Growing up in Chicago, I learned to appreciate all types of different foods. From weekend lunch excursions to Chinatown or Greek Town to grabbing a Chicago hot dog heaped with relish and onions while on the go, the city offers so much for hungry foodies.
Chicago’s food scene is an eclectic mix of cultures and tastes. Starting at a young age, I developed a hankering for kolaches, a fruity pastry found at Czech bakeries around the city, and savory carnitas at Mexican taco shops. Foodie visitors have endless options for sampling diverse cuisine as this city caters to any and all tastes. Here’s how to best enjoy Chicago’s food scene.
Chicago has hot summers and cold winters, so pack appropriately, especially if planning to dine outside.
If you only have time for one thing, make it Chicago-style deep-dish pizza.
Start off the day with a bike ride around the city to discover unique neighborhoods like Wrigleyville, home of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, the picturesque Lincoln Park, and the fancy Gold Coast, which offers easy access to the lakefront trail. Stop for snacks like delicious pastries or a Chicago-style hot dog along the way.
Hopefully you’ve worked up an appetite for dinner because it’s not a trip to Chicago until you sample deep-dish pizza. Test out famous spots like Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria—just come hungry, as this style of stuffed pizza is very filling.
Chicago’s Chinatown isn’t as extensive as New York’s or San Francisco’s, but it’s still a fun place to shop, stroll, and, of course, eat. Take the Red Line transit line from the Loop to the Cermak-Chinatown stop, then walk around to check out the many Chinese restaurants in the area, or take a Chinatown food tour to sample delights like dumplings or duck.
You may not know that Chicagoans love doughnuts, and the city has some famous doughnut shops. Get your sugary fix at Doughnut Vault, which offers handmade, artisanal donuts in numerous flavors like buttermilk or toasted almond.