Uniquely Chicago


Whatever you like to eat, Chicago has it – humble and swanky, familiar and exotic, healthful and decadent, from anywhere on earth and in every imaginable setting. But what are the tastes, dishes, and eating experiences that are Chicago’s alone? That’s always the goal of Roadfood: to find a meal that you won’t find anywhere else, especially one that reflects the flavor of its place and its people. Here is a baker’s dozen opportunities to savor Roadfood that says Chicago, either because they’re found nowhere else or because they’re better in Chicago than anywhere else. The dishes include all-beef hot dogs dragged through the garden, deep-dish pizza, chicken Vesuvio, shrimp de Jonghe, Italian Beef, CaramelCrisp (and the corollary Chicago Mix), a thin-sliced corned beef sandwich, and breaded steak.



Poochie's serves all-beef Chicago red hots (hot dogs) at their best, dressed to the nines. Char dogs are a good crusty alternative. Great French fries, too!



Of all the great hot dog joints in Chicago, Superdawg might be the greatest. It's certainly the most fun, and the dogs (& burgers & shakes) are unsurpassed.


Pizzeria Uno

Forget Uno outlets in other cities. The original is in a class by itself, its pizzas a virtual crustbowl of sauce, cheese, and superb sausage. A Chicago best.

Must Eats

Gene & Georgetti

Chicago has no better place to slice into prime aged steak than an old wood-frame house known as Gene & Georgetti just north of the Loop.


Garrett Popcorn Shop

At its original Chicago location, Garrett's CaramelCrisp is serious and soulful, its flavor dramatically more important than any other kind of candied corn.


Mr. Beef

Mr. Beef is one of Chicago's premier sources of the sloppy, big-flavored Italian beef sandwich. Add spicy giardiniera as a condiment.


Manny’s Coffee Shop

Manny's is a Chicago treasure, a big, cafeteria-style restaurant with a vast menu featuring some of the city's best corned beef, sided by potato pancakes.



Ricobene's is a casual restaurant serving many Chicago specialties: breaded steak sandwich, red hots, Italian beef & and a sandwich version of chicken Vesuvio.

Must Eats

Harry Caray’s

A high-quality Italian steak house, Harry Caray's also serves such unique Chicago specialties as Chicken Vesuvio and Shrimp de Jonghe.


Corned Beef Factory Sandwich Shop

A restaurant created by a genuine corned beef factory, this little gem makes great cured-meat sandwiches, plus Italian beef & Chicago hot dogs.



Is this the best Chicago sandwich ever? Johnnie's Italian beef delivers juicy garlic kick; add vibrant giardiniera and you'll hear angels sing.


Freddy’s Pizzeria

A small corner grocery with an immense menu of sandwiches, hot dishes & superb gelato, Freddy's is a treasured destination for Italian food in Chicagoland.


Fat Johnnie’s

A walk-up, street-food dive in Chicago's Marquette Park neighborhood, Fat Johnnie's is the Alpha and Omega of hot dogs and tamales, bunned and fully dressed.