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Now more than ever, food is becoming more and more of a deciding factor for travelers who are planning trips. Traveling is a great passion of mine, and embracing the cuisines of the different cultures I visit is one of the highlights of my trips. There is famous food all over the country, and it’s about time for me to buckle down and start my series highlighting the most famous food that some cities are recognized for. My first installment: Chicago!

Deep Dish Pizza

When most people think about Chicago, the first thing that comes to mind is deep dish pizza, so it’s only natural that we start here. Deep dish pizza is exactly what it sounds like, often starting with a big round pan first lined with dough, then stuffed with cheese and any other toppings your heart desires, and finally, the top is coated with a thick layer of delicious sauce. Some of the most famous deep dish pizza shops include Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, Giordano’s, The Original Gino’s East of Chicago, and Pequod’s located in Lincoln Park.

Chicago Dogs

Equally as notable as the pizza are the Chicago-style hot dogs! These famous hot dogs actually originated during the Great Depression as a cheap alternative to more expensive meats but ended up sticking around for years to come as a staple in the city. The outcome is a delicious hot-dog piled high with ingredients. Usually served on a poppy seed bun, they are often found topped with mustard, relish, tomatoes, onions, pickles, and hot peppers, though there are many variations. If you’re looking for an authentic Chicago-style hot dogs check out Portillo’s, George’s Hot Dogs, Red Hot Ranch, Franks N’ Dawgs, and Jim’s Original in University Village.

Italian Beef

While not as famous as its pizza and hot dogs counterparts, the Italian Beef sandwiches found in Chicago are in a league of their own. Served on a long Italian roll, this famous sandwich is made up of thinly sliced beef and can be topped in the delicious au jus formed from the roasted beef. To get the best visit Al’s Beef in Little Italy, or Mr. Beef on Orleans. Either way, you can’t go wrong!