What Is Illinois Most Famous Food?

When it comes to food, Illinois has a wide variety of options. From hometown favorites like Chicago-style hot dogs and deep-dish pizza to more regional specialties like pork tenderloins and tamales, the Prairie State has something for everyone. But what is Illinois most famous for?

One of the most iconic dishes from the state is the classic Chicago-style hot dog. This classic dog starts with a steamed all-beef frankfurter on a poppy seed bun. It’s then topped with yellow mustard, chopped onions, a dill pickle spear, tomato wedges, sweet pickle relish, celery salt and a dash of sport peppers. While this style of hot dog can be found in other places around the country, it’s still most associated with Chicago and all of Illinois.

Another dish that is famous in Illinois is deep-dish pizza.

This style of pizza was invented in Chicago in 1943 by Ike Sewell and Rudy Malnati Sr., who opened Pizzeria Uno. The thick crust is filled with cheese, toppings and tomato sauce before being baked in a deep dish pan. Deep dish pizza has become so popular that it’s now available all over the world.

Tamales are another popular dish from the state of Illinois. Tamales were introduced to the state by Mexican immigrants who moved to Chicago during the 19th century. These savory corn husk wraps are filled with pork or chicken and cooked slowly until they’re tender and flavorful. They’re usually served alongside beans or rice for a hearty meal that’s perfect for any occasion.

Lastly, pork tenderloin sandwiches have become an institution in Illinois since they first made their appearance on menus throughout the state in the early 20th century. The sandwiches consist of breaded pork cutlets that are fried up and served on a hamburger bun with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles (or as some people like it—just mustard).


When it comes to what Illinois is most famous food for, there are several dishes that come to mind: Chicago-style hot dogs, deep-dish pizza, tamales and pork tenderloin sandwiches are just some examples of iconic foods from this great state.