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Hey hey!! Jorge and I are headed to Chicago at the end of the month for a friend’s wedding. We’ve been traveling so much this year!
- Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, San Cristóbal, Chiapas, and Palenque, Chiapas
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Poughkeepsie, New York and New York City, New York
- Palm Springs, California
- Hillsborough, New Jersey, Princeton, New Jersey and New Hope, Pennsylvania
- Mexico City, Mexico
Neither of us have been to Chicago before, so we’re both so excited to explore the city. We know we’ll have to pack winter coats, gloves and scarves. What we don’t know is where to EAT!! So this is where we need your help 🙂
Please share your foodie recommendations in the comments below. We are only in the city for 4 days, so we need the best of the best. Is there a must-try donut shop? Hot dog spot? Pizza? Oprah’s favorite things??
Thanks so much!! Also, I’ll be sharing all of my travel adventures on Instagram. Stop by and say hello :)!
Photo credit: Travel Photo Adventures0
Eva @ Eva Bakes says
Chicago deep dish pizza is a must – there are so many different places you can try! And you have to get yourself a bag of Garrett’s popcorn (they have stands in the airport). Their caramel popcorn is out of this world!
Kevin Sperry says
We went to the girl and the goat and had a fabulous meal. I would go back
It’s hard to wrong with a Chicago dog! I really like UB Dogs downtown, but I usually go to Hoppin Hots near my apartment (their duck dog is amazing). Where will you be in the city? I’m more familiar with the north side, but there’s lots of great food in the Wicker Park area as well. My favorite there is Trencherman. If you make it up to North Clark St, be sure to stop in at Hopleaf. Best Belgian mussels and beer in the city. Lou Malnati’s is the absolute best for deep dish pizza, but I also love Exchequer downtown (bonus points for being a former Al Capone hang out!).
I would say to try Big Star if you want amazing tacos! Or Kuma’s for great burgers 🙂
Do-rite donuts (even have gluten free)
Elizabeth Restaurant in Lincoln Square (have to order tickets but well worth it)
Cafe Sarkis in Evanston
Hey Brandon! I’ve been posting a series of Chicago trip recaps on Jinxi Eats – if you have time, you can check some of those out. Things that immediately come to mind: Eataly, Xoco/Frontera Grill, and Giordano’s deep dish. Also check out Green Mills, one of the most famous jazz lounges! =) Have a wonderful trip – you’ll love it!!
J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats says
You must go to Three Dots and a Dash! Really fun tiki bar with excellent drinks. Also had a great meal at Purple Pig. We loved walking through Millenium Park and looking at all the cool art/sculptures and they also had free jazz concerts under the arches but that was most likely a summer thing, can’t imagine wanting to sit outside when its freeeezing.
For authentic and inexpensive tapas go to Cafe Iberico (river north). Delicious blood sausage and sangria. The best deep dish in Chicago is Pequods (Lincoln park). If you just need a quick lunch M Burger is great for a simple but very tasty hamburger and shake. If you go to there website there is secret menu if you scroll over the hamburger. Always fun to feel like a local! I also second purple pig and three dots and a dash. Have Fun!
For a great pan pizza (this isn’t deep dish but it’s better) with caramelized crust go to Pequod’s in Lincoln Park.
For a Neapolitan style pizza (brick oven, charred, bubbly crust) go to Coalfire on the West Side.
For a great burger with heavy metal go to Lockdown Bar & Grill in the Ukrainian Village (people say Kuma’s is better but the wait is 2+ hours and you’ve only 4 days).
For the traditional Chicago bar experience go to Miller’s Pub in the Loop. They’ve got beer, good food, with a warm, cozy, dark wood ambiance.
For traditional Greek fare at a sit down restaurant go to Greek Islands in Greek town. Nearby is Zeus for the best gyro I’ve ever had.
For seafood that is sort of fancy in an old school, nautical setting go to the Cape Cod Room in the Streeterville neighborhood.
For a great hot beef sandwich (dipped with hot or sweet peppers) I love Joe Boston’s. You would need to taxi out to this spot (still in the city just sort of far west). For something closer you can go to Al’s Beef in Little Italy.
