The Best Chicago Food Gifts On Goldbelly In 2023

Send your loved ones Chicago hot dogs, Italian beef, and deep dish pizza this holiday season.

We here at The Takeout, a Chicago-based publication, sure are proud of our hometown's food. We've got some pretty delicious stuff within arm's reach, and we realize the rest of you might not have such easy access to our regional foods.


For anyone craving a taste of Chicago from the far-flung corners of the country, Goldbelly offers a number of gift bundles that can be shipped nationwide this holiday season, straight from the Windy City to your front door. Keep in mind that they may not be the cheapest gifts out there, but they sure are cheaper than a plane ticket. Here's what to look for.

A Vienna Beef Chicago-style hot dog kit

The Chicago hot dog is a marvelous thing. If you order one with everything on it, you'll receive a hot dog topped with yellow mustard, neon-green relish, chopped onions, a pickle spear, slices of raw tomato, pickled sport peppers, and a little sprinkling of celery salt, all on a poppy seed bun.


Chicago's favorites come from Vienna Beef, and the company sells a kit on Goldbelly ($89.95, makes 10 hot dogs) that includes nearly everything you'll need to make your own Chicago-style dog: buns, franks, mustard, relish, sport peppers, and celery salt. The pickles, onions, and tomatoes you'll have to grab from the store yourself, since you want those items to be fresh.

The reason this particular hot dog kit is so great is that it includes natural-casing hot dogs, which have a really wonderful snap to them. It also includes legit sport peppers, which can be difficult to locate outside of Chicago.

Deep dish pizzas

Frozen deep dish pizza heats up remarkably well. If you can't make the trip to a Chicago pizzeria, popping a frozen pie in your home oven is a pretty good consolation prize.

I've had some great experience with Lou Malnati's frozen pizza (two for $83.99, four for $129.99), but in addition to that chain, there are some local independent favorites available on Goldbelly as well, such as the excellent My Pi ($149.95 for four pizzas), Pequod's ($99.95 for two), and Labriola ($99.95 for two).


Italian beef kits

Italian beef sandwiches continue to ride a pretty big wave, thanks to the smash hit TV show The Bear. The whole first season of the series centers around a greasy Italian beef joint loosely based off of a local shop called Mr. Beef (which happens to be right by The Takeout's office).


What's great about Italian beef is that it ships quite well. At its simplest, there are only a few key components present: Thinly shaved beef, jus (sometimes called gravy), and a French roll. Optional ingredients include sweet peppers (aka roasted green bell peppers) and giardiniera (pickled spicy vegetables in oil).

There are a few different Chicago Italian beef vendors available on Goldbelly. Buona Italian Beef sells a sandwich kit for eight that includes the rolls, beef, and gravy, and one jar of giardiniera, all for $109.95. Meanwhile, the offering from Al's #1 Italian Beef is a 10-pack, which includes beef and gravy, French bread, hot giardiniera, and sweet peppers for $169.95.

Hot giardiniera

If you don't want to commit to an entire Italian beef kit (they're big!), you can just spring for the condiment that goes on it: giardiniera. This spicy blend of pickled peppers and vegetables soaking in delicious oil makes for an excellent topping on everything from sandwiches to pizza (whether it's a homemade or doctored frozen pie).


Buona Italian Beef sells giardiniera in quantities of two 16-oz. jars ($32.95) all the way up to 12 ($56.95). You can order the case of a dozen and hand them out as holiday host gifts.

Chicago-style cheesecake

Yep, Chicago-style cheesecake is a thing. The key difference between it and its East coast counterpart, the New York–style cheesecake, is the amount of cream cheese involved. Chicago's version contains more of the tangy spreadable cheese, resulting in a denser but richer cake.


Eli's Cheesecake is the favorite around these parts, and you can get a cheesecake sampler for $95.95 that features four varieties: plain, strawberry, chocolate chip, and candy bar. That's not a bad capper for a meal of Chicago-style hot dogs, deep dish pizza, and Italian beef, if you ask us.