Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States, and with that comes a bevy of dining options on almost every street. From the legendary deep dish pizza, to the beef sandwich, to even the unique “date” options – there is truly something for everyone here in the Windy City! If you happen to find yourself traveling through Chicago, here are six foodie spots to visit that are located within walking distance of some iconic areas in town:
BUONA: The Original Italian Beef
You may have known about the Chicago deep dish pizza, and the Chicago-style hot dogs, but what about their beef sandwiches? Ask any Chicagoan and they’ll tell you there’s a certain way you order and eat these delicious items. One such place you just have to try it is at Buona’s. With a variety of sizes and choices on the menu, you’re guaranteed to pick a winner; even if you’re not in the mood for their classic beef. Paired off with an Oreo milkshake, this meal was a good way to conclude my time in Chicago. With many locations around town, the one by Lake Michigan offers good service and great sites nearby to visit.
GIORDANO’S: Battle of the Deep Dish
In Chicago, deep dish pizza is an iconic staple that is taken so seriously that a battle in town rages on as to who makes the best one. Opinions may differ, but the two common top contenders are between Giordano’s and Lou Malnati’s. Having tried both places during my time in the Midway, the former blew away the latter. From efficient service to the food still being warm & delicious, Giordano’s provided an all-around better experience that led me to give it the crown of the town. I went during a rainy lunchtime, and ordered the 6″ pepperoni deep dish with garlic parmesan fries. This location was not far from Soldier Field and the Field Museum; for any sports fanatic or art & culture addict. If you stumble across a Giordano’s in town, check it out and see for yourself why so many people rank it as one of the best.
CHICAGO PIZZA & OVEN GRINDER CO.: A Twist on the Iconic Pie
While the deep dish pizza is a popular go-to in the Windy City, some restaurants are experimenting with new ways to present the cheesy pie goodness. One such place place is taking the pie to the literal sense, and has turned it into a pot pie version. You have the choice of getting it as a half-pounder or one-pounder, but you can’t go wrong with either. When they bring it out, they cut the top off as you watch the cheesy goodness ooze out. The pizza pot pie is so good that the restaurant even offers frozen versions to take home. After a big meal like that, treat yourself to a tortoni which you can share with others as well. Nestled in the beautiful Lincoln Park district, do keep a keen eye as this spot is hidden well under some stairs.
SCATTERED GEMS: Other Chicago Eateries in Town
BEATNIK ON THE RIVER: Upon arriving in Chicago at night, it was getting close to 10 PM, and I was fortunate to come across this gem right on the Chicago River still open. Originally told there was no seating available outside by the river, I managed to sneak to the outside area to see numerous tables open and was seated with no fuss. I ordered the feta-stuffed medjool dates, which was my first time ever eating it. If you never tried it before, it’s a unique taste but one you can grow to love. With beautiful sights inside and outside, stop by when you get the chance, but try to make a reservation ahead of time to be safe.
PORTILLO’S: With numerous locations scattered across Chicago, and other parts of the country, Portillo’s brings the good stuff that causes lines leading out the door. I recommend getting the Italian beef & sausage combo and, for those with a sweet tooth, try their famous chocolate cake.
CAFECITO: Tucked away in the heart of the Loop, this Cuban restaurant is well-known and has the crowd lines to support the passion that comes out of the kitchen. I had the Juevos con Chorizo breakfast sandwich, as I was on the run to the Willis Tower; which is conveniently located about a two minute walk away.
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