vesuvio includes chicken, potatoes and other root vegetables seasoned with garlic, oregano, and white wine. From there the dish is baked and served fresh and hot at many restaurants throughout Illinois.
For those not already familiar with Manny’s Deli & Cafeteria, this Chicago staple offers enormous deli sandwiches that tourists and residents alike flock to for lunch whenever they can. They sell deli classics like Corned Beef, Pastrami, Beef Brisket, and Rubens. The sheer size alone will have guests leaving full, with some leftovers to take along. The majority of sandwiches are about $15, but don’t let the high price scare you, when you receive your order you will see why they can charge what they do for their delectable dishes.
In Chicago, a Breaded Steak Sandwich is similar to the East Coast favorite Chicken Parm. It features a tender fried breaded steak, topped with tasty tomato sauce as well as lots of gooey cheese. For those looking to try this delicacy out for themselves, visiting Ricobene’s is an absolute must, as they are considered the true hub of breaded steak sandwiches in Chicago.