Be prepared to lose yourself in a foodie fantasy!
Four Chicago foods you must check out in 2021.
Warning: Please start reading this blog on an empty stomach.
By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have already ordered one or more delights from our selection of Chicago’s juiciest cuisines.
And that’s best done on an empty stomach, isn’t it?
Chicago’s deep dish pizza from Malnati’s
There’s the pizzas you can get in NYC, which likes to think of itself as a pizza powerhouse.
And then there’s Chicago’s pizza..
Out here we’re firmly against fat-shaming pizzas. Thus, we deplore uber-thin crusts. We spurn any talk of going easy on the toppings.
A Chicago pizza takes pride in maintaining delicious depth, with oodles of goodies stuffed into it.
Your knife will actually sink into the pizza when you carve it up. Which is why we call it Chicago’s deep dish pizza.
I recommend Malnati’s on S State Street as the best place to grab your pizza from! And if you're looking for more dining options, here are some recommended restaurants near Fox in a Box - Chicago.
Pro tip: Order a side of salad along with your pizza; they go very well together.!
While enjoying Chicago’s deep dish pizza from Malnati’s, you might also want to explore some top attractions and activities in downtown Chicago.
Chocolate cake shake from Portillo’s
OK; this is a controversial choice.
Ask most people about Portillo’s, and they’ll swear...
Swear by their hot dogs, that is.
And, yes, their hot dogs are great.
Their ‘cake shakes’ are EVEN BETTER! They go especially well while you're exploring some of the best indoor activities in Chicago during those colder days.
If you’ve never heard of a ‘cake shake’ before, here’s the deal…
They slice up a cake (what cake depends on your order) into chunks, and blend the chunks into a smoothie.
That’s before they add ice cream. And while the Chocolate cake shake from Portillo’s is a delightful treat for all ages, there are also a variety of Chicago activities specifically designed for teens and tweens that promise a memorable experience.
Yep, that is one dish of gooey goodness you’ll want to experience all by itself! I recommend their Canal and Taylor location!
Here’s Gabriel Iglesias raving about the chocolate cheese cake...
Pro tip: If you absolutely want to beef up your order from just chocolate cake shake, go for one of their ‘charbroiled’ burgers.
Chicago dogs from Devil Dawgs
Many call them ‘Chicago-style hot dogs’.
But the real name for them is, of course, Chicago dogs. They are a must-try. While you're savoring these, it's also good to be aware of local customs. Here are six faux pas to avoid in Chicago to ensure you enjoy your time in the Windy City without any hitches.
Deliciously chewy dog sausage, garnished perfectly with pickles, mustard, and vegetable slices, within two fluffy and fresh buns.
I prefer their S. State Street location.
Pro tip: Order a side of chilli cheese fries with your Chicago dogs.
And if you must dip your dogs in sauce (and no, no NSFW pun intended), ask for their house sauce.
Flaming saganaki from Greek Islands
OK, ‘saganakis’ are a Greek/Mediterranean cuisine.
HOWEVER, the ‘flaming saganaki’ is a Chicago innovation on the traditional Greek fare. It involves a traditional saganaki being ‘flambéed’ (French for ‘flamed’) at your table, accompanied by a shout of ‘opa’.
This dish, like many others in Chicago, showcases the city's rich culinary heritage, which plays a significant role in its hospitality and tourism sector. For those interested in understanding more about this industry, check out our Chicago Hospitality and Tourism Summit insights.
You might be thinking that’s a lot of talk for a cheese appetizer, but trust me…
Once you’ve sunk your teeth into one of their fresh and creamy saganakis, you’ll be Instagramming about it within moments!
I like the ones they make over at Greek Islands (on S. Halstead Street).
Pro tip: Calamari mains complement it wonderfully.
Some other Chicago foods you should also check out
OK, so those were my top 4 fav foods that I think must be on your to-have list for 2021.
Here are a few more you can check out, once you’ve done those four (think of these as our ‘honorable mentions’)
Jambalaya from Buddy Guy’s Legends.
Lollipop (chicken) wings from the Great Sea Restaurant.
Beef sandwich (with peppers and fries) from Luke’s.
I hope you enjoy taste-testing Chicago’s foods and creating your own list of the best foods Chicago has to offer! Also, don't miss out on the top 10 activities to enjoy in Chicago during March 2022.
Tell me which ones you like best...tweet your list, with the hashtags #Foods #Chicago #FIAB. And after indulging in these Chicago foods, consider exploring the top 11 activities and events in Chicago for February 2022.
What sets Chicago foods apart
Just like escape rooms, Chicago foods offer a multi-sensory experience.
Just like our escape rooms, which also are a popular choice for birthdays, Chicago foods offer up a multi-sensory experience.
From the delightful aroma wafting through the air to the unique textures you feel as you handle them, to the tastes that flood your mouth - our foods are really a feast for the senses!
It’s what sets our cuisine apart.
Banner image courtesy of Christopher Williams on Unsplash.