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best souvenirs from chicago

1. Deep Dish Pizza Kits

Chicago-style pizza is famous for its thick and fluffy crust, forming a deep dish that holds all the toppings. Unlike traditional Italian or thin New York-style pizzas, Chicago pizza typically features a generous layer of cheese, followed by toppings and then tomato sauce. Baked in a deep pan, this style ensures even cooking and the characteristic fluffy texture. 

You could get all the necessary ingredients and equipment to recreate this iconic dish at home are popular souvenirs.

Best Souvenirs from Chicago

2. Hot Dogs

Hot dog kits featuring the essential components of a Chicago-style hot dog, including poppy seed buns, Vienna beef hot dogs, relish, mustard, onions, tomatoes, pickles, and peppers, are a tasty and unique souvenir option.

3. Chicago Cubs or Chicago White Sox Merchandise

Baseball is a big part of Chicago’s culture, and souvenirs featuring the logos and colors of the city’s MLB teams, the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox, are widely available.

4. Architecture Books

The city is renowned for its innovative architecture, and books featuring the city’s most famous buildings and architectural landmarks make for informative and visually stunning souvenirs.

Best Souvenirs from Chicago

5. Chicago Skyline Snow Globe

This souvenir typically features a miniature replica of the Chicago skyline encased in a glass globe filled with water. It’s a popular keepsake for tourists visiting the city, showcasing iconic landmarks such as the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower), the John Hancock Center, and the Navy Pier.

6. Chicago World’s Fair Poster

The Chicago World’s Fair, also known as the World’s Columbian Exposition, was held in Chicago in 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas. Posters from this historic event are sought after by collectors and history enthusiasts alike, featuring vibrant artwork and capturing the spirit of the fair, which showcased groundbreaking innovations and cultural exhibits.

7. Blues Music

Chicago has a rich musical heritage, particularly in the blues genre. CDs, vinyl records, or digital downloads featuring recordings by Chicago blues artists make for soulful souvenirs.

8. Popcorn

Chicago is famous for its unique twist on popcorn: the Chicago mix. It combines caramel-coated popcorn and cheese-flavored popcorn, creating a sweet and savory treat that’s popular among locals and visitors alike. It’s a delicious snack that reflects the city’s diverse culinary offerings.

9. Bean-inspired Souvenirs

Cloud Gate, also known as “The Bean,” is one of Chicago’s most famous public sculptures. Souvenirs featuring images of The Bean, such as keychains, magnets, or prints, are popular among visitors.

Best Souvenirs from Chicago

10. Artwork

Prints, paintings, and posters depicting scenes of Chicago’s skyline, neighborhoods, or landmarks make for beautiful and memorable souvenirs that capture the city’s vibrancy and character.

11. Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Gifts

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Gifts are souvenirs and merchandise inspired by the iconic public transportation system in Chicago. From apparel featuring the CTA logo to mugs, posters, and even model train sets, these gifts celebrate the city’s rich history and its vital public transit network. They’re popular among both locals and tourists as mementos of their time spent exploring the Windy City.

Best Souvenirs from Chicago

12. Jazz Music

Chicago has a rich jazz history, with legendary clubs like the Green Mill Lounge and the Jazz Showcase. CDs, vinyl records, or digital downloads featuring recordings by Chicago jazz musicians are excellent souvenirs for music enthusiasts.

13. Flag

The Chicago flag, with its distinctive blue stripes and red stars, is a beloved symbol of the city. Souvenirs such as flags, pins, patches, or apparel featuring the Chicago flag design.

Best Souvenirs from Chicago

14. Wild Blossom Mead

Wild Blossom Meadery & Winery is located in Chicago and specializes in mead, an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey with water. Their meads often incorporate locally sourced ingredients and come in a variety of flavors, ranging from traditional to more experimental blends. 

15. Chicago-style Steak Seasoning

The city is known for its steakhouses and delicious cuts of meat. Bottles of Chicago-style steak seasoning, featuring a blend of spices that enhance the flavor of grilled or roasted meats.

16. Al Capone Memorabilia

Al Capone, a notorious gangster, was one of the most infamous figures associated with Chicago during the Prohibition era. Memorabilia related to Capone often includes items such as vintage photographs, newspapers, replica firearms, and other artifacts associated with his life and criminal activities. While some view these items as collectibles, others may find them controversial due to Capone’s criminal history.

Best Souvenirs from Chicago

17. Relish and Mustard

Chicago-style relish, known for its neon green color and sweet pickle flavor, and tangy yellow mustard are essential condiments for authentic Chicago-style hot dogs. Bottles or jars of these condiments are great souvenirs for foodies.

18. Chicago Blackhawks or Chicago Bulls Merchandise

Sports fans can find souvenirs featuring the logos and colors of Chicago’s NHL team, the Chicago Blackhawks, or its NBA team, the Chicago Bulls. Items like hats, jerseys, or pennants allow fans to show their team spirit.

Best Souvenirs from Chicago

19. BBQ Sauce

Chicago-style barbecue sauce, with its sweet and tangy flavor profile, is a popular condiment for grilled meats and barbecue dishes. Bottles of locally made Chicago-style BBQ sauce are tasty and unique souvenirs for food enthusiasts.

20. Cookbooks

Cookbooks featuring recipes inspired by Chicago’s diverse culinary scene, including deep-dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, and other local specialties, are informative and practical souvenirs for home chefs.

21. Christmas Ornaments

Decorative ornaments featuring iconic Chicago landmarks such as the Willis Tower, Navy Pier, or Millennium Park’s Cloud Gate (The Bean) are popular souvenirs, especially during the holiday season.

22. Magnets

Colorful magnets featuring images of Chicago landmarks, attractions, or symbols like The Bean, the Chicago flag, or the city skyline are affordable and collectible souvenirs that can be displayed on refrigerators or magnetic boards.

23. Street Signs

Replica street signs featuring the names of famous Chicago streets, neighborhoods, or landmarks are decorative souvenirs that add a touch of urban flair to any room or space.

24. Apparel

T-shirts, hoodies, hats, and other clothing items featuring Chicago’s skyline, iconic landmarks such as the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) and the John Hancock Center, or the city flag for example.

Best Souvenirs from Chicago

25. Shot Glasses

Collectible shot glasses or drinkware featuring Chicago landmarks, skyline silhouettes, or iconic symbols like the “L” train or The Bean are popular souvenirs for those who enjoy commemorating their travels with a toast.

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