I’ve been going to Midwest with J.W. Pepper for five years, and one of my favorite parts of Chicago is the food! Chicago is known for a couple of specialty foods and some fantastic places to eat. Most of the best food is just a short cab ride away from the convention center and I’m here to tell you where to find it.
There are two really great places to get Chicago’s famed deep-dish pizza. Giordano’s has been in the Chicago area since 1974. Their stuffed pizza recipe comes from Mamma Giordano’s beloved “Italian Easter Pie.”
Another place to get the great Chicago deep-dish pizza is Lou Malnati’s. Lou started working in the Chicago deep-dish pizza industry in the 1940s and opened his own restaurant in 1971. His restaurant is now a staple for deep-dish pizza in Chicago and the surrounding areas. Just be sure to give yourself plenty of time at either place because the pizza will take around 45 minutes to bake.
Looking for something besides pizza? Another great Chicago tradition is Portillo’s, a quick-service restaurant known for their Italian beef and hot dogs. They started as a hot dog stand called The Dog House in 1963. From there, they grew into 48 locations in Arizona, California, Indiana, and Illinois.
Chinatown is just a 10-minute cab ride from McCormick Place Convention Center. For the last couple of years, I’ve met up with friends at Joy Yee. Most of the dishes are large enough to share, but they’re so delicious you may not want to. After you eat, you can stop by one of the many Chinatown bakeries in the area for dessert, but be aware that some of them only take cash.
If great steak is what you’re after, the Chicago Firehouse comes highly recommended. An old firehouse turned restaurant, this place has character! Don’t forget to try the lobster bisque, one of their signature items.
Shaw’s Crab House is the place to go for seafood. They have an oyster bar that is open all day and serves sushi. The dessert menu includes items like Key lime pie, chocolate layer cake, and homemade ice cream.
Of course, there are many more great places to eat in the city of Chicago, so don’t just stick to the places listed here. Take some time to explore and share your favorite place with us!