In case you haven’t figured this out about me, I like to eat. I love eating when I am traveling and sometimes I even choose my next destinations based on what snack items I am dying to eat. The most recent food destination was Chicago. I’m going to cut straight to the point and tell you what you absolutely MUST EAT when in Chicago.

Pizza – Chicago Style – Deep Dish

Chicago Deep Dish

Chicago Deep Dish

I’m pretty sure I summed up everything important in that header. Eat pizza. Eat Chicago style pizza. Eat deep dish. When in Chicago just do it. You will not be disappointed. In case you don’t know what it is, it is the dough, then cheese and toppings, finished off with sauce. It is basically a pizza backwards and also  a staple of the city. Truly one piece can carry you throughout the day. There are many places that sell “the best deep dish in Chicago” and I definitely ate at a few of them, but my favorite was Giordano’s. They have a couple locations throughout the city so you can’t miss it.

Hotdog – Chicago Style Dog

Portillo's Chicago Hotdog and Chocolate Cake Shake

Portillo’s Chicago Hotdog and Chocolate Cake Shake

Again. Another obvious, but I shall reiterate. You must eat a Chicago style hotdog. It’s like a regular hotdog except it is topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, relish, pickles, tomatos, pepper and celery salt. In short, it has everything on it except ketchup and it’s glorious! Commonly found at many fast food locations in Chicago, I found the best one to be from Portillo’s. An added bonus of Portillo’s is their chocolate cake shake. The perfect complement to a Chicago dog.

Italian Beef

Al's Italian Beef

Al’s Italian Beef

Chicago has another sandwich on a bun that’s a force to be reckoned with and that is the Italian Beef. The messy sandwich of thin slices of beef on an Italian roll, onions and either sweet or hot peppers that is all dripping with delicious meat juices. It’s a sloppy mess but you will literally eat it all up. This is probably my favorite savory item I discovered while in the Windy City. I am on the hunt for the perfect Italian Beef on the west coast.

Donought Vault

Doughnut Vault - Salted Bourbon Pecan

Doughnut Vault – Salted Bourbon Pecan

Located at the end of an empty street, Doughnut Vault is a tiny and I mean TINY doughnut shop that sells their sweet treats daily until their stock runs out. In other words, get there early! They have their staples like a vanilla glaze doughnut and doughnut holes, but they also have their seasonal flavors. When I visited the flavor of the day was a salted bourbon pecan doughnut and it tasted like a drunken Christmas in my mouth and I loved it.

These four places in no way encompass all the snacks and meals that Chicago has to offer, but I am confident in saying that no vacation to Chicago would be complete unless you eat THESE foods. Let me know, have you been t Chicago and tried these places? Am I missing another must have?