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Chicago Food Novice

Harry Romano | Oct 31, 200202:51 PM

Hey Chicago Chowhounds -

I’ll be coming from Baltimore to visit Chicago from 13-15 December, and humbly request suggestions/recommendations for “must-try” food in that fantastic town.

I’ll be staying north of The Loop near Division, and moving about mostly on foot and CTA. I’m looking mostly for on-the-go food since I’m trying to cram a lot of sightseeing into three days, but am up for just about anything. Of particular interest are pizza and hot dogs - I’d like to try the Chicago version of each. A transplanted Hoosier friend swears by Geno’s East pizza, and Superdawgs is the name I’ve heard in reference to Chicago hot dogs. I’m pretty easy and mostly interested in trying the “real deal” if there are other or better options. Any recommendations for pizza and dogs would be greatly appreciated. I’ve got no problem going out of the way for good eats.

If time permits, I’d also love to check out any other local specialties, as well as ethnic food (Italian and Mexican in particular). The best Italian bread on earth comes from Philadelphia, but I’d love to know if there are any worthy contenders in Chicago. Also, can anyone suggest good ethnic markets or holes in the wall featuring good ethnic fare?

Finally, can anyone suggest a good brewpub in the city, or a local brewery whose beer I might try? Other than stumbling on decent suds at Rock Bottom brewpub, my last two visits to Chicago turned up the dreaded Anheuser/Miller/Coors selection (although I did try an Old Style in 1995, which reminded me a lot of Baltimore’s old time local, National Bohemian).

Short story long, I’d love to check out the local delicacies as I try to see the sights. I’m up for just about anything (holes in the wall, carry-out, street vendors, city markets, etc.) that will give me a true taste of Chicago. I love the sights and sounds of Chicago, but haven’t ever really had opportunity to try the food and don’t know much about what’s good there. I’m really looking forward to the visit and the meals. Any recommendations/suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Hell, I’m open for suggestions on pubs, music, sights (including holiday stuff), CD stores, and whatever else good is going on, too. Thanks very much.

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