Made in Chicago

Stories Behind 30 Great Hometown Bites
Author: Monica Eng and David Hammond
Go beyond deep-dish with a portable guide to neighborhood favorites
Paper – $19.95
eBook – $14.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 03/21/2023
Series: 3 Fields Books
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About the Book

Italian beef and hot dogs get the headlines. Cutting-edge cuisine and big-name chefs get the Michelin stars. But Chicago food shows its true depth in classic dishes conceived in the kitchens of immigrant innovators, neighborhood entrepreneurs, and mom-and-pop visionaries.

Monica Eng and David Hammond draw on decades of exploring the city’s food landscape to serve up thirty can’t-miss eats found in all corners of Chicago. From Mild Sauce to the Jibarito and from Taffy Grapes to Steak and Lemonade, Eng and Hammond present stories of the people and places behind each dish while illuminating how these local favorites reflect the multifaceted history of the city and the people who live there. Each entry provides all the information you need to track down whatever sounds good, and selected recipes even let you prepare your own Flaming Saganaki or Akutagawa.

Generously illustrated with full-color photos, Made in Chicago provides locals and visitors alike with loving profiles of a great food city’s defining dishes.

Watch an interview with Monica Eng and David Hammond on WGN-TV

About the Author

Monica Eng is a reporter for Axios Chicago and cohost of the podcast Chewing. She has worked as a food, culture, and investigative reporter at WBEZ Chicago Public Radio and at the Chicago Tribune, where she was nominated for five James Beard Awards for writing. David Hammond is Dining and Drinking Editor for Newcity/Chicago magazine. He regularly writes on food- and drink-related topics for Wednesday Journal and the Chicago Tribune. He is a founding member/moderator of, a site celebrating Chicago’s mom-and-pop restaurants.


"Chicago has invented, transformed, and promoted dozens of foods that give the city its distinct and inimitable gastronomy. Veteran Chicago journalists Eng and Hammond teamed up to delve into 30 of those unique Chicago eats to discover their origins and their status as icons of American cuisine." --Booklist

"A taxonomic guidebook to the city’s lesser-known endemic eats. With obligatory chapters on familiar signatures like hot dogs and deep dish, its real value lies in the stories behind less celebrated working-class originals like the Japanese-American rice and gravy burger plate akutagawa; sweet sticky Chinese-Korean gampongi lollipop wings; and the city’s other beef on a bun: the sweet steak sandwich." --Chicago Reader

"Jam packed with interesting stories and colorful characters that will make each bite just a little more enticing." --Better


“Eng and Hammond are two of Chicago’s most respected (and voracious) food reporters, so it’s no surprise to see how they’ve covered the city’s iconic foods like a layer of mozzarella on a deep-dish pie. This is the most thorough, gumshoe, deep-dive reporting into the origins of not only the well-known dishes (Italian beef, pizza, and hot dogs) but also the lesser-known gems in specific neighborhoods, like the Big Baby and the Gym Shoe. I clearly need to get out more, because how have I lived in Chicago for thirty years and never had Taffy Grapes?! This is a must-read for any local who wants to understand what it means to ‘eat like a Chicagoan,’ but it’s also a fascinating history lesson about how waves of immigration have shaped our local diet over the years.”--Steve Dolinsky, 13-time winner of the James Beard Award and food reporter for NBC 5 Chicago

Made in Chicago proves that Chicago is one of the world’s greatest vernacular food cities. Created mainly by ethnic food vendors--from pushcarts to diners and small food companies--these dishes show the city in all its quotidian culinary glory.”--Bruce Kraig, author of A Rich and Fertile Land: A History of Food in America

“Few are better qualified to write about Chicago food (and one notorious drink) than Monica Eng and David Hammond. They are journalists who have reported on deliciousness for decades, and shared the heartfelt human stories behind the scenes. Made in Chicago digs even deeper. It’s an essential guide with details that will surprise even the most dedicated experts on local culture and cuisine.”--Louisa Chu, Chicago Tribune food critic and cohost of Chewing


• A BookRiot Most Anticipated Travel Book of 2023