For some interesting and fun Dutch style food you must go to Vincent. This is my favorite spot in the city. It’s in Andersonville which is a really cool area with tons of boutiques and ma & pa shops. Vincent is a very intimate setting with upscale Dutch style food. Their cocktails are amazing and the menu changes frequently. It’s a small spot but it’s beautiful inside and reminds me of Amsterdam (which might be my favorite city in the world).
Chicago is a city where people eat. You won’t go far in any direction without a great option for a meal nearby. This is the still the Midwest, people aren’t scared of food here. We are pretty picky, though. Anything that isn’t good enough won’t last, so most of the places you’ll go to will have been around for a while and have solid food. Have fun and do bundle up!
Donuts: Glazed & Infused or Stan’s
Hot Dogs: Portillo’s
Pizza: Pequod’s, Lou Malnati’s & Giordano’s for deep dish; Coalfire
Oprah’s fave: Table Fifty Two
Tacos: Big Star, Antique Taco
Burger: Au Cheval
Cocktails: Library Bar at Public House, Three Dots & a Dash, Violet Hour
My faves: Sunda, Avec, Purple Pig, Xoco, Balena
Check out ChicagoFoodAuthority on Instagram for tons of ideas!
Where do I begin?
Pizza – deep dish – Giordanos – Try the one with spinach
Brunch/breakfast? The Melrose Diner on the corner of Broadway and Melrose
Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger Cheeseburger (SNL) – The Billy Goat Tavern (For great cheeseburgers, of course)
A great Cafeteria on the South side – Barak Obama’s favorite – he Valois on 51st street in Hyde Park
Fabulous Middle Eastern food? Reza’s on Clark and Berwyn.
In Chicago, good restaurants become institutions. These are the places I used to go to all the time as a student 30 years ago. They’re still there (and, in some cases, the people working there are same).
I used to lived downtown in the Loop for a year and recommend for Italian Beef Al’s is the place to go (the original one is on Taylor Street). For the original Chicago hotdog you need to check out Jim’s and Maxwell’s (they are right next to eachother by UIC’s campus). Giordanos if great for Chicago style pizza, but the Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. by Lincoln Park, is well worth the trip, just make sure you bring cash since they do not take credit or debit.
You MUST try one of the three restaurants Rick Bayless has – I recommend the one that is middle-ranged price – forget the name but easy to pick out from any guide book. Having lived in Chicago, I think the pizza is over-rated…
The original Kuma’s corner. Go hungry. Expect to wait, but the food is worth it.
Go big and try and get into Alinea.
Worth the expense.
The Purple Pig!!!!
I’ll have to second (third?) Lou Malnati’s for deep dish pizza. Other food items that are only in the Midwest that you need to try include Italian beef sandwiches (they’re a rarity in San Diego), pizza puffs and the oft-cited Chicago-style hot dog. Enjoy and stay warm!
If you need some restaurant recommendations, these are all great!! Sunda- best sushi fusion resturant I have ever been to. Little Goat, great for lunch or brunch, casual- across the street and sister restaurant to Girl and the Goat. RPM has fantastic Italian with a twist. Save room for the tarfuto desert! You can sneak into Sunda and RPM and grab a table near the bar to eat if you can’t get a reservation. ENJOY!!
Stefano Turrini says
Billy Sunday is a must. Food by chef Merges, the greatest in Chicago. Cocktails by Alex Bachman, also one of the super mixologists in town.
Au Cheval (bologna sandwich, trust me)
Little Goat (bloody mary and anything on the menu)
The Aviary (drinks-you’ll probably need a reso. Yes, for drinks)
RPM (hard to get a table, so just belly up to the bar)
Eleven City Diner. I was in Chicago for a week in 2013 and that place was so amazing we ate there twice. I still remember the Number #24 sandwich it was so delicious…
I would recommend “Chicago Oven and Pizza Grinders” – very popular so be patient…….and last time I was there (a few years ago) it was cash only!
Enjoy Chitown – great city!