If you’ve figured out anything about me by now it’s that a) I like to travel and b) food is a huge part of my life. It’s only natural that while in a new place, I try to take in the city as much as possible from a culinary point of view.
With Chicago, it was no different, except for one thing. Well, technically two:
I only had 24 hours.
I have a comically tiny appetite.
Despite this, I sure was going to try and taste as much of Chicago as I could.
To kick start my day, I randomly wandered into this tea shop. I was in search of something cold and a small snack. Despite it still being early, it was already quite warm and I needed to cool off. Turns out Argo Tea is a tea chain that is based in Chicago.
I picked up an iced tea and a vegan green tea muffin to snack on. I’m in total awe of the muffin because they’ve managed to make it so moist without any butter. Amazing! The tea was pretty good too with lots of fruity tones, making the tea lover in me very happy.
16 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60601
Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
When in Chicago you gotta have a slice of deep dish pizza. Being alone made it difficult. If I got one for myself, it would mean having to eat it for days! Not to mention it would be terrible for my waistline! So my solution was to go on a food tour where I could at least have a taste of the pizza without having to overdose on it.
The tour took us to Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria which declares itself the Best Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza Restaurant (though, I’m sure many people have different opinions). For an introduction to deep dish, it was pretty satisfying though! Every bite was full of cheesy goodness with the right amount of tomato sauce, spiced sausage, and buttery crust. I was glad I only had a slice because I was pretty full after just that one slice!
1120 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60610
While in Chicago, I really wanted to have a Chicago-style hot dog as well. A quick Google search led me to Portillo’s which was just a short walk away from where I was staying at the ACME Hotel.
Walking into the restaurant I was a bit apprehensive. It definitely didn’t look like any other restaurant and was decorated very strangely. Serious Eats called it one of the top 10 in Chicago so I was going to have to just trust it. It took me a moment to figure out that it operated much like a fast food place with a number that they call.
What exactly is a Chicago-style hot dog? It is an “all-beef hot dog on a poppyseed bun topped with mustard, relish, chopped onion, tomato slices, a pickle spear, sport peppers, and celery salt. “ And never ketchup.
It sounds a like a combo that shouldn’t work, but surprisingly, it did. Onions and all, and coming from an onion hater, this is HUGE. I wish I had gotten two and skipped the fries which were terrible. I had briefly considered going across the street to get some from McDonald’s instead – they were that bad. Beyond hot dogs, Portillo’s also serves other Chicago-style foods like Italian beef sandwiches, burgers, and salads.
100 W. Ontario
Chicago IL 60610
Owned by famous chef Rick Bayless, Xoco is known for its Mexican street food like include tortas, caldos, and Mexican hot chocolates all made with local ingredients. I had seen a branch in the Chicago airport when I passed through on the way to New York City a month earlier but hadn’t stopped to pick up anything, so this time I was determined.
I went for breakfast the morning I was leaving for Milwaukee. I picked up a Chorizo-Egg Torta which I really enjoyed. I was completely overwhelmed by the size of it! Easily could have been two meals. I wish I could have gotten a churro and hot chocolate as well, but they’re not served during breakfast hours.
449 North Clark Street (enter on Illinois)
Chicago, IL 60654
The last thing I picked up before hopping on a train up to Milwaukee was a sandwich for lunch from L’Appetito. I had read reviews of their great Italian subs and needed something that traveled well and would hold together.
I got the La Bomba which had genoa salami, mortadella, capicola, provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, hot or mild giardiniera on a tomato focaccia. So much meaty and cheesy goodness. It was amazing and also served as a great snack after a long first day at BlogHouse.
30 E. Huron Street
Chicago Illinois 60611
So there you have it. Everything I managed to eat in Chicago during my very short visit. There are definitely some things that I wish I would have been able to experience or try, but that’s what return visits are for!
How do you maximize your eating experiences when only in a city for a short time?
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This is a part of The Weekly Postcard link up.