Updated 4/11/2016. We added 15 food in the list #37 to #51
The Windy City has a lot more to offer than the Deep Dish Pizza.
1. Korean BBQ Tacos
What is it: Your friendly neighborhood Chicago tacos, with a Korean twist. Eat it with kimchi fries for a near-religious experience.
Where to eat it: Del Seoul, 2568 N Clark St
2. Frenchy’s Fantasy Triple Decker Sandwich
What is it: A ridiculously huge sandwich of rare roast beef, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, sugar cured bacon and Russian dressing.
Where to eat it: Perry’s Deli, 174 N. Franklin St.
3. Jianbing (Chinese Crepes)
What is it: Mung bean-milled crepe filled with eggs, herbs, fried wonton crackers and chinese sauces. Try the old school version with Hongshao Pork Belly and sweet soy sauce.
Where to eat it: Nali, at The Nosh, 2 N Riverside Plaza. Website: EatNali.com
What is it: A small French pastry with a thick caramelized crust and a soft, gooey custard center.
Where to eat it: La Boulangerie, 915 W Belmont Ave
5. Broiled Lemon Whitefish
What is it: No-frills, high-quality whitefish broiled and flavored with lemon. Simple and delicious.
Where to eat it: Brown Bag Sea Food Co., 340 East Randolph
6. Chorizo-Stuffed, Bacon-Wrapped Dates
What is it: An iconic Chicago dish that features medjool dates stuffed with Spanish chorizo and wrapped in bacon. Avec does it with a piquillo pepper-tomato based sauce.
Where to eat it: avec, 615 W Randolph
7. Saffron Bigoli with Duck Ragout Sauce
What is it: Bigoli pasta flavored with saffron and served with a ragout sauce of duck, white wine, tomatoes, and onions
Where to eat it: Boka Restaurant, 1729 N. Halsted St.
8. Apple-Pear Mascarpone Pizza
What is it: A dessert pizza of apple-pear mascarpone sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar.
Where to eat it: Chicago Fire Oven, 5440 N. River Road, Rosemont
9. Deep Dish Pizza
What is it: Chicago’s biggest export, a thick pizza made in a deep dish and slathered with a spicy tomato-based pizza sauce.
Where to eat it: My Pie Pizzeria, 2010 N Damen Ave
10. Elvis Frozen Custard
What is it: Thick, gooey vanilla custard with Reese’s peanut butter cups and Elvis’ favorite fruit, bananas.
Where to eat it: Scooters Frozen Custard, 1658 W Belmont Ave
11. Ahogada Torta (Mexican Sandwich)
What is it: A Mexican sandwich of golden pork carnitas, black beans, tomatoes, and arbol chile broth, by Chef Rick Bayless
Where to eat it: Xoco by Rick Bayless, 449 North Clark Street
12. Nashville Hot Chicken Biscuit
What is it: Chicken breast battered with cayenne and hot sauce and served between freshly baked biscuits
Where to eat it: The Roost Carolina Kitchen, 1467 W Irving Park Rd
13. Black Bean Empanada
What is it: A Chilean favorite – savory black bean stuffed inside a sweet pastry.
Where to eat it: Cafe Tola, 3612 N. Southport
14. Togarashi Spiced Fries
What is it: Crispy potato fries tossed in togarishi – a Japanese spice blend of chili pepper flakes, roasted orange peel, ground ginger, and black sesame seed.
Where to eat it: Belly Shack, 1912 N Western Ave
15. Triple ‘Cheezborger’
What is it: Three beef patties inside a Kaiser bun from one of Chicaog’s most famous food stops
Where to eat it: Billy Goat Tavern Original, 430 N Michigan Ave at Lower Level
16. BBQ Shrimp Flat Bread
What is it: Grilled shrimp served on crispy flat bread with chipotle soy BBQ mozarella cheese on top.
Where to eat it: Chant, 1509 E 53rd St.
17. Beijing Duck Feast
What is it: A two course meal. The first course is Beijing Duck (Peking Duck) roasted and carved at the diner’s table. The carcass is then taken away and turned into a broth for the second course.
Where to eat it: Sun Wah BBQ, 5039 N Broadway
18. Mac and Cheese Pizza
What is it: Macaroni noodles and cheddar cheese pizza with a homemade creme fraiche base
Where to eat it: Dimo’s Pizza Wrigleyville, 3463 N Clark St.
