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Chicago is a melting pot of ethnicities located along the southern edge of Lake Michigan.  It boasts cuisines from around the world, including Cajun, Ethiopian, and Spanish.  Chicago districts like Chinatown, Greektown, West Rogers Park (Jewish), and Ukrainian Village (Polish, Ukrainian) offer the diverse foods associated with these cultures as well as the atmosphere.

Deep Dish and a Dog

The Windy City might just be most famous for its deep dish pizza and its signature hot dogs.  Invented at Pizzeria Uno in 1943, the restaurant still stands on Ohio Street.  And judging by the crowd, it's still the one to beat.  But there are other options for the thick crust stuffed with toppings of your choice.  Edwardo's, Gino's East, and Pizzeria Due are just some of the options for sampling Chicago's gastronomic claim to fame.  Another must-eat, the Chicago style hot dog, is a dog served up with yellow mustard, bright green relish, onions, tomato wedges, pickle spear, sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt, all on a poppyseed bun.  And if you want to eat like a local, don't put ketchup on that culinary creation.  Chicagoans don't take too kindly to ketchup on their dogs.

Fine Dining

In addition to its hometown delicacies, Chicago also offers a range of fine dining establishments.  In fact, Chicago boasts more AAA five-diamond restaurants than any other city in the nation.  Places such as Charlie Trotter's, Aron's (Thai), Everest, and Tru (French) top the list of impressive dining establishments.  These restaurants are an exquisite experience in fine dining.  When you go, you order not by entrĂ©e or appetizer, but by menu – a culinary adventure that is strategically planned by world renowned chefs to excite your taste buds.

A Taste for Every Tongue

Chicago is a city with many ethnic influences thanks to the diverse population and its deep appreciation for its residents' roots.  Small sections of the city feature large concentrations of specific ethnicities, the more well known of which are Chinatown and Little Italy.  For authentic Italian, try Piccolo Sogno (Little Dream in Italian) on Halsted St., which offers half orders so diners can really explore the menu.  There is also a "New Chinatown" that features Laotian, Vietnamese, and Thai cuisines.  Start with Aroy Thai (aroy means "delicious" in Thai), on Damden Ave. on Chicago's North side.  For Greek cuisine, try Avli Estiatorio in Winnetka's Laundry Mall.  The Poseidon Plate, which features octopus, shrimp, and calamari, is a perennial favorite.  For American-German fare, stop in to the historic Berghoff's restaurant on Adams St.  Order the schnitzel, in any of the variations Berghoff serves, or the sauerbraten.  Berghoff offers several delicious fish entrees as well.

To sample Peruvian cuisine, try Reza's in Andersonville.  Reza's has great food and a great atmosphere.  Drink with the Germans at the Huettenbar for some beer.  And for some Indian/Pakistani choices, head to Devon Avenue.  Make sure to visit during the daytime when all the restaurants are open to have the largest number of choices.

Visit the Chicago Hotels page for more information.