While you can’t travel to Chicago right now, you can until then explore a taste of the city virtually. When it comes to what Chicago cuisine entails from non-Chicagoans, there’s only one dish it is believed the great city has available: deep dish pizza.

While Chicago has cornered the market on this fork and knife meal that comes in a pie-like slice, Chicago has so much more to offer not only locals, but those who are stopping by for a visit.

Tavern-style pizza

A well-kept Chicago-secret? Our bar and party friendly, thin sliced pizza. Tavern-style is cut into tiny squares, easily grabbable and easily eaten. While you can get a variety of flavors of this pizza, the best way is the most simple way: Italian sausage and a thick layer of cheese. Many restaurants get this style right, and it’s hard to get it wrong in Chicago. Still, this gal has to recommend Barraco’s for an excellent tavern slice.

Chicago-style hot dogs

In order to have a true Chicago-style hot dog, it must begin with a poppy seed bun, an all beef dog, and is topped with mustard, celery salt, relish, freshly chopped onions, sliced red tomatoes, peppers, and topped with a wedge of kosher pickle.

Pizza Puffs

A pizza puff is a true treat — cheese and meat sauce enveloped in an almost puff pastry-like dough. Shaped like a square, you can eat it with your hands. Traditionally, this quick meal comes with an order of fries, covered in mild sauce. Don’t know what mild sauce is? Well —

Mild Sauce

Another Chicago staple (and I personally wouldn’t trust someone else trying to hawk this sauce who wasn’t from the South Side of Chicago) is its beloved mild sauce. There are many variations of this sauce that can be found from a variety of restaurants. It’s a mix of ketchup, BBQ and hot sauce. But even that description doesn’t do it justice. 

Harold’s Chicken 

A restaurant chain that started on the South Side of Chicago, Harold’s Chicken offers a variety of dishes. But what they’re best known for is their chicken, fries and mild sauce. The chicken is crispy and flavorful, despite being buried under a river of its delectable and signature mild sauce. There’s truly nothing quite like it.

Corned Beef Sandwich

A Chicago-style corned beef sandwich is typically about 3-4 inches high, topped with mustard, and hugged with a wheat bun. A salty kosher pickle and a bag of chips are its standard sides. It’s filling, it’s simple, and extremely delicious. Of the many restaurants that offer such a treasure sandwich, A.P. Deli has been around since 1984.

About Jill Robi

A Chicago native with a BA in fiction writing, Jill is a movie aficionado, self-proclaimed geek, avid comic-con attendee, panelist and moderator, and cosplayer. She's written essays and articles across various platforms, including Glamour, Huffington Post, Bustle, Stylecaster, and more. Though she favors pop-fic and chick lit, Jill also likes to write poetry, noir, and sci-fi/fantasy. She particularly loves exploring character studies. She writes first and foremost for her own entertainment. She hopes that by sharing her work with the world, she can also achieve the entertainment and enjoyment of others as well.

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