Eat Your Way Through Chicago Without Ever Leaving Home

by Kelsy Chauvin

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday May 26, 2020

It may be the year of social distancing, but for travelers, it's a time to bring destinations home. For fans of big flavor, Chicago restaurants are just the ticket. Americans hankering for Chicago's iconic dishes, classic seasonings and sweet treats can opt for long-distance delivery to reconnect with the Windy City's best bites. Here's a rundown of our favorite eateries ready to ship their legendary creations to your front door.

Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef, burgers, tamales, and chocolate cake—it's a short menu that's been perfected since Portillo's opened back in 1963. The local Chicago chain operates a few other shops around the country, but no matter where you're hunkered down, savories and sweets can soon be on the way to your table. The Chicago Style Hot Dogs 10 pack of Chicago's own Vienna Beef franks starts at $65 (shipping included), with poppy-seed buns, mustard, onions, tomatoes, pickle spears, peppers, and hot-dog seasonings for the quintessential Chicago dog.

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria
Deep-dish pizza is synonymous with Chicago, and Lou Malnati's is the go-to for fans of saucy, cheesy pies shippable via Tastes of Chicago. Lou's pizzas are sold in a variety of multi-packs (starting at $67 for two, shipping included), and packages that can add in other Chicago faves like Eli's Cheesecake and Carol's Cookies. Each pie is oven-ready and serves two adults, with pepperoni, sausage, spinach, and gluten-free crustless options. (FYI, Tastes of Chicago ships several more local brands' dishes.)

Chicago Steak Company
Welcome summer the Chicago way — by grilling premium sirloins, ribeyes, strips, and more, with no shipping fees for orders over $100. Go heavy on the local flavor with the Chicago Steak Sampler ($210), with eight cuts of aged USDA Angus beef, plus 16 steak burgers and four herbed chicken breasts. Or opt for a Windy City Gift Pack for a combo of steaks, pork chops, and chicken. Chicago Steak Company dry-ages its steaks four to six weeks in the largest dry-age facility in the Midwest. Opt for USDA Prime, and you'll be sampling the top two percent of all beef raised by American ranchers.

Since 1981, Chicagoans have loaded up on "the original Italian beef" from Buona's local outposts. Now you can fill up on saucy Italian meatballs with marinara and Italian beef sandwich kits (with gravy, of course) starting $69, with free shipping via gourmet-food shipping outlet Goldbelly. Jars of Buona's giardiniera (Italian marinated vegetables) are available, too. Planning a Chicago visit soon? Buy a Buona gift card, and the restaurant will match the amount as a donation to help feed essential front-line workers fighting COVID-19.

Stan's Donuts
Lemon-pistachio, cherry, coconut cake, red velvet, birthday cake, even vegan and gluten-free — so many tantalizing Stan's Donut flavors to try. Fortunately, Stan's ships nationwide via Goldbelly, $59 for a choose-your-own flavors 12-pack (shipping included). Each donut is made from scratch, and all promise to lift your spirits, whether dunked or undunked.

Chicago Craft Beer & Cocktails
Local breweries aren't able to ship directly, but they're glad to pour some love your way with the help of online beer-shipping companies like Tavour and Drizly. (You'll need to download the app for Tavour, but Drizly ships from its website.) Both services carry Chicago craft-beer brands Goose Island, Half Acre, and others, and ship to at least a dozen states. For those who like the hard stuff, try canned cocktails by Chicago Distilling Company, such as the Chicago Mule or Gin and Tonic. Drizly even lets visitors search beer, wine, and liquor by its origin state.

Sweet Endings
Chocoholics can yield to temptation with Chicago's top confectioners shipping nationally. Celebrate 100 years of premium chocolates and candies from Fannie May, launched on LaSalle Street in 1920. Wrap your tastebuds around a famed Frango Mint and other Frango chocolates, serving Chicago since 1927. Delight in Katherine Anne Confections seasonal flavors, daring truffles, caramels, drinkable chocolate, and more. Or treat yourself to Vosges Haut-Chocolate for exotic truffles, sweet elixirs, wine-and-chocolate packages, and "cacao wellness" packages flavored with turmeric, raw honey, matcha, and more.

Kelsy Chauvin is a writer, photographer and marketing consultant based in Brooklyn, New York. She specializes in travel, feature journalism, art, theater, architecture, construction and LGBTQ interests. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @kelsycc.

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