Illinois Map

Illinois Eats


In 1933, the Progress World’s Fair came to Chicago, Illinois. By the end of 1934, the crowds were gone, but they took with them two new American foods, the hot dog and Cracker Jacks, both of which have survived the centuries to become American favorites - I mean really, where would the nation be without hot dogs? Or Cracker Jacks? The notion is appalling.

But beyond the poppy seed bun, sport peppers, celery salt, pickles, sweet relish, mustard and beef dog there’s more to Chicago - and in fact the state at large - than just hot dogs (and Cracker Jacks). Just be forewarned, some of the comestibles for which Chicago is famous will put a dent in your diet, whether you’re indulging in Chicago-style deep dish pizza, or Chicago-style thin crust pizza, or a mouth-watering Italian beef sandwich. Or one of Margie’s hot fudge sundaes. Or a microbrew at one of the city’s microbreweries, like Metropolitan Brewing or well-established Goose Island Brewing Company. In fact, forget the diet altogether.

In addition to these famous food staples, the state plays host to a truly wide assortment of ethnic eateries made local by immigrants from around the globe. In major urban areas, multi-cultural restaurants round out the old tried and true establishments, offering everything from specialty Mexican to Polish and Indian dishes, certainly enough to keep even choosy eaters well occupied. In terms of well-known dishes, the other city that earns a nod is Springfield, of note for its open-faced horseshoe sandwich (amongst other things, we’re sure).

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