Best Chicago Restaurants from Triple D

Take a look back at Guy Fieri's favorite Chicago eats from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Photo By: Grant Kessler

Photo By: Jason Little ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason Little

Photo By: Jason Little Photography ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

St. Louis Ribs: Smoque BBQ

Even the baked beans are smoky at this aptly named Chicago barbecue restaurant. The meaty menu makes it hard to decide, but ribs — available as baby backs or meaty St. Louis style — are especially excellent, coated in a Memphis-style dry rub and glazed with a sweet, tangy barbecue sauce.

Watch the Video: St Louis Ribs at Smoque BBQ

Mussels: Hopleaf Bar

This Belgian-style Andersonville bar doesn't do regular old pub food. Instead of wings and burgers, they serve incredible mussels and charcuterie, with a lengthy menu of craft beers.

 

 

Hopleaf Bar

Umami Burger: bopNgrill

At this food counter, Chef Will Son cooks "righetous" all-American classics with a Korean spin. The Umami Burger, topped with bacon, truffled mushroom duxelle, sun-dried tomato confit and togarashi mayo, made Guy's list of top 10 burgers and is great with a side of kimchi fries.

 

Watch the Video: Umami Burger in Chicago

Thin Crust Pizza: The Original Vito & Nick's Pizzeria

Thin-crust pizza may be blasphemy in Chicago, but the Original Vito & Nick's thin-crust pizza has been winning over locals since 1932 with toppings like Chicago-style Italian beef or runny egg

Watch the Video: Vito and Nick's Pizzeria

Blueberry Bison Burger: DMK Burger Bar

DMK goes beyond the burger with clever updates to the classic. Top grass-fed patties with Reuben ingredients — pastrami, sauerkraut and cheese — or New Mexico's Hatch green chilies and smoked bacon. The restaurant can also swap out the beef patty for alternative fillings. Guy loved the bison burger with blueberry barbecue sauce, goat cheese and marinated onions, and the salmon burger with Thai curry mayonnaise and Asian coleslaw.

Watch the Video: Burgers & Blueberry BBQ Sauce

Swedish Meatballs: Tre Kronor

Guy headed to North Park to get his Scandinavian fix, with dishes like classic Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberry sauce, and fluffy Swedish pancakes.

Watch the Video: Swedish Meatballs at Tre Kronor

Pulled Pork: Chuck's Southern Comforts Cafe

Southern comfort at this Burbank Cafe ranges from barbecue to Tex-Mex, including ribs, po' boys and fried chicken, but the pulled pork is one of the true standouts. It cooks for 12 hours in a garlic-infused achiote paste before spending another hour in the smoker. After being shredded and getting doused in pan juice, it's ready to be served. 

Watch the Video: Chuck's Pulled Pork

Chicken Flautas: Chilam Balam

This farm-to-table BYOB puts a "punk rock twist" on Mexican small plates, including grilled pork ribs with honey-pasilla sauce, and Duck Tinga. Guy's favorite was the flautas stuffed with chicken thighs in chipotle sauce.

Watch the Video: Scratch-Made Chicken Flautas

Cuban Chicken Dinner: 90 Miles Cuban Cafe

Named for the distance between Key West and Havana, this Cuban restaurant features family recipes from owner Alberto Gonzalez, including slow-roasted pork with bacon and guava, and chicken braised in Creole sauce.

Watch the Video: Cuban Chicken Dinner

Fish & Chips: Big & Little's

Two chefs used their life savings to start this gourmet fast-food restaurant, with beer-battered burgers, fish tacos and combinations like foie gras with fries. Po' Boys include medium-rare ahi tuna, soft-shell crab and shrimp banh mi, but the fried pork belly with maple mayo is Guy's pick, described as "chicharrones meets pulled pork."

Watch the Video: Fish and Chips

Slayer Burger: Kuma's Corner

Music is never far from mind at this bar: In addition to a rocking soundtrack, nearly all the burgers are named for bands. Try the Slayer: a bunless patty on a pile of fries, topped with chili, andouille sausage, cherry peppers, onions and cheese. 

Watch the Video: The Slayer Burger

Fish Empanadas: Garifuna Flava

This Caribbean Joint is a taste of Belize in the heart of Chicago with authentic dishes like Hudut Baruru with Takini (fish soup with a side of mashed plantains) and fish empanadas. For the empanadas, a large cut of buffalo fish is cooked in a broth with vegetables, garlic, paprika and black pepper, shredded and wrapped in homemade, pressed masa and deep-fried until they're perfectly browned and crisp. 

Watch the Video: Fish Empanada

Meatball Sandwich: Panozzo's Italian Market

The pork meatballs at Panozzo's Italian Market are held together by a special blend of milk-soaked breadcrumbs and a freshly made vegetable sofrito made up of onions, celery, crushed red chili flakes, currants and salt-packed capers. The meatballs are then fried and doused in house made tomato sauce.

Watch the Video: Panozzo's Meatball Sandwich

Chifrijo: Irazu

This Costa Rican staple starts with a layer of black bean soup, a scoop of rice, and an extra scoop of black beans. Then pork belly is cooked with garlic, deep fried and scooped over the black beans with a house made pico de gallo. The chifrijo is finished with slices of avocado and a drizzle of Lizano salsa. 

Watch the Video: Chifrijo at Irazu

Memphis Style Barbecue: Honky Tonk BBQ

What started out as a traveling rig, morphed into an award-winning barbecue restaurant helmed by self-taught pit master Willy Wagner. The secret to Honky Tonk's Memphis style 'cue is their dry rub made up of over 17 different spices including paprika, chili powder, sage, garlic and a variety of peppers. 

Watch the Video: Honky Tonk Barbeque

Sicilian Schiaccata: Rex Italian Foods

"If a pizza met a sandwich and had a baby," is how co-owner Anthony Pinello describes this Sicilian staple at Rex Italian Foods   House-made dough is topped with mozzarella cheese, cooked prosciutto, pepperoni and deep-fried peppers, heated in the oven and crisped on a panini press. "It's like a real-deal Italian style ham and cheese," guy says. 

Watch the Video: Sicilian Schiaccata

Shrimp-Oyster Po' Boy: Nana

The grilled shrimp for Nana's po' boy are season with Chile de árbol, garlic and parsley, while the oysters are soaked in buttermilk for two days, dredged in a Cajun rub and deep-fried. The sandwich is finished with a house-made gribiche flavored with whole grain mustard, roasted garlic, tarragon, caperberries and fresh lemon juice. 

Watch the Video: Elaborate Shrimp-Oyster Po'Boy