If you're on the streets of Chicago and see a trail of bones along the curb, follow them. These are your breadcrumbs. Because you don't need a smartphone app to eat well in this city. You need only look for the gnarled wingtips that point toward the storefront illustrated with a chicken fleeing for its life, pursued by a hatchet-wielding chef. This is the red carpet to Harold's, the best bad fried chicken on Earth.
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Overstuffed cemitas, salsa-slathered pambazos, and some of the best beef you'll get between buns in the city—this the Mexican food you don't want to miss in Chicago.
Running a hot dog stand requires much more than just a passion for food.
Chicago's Heaven on Seven has succeeded where few restaurants do. Popular with tourists but hardly a tourist trap, the Creole-style place has become something of a city icon, drawing in crowds even as Chicago's food fashions whizz along. As the restaurant hits 35 years in business, we asked, how'd they get here?
Chef Matthew Kirkley works with some of the freshest fish to be found in Chicago at his tasting menu restaurant, L2O. Here's a peek into his kitchen.
Frozen cocktails are on the rise this summer, and Chicago seems to be in the very center of the scene. Perhaps, as Paul McGee suggests, these frozen drinks are a reaction against fussy, expensive cocktails, the kind you need a password to access and a ten-minute wait to sip; perhaps they're just a fun way to cool down on a hot summer day.
From old-school ice cream parlors to newfangled scoop shops, Chicago's cone runneth over with sensational, scream-worthy ice cream destinations.
While everyone's been busy banging on about cronuts, wonuts, and other faddish, gut-busting sweets, a classy little cake has been creeping quietly onto the racks of some of Chicago's most gifted bakers. It's called the canelé, and if you haven't yet tried it, you'd be well-advised to pick one up post-haste.
A few weeks ago, I decided to pull the trigger on a long-time dream of mine: stepping behind a cart as one of Chicago's hot dog-slinging vendors. After graduating from Hot Dog University, it was time to take cart life from theory to practice. I was ready to start selling some hot dogs.
I've been to college and have a master's degree, but to really learn how to run a hot dog cart, I needed to enroll in Hot Dog University. It was partly to get instruction on profit margins and strategy, partly to figure out the nuances that separate successful vendors from unsuccessful ones, and partly because I was really digging the idea of telling people I graduated from Hot Dog University.
At Grace, chef Curtis Duffy makes food that's so pretty it could be an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art. When he's not at work, he mostly prefers to eat lighter, healthier fare, though he won't deny his kids an occasional Dairy Queen fix.
I've had this idea griddling in my brain for quite a while now. New York and Chicago both have a proud hot dog culture that highlights all-beef, natural casing franks. But whose dogs are really better?
Deep dish pizza is as accurately named as any food I know. Even if you've never experienced one in person, you already know to expect something imposing and thick, with generous layers of sauce and cheese. But which pizzeria in Chicago serves the best? I tried 13 different places to find out.
Coming off the most frigid winter most Chicagoans have ever experienced, we are extra hungry for some al fresco sunshine this year. Fortunately, the city is packed with some truly spectacular options, from tall rooftop bars to cozy neighborhood spots.
That ripple you felt through the encased meat world last week? It's true. Hot Doug's, Chicago's and perhaps the country's most famous hot dog stand, plans to close on October 4.
What's the best burger at Chicago's iconic Billy Goat Tavern? Single, double, triple, or quadruple? Kaiser roll or kids' bun? What about adding bacon and caramelized onions? Nine burgers and two days later, I now feel confident to speak definitively on the matter.
Chicago's iconic Italian beef is one of the most unwieldy sandwiches ever created by man. At first glance it looks like the less dignified cousin of the French dip, but instead of coming with a nice little side of jus for you to wet the sandwich's ends with, this bad boy is saturated from the start. Ask for it "dipped" and the whole sandwich is dunked in meaty juices, soaking the bread to the core. There's no respectable way to eat one of these, but it's well worth the mess. If you don't live in the Chicagoland area, here's how to make one at home.
Recreating an authentic Italian beef at home sounds easy, but it's surprisingly hard to do without an industrial meat slicer. I don't know about you, but that's one piece of kitchen gear that I don't have. Fortunately, if you give up on roasting the beef yourself, there's another way.
I've loved every torta I've tried from Xoco over the years, but which one is best? To figure out for sure, I decided to taste all the options side by side, hoping that this would allow me to tease out the best options from the pack.
In Chicago these days, people take brunch as seriously as hot dogs and gripes about the weather. But even if you're a brunch diehard, the surplus of options can prove challenging. I'm here to help you navigate through the sea of syrup and the forest of flapjacks to determine some of the best brunch spots in Chicago.