Chicago is famed for food year-round, from deep dish pizza and Italian beef sandwiches to its namesake style hot dogs. But in the winter, there are a few other “swear by” favorites that take center stage.
Credit: Manny’s Deli & Cafeteria
Don’t let the season pass by without trying:
This South Loop eatery has been serving up its famous “Jewish penicillin” for nearly 75 years. While Manny’s features a daily rotation of soup, simplicity shines in this tastes-like-grandma’s chicken soup–an ever-present menu staple that’s served with a choice of a giant matzo ball, kreplach (dumplings filled with meat), noodles or rice.
1141 S. Jefferson St., Chicago
A three-time Super Bowl Chili Cook Off winner, 1871 Chili is a hearty, flavorful trio of smoked brisket, NY strip steak and pork with all the fixins’ (chipotle peppers, red onions, crème fraiche) that packs plenty of heat.
435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago
Glogg from Simon’s Tavern
This historic Andersonville bar has been serving its famous Glogg (spiced wine) for more than 85 years, when it started as a speakeasy during prohibition. The owner’s top secret family recipe is filled with all the good stuff (brandy, raisins, cinnamon) that’ll keep you coming back for seconds (and thirds).
5210 N. Clark St., Chicago
Named “Best Hot Chocolate in the U.S.” by Food& Wine Magazine, Pastry Chef Mindy Segal serves eight varieties (pumpkin, Mexican, chai) of decadent hot chocolate at her Bucktown restaurant and dessert bar. While they are all to die for, the best part is the perfect-for-dunking house made marshmallow on the side.
747 N. Damen Ave., Chicago
Once upon a time, in 1890, a sales associate at Marshall Fields named Mrs. Herring fed a very hungry client a piece of her homemade pot pie. Her dish was so well received, word spread and shoppers flocked to the store just to taste the dish. The famous pie eventually landed on the menu in the Tea Room, now known as the Walnut Room. Today, the hearty dish is still on the menu, with little alterations from its inception. Once you try it, you’ll live happily ever after.
Macy’s, 111 N. State St., 7th Floor, Chicago
Ask any Chicagoan where to get the best pho, and they’ll tell you fo’ sho’ its Tank Noodle. The uptown eatery serves over a dozen varieties (sliced beef, oxtail, meatball) of this classic Vietnamese dish, all of which are accompanied by a heaping plate of mint, bean sprouts, sliced jalapeno and lime.
4953-55 N. Broadway, Chicago
Amateur mac and cheese eaters beware, as this is serious stuff. Here, the ultimate comfort food is made with three kinds of pork (smoky shoulder, bacon and sausage), a combination of melt-in-your-mouth cheeses and a fried egg finish. Though it’s marked as an app, you won’t want to share.
730 W. Grand, Chicago
Forget everything you know about Chicago pizza, and open your mind up to a concept that’s been around for decades: the pizza pot pie. The perfect way to combine two comfort foods, this made-from-scratch single serving dish can be stuffed with all the meat and cheese your heart desires, which is then smothered in a special tomato sauce that simmers for eight hours. It’s all held together in a triple raised Sicilian style dough crust.
2121 N. Clark St., Chicago
Order BBQ ribs at this cozy joint, and you can skip the utensils. These folks mean business when they say the tender BBQ ribs fall right off the bone. The finishing glaze packs the perfect combination of sweet and smoky.
4914 N. Milwaukee, Chicago
Featured on The Food Network’s “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives,” this traditional German dish is comfort food at its finest. Bursting with a down home authentic flavor profile, this juicy pork loin schnitzel pairs well with a stein (traditional mug) of cold Steigl or Spaten.
4732 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!