6 Best Street Food You Must Try In Chicago, Illinois

street food in chicago
| 3 min read

Nestled on Lake Michigan, Chicago is a gorgeous modern city that boasts a picturesque cityscape. It is a modern metropolis with spectacular landmarks, luxurious shopping districts, fantastic recreational areas, and a multitude of excellent restaurants. While in the city, you might want to marvel at the gorgeous views of the city from the top of the Willis Tower. For a delightful bonding time with your family, you will be overwhelmed by the number of exciting things that you can do in Millenium Park, from shopping to dining, ice skating, watch theatre shows, and more. Chicago is a lovely hideaway destination all-year-round, and it is also a haven of palatable food. If you consider yourself a foodie, you might be interested in this list of the best street food you must try in Chicago, Illinois.

1. Chicago-style hot dog

Chicago hot dog
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Superx308 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Surely, sandwiches and hotdogs are popular snacks everywhere you go. Chicago has its signature street food that is exactly just like a regular hotdog sandwich but with its own authentic twist. Try the Chicago-style Hot Dog and see for yourself. Also called Chicago Dog, what makes this comfort food different from the rest of its kind is its stuffings. It includes tasty spices aside from the hotdog. It’s poppy seed bun has tomato wedges, fresh pickles, peppers, and mustard.

Visited this place?

2. Polish sausage

Polish sausage in Toronto (34172593602)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sebastiaan ter Burg used under CC BY 2.0

Another delicious fare that you should try in Chicago is Polish Sausage. Although this food originated in Poland, it is popular among the locals of Chicago, and you can find it almost everywhere, from fine dining restaurants and laid back eateries to food trucks and carts. This staple Polish food is called Kielbasa in Poland. Compared to other sausages, Polish sausages exudes a garlicky sweet taste that lingers in the mouth. Traditionally, it is cooked by smoking. Some like to eat it as it is, while others like stuffing it in a bun and adding onions and mustard.

Visited this place?

3. Döner

Source: Photo by user FrugalGlutton.com used under CC BY 2.0

While taking the gorgeous city of Chicago by storm, you might want to grab a doner on one of your many stops. A doner or doner kebab is a type of kebab that is either made with lamb meat or chicken and beef. After marinated for a period of time, doner kebabs are then slowly roasted on a vertical rotisserie. Chunks or slices of it are shaved directly from the rotisserie and put in a freshly baked bread, almost just like shawarma. This Mediterranean dish is popular in many parts of the world, and Chicago is no exception.

Visited this place?

4. Burritacos

Breakfast burritos
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user jeffreyw used under CC BY 2.0

A creative combination of burritos and tacos, burritacos is a newly invented Mexican food that is gaining huge popularity in Chicago, Illinois. Almost every Mexican restaurant in the city offers this unique fusion of two classic specialties. Some restaurants serve this food in a burrito looking presentation while others are more on the taco side, featuring a taco shell. Its meat actually depends on the cook’s preference. You can use pork meat or beef, lamb, and even sausages. Add as many spices as you like as well, but be sure to add the taco seasoning and the enchilada sauce.

Visited this place?

5. Jibarito

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user https://www.flick... used under CC BY 2.0

You can not end your Chicago escapade and food crawl without getting your teeth to sink into the delicious Jibarito street food. This delicious local fare is just like a sandwich, but instead of freshly baked bread, it is served with fried plantains. In the middle, you’ll find a variety of ingredients, such as Beef skirt steak, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, American cheese, and mayonnaise, or mustard. Originally a Puerto Rican dish, Jibarito is easily accessible in Chicago. Even in the streets, food trucks and carts are offering this palatable sandwich food.

Visited this place?

6. Lobster rolls

Cousins Maine Lobster Roll
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dana Moos - Flickr used under CC BY 2.0

If you have a soft spot for seafood dishes, The lobster rolls are just the right food to try in the conclusion of your food crawl in Chicago. A dish that is authentic to American culture, lobster roll is actually a sandwich meal. Instead of hotdogs or sausages, vendors sandwich lobster in a freshly baked New England-style bun. Some people opt to eat a lobster roll as it is, while other people add a dash of lemon juice and some mayonnaise for some sour flavor to it.

Visited this place?

Make the most of your Chicago escapade

Chicago is a gorgeous city that will overwhelm you with its upscale attractions. Its cityscape will take your breath away as it is dominated by iconic buildings, such as the Willis Tower, the Chicago Water Tower, the Tribune Tower, and others. Not only is this city an ideal destination for tourists who like city walks and sightseeing, but it is also a dream haven for tourists who like going on food crawls. If you consider yourself what Millenials call “Foodie”, use this list as your guide for your food crawl itinerary in Chicago, Illinois.

Visited this place?
Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our Privacy Policy for more information on how we use your data

Nicole, a writer and traveler, also identifies herself as a free spirit with a wild heart. She is dedicated to telling authentic stories in a relatable manner. Nicole also enjoys exploring new,...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Chicago
Looking for accommodation?
Good things are meant to be shared!
Back to top
Visited any of these places? Click this button to activate our "Add a Tip" feature to share your experience.