Illinois is especially known for its famous Chicago deep-dish pizza, pierogi (homemade Polish meatballs), and Italian beef sandwiches. Interestingly, one of the foods most associated with Illinois is also the most controversial. You can't talk about deep-dish pizza without mentioning Chicago, but most Chicagoans prefer thin-crust pizza for everyday use. Chicago's thin-crust pizza is usually cut into squares and eaten unfolded, unlike New York pizza.
Still, it's undeniable that when “Chicago-style pizza” is mentioned, most people conjure up the image of a deep plate of thick crust and greased with sauce. The origin of deep dish pizza is usually attributed to Pizzeria Uno. Since then, the name has been changed to Uno's and is now a large national pizza chain. If you fancy a dish that's a little more substantial (and possibly even greasier) than a hot dog, you might consider the horseshoe-shaped dish.
Technically an open sandwich, the horseshoe is a combination of toasted bread, meat (usually a hamburger) and French fries, all bathed in Rarebit Welsh sauce (a type of seasoned cheese sauce). The invention of the horseshoe is a somewhat controversial topic. However, it is often attributed to Joe Schweska, chef at the Leland Hotel in Springfield in the 1920s. The history of popcorn in the Americas dates back thousands of years and originated with Native Americans.
However, flavored popcorn is a much more recent invention. The Chicago version of the appetizer was first created in the 1970s. Later, they introduced CheeseCorn, sharp popcorn with the flavor of cheddar cheese. They noticed that customers used to order both CaramelCrisp and CheeseCorn, along with an empty bag to mix them.
In 1977, Garrett decided to include a mix of flavors on the menu and Chicago-style popcorn, also known as Garrett Mix, was officially born. Garrett Mix is the perfect combination of sweet and savory. It can be purchased all year round, but it's especially popular during the holidays. There are several Garrett popcorn stores in Chicago, including the original location on Madison Street and State.
Finally, the Ferrari family created a business with their Italian meat sandwiches. They opened Al's Bar B-Q, although it's impossible to prove that this was Chicago's first Italian meat restaurant. Today, Italian meat sandwiches start with a large cut of beef, seasoned with dried herbs, and then simmered in beef broth. Then the meat is cut into thin slices, soaked in broth and piled on the bread.
Bob-O's Hot Dogs, in Dunning, offers Italian beef sandwiches and Chicago sausages. Their menu also includes hand-cut French fries. Once upon a time, Maxwell Street in Chicago was a bustling market. It was started by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe.
Street vendors and vendors sold just about anything you could imagine at roadside stalls, often at very reasonable prices. It was there that the Maxwell Street Polish sausage sandwich was born. Customers focus on Lao Sze Chuan, as if they were missiles looking for heat for the mapo, melted and silky tofu in cubes that swim in a tingling broth loaded with Sichuan pepper. This must-try Chicago food helped Lao Sze Chuan go from a small Chinatown venue in 1998 to a mapo tofu empire in the Midwest.
Chicken at Vesuvius is an authentic Chicago food. Nobody really knows who invented this dish of roasted chicken with pieces of potato and peas sautéed in white wine sauce, but many believe that this iconic Chicago dish first appeared on the menu at Vesuvius, a well-known Chicago restaurant in the 1930s. Whether you're a local or visiting the Windy City for the first time, you'll be able to discover some of Chicago's most iconic dishes with Cozymeal City Food Tours. The legendary Au Cheval Cheeseburger has been repeatedly listed not only as one of Chicago's iconic foods, but also as one of the best hamburgers in America, and Au Cheval has earned its reputation as one of the best restaurants in Chicago.