I recently went to Chicago for the first time to visit a friend from college for theweekend.
I loved it there. I had a friend to stay with so I didn’t have to stay in a Chicago Hostel
, but I met people during our nights out on the town that were staying in hostels and loving it. Chicago is an incredibly friendly place, with a beautiful downtown that stretches along Lake Michigan, which, having never seen the Great Lakes, is a shockingly large. But the best part about Chicago was the food. Thankfully my friend is an eater, and the kind of guy who always knows the best Ma and Pa type places to get local food. And he isn’t afraid of exploring rough areas to find them. With my friend as my tour guide, I spent a weekend indulging in Chicago’s best (junk) food.
Here’s the stuff you have to try if you’re here
1. Harold’s Fried Chicken. This is a Fried Chicken chain that has many locations throughout Chicago. It’s great, and cheap. Ask for it with “mild sauce” which is basically a kind of sweet and sour sauce that I have been craving ever since I’ve left the Windy City.
2. Italian Beef. This is a Chicago standard. I can’t remember the place we went, but my friend, who lives on the South Side, drove all the way to the North Side to get an Italian Beef at a small stand. Basically an Italian Beef is a sub with shredded beef. You can either get hot or sweet peppers on it. That’s it. Then they take the sandwich and dip it in steak juice. The whole thing, bun and all. It’s messy and delicious. You will wonder why all sandwiches aren’t dipped after trying one.
3. Chicago Deep Dish pizza. Okay, this is not just pizza with thicker crust. It’s a whole different pizza experience. Seriously, proper Chicago Deep Dish is to the standard NY style pizza what Steak is to roast beef. It’s the real deal, and it’s not a snack.
4. Polish Sausage. You just got to get one in Chicago. Remember the “Da Bears” guys from SNL in the eighties? I would gladly end up like those guys if I could eat Polish sausages non-stop. Just grab one from a street vendor.