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T+L's Deep Dishes of Chicago

Travel + Leisure · Guide to Chicago · created over 2 years ago

It's home to plenty of nitrogen-canister-wielding megachefs, but Chicago also lays claim to one of the country's greatest back-to-basics food communities. These neighborhood favorites are bringing the Old South (and a bit of the Old World) to the heartland. By Francine Maroukian. Adapted from "Chicago's Deep Dish," Travel + Leisure, May 2011. http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/chicago-restaurants-southern-influence

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  • Tinga De Pollo Taco at Big Star in Chicago, IL

    Big Star's tortillas always exhibit the hallmark of freshness: supple enough to roll without cracking yet durable enough to withstand the fillings—such as the tinga de pollo, wood-grilled chicken thigh with house-made chorizo and chipotle salsa.

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    Malted Custard French Toast With Citrus Cream, Cherries, Pink Peppercorns at Jam in Chicago, IL

    The custard-soaked brioche from the third-generation family-owned Gonnella Bakery is vacuum sealed and cooked sous vide before it even hits the griddle to be seared; it's then garnished with macerated pineapple and cranberry, citrus cream, and pink peppercorns.

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    Fried Chicken Dinner at The Southern in Chicago, IL

    Chef Gary Taylor makes good on his promise of "the dirtiest fried-chicken north of the Mason-Dixon." His buttermilk-brined Amish bird, fired up by just enough hot sauce and Old Bay seasoning (with a subtle undertow of cardamom and clove), results in a crisply crusted chicken that is both airy and earthy.

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  • Moules Frites at Vincent in Chicago, IL

    The Amsterdam bistro favorite is served five ways here, including with an Indonesian chili-based broth that's been spiked with tamarind and shrimp paste—a testament to the Netherlands' lingering connection to its former colonies.

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  • Gumbo Ya Ya at Big Jones in Chicago, IL

    Just one spoonful of chef Paul Fehribach's chocolate-colored chicken-and-andouille gumbo, made with a traditional dark roux, will have you feeling like you're on the Bayou.

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  • Pig Ear at The Bristol in Chicago, IL

    When you see the brined, braised, and crisp-fried pig ear with Vietnamese noodles, coriander, and Illinois soybeans, floating in a meaty pho-style broth tinged with palm sugar, grab it.

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