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Food

16 Reasons Chicago Does Food Better Than Anywhere Else

From the pizza to the popcorn, we just do it better.

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When it comes to food, Chicago doesn't mess around.

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From the pizza to the hotdogs, Chicago just does it better — and after living there for several years, I'm here to say that Chicago is hands down the best food city in the country.

1. Because we have a street nicknamed "restaurant row" with all of the best bars, coffee shops, and restaurants.

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Randolph Street is pure heaven for foodies. A good chunk of famous Chicago restaurants are located on or near West Randolph Street — and the best part is that if you're waiting for a table at one, you can go and get a drink at the other!

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3. Because we host the James Beard Awards — AKA the Oscars of the food world — every year.

4. Because we know that the secret to making delicious popcorn is equal parts cheese powder and caramel.

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A little bit of cheddar cheese dust on your caramel corn is actually delicious — and it seems like Chicago is the only city that has figured that out.

5. Because our cheap eats are incredible.

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In addition to the famous Chicago-style hot dogs and pizzas, Chicago is home to some of the best cheap eats ranging from gourmet grilled cheeses (shoutout to Cheesie's) to savory potato pierogi. You can see a list of just some of the amazing cheap eats here.

6. And our ~fancy~ eats are amazing, too.

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Chicago is home to some of the most exciting restaurants in the country, and the cheaper rent (compared to cities like NYC) allows new concepts to open up frequently.

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8. Because we have some seriously 💯 Mexican food.

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Thanks to chefs like Diana Dávila, Rick Bayless and Carlos Gaytán, Chicago's Mexican food game is undeniably strong. (Bayless has eight amazing Mexican restaurants throughout Chicago, and Gaytán was the first Mexican chef to earn a Michelin star.)

10. Because we have one of the world's BEST burgers.

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People travel from around the world to eat one of Au Cheval's burgers — and for good reason! The burger has been dubbed one of the best in the world over and over again, and people are willing to travel for the experience.

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12. Because we take both meat and veggies very seriously.

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Everyone knows the Midwest loves meat, and Chicago is no exception. Publican restaurant is a classic example (they even have a butcher shop/cafe across the street with homemade charcuterie.) A growing list of veg-focused restaurants like Bad Hunter solidifies Chicago as a vegetarian-friendly city as well.

13. Because our meatpacking district is still home to premier butcher shops and actual meat.

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If you visit the meatpacking district in other cities (*ahem* NYC), you'll only find fancy clothing stores and ritzy bars — but if you go to Chicago's, you'll see actual meat and world-class butchers. Yes, restaurants and galleries have started to creep in, but you'll still see butchers casually carrying whole pigs throughout the streets.

14. Because we have the absolute best produce and farmers markets, IMHO.

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Chicago is literally in the heart of the Midwest, so it makes sense that we have access to some of the best and freshest produce in the country.

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15. Because we aren't afraid to take risks with our food.

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Moto was one of the first restaurants to ever step out of the box and take serious risks with food — and Chicago became known for having some of the wildest and most creative food in the country. Now, restaurants like Alinea and El Ideas continue to show that Chicago chefs aren't afraid to be innovative.

16. Because you don't have to wait hours (or even months) to get into popular restaurants.

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Chicago doesn't really do lines. Maybe because Chicago is freezing and simply too cold to wait outside — but Chicagoans would never be caught waiting hours for a damn rainbow bagel.

Do you think Chicago is the ultimate food city? Let us know in the comments!