Located on the shores of Lake Michigan with a population of nearly 10 million people, Chicago, Illinois is a culturally rich city filled with great history. The city was renown for its urban planning and zoning standards and became a powerhouse in American industries such as commerce, transportation, fiance and technology. Chicago is home to O’Hare International Airport which ranks as one of the busiest in the world. They have the most amount of highways in the U.S. and possess one of the world’s most balanced and diverse economies.
The music scene is off the charts and their sports fans are some of the most passionate across all U.S. professional leagues. It’s pretty hard not to want to live in Chicago or at least visit for an action-packed vacation. If you’re still on the fence about booking a trip here, Chicago’s underground food scene will change your life. Find out more below in Rad’s Top 5 Street Foods in Chicago.
Slangin’ bagels since ‘83
Bagels mean a lot to east coast residents. For Chicagoans, it may as well mean everything. Just after college, the Jacobs brothers moved from Connecticut to Chicago to bless the population with their authentic bagel making skills. Nothing gets your morning started better than a hearty bagel breakfast sandwich with a fresh cup of Joe. Patrons can choose from a wide variety of flavors, cream cheeses and house-made sandwiches. Get to grubbin’ at six in the morning or enjoy their epic eats in the afternoon. It’s always time for Bro Bagel.
Rad’s Go-to Plate: “The BroBagel Club” – turkey, bacon, avocado, tomato, mixed greens & garlic confit spread
Location: 1931 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, USA
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun: 6.30am – 3pm
Pizza, Beer and Sports. ‘Nuff said.
Much like the pizza in New York, the debate can never be put to rest based on such a short list of great Chicago pizza joints. To make the decision even harder, Chicago is home to some of the greatest pizza styles known to mankind. You can never go wrong with Spacca Napoli, New Haven or an elite slew of other shops in the Windy City. Flavor speaks for itself and for that reason it is an absolute must to eat deep dish pizza at Pequod’s Pizzeria. Their infamous caramelized and flaky crust holds a foundation for an irresistible tomato sauce and mounds of cheese. To add more to the pot, the Lincoln Park location is perfect place to catch a sports game at the bar.
Rad’s Go-to Plate: “Cheese Pizza” – Simple and to the point, yet oh-so glorious. Add one or more toppings for more flavor!
Location: 2207 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 11am – 2am, Sun: 11am – 12am
A Chicago Classic..
The Chicago-style hot dog is a simple quick bite of food that is a fundamental aspect to the city’s food scene. The dog is smothered in array of condiments including mustard, chopped onions, relish, pickle spear, tomatoes and peppers. The Vienna Beef frankfurter was first sold in the late 19th century in Chicago, paving the way for this iconic meal. Chicagoans take this dish so seriously that all of their hot dog restaurants outnumber any other chains of food combined.
Hop in your car and drive to Superdawg where you will be greeted by a comforting classic 1950s drive-in vibe. The venue still has their historic giant rooftop hot dogs Maurie and Flaurie. Aside from the presentation you simply can not go wrong with anything on the menu. Be prepared. Chicago-style is comin’ at ya.
Rad’s Go-to Plate: “The Superdawg” – poppy seed bun, pure beef hot dog, dressed with all the trimmings
Location: 6363 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60646, USA
Opening Hours: Sun – Thurs: 11am – 1am, Fri – Sat: 11am – 2am
Come get your dipped hot beef..
From Chicago’s hot dogs to pizza spots, it can be hard to fathom another style of food so important to the city’s culture. Dipped hot beef sandwiches are a staple in Chicago’s street food landscape. Johnnie’s Beef has carried their classic recipe through multiple generations and it shows. They deliver delicately cut and folded meat, laid up nicely on an Italian roll soaked in gravy. If you aren’t salivating over this sandwich shop yet you’ve got a problem.
Rad’s Go-to Plate: “Traditional Italian Beef” – thinly sliced Italian beef, spy giardiniera and dipped in gravy
Location: 7500 W North Ave, Elmwood Park, IL 60707, USA
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 11am – 12am, Sun: 12pm – 12am
Mexican Street Food Done Right..
A winter favorite, Xoco is the go-to spot for Mexican hot chocolate and classic street food eats such as churros and empanadas. This unique quick-service cafe hones in on Rick Bayless’s rendition of Mexico’s delicious classics. Skip the lengthy lines on the Xoco-To-Go app to get in and out with the best of ensaladas, tortas, tostadas and more. Each dish is made with only the freshest ingredients in support of Chicago’s year-round sustainable market called Green City Market. The best part is that the churros are freshly fried right in front of you as you drool all over yourself.
Rad’s Go-To Plate: “Glazed Churros” – Homemade churros with pistachio hazelnut or chocolate-peanut
Location: 449 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654, USA
Opening Hours: Tues – Thurs: 8am – 9pm, Fri – Sat: 8am – 10pm
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