Chicago is home to some of the best dishes in the country, but did you know that it is also the place where many great foods started out? That’s right- the Windy City is really the only place to get some of these foods in their authentic, original flavors and made the way that they were meant to be enjoyed.

Deep Dish Pizza- This is the one that everyone knows Chicago for, and there are some many great places to try this signature pizza at. You may also want to branch out and try some less traditional methods of deep dish pizza while in the city. There are a lot of pizzerias that have taken the conventional recipe and done some amazing things with it.

Italian Beef- This sandwich is famous around the world, and it was probably invented at Al’s Beef in 1938. The sandwich started as a way to take beef that wasn’t very tasty and preserving it to make it last longer, all while adding some spices to it to give it more appeal. The original Al’s Beef in Chicago will let you try the sandwich wet, which gives the signature dish a generous helping of gravy to make it even more unique.

Wrigley’s Gum- Of course, gum has been in use for thousands of years, but the Wrigley’s Gum company started out in Chicago back in 1891 by a soap and powder salesman. Wrigley’s Field is actually named after the advertising genius behind this gum. People all around the world know and love the gum because its creator had the brilliant idea to send a stick to everyone who was listed in the phone book back when the company first started.

Twinkie- Another globally known product had its humble beginning in Chicago. James Dewar worked for the Continental Baking Company and first filled the spongey cake treat with banana crème. Vanilla was added later and became the signature filling for this packaged treat.

Vienna Beef- Chicago may be known for its veggie-filled hot dogs, but the frankfurters that make up those hot dogs also come in a signature style. Vienna beef was brought over to Chicago from Vienna and was popularized during the Great Depression. The same type of hot dogs are used all over the city, and it is part of what makes Chicago hot dogs such definitive game day staples.

Chocolate Brownies- Chicago is real a food lover’s paradise, as we wouldn’t have chocolate brownies without Chicago resident Bertha Palmer. She was looking to create a new kind of treat that would be similar to a cake but small enough to fit into a lunch container. She used crushed walnuts, semi-sweet chocolate and apricot glaze for her initial brownies, and the name “brownie” didn’t even come into use until years later in a catalogue from Sears Roebuck.