Squid Ink Linguini – Siena Tavern
My dinner during my first night in Chicago was a memorable one. I went to Chef Fabio Viviani’s Italian restaurant for pasta and wine. The squid ink linguini was excellent. The large chunks of lobster, perfectly cooked pasta, and spicy lobster cream sauce were delicious!
(51 W Kinzie Street, Chicago, IL 60654)
Deep Dish Pizza – Lou Malnati’s
You can’t visit Chicago and not have deep dish pizza, especially if you’re a first-timer. I went with the classic and dined at Lou Malnati’s River North location. The lean pork sausage and extra cheese piled on their signature Buttercrust was a tasty welcome to the Windy City.
(439 N Wells Street, Chicago, IL 60654; multiple locations)
Wood Oven Roasted Pig Face – Girl & the Goat
Sometimes dishes are so hyped up, you wonder if it’s actually worth it. Well the famous wood oven roasted pig face at Chef Stephanie Izard’s Girl & the Goat is definitely worth it! A lovely sunny side up egg tops the crispy rich pork, potato sticks, tamarind sauce, and cilantro oil. Mix it all together and you have one seriously amazing dish.
(809 W Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60607)
Hot Dog – Portillo’s
You’ll find this iconic food everywhere. For a simple classic version, head to Portillo’s. The hot dog inside a steamed poppy seed bun is covered with fresh toppings, mustard, and relish. No ketchup here. You can also enjoy an Italian beef sandwich if you still have room.
(100 W Ontario Street, Chicago, IL 60610; multiple locations)
Chef’s Choice Nigiri – Juno
If you’re looking for great sushi in Chicago, don’t miss Juno. Chef BK serves up some of the most delectable nigiri in the city. Order the Chef’s Choice where you can savor a few pieces of the nights offerings.
(2638 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614)
Single Cheeseburger – Au Cheval
It’s no surprise that the cheeseburger at Au Cheval made the list. The single cheeseburger is a fantastic burger made with two juicy beef patties, melted cheddar cheese, dill pickle chips, and extra thick bacon. Many prefer to top it all of with a fried egg as well. It’s burger perfection.
(800 W Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60607)
Jibarito – Cafe Central
I wasn’t even sure what a jibarito was until I went to Chicago. I made the trip to Cafe Central to try one. I’m so glad I did! The bread is replaced by pieces of pressed green plantains and filled with steak, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and mayo. I still dream about this incredible sandwich.
(1437 W Chicago Ave #1, Chicago, IL 60642)