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.
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
DelSeoul.com h/t Chicago Taco Talk
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: 5500 S Cornell Ave, Chicago, IL 60637, United States
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
What is it: Chicken breast battered with cayenne and hot sauce and served between freshly baked biscuits
Where to eat it: 9353 North Milwaukee Avenue, Niles, IL
Website: Nash Bros
What is it: A Chilean favorite – savory black bean stuffed inside a sweet pastry.
Where to eat it: Cafe Tola, 3612 N. Southport
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
What is it: A thick slice of kesari cheese flamed in brandy
Where to eat it: 200 S Halsted Chicago, IL. 60661
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
What is it: Pizza with Calabrian salami, fresh mozzarella, chopped basil and sauce.
Where to eat it: Coalfire Pizza, 1321 W. Grand Ave
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: Tanuki, 3006 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
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
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
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.
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
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
Click here for list #37 to #51
Hello there! My name is Jay and I run this website. I'm a full-time traveler and freelance writer. This is where I share travel advice and help people pursue their traveling dreams.
You can learn more about me and my mission on the about me page.
It's nice to have you here :)
Dude.. tasty tasty. Not a good time to look at this I admit. It’s midnight here in Australia and I’m a late night snacker 🙂
But really, I was had at #1. That is tasttyyyy! Korean BBQ tacos.. mm!
Maybe the bacon butterscotch donut, too.. Dang!
Nice to meet you Jay,
Oh man, don’t get me started on the Korean tacos. And the butterscotch donut is probably a bit overdone, but still so damn tasty!
The Pecking Order is no longer in business, and you forgot East Lakeviews Sesame Chicken at Ping Pong.
I wasn’t aware of Pecking Order being out of business. Just checked…apparently, it happened just a couple of weeks ago (July 26, to be exact).
Will modify the list accordingly.
Cool. But yeah, you still need to check out Ping Pong. Seriously, best Thai Food in the city. 😀 Trust me.
Added to my bucket list for Chicago. The Yelp reviews look pretty promising as well 🙂
What would you recommend there?
List of the best:
Salt and Pepper Calamari
Old Fashioned Egg Foo Young
Sliced Chicken with Quinoa
Kung Pao Scallops
and of course …
The Seasame Chicken if you want a more mainstream dish.
… Let me know if and when you plan on going and maybe I can sort out some kind of meal comp / discount for you. A close friend owns the place, but that’s not why I’m advocating how good the food is. The reason I know this friend is simply because I have gone back to his restaurant so many times.
mr beef!! for sure best beef in the city…there is also a bar called Lockdown- this place is absolutely amazing. the atmosphere is laid back and cool the food is amazing and you can get a tall boy pbr and a shot of Jameson for 5 bucks!! where in chicago can you do that?!?!?
@jenn thanks, sounds great i will check their beef menu. I stop drinking alcohol since 2014.
1. Crispy fried pig’s ear from Purple Pig
2. Pig’s face from Girl and the Goat
3. Corned beef from Manny’s deli
4. Thuringer sausage from Hot Doug’s (sad they’re closing!)
5. Cubano from Tortas Frontera and El Cubanito
6. Corned beef and sharp cheddar sub from the deli in the Peoria Packing store
A good list, but in no way complete…but it did it’s job; (adding restaurants to dining list)
That’s the thing about lists: you can never include everything in them!
[…] have had #5 and #13 on this list of the 36 Best Things to Eat in Chicago in the past 3 days so I am inclined to say this list is legit. Related: how have I never been to […]
Paramount room no longer has the duck poutine, very very sad