Step away from the hot dogs, Italian beef, and deep-dish to try something new this year. Here are 10 of the best meals you may not even know are in Chicago. No matter your tastes, this list will have much in store for you. Check out these epic dishes you’ll never forget.
1. Fried Chicken from Big Jones (5347 N Clark Street)
No restaurant is better qualified to cook comfort food than this delicious eatery. The fried chicken is a local favorite you don't want to miss this year if you haven't tried it already. It is dredged in a seasoned cornmeal batter and fried in leaf lard, ham drippings, and clarified butter. It typically comes with voodoo greens and butterbeans.
2. Polish Sausage from Jim's Original (1250 S Union Avenue)
Just to make sure we're all clear: this is
not a hot dog. Polish sausage is a delicacy in Chicago, making it one of the best meals to try this year. The restaurant is open 24/7 and is also known for its burgers, pork chops, and fries.
3. The Slayer from Kuma's Corner (2900 W Belmont Avenue)
This restaurant actually has several locations around the city and suburbs, but no matter where you go, you can find this deconstructed sandwich. You'll definitely want a fork and knife! Order this and you'll receive a 10-ounce burger on a bed of fries topped with chili, caramelized onions, andouille, cherry peppers, monterey jack cheese, scallions, and "anger."
4. Sausage Biscuit from Bang Bang Pie Shop (2051 N California Avenue)
Get yourself to Logan Square for this Midwestern favorite. This dish includes a buttery biscuit topped with a ginger-sage sausage patty, cheddar cheese, and jam. Many diners also choose to add an egg on top for a full meal.
5. Pizza Pot Pie from Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder (2121 N Clark Street)
No one has ever made pizza like this before. One of the best meals in Chicago, this dish begins with a bowl of fresh mozzarella topped with mushrooms and a special meat sauce. The entire bowl is then covered with dough and baked to perfection. It is flipped out of its bowl and onto a plate at your table just before you dig in.
6. Atomica from Cemitas Puebla (3619 W North Avenue)
This little-known sandwich is a local favorite with which you'll want to get well acquainted. It is piled high with Krakus ham, guajillo pork loin, breaded milanesa, avocado, and Oaxacan cheese. You'll find several amazing sandwiches as well as tacos at this tasty spot.
7. The Mac from Cheesie's Pub & Grub (958 W Belmont Avenue)
Gourmet grilled cheese is always a good idea in the city. This delightful sandwich is also available at the Cheesie's location in Evanston, and it's perfectly made with American cheese, Merkts cheddar, and homemade macaroni on Texas toast. It is served with a side of tomato soup, but you could also pair it with fried mac and cheese bites, tater tots, and other delights.
8. Pig Face from Girl and the Goat (809 W Randolph Street)
One of the best meals you can find in Chicago is this rustic sandwich that everyone has to try at least once. It features a sunny side up egg and potato stix, so it's great for eaters of all ages.
9. Jibarito from Papas Cache Sabroso (2517 W Division Street)
Made with steak, chicken, or just vegetables, this iconic Chicago sandwich uses fried plantains as a bun. It is typically topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and mayo. Though it may not be as common as other dishes, it's certainly just as tasty.
10. Pan Pizza from Pequod's Pizza (2207 N Clybourn Avenue)
With an additional location in Morton Grove, this might be the best pizza in the whole city. Forget deep-dish and go for a thick-crust pan pizza that can't be beat. Cheese is layered around the outside of the dough to form a crust, and you can top it with any of your favorite meats and veggies.
Which of Chicago’s best meals are you looking forward to most? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!