Pregnancy cravings: Chicago-style

Let’s face it: Pregnancy is one of the few times in life when “gotta have it” actually turns into having it — with food, at least. Those crafty cravings can drive you half-insane, especially when they strike in the middle of the night. Our advice: Stock up with these fun Chicago twists on some of the most common cravings.

More than a few babies have driven their mothers to the sour satisfaction of a jar of pickles. For a true Chicago spin, check out Puckered Pickle Co., which produces three varieties of pickles right on the city’s west side, and Chipico’s kosher pickles, made in Chicago since the 1920s. All that puckering up will pay off with that made-to-be-kissed new baby.

No matter your due date, ice cream leads the pack in cravings. Our pick is Oberweis Dairy, with more than two dozen locations throughout Chicagoland. Bonus: Oberweis doesn’t use milk that contains artificial growth hormones to make its creamy treat.

If you’re going to crave hot dogs, Chicago’s the place to do it. Hot dog stands can be found in most every town, or keep some Vienna Beef Franks on hand for when the need strikes. And depending on your toppings, you can topple multiple cravings at once (but remember: no ketchup).

The oil and salt of the picnic-friendly potato chip also makes it popular among munchie moms-to-be. Get your chip fix with hometown faves Jays Potato Chips (now owned by Snyder’s of Hanover), which gives you 14 flavor options, or Vitner’s Potato Chips, which still produces its snacks in Freeport.

Most women crave chocolate even when they’re eating for just one, so baby’s arrival provides a welcome excuse for a little sweet indulgence. Fortunately, the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America is right in our backyard, thanks to Blommer Chocolate Company. Or try the distinctly hometown-flavored Frango Mints of Marshall Field’s fame, now available at Macy’s.

You can find popsicles at your local Jewel, but the truly gourmet flavors can be relished only in the warmest months. At the Dec Rooftop Bar + Lounge, enjoy seasonal fruit pops with a heck of a view — the bar is atop The Ritz-Carlton Chicago.

Moms-to-be like it hot. When jalapeño poppers just won’t scratch that spicy food itch, head to Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap in Chicago’s River North, whose XXX Chicken Wings have been dubbed the world’s hottest.

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