Which Food Defines Illinois? Survey Shows

Hot dogs, pizza, or beef sandwiches? Hmm.

Chicago FoodThere are a lot of things Chicagoans love: sports, shopping, temperatures above 0 degrees in January – the list goes on and on. But even with all the choices, you’d be hard-pressed to find a native Chicagoan who wouldn’t put our authentic food in their top 5. (And if you’re one of the few who disagree, Portillo’s would like a word with you).

Naturally then, Chicago’s food plays a huge part in how people view the eating habits of our entire state. So when hundreds of college kids from across the country were surveyed on their perception of which food defines Illinois, our world-renowned deep dish pizza came out on top by a landslide.


Here’s the review of Illinois from Spoon University:

“Almost unanimously voted, Chicago-style deep dish pizza reigned most representative of this cold and windy state. Deep dish pizza is an accurately named food based off of the deep edge pan and endless layers of sauce and cheese piled on to the dough, and is rightfully famous from Illinois.”


“Importantly noted though, not all pizza in Illinois is Chicago-style nor is it all deep dish. Thin crust pizza and other types of thick-crusted pizzas from around the start are equally and sometimes arguably better than the popular deep-dish that claims the fame. If you’re anywhere near the UIUC campus, be sure to check out these bars and restaurants.”

It’s hard to argue with the logic behind the decision, although we’re just as partial to our hot dogs and beef sandwiches at the Genie. #Chicagoproblems anyone?

Some highlights from other states:

Alabama: Fried Anything

Florida: Key Lime Pie


Georgia: Peaches

Hawaii: Spam


Montana: Rocky Mountain Oysters

Ohio: Buckeyes


Pennsylvania: Cheesesteaks

Vermont: Ben & Jerry’s


Wisconsin: Fried Cheese Curds

You can view the complete survey on Yahoo’s Food blog.

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