These Are The Dishes Chicago Craved More Than Usual While Stuck Inside

A cartoon image of a takeout box
Graphic by Paula Friedrich
A cartoon image of a takeout box
Graphic by Paula Friedrich

These Are The Dishes Chicago Craved More Than Usual While Stuck Inside

As you would expect, Chicago is ordering in — a lot. According to Google Trends data, searches for online food delivery services such as Grubhub, Caviar and DoorDash have spiked since March 8. The phrase “food delivery open late” is up 300% in Chicagoland this week.

Which got us wondering: What are Chicagoans actually ordering?

Grubhub raked through its data from March 9 to March 24 — which includes the first full week of Illinois’ “stay-at-home” order — and compared those findings to order volume in the period just before, starting Jan. 1, 2020. In order of more to much more popular, here are the top 5 things Chicagoans ordered:

5. Spicy Fried Chicken

Spicy Fried chicken  up 117%

This flavorful fowl is 117% more popular. Although Grubhub wouldn’t tell us which restaurants were provisioning this uptick, Google Trends Data showed that searches for Big Boss Spicy Fried Chicken in Bridgeport is up 80%.

4. Mozzarella Breadsticks

mozzarella breadsticks up 129%

These breadsticks filled with hot, melted cheese — popular at the Olive Gardens and Pizza Huts in Chicago — are 129% more popular.

3. Dutch Apple Pie

dutch apple pie up 132%

Not your grandma’s apple pie. The version featuring a streusel top layer is the winner, at 132% more popular. Also, the search term “best pie In Chicago” is up 180%, according to Google Trends. 

2. Blue Cheese Burger

blue cheese burger up 159%

Chicago likes its burger with a side of funk; ones with a blue cheese topping came in second place overall for most ordered, at 159% more popular.

1. Red Velvet Cake

Red velvet cake up 201%

And the No. 1 thing Chicagoans ordered more often than usual? Dessert! Red velvet cake is 201% more popular. Google Trends says that this bright-red sugar high typically sees a spike like this only around Christmas. 

Mary Hall is a digital producer at WBEZ. Follow her @hall_marye. Illustrations are by Paula Friedrich, WBEZ's interactive producer. You can follow her on Twitter at @pauliebe.

Correction, 4-5: Big Boss Spicy Fried Chicken at 2520 S. Halsted St. is in the Bridgeport neighborhood, not Pilsen as previously reported.