What is Chicago Known For?

Chicago Skyline

If you’re planning a trip to Chicago, there are several sightseeing spots and things to do that you must have on your list. But what is Chicago known for? Discover everything you need to see (and eat!) for when you plan your visit to the Windy City


Unique Eats

One of the top things Chicago is known for is tasty food you can’t find anywhere else. Don’t leave the city without trying these local favorites: 

  • Deep Dish Pizza: While every Chicagoan has their preferred pizzeria, the deep dish pizza format is a tried-and-true format served throughout the city. The cavernous crust allows for piles of cheese, toppings, and tomato sauce on top, making for a distinct taste that won’t leave you hungry. 
  • Chicago-Style Hot Dogs: What is a Chicago-style hot dog? The ingredients that set this midwest frank apart from the rest are yellow mustard, sweet green pickle relish, chopped onion, tomato wedges, dill pickle spear, sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt, all on a poppy seed hot dog bun. 
  • Italian Beef: If there’s a sandwich that defines Chicago, it has to be the Italian beef. Layers of thinly sliced roasted sirloin on a thick roll can be served either dry (without sauce) or wet (completely dipped in sauce) for a spicy, savory meal. 

Rich History

Chicago was incorporated in 1837, and over the past couple centuries has picked up an interesting array of historical events and facts. 

  • Windy City: The most common nickname for Chicago started picking up speed in 1856, but its meaning stems from several sources. In addition to the wind itself, other reasons behind the “Windy City” name go back to the city’s politics and rivalries with other major cities such as Cincinnati and New York. 
  • Great Chicago Fire: In 1871, a raging fire demolished the city, which at the time was primarily constructed from wood. Poor old Mrs. O’Leary’s cow has long taken the blame for the blaze, though the exact fire starter was never determined. 
  • Gangster Culture: Headline-grabbing gangsters such as Al Capone dominated the 1920s Chicago scene, and even today gangster tours remain popular tourist attractions for those wanting to see top Prohibition-area hot spots. 

Household Names 

Even if you’ve never visited Chicago, many of its landmarks are well-known across the country and worth the trip to see them in person. 

  • Wrigley Field: You don’t have to be a Cubs fan to appreciate a day at Wrigley, also known as the “Friendly Confines”. Built in 1914, it’s the second-oldest ballpark in major league baseball, and welcomes visitors with its ivy-covered walls and entertaining bleacher section. 
  • The Bean: You’ve likely seen Instagram posts of people smiling at their reflections in The Bean, a silver-mirrored art installation located in Chicago’s Millennium Park. While the structure’s official name is “Cloud Gate,” the legume-like shape has earned it named recognition for locals and tourists alike. 
  • Willis Tower: The tallest Chicago skyscraper has had many names, but no matter the moniker it still remains the third-tallest building in the United States at 110 stories and 1,450 feet. Stepping out on the ledge at Skydeck is one of the most unique vantage points in the loop, allowing visitors to seemingly hover above the city streets! 

Add Skydeck to Your List of What Chicago is Known For!

Once you step out on the ledge at Skydeck you’ll experience the heart of Chicago in the most thrilling way! Get tickets for your next visit today.

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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