Famous Chicago Foods

Chicago-Style Hot Dog

If you’re spending some time in Chicago checking out the Magnificent Mile, don’t miss out on the Chicago-style dishes that have found fame all across the country. As any local will tell you, Chicago deep-dish or Chicago-style hot dogs don’t taste right anyplace else. What food is Chicago known for besides deep-dish? Read below for our favorite famous Chicago food specialties at Skydeck, and make time to try our holiday brunch!

Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza

Deep-dish pizza may be the most famous Chicago food- not surprising for a city named after onions and garlic. Baked in a deep pan, the crust has a distinctive high edge that surrounds generous amounts of cheese and chunky tomato sauce. What’s the best place to get authentic Chicago-style deep-dish? Head straight for the source at Giordano’s, one of the Chicago area’s best-known pizza restaurants.

Italian Thin-Crust Pizza

Most people have heard of Chicago deep-dish, but you can also find traditional thin-crust Italian pizza topped with olive oil, pureed fresh tomatoes, garlic, and fresh basil. Chicago is home to the third largest Italian population in the country, which is why you’ll find lots of top-quality traditional Italian dining. Try Macello Cucina di Puglia in the South Loop for an authentic Italian dining experience!

Italian Beef Sandwich

Among famous Chicago food specialties is the Italian beef sandwich. The sandwich itself isn’t Italian, but the name honors its characteristic Italian-style roll and Italian sweet green pepper garnish. The beef is thin-cut sirloin, roasted in broth and spices to create that famous “jus” or gravy. Traditional Italian beef rolls are dipped in the jus to enhance the sandwich’s flavor. You can grab an italian beef sandwich just about anywhere in Chicago, from hot dog stands and baseball games to upscale restaurants in the Loop. After a long day trekking through the loop to see Chicago monuments, this is a meal that hits the spot.

Chicago Hot Dog

A Chicago Hot Dog is its own recipe, absolutely distinct from “a hot dog.” It requires a water-bathed Vienna beef hot dog, poppy seed bun, mustard, sweet green relish, chopped onions, hot peppers, tomato slices, dill pickles, and a pinch of celery salt. It doesn’t require ketchup.


You know what food Chicago is known for… but what should you drink with it? Many Chicagoans will answer that question with “Malört.” It’s a Swedish-style schnapps distilled with the flavor of wormwood. That might not sound appealing, but there’s a good reason Malört has stuck around since the 1930s. Sold only in the Chicago area until 2013, appreciating Malört’s bitter bouquet is something of a Chicago-style rite of passage. Sharp tongues only.

Explore Chicago’s Best with Skydeck!

Questions about the Chicago recipes and restaurants above? Contact our team to learn more about dining and family-friendly entertainment on Willis Tower’s 109th floor. We can discuss our favorite Chicago food and share some interesting Chicago facts!

Important Notice Regarding COVID-19

Willis Tower and Skydeck Chicago have implemented measures consistent with CDC and local and federal guidance to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on the premises, including enhanced cleaning protocols. Even with these procedures in place, PLEASE BE ADVISED that building occupants, building and Skydeck visitors, or others currently or previously present upon this property and/or the Skydeck MAY HAVE CONTRACTED OR BEEN EXPOSED TO COVID-19 or other infectious diseases, and may expose you. By accessing and using building common areas, the Skydeck, and their associated amenities, you and your party voluntarily assume all risks of your use—INCLUDING THE RISK OF EXPOSURE TO INFECTIOUS DISEASE—and you waive all claims, including claims for negligence, against Willis Tower, Skydeck Chicago, and their respective owners, managers, affiliates, agents and representatives, arising out of such use. The above parties hereby disclaim all liability for any injuries arising out of your use of this property and the Skydeck, including exposure to infectious disease.

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