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Doña Cuca Gordita at Carniceria Aguascalientes

Doña Cuca Gordita at Carniceria Aguascalientes

For the past four decades, this butcher shop and restaurant has been turning out Chicago’s best gorditas — griddled disks of masa stuffed with meaty fillings. The gorditas here come filled with cheese and beans along with your choice of al pastor, nopalitos (cactus), arrachera (skirt steak), carnitas, or chicken, but the Doña Cuca is what locals … Read more

Pig Face at The Girl & The Goat

Pig Face at The Girl & The Goat

The signature dish at Stephanie Izard’s eternally popular first restaurant, which opened in 2010, sounds like one of most the adventurous bites in the city: cheeks, snout, and tongue from a Slagel Family Farms pig seasoned with cilantro, lime, and coriander, rolled up like a porchetta, and braised, sliced, and cooked in a wood oven. … Read more

Chicago Classic at Lou Malnati’s

Chicago Classic at Lou Malnati’s

Chicagoans like to say that we only eat deep dish on special occasions, but you know what? A visit to Lou Malnati’s is a special occasion in itself. The original Lincolnwood location opened 50 years ago, and Lou’s has since spread the Chicago deep-dish gospel to 57 Illinois spots, plus others in Arizona, Wisconsin, and … Read more

Egg Rolls at Orange Garden

Egg Rolls at Orange Garden

Orange Garden opened in this relaxed North Side enclave in 1926, just as most of Chicago’s nascent Chinese community was moving from the Loop to the South Side neighborhood that would become Chinatown. By most accounts, this is the oldest Chinese restaurant in the city, and it has two things fans can’t get enough of. … Read more

Mr. G at J.P. Graziano Grocery

Mr. G at J.P. Graziano Grocery

While the Graziano family’s deli and grocery may feel incongruous with its flashy West Loop surroundings, the shop, which has been in operation since 1937, has held its own as a lunchtime destination. That’s thanks in part to its signature offering, an intricately layered sub named after the owner’s father. Provolone, soppressata, prosciutto, and Genoa … Read more

Rib Tips and French Fries at Lem’s Bar-B-Q

Rib Tips and French Fries at Lem’s Bar-B-Q

Sisters Carmen Lemons and Lynn Walker Harvey keep the flames of Chicago-style ’cue alive at the city’s oldest Black-owned barbecue joint. Everything in the aquarium-style cooker gets a gentle bath in hickory smoke, but it’s the pork rib tips that exemplify Chicago’s contribution to the barbecue canon. A study in textures, the rib tip is … Read more