Healthy and Hearty: 5 Iconic Spots to Eat in Chicago

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There are many restaurants and cafes for which people come to Chicago, and there are those establishments that have become an integral attraction of this glorious city. These are cult places that you simply must visit if you are going to visit the city. Here’s the list of the most famous Chicago cafes and restaurants. Sometimes these places are not popular among the locals, but if you are a traveler, then you need to try them for sure!

Are you ready for a culinary journey to Chicago? Then book a car in advance, pick up your car rental in Chicago, prepare your taste buds, and go to the following dining places!

Portillo’s Hot Dogs:

Portillo's Hot Dog Sign in Chicago

The title of the most famous restaurant in Chicago, perhaps, belongs to Portillo’s Hot Dogs. If you are a local, you have definitely been there, and in case you come to Chicago as a traveler, be sure to visit this place.

When it comes to classic Chicago hot dogs, it means Portillo’s hot dogs. The name is definitely confusing, because its menu is not limited to hot dogs. Italian beef sandwiches, French fries, milkshakes, beer, and croissant sandwiches are also served there, so most people call this place simply Portillo’s.

In this legendary establishment, you can order anything, for example, their famous chocolate cake. It doesn’t matter how you feel about this fast food restaurant with cheap and tasty food, you should take all your guests who have visited you from other cities and give them a chance to form their own opinion.

Al’s Beef:

Al’s #1 Italian Beef - Chicago

Just a few steps from Portillo’s in downtown Chicago, you will find the next legendary establishment – Al’s Beef. In Al’s Beef, you will be served without any frills. The most popular dish in this place is beef.

You can order a small, medium and a large portion of beef and add to it different types of pepper and cheese. When adding pepper to your Italian beef, you can choose between spicy and sweet one. If you consider yourself a big fan of beef, you can ask to be served a sandwich, completely filled with sauce.

In addition to Italian beef, the menu offers other dishes. Local fries are also quite popular. You can add a variety of sauces – cheddar, barbecue, chili, nachos, chili-nachos, and buffalo-bleu or order an option with cheddar cheese, bacon, onions, and sour cream. It’s very hearty and tasty. Don’t forget to visit this classic diner – it has enough points throughout the city.

Lou Malnati’s:

Gold Coast Lou Malnati's

There’s no consensus as to whether Lou Malnati’sserves the best pizza in Chicago, but it’s certain that this is the legendary local eatery. When talking about Chicago food, two things come to mind: hot dogs and pizza. Moreover, the second one is synonymous with Lou Malnati’s Chicago pizza.

As is the case with the places mentioned above, this is a classic Chicago establishment with a developed chain throughout the city. These three names are the most popular catering establishments in Chicago, so you shouldn’t limit yourself to visiting only one of them.

Snack bars of these three chains are dispersed throughout the city and suburbs. So give Lou Malnati’s a chance. If not in order to tell everyone that you have visited the legendary Chicago pizzeria, then at least to say with certainty that its pizza is tastier.

Big Star:

Big Star - Tacos - Wicker Park

Speaking of more nontrivial Chicago cafes, it’s possible to assert with a large degree of confidence that Big Star will soon join the list of cult places in Chicago. Now people from all over the city visit it to try Big Star tacos. So it’s only a matter of time before world fame will fall on Big Star.

Big Star has only one place in Wicker Park, but every evening the crowd of visitors is gathered there. The decoration, food, and drinks create the secret of the success of Big Star. Just ask Google “where to eat in Chicago,” and you will definitely see this name in the search results, so there is no point in arguing! Let it be the Big Star’s debut in the list of the most popular restaurants in Chicago.

Margie’s Candies:

Becca Sunday  Roast

This is the first, but not the only cafe in the city, specializing in desserts. Margie’s holds a special place in the hearts of many Chicagoans. Under the 90-year-old Margie’s brand, two establishments are operating now in the city – on the North side and on Logan Square.

All this time members of Margie’s family, which keeps a cafe, serve visitors. Among them, there were many well-known personalities. For example, even the Beatles have been there! Margie’s, which is famous for its delicious ‘Sunday roast’, will not disappoint you with other desserts. In the menu, you will find homemade chocolates and ice cream. In warm weather, you will have to wait until you are served, but even if the queue is on the street, you can always use a takeaway option.

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