18 Delicious Chicago Dishes For Your Foodie Bucket List

Photo: Courtesy of The Infatuation.
A restaurant review website that actually helps people find the perfect spot for any situation. Sound too good to be true? Then you haven't stumbled across The Infatuation yet. While they don't claim to be professional food critics or industry insiders, they do promise readers an honest take on where to find the best eats in major cities across the country. Basically it's like having a food-obsessed friend by your side 24/7 — without having to listen to them go on and on about the wait at Doughnut Vault or mourning the loss of Hot Doug's.

"We write about food and restaurants, but the overall goal is to relate to people and build a community that expands further than that," Chicago editor Sam Faye explains. "It's why we like to get involved in a lot of different things, whether fashion, music, art, design, or sports — pretty much anything that is better with a good meal, which we like to think is everything."

Ahead, find the 18 dishes Faye insists that every Chicagoan try at least once. And for even more amazing recommendations, be sure to check out The Infatuation's Chicago Summer Guide.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Infatuation.
The dish: Seoul Sassy chicken wings

"The sweet Seoul sassy wings are addicting, and they are unlike any other chicken wing you’ve probably had."
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The dish: Cubby Crunch ice cream

"A favorite ice cream flavor counts as a favorite food item. That’s a factual statement, not a question. After eating the Seoul Sassy wings at Crisp, walk across the street to Bobtail for some Cubby Crunch."
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The dish: Tilapia sandwich

"I actually eat a lot more fish than meat. This isn’t a sandwich that will necessarily blow your mind, but it’s damn good, plus it holds sentimental value. I used to live off of this sandwich while I was a grad student at DePaul."
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The dish:
Bacon-wrapped dates

'There's a reason this is a signature dish at Avec. They are that good."
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Bang Bang Pie
The dish: Sausage biscuit sandwich and honey pie

"It’s Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits, which means I need to pick one of each. I love the biscuits, so give me a basic sandwich with sausage and cheese any day. The honey pie is delicious too, even if it’s extremely sweet."
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Sun Wah BBQ
The dish:
Peking duck

"You don’t even need to look at the menu at this Uptown restaurant. Go for the Peking duck special, carved table-side, that comes with duck soup and duck fried rice. If you have more than three people, simply get more duck."
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Au Cheval
The dish: Cheeseburger with bacon and egg

"The hype is real. I’m waiting for anyone to show me a better burger, in any city, anywhere in the world."
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Veneno de Nayarit
The dish: Prawns, Nayarit style

"There's no particular ranking to these dishes, but the prawns at Nayarit might be my favorite dish around. Can’t say that for sure, but they might be."
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J.P. Graziano
The dish: Turkey sandwich

"There are a lot of old-school, simple, and really good Italian sandwich spots in Chicago. I just happen to prefer J.P Graziano’s. The basic turkey sandwich with giardiniera is where it’s at."
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Fat Johnnie’s Famous Red Hots
The dish: Polish sausage

"You need to have an answer for when out-of-towners inevitably ask your favorite Chicago hot dog stand, even if it's a lie. The 'mother-in-law' gets all the attention at Fat Johnnie’s, but I make the trip for a regular old polish with all the normal toppings."
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Le Bouchon
The dish: Mussels

"I don’t care whether people judge me or not when I eat the broth with a spoon after all the mussels are gone."
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The dish: Italian beef with hot peppers

"Hate all you want that Portillo's has 'sold out' or 'isn’t what it used to be.' I’ve had a lot of Italian beefs around and I can’t help it if I want Portillo's all the time."
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Photo: Courtesy of The Infatuation.
Spacca Napoli
The dish: Salsiccia pizza

"Everybody wants to talk about their favorite deep dish in Chicago, but my favorite pizza is the thin-crust Italian-style salsiccia, or sausage pizza, at Spacca Napoli. Post up on their patio and give it a try."
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The dish: Bing bread

"Parachute is one of my (and a lot of other people’s) favorite newish restaurants in Chicago. It’s one of the more interesting menus you’ll find from top to bottom, but I could eat two whole orders of their bing bread and be happy."
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Angry Crab
The dish: Whole shrimp/crawfish

"Angry Crab is a Cajun-style restaurant where you pick out your choice of seafood, spice, and sauce, then they mix it all together and plop it down on your table in a plastic bag. Skip the fancy stuff like lobster and crab, and instead opt for a heavy dose of shrimp with the heads on and crawfish. If you’re not getting messy you’re not doing it right."
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Photo via @almostoday.
BIG & little’s
The dish:
Soft shell crab po’ boy

"Picking one dish here in general is like choosing between your favorite children. I’ll say the soft shell crab po’ boy though."
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Big Jones
The dish: Fried chicken

"Big Jones is my spot in town for real southern food. The fried chicken has a thick, crispy, and salty outer layer, but remains juicy and piping hot underneath."
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Photo: Courtesy of Southport Grocery & Cafe.
Southport Grocery & Cafe
The dish:
Bread pudding pancakes

"Bread pudding reminds me of going to summer camp as a kid, so combine it into a pancake and you’ve won me over as an alleged adult."