19. Chocolate Pecan Pie
What is it: A classic pie with dark chocolate, pecans, maple sorgum filling and graham crust.
Where to eat it: Bang Bang Pie, 2051 N California
20. Flaming Saganaki
What is it: A thick slice of kesari cheese flamed in brandy
Where to eat it: The Parthenon, 314 South Halsted Street
21. Sweet Fried Plantains
What is it: Deep fried sweet plantains topped with jackfruit chutney
Where to eat it:
Pecking Order, 4416 N Clark St
Update: Pecking Order closed operations on July 26, which means you can no longer eat these delicious sweet plantains. I’ll find a replacement dish and a replacement restaurant and update this asap.
22. Chinese Pork Banh Mi
What is it: Classic Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich with Chinese Pork (Xa Xiu) in cheese char siu sauce served in toasted French bread.
Where to eat it: Ba Le, 5014 N. Broadway St.
23. Shish Kabob
What is it: Straight up, no nonsense shish kabob
Where to eat it: Mr. D’s Shish Kabobs, 6656 W Diversey Ave
Website: Mr. D’s on Yelp
24. Moroccan Chicken Bastilla
What is it: A traditional Moroccan pie made with phyllo dough. Layers of chicken follow layers of eggs which follow a final layer of almond paste.
Where to eat it: Shokran, 4027 West Irving Park Road
25. Cheesecake-Stuffed French Toast
What is it: Your classic French toast with a cream cheesecake filling. Topped with a generous helping of strawberries glaze.
Where to eat it: Cozy Corner Restaurant & Pancake House, 4356 W. Diversey Avenue
26. Traditional Spicy Pork Tamale
What is it: Classic pork tamale topped with salsa verde, muenster cheese, chives and sour cream
Where to eat it: Estrella Negra, 2346 W. Fullerton Avenue
27. Tripe Florentine
What is it: An Italian classic: tripe cooked with carrots, garlic, celery, onions and plum tomatoes. Topped with Parmesan.
Where to eat it: Riccardo Trattoria, 2119 N Clark Street
28. Pulled Pork Sandwich
What is it: A Southern BBQ staple that’s difficult to find in Chicago. Tender shredded pork in BBQ sauce.
Where to eat it: Blackwood BBQ, 307 W Lake Street
29. ‘Nduja Pizza
What is it: Pizza with Calabrian salami, fresh mozzarella, chopped basil and sauce.
Where to eat it: Coalfire Pizza, 1321 W. Grand Ave
30. Paratha Tacos
What is it: Korean tacos with bulgogi wrapped inside flaky Indian parathas. Fusion food that actually tastes good.
Where to eat it: En Hakkore, 1840 N. Damen Ave
Website: En Hakkore on Yelp
What is it: Crispy fried octopus balls taserved with seaweed, sweet sauce, mayo and sesame sauce.
Where to eat it: Four Belly, 3227 N. Clark St.
32. Duck Poutine
What is it: Classic French poutine – thick, hand-cut fries topped with shredded duck and melted manchego cheese.
Where to eat it: Paramount Room, 415 N. Milwaukee Avenue
33. Arroz Gordo (“Fat Rice”)
What is it: Jasmine rice layered with Chinese sausage, salted duck, sofrito, Portuguese chicken thighs, char sui pork, linguica sausage, prawns, clams, tea eggs, croutons, and pickles. Basically, the kind of meal Ron Swanson would be proud to eat. It’s also one of the only few Macanese (i.e. people from Macau) dishes available in Chicago.
Where to eat it: Fat Rice, 2957 W. Diversey Avenue
34. Bacon Butterscotch Donut
What is it: Bacon makes everything better. Including butterscotch donuts.
Where to eat it: Nightwood Restaurant, 2119 S. Halsted Street
The restaurant changes its menu everyday, so depending on the day, you might or might not find this donut on the menu.
35. Chorizo Egg Roll
What is it: Classic egg roll made with chorizo sausage, sweet potato, queso fresco cheese, red cabbage, onions and avocado aioli
Where to eat it: Saucy Porka, 400 S. Financial Place
36. Donut Ice Cream Sandwich
What is it: Vanilla bean Ice cream wrapped inside thick, glazed donuts. Heart-attack food, but oh, so delicious.
Where to eat it: Firecake Donuts, 68 W. Hubbard Street