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Traditional Chicago Food

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Cuisine is an integral part of any local culture, and no trip to Chicago is complete without tasting the traditional Chicago food. This directory offers information about the traditional dishes and drinks available in Chicago to help visitors better understand the local food culture and make an informed decision when trying them.


  • Flaming Saganaki: flambéed fried cheese.
  • Foie gras: duck or goose fat liver.
  • Giardiniera: an Italian or Italian-American relish of pickled vegetables in vinegar or oil.
  • Potato pancake: shallow-fried pancakes of grated potato, flour and egg, often flavored with grated onion or garlic and seasoning.
  • Töltött tojás (Deviled Eggs): hard-boiled eggs filled with the hard-boiled egg's yolk mixed with mayonnaise and mustard.


  • Roasted poblano gazpacho: blackened peppers, sweet chilled San Marzano tomatoes, a touch of garlic and lemon with Cotija cheese.


  • Caesar salad: made of lettuce and croutons dressed with Parmesan cheese.
  • Insalata Caprese: made of sliced fresh buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil.

Main courses

  • Bangers and Mash: traditional English dish made of mashed potatoes and sausages.
  • BBQ Pig Feet: are usually served with steamed vegetables.
  • Butternut squash: a type of winter squash.
  • Chicago-style BBQ: the cooks from Chicago usually use pork, chicken or beef for the preparation of this dish.
  • Chicago-style ribs: are a great pride of the American cuisine.
  • Chicken fried bacon: bacon strips dredged in batter and deep fried.
  • Chicken Vesuvio: an Italian-American dish made from chicken on the bone and wedges, sauteed with garlic, oregano, white wine and olive oil.
  • Green Corn Tamales: corn-based filling cooked inside a corn husk wrapper.
  • Irish eggs Benedict: a minor variation on eggs Benedict.
  • Jibarito: a sandwich made with fried green plantains instead of bread, garlic-flavored mayonnaise, and a filling that includes meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato.
  • Pierogi: boiled, baked or fried dumplings traditionally stuffed with potato filling, sauerkraut, ground meat, or fruit.
  • Rigatoni: fennel sausage, peas and perfect pasta in a tomato-cream-Parmesan sauce.
  • Roast chicken: roasted chicken seasoned with salt, sugar and Espelette peppers, served with a spring onion jus.
  • Shrimp DeJonghe: a casserole of whole peeled shrimp blanketed in soft, garlicky, sherry-laced bread crumbs.
  • Smoked black cod: applewood-smoked black cod with pickled red onions, horseradish-and-dill cream and pumpernickel croutons.
  • Spicy Tofu Stir Fry: extra-firm tofu with meaty (but vegan) soybean cubes, garlic chili oil and a fermented black bean sauce.
  • Spit-roasted pork loin: a boned and rolled loin of pork studded with rosemary and garlic and spit-roasted.
  • Turkey chili: turkey meat with chillies and other chili-friendly ingredients.
  • Veal medallions: veal with tamarind-mango sauce.


  • Blueberry pie: Sweet pie filled with blueberries, blueberry filling or blueberry custard.
  • Bread Pudding: bread-based dessert, made with eggs, sugar or golden syrup and spices.
  • Cinnamon Stick Soft Serve: apple slivers and pie crust crumbles embedded in cinnamon ice cream, ringed with drizzled salted caramel.
  • Crème brûlée: a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel.
  • Kolacky: a type of pastry that holds a dollop of fruit rimmed by a puffy pillow of supple dough.
  • Strawberry cheesecake: a vegan cake made with almonds and dates for the crust, coconut milk, coconut meat and cashews for the "cheese" and strawberries for the topping.

Fast food

  • Blast sandwich: shrimp, thick-cut bacon, avocado.
  • Braised pork shoulder sandwich: pork, onions, vinegar, salt, sugar, tomatoes, Mascarpone cheese, olive oil and spices.
  • Brisket sandwich: beef brisket, garlic, onions, chilli sauce, onion buns.
  • Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich: is a sandwich of thin slices of seasoned roast beef, dripping with meat juices, on a dense, long Italian-style roll.
  • Deep Dish Pizza: also known as Chicago-style pizza is pizza style developed in Chicago.
  • Fried Oysters on Toast: corn-flour dusted and fried oysters, served with toasted buttered French bread, a mustardy bold remoulade and a squeeze of lemon.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: basic sandwich made with one or more slices of any kind of cheese on any sort of bread.
  • Ham Frites: fries tossed with rendered pork fat and seasoned with salty dehydrated ham powder.
  • Hot smoked salmon sandwich: Scottish salmon, smoked sweet with applewood,served Boursin-style cheese on rye bread.
  • Italian combo: classic Chicago spicing of shaved beef, fennel-seed-studded sausage, roasted peppers and Turano bread.
  • Kiełbasa: a type of Eastern European sausage.
  • Mother-in-law: Chicago area fast food dish that features a Chicago-style corn-roll tamale nestled in a hot dog bun and smothered with chili.
  • Pastrami sandwich: beef brisket, brined and intensely smoked with hickory, served with grain mustard on pumpernickel.
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich: sandwich, popular in North America, that includes a layer of peanut butter and either jam or jelly on bread.
  • Potato-pepper-egg sandwich: green peppers and potatoes folded into scrambled eggs.
  • Scallop sandwich: grilled or fried scallops, prosciutto, goat cheese and sliced plums or a variation of vegetables on Italian bread.
  • Sweet potato fries: deep-fried potatoes tossed in brown sugar and cayenne.
  • White clam pie: a pizza like pie made with freshly grated aged mozzarella, fresh-shucked littleneck clams, fresh garlic, oregano, thick-cut bacon and Parmesan.

Street food

  • Chicago Hot Dog
  • Cracker Jack: snack consisting of strong molasses flavored candy-coated popcorn and peanuts.
  • Holy Guac-aioli burger: beef, chorizo, guacamole, onions, jack cheese and chipotle aioli.
  • Maxwell Street Polish: a grilled or fried length of Polish sausage topped with grilled onions and yellow mustard and optional sport peppers, served on a bun.

Drinks (Non-alcoholic)

Drinks (Alcoholic)

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