New York and Los Angeles seem to be actively competing for our attention when it comes to food destinations in America. After all, if you want to be a huge chef in the United States, you open a restaurant in one of the major cities.
We’re not surprised, though, that Chicago has been named “Restaurant City of the Year” by Bon Appétit magazine. It’s no surprise that Chicago has constantly been at the top of any food lover’s watch list, from recently launched destination restaurants like Giant to classic bargain fare like deep-dish pizza and the Chicago dog (with relish, onions, and tomatoes).
Chicago is adamant about its traditional American dishes.
Chicago Deep-dish pizza. Italian beef. Chicago Dogs. Try telling them that deep-dish pizza isn’t real pizza or that tomatoes don’t belong on a hot dog if you live in the Windy City. We’re as taken aback by their unwavering devotion to Chicago comfort food classics as we are by the foods themselves.
The Oscars of the food world was transferred to Chicago.
The James Beard Awards, which honor the most influential people in the culinary world, were held in New York every year until 2015. They then relocated to Chicago’s Lyric Opera House (where they will remain until 2021), making Chicago the new home base for the country’s most prestigious food awards.
It is well-known for its tasty, cheap eats.
Despite the fact that we just mentioned some of Chicago’s most well-known five-star restaurants, you don’t need a lot of cash to enjoy delicious food there. You’ve probably heard of Chicago dogs and pizza, but the classic Italian beef sandwich (similar to a cheesesteak but without the cheese) is an iconic cheap eats choice for city dwellers. There are also greasy pierogis at Pierogi Heaven, as well as carne asada tacos at any of the town’s seemingly hundreds of taquerias.
Even the food courts, as well as the local restaurants, are thrilling culinary destinations. As Bon Appétit points out, Chicago’s unbeatable food scene extends all the way to the suburbs. Hanbun is a food court in Westmont, Illinois that serves bibimbap, dumplings, and bulgogi for a cheap price on Styrofoam plates.
Chicago is home to one of the finest burgers in the United States.
If you ask a local Chicagoan where to get the best burger, you’ll probably get just one response: Au Cheval. Au Cheval’s juicy burger is generally recognized as one of the finest burgers money can buy in the United States. People line up for hours just to get one of these bad boys, and Bon Appétit once named it the best burger in the United States.