The Top Thing to Eats: Chicago

Written: The Top Thing Staff | February 8, 2023

Exploring Chicago’s Culinary Delights: A Diverse Food Experience

Chicago is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, offering a vibrant and diverse food scene that appeals to all taste buds. From deep-dish pizza to ethnic street food to upscale dining experiences, the city is a food lover’s dream. In this article, we will take a culinary journey through Chicago, highlighting the top things to eat while considering diverse perspectives and including sources for additional information.

Chicago-Style Hot Dog: A Classic Favorite

One of the most iconic and beloved foods in Chicago is the Chicago-style hot dog. This delicious creation features an all-beef hot dog nestled in a steamed poppy seed bun. Toppings typically include mustard, chopped onions, relish, tomato slices, a dill pickle spear, sport peppers, and a sprinkle of celery salt. It’s important to note that ketchup is not an included condiment—a strict rule for purists of this famous dog.

Local Perspective: “From the bright yellow mustard to the pop of flavor from the sport peppers, every component of a Chicago-style hot dog comes together to create a truly unique taste.”

Source: Eater Chicago

Tasting Global Flavors in Chicago’s Neighborhoods

Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods offer a wealth of international cuisines that transport you around the world. Here are some must-try dishes from various culinary traditions:

1. Mexican: Tacos al Pastor in Pilsen

For authentic Mexican flavors, head to Pilsen and savor the mouthwatering Tacos al Pastor. These tacos are filled with marinated pork cooked on a rotating spit, resembling a Middle Eastern shawarma. Topped with onions, cilantro, and a drizzle of salsa verde, the flavors are bold and irresistible.

Local Perspective: “Tacos al Pastor from Pilsen capture the essence of Mexican street food. The tender, juicy pork with pineapple creates a perfect harmony of savory and sweet flavors.”

Source: Time Out Chicago

2. Ethiopian: Injera and Doro Wat in Edgewater

Discover the rich flavors of Ethiopian cuisine in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. Injera, a spongy and tangy Ethiopian bread, serves as the base for various dishes. Pair it with Doro Wat, a spicy chicken stew made with berbere seasoning and served alongside lentils and greens for a truly authentic experience.

Local Perspective: “Eating injera with doro wat is like taking a cultural journey to Ethiopia. The combination of fragrant spices and the unique texture of injera creates a memorable dining experience.”

Source: Chicago Tribune

3. Polish: Pierogi in Avondale

Delve into Chicago’s Polish heritage with a taste of pierogi in the Avondale neighborhood. These dumplings, typically filled with ingredients like potato, cheese, sauerkraut, or meat, are boiled or fried to perfection. Served with sour cream and caramelized onions, pierogi are a comforting and satisfying treat.

Local Perspective: “Pierogi are a cherished part of Chicago’s culinary scene. The soft dough and flavorful fillings are a testament to the warmth and richness of Polish cuisine.”

Source: Choose Chicago

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where can I find authentic deep-dish pizza in Chicago?

For an authentic deep-dish pizza experience, many locals recommend Lou Malnati’s, known for its rich and buttery crust, or Pequod’s Pizza, famous for its caramelized cheese edge known as the “halo.” Both pizzerias have multiple locations across the city.

Source: Tripadvisor

2. What is the best place to enjoy Chicago’s skyline while dining?

The Signature Room at the 95th, located atop the John Hancock Center, offers breathtaking views of the city’s skyline. With a combination of upscale cuisine and panoramic vistas, it’s a popular spot for a memorable dining experience.

Source: Choose Chicago

3. Where can I find unique desserts in Chicago?

To satisfy your sweet tooth, visit BomboBar, a dessert bar known for its extravagant milkshakes and innovative twists on classic treats. They offer creations like the “doughnut bomb,” a doughnut filled with gelato and topped with various decadent toppings.

Source: Time Out Chicago

Chicago’s culinary scene is a testament to the city’s diverse and rich cultural heritage. From iconic classics to international delights, the flavors and experiences are boundless. So, come hungry and embark on a food-filled adventure through Chicago—a city that celebrates culinary traditions from all corners of the globe.

Note: The sources mentioned have been provided for additional information, but it’s always recommended to check the latest reviews and recommendations from trusted sources to ensure up-to-date information on restaurants and dining experiences.