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Sep 23, 2012 02:17 PM

Best Chicago-style food in DMV area?

I'm a recent transplant from the Chicago area and have been trying to find some places that might best satisfy my cravings for food from home. I know true Chicago-style pizza is impossible to find out here, but what about other things? I tried the pierogis at Russia House on a suggestion and those weren't even real pierogis. I can do hot dogs at home so that's not a huge deal, but does anyone have any good suggestions about polish sausage, italian beef, or gyros?

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  1. there is a little town about 700 miles from here - some people call it the City of Big Shoulders.

    It is your best bet for Chicago style food. There is nothing around here.

    1. You are not really going to find much food like that....mostly because those are Chicago specialties. I hear the hot dog place DC-3 near Eastern Market is supposed to be pretty good and they have Chicago-style hot dogs on their menu.

      The only other suggestion I can give is checking out the Greek Deli. It is probably similar to some of the Greek joints you can find in Chicago.

      My whole family is from Chicago and I grew up visiting them a couple times a year so I have a great appreciation for the type of food you are talking about. But really there isn't much here that is similar (or won't disappoint you). So why not explore your new city and see what we have to offer---crab cakes, half smokes, Ethiopian cuisine etc.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Elyssa

        Second this. If I suddenly found myself transplanted to Chicago, searching for a decent halfsmoke would be pretty low on my culinary to-do list.

        1. re: Elyssa

          Oh, I've definitely been exploring all the great food you guys have here. I'm not much of a seafood fan (I know, this is sacreligious!), but I have done Ben's Chili Bowl and the half smoke, I also did H street festival last weekend and ate my way through that.

          I was just looking for something to fill that homesickness void on occasion when nothing but a lovely cheese or apple filled pierogi on cold winter day will do

        2. Windy City Redhots - one in Ashburn just off Rt 7 and another in Leesburg.

          For pierogis, there used to be a guy in Fairfax that made them at home but sold them frozen. He was on this board - might be worth a search. Also Jimmy's in Herndon has them. I'm not a fan of pierogies so I can't vouch for them.

          1. You need to go to Heidelberg Bakery and Deli, on Saturdays they do a grill with different sausages that are very good. Lyon Hall might have polish sausage as well, they normally have some German influenced food.

            Not sure where the best gyro would be although if you search I think there was a big discussion about them at one point, although maybe it was on one of the food chats for Washingtonian or Wapo. I typically get kafta or schwarma instead, I know I have had one at Zorba's can't remember if it was good.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ktmoomau

              Down that angle, I'd throw in a mention for German Gourmet as well. I guess Russia Gourmet might have some things to fill the void.

              For gyros, Reston Kebab is really good. I seem to remember Atilla's being good with gyros, though it's been a while since I've been.

              1. re: ktmoomau

                I've never been to Chicago, and I suppose that Armand's Chicago Style Pizza has little to the pizza there, but the best gyro I've found in my area (Falls Church and nearby) has been at Food Corner, an Afghan kabob shop. There are a few in the area, one around Dupont Circle.


              2. Chicago native here too. When I'm craving Italian Beef and can't make it back to Chicago, I order on-line from Portillos. They'll send frozen beefs, buns, juice and peppers. Ridiculously expensive, but I do it from time to time. Especially for watching the Bears!

                I've also made it myself - but that's a process!

                1 Reply
                1. re: piafoodie

                  I didn't even realize Portillo's did online ordering! My family has already said they would surprise me with a couple of Gino's and Giordano's pizzas through the ship a pizza deal, but I"ll have to look into Portillo's for a special occasion...or when I want to school people on good Italian beef