Foods Invented or Perfected in Chicago

Chicago Is Famous for More than Just Deep Dish Pizza

What’s not to love about Chicago? If you visit, you’ll encounter a lively culture, diversity, tons of entertainment options, countless attractions and last but not least — some of the best Chicago Italian Sandwiches this nation has to offer! Since our minds are on our food, the real important question is this: How has Chicago contributed to the massive food culture that Americans love today?

The answer is, Probably in more ways than many recognize. For example, not only is this state responsible for the infamous Chicago stuffed pizza, other favorites like the Vienna beef hot dogs have made their way into foodie limelight. Today, we’re going to take a quick peek into the most popular dishes that Chicago has given us.

Vienna Beef


Next to deep dish pizza, Chicago is best known for the Chicago-style hot dog (all-beef hot dog in a steamed poppy-seed bun and “dragged through the garden:” chopped onions, neon green relish, tomato wedges, a dill pickle spear, sport peppers, celery salt, mustard, and no ketchup). Vienna Beef was founded in 1893 by Austrian-Hungarian immigrants Emil Reichel and Sam Ladany.


Twinkie began back in 1930 from baker James Dewar. When he saw an ad one day for Twinkle Toe Shoes, the name stuck and it inspired his spongy, cream-filled, yellow cake snack. By 1980, Twinkies were selling at a rate of about 1 billion a year.

Wrigley’s Gum

It started off as a free giveaway with a purchase of baking soda, but once salesman William Wrigley recognized there was financial opportunity with selling gum he shifted gears. In 1893 he invented Wrigley’s Spearmint and Juicy Fruit Gum. Later on, he added Doublemint and Extra sugar-free gum.

Chocolate Brownies

Chicago residence Bertha Palmer graced the world with this well-loved dessert. Married to millionaire husband Potter Palmer, one day she wanted to bake something for the World’s Fair. She decided on something that wasn’t a cake but had the texture like one and was small enough to fit inside a boxed lunch. This experiment was the beginning of the first chocolate brownie, and the first instance of the word ‘brownie’ appeared in the 1898 Sears Roebuck catalog. It wasn’t long until the world embraced this dessert.

These are just a few American favorites that can trace their ties to Chicago. There are countless others, and it’s likely that more will come in the future. Did all this talk of food make you hungry?

Find the Best Chicago-Style Eats at Windy City Pizza in San Mateo

Do you live in the San Francisco Bay Area? If so, then visit Windy City Pizza & BBQ to pick up some delicious Chicago-inspired food! If you’re a local company who wants to treat your employees to a jaw-dropping meal, you can also place an order for lunch catering in San Mateo, Burlingame (South of Broadway), Foster City, Redwood Shores, San Carlos and Belmont. Give us a call today at (650) 578-1942 or contact us online via our contact form.