The 12 cheesiest dishes in Chicago

Because we live and die by the words "extra cheese", we decided to see who does it the best, by scouring Chicago for the city's most cheese-centric dishes. From stuffed burgers to flaming pots of cheese, we're declaring these the 12 cheesiest in Chicago, and we did it without making any cheesy (!) jokes (alright, that's the last one).

The Restaurant: Del Seoul in Lincoln Park (click here for address and deets)
The Dish: Kimchi Fries
Question: what's better than French fries topped with melted cheddar and Jack cheese? Answer: usually nothing, but in this rare case, it's Del Seoul's cheese fries with sauteed kimchi, onions, and... pork belly. Yup.

cheese best chicago

The Restaurant: Cheesie's Pub & Grub in Lakeview (click here for address and deets)
The Dish: The Mac
I mean, this one's almost a given: Cheesie's grilled cheese sandwich (whose return Mark Morrison sang about) is packed with American, Merkts cheddar, and homemade mac, all in between Texas toast.

cheese best chicago
Big Star

The Restaurant: Big Star in Wicker Park (click here for address and deets)
The Dish: Queso Fundido Dip
Melted Chihuahua cheese + Rajas poblano + House-made chorizo = So much yes.

cheese best chicago

The Restaurant: The Anthem in Ukrainian Village (click here for address and deets)
The Dish: Jucy Lucy
"Jucy Lucy", the nickname of the girl you met at that strange biker bar? Probably not good. "Jucy Lucy", the caramelized onion-topped burger stuffed with Velveeta? Definitely good.

cheese best chicago
Bad Apple

The Restaurant: The Bad Apple in North Center (click here for address and deets)
The Dish: Fried Cheese Curds
Bad Apple, good cheese curds. They're beer-battered with a homemade buttermilk-ranch dipping sauce.

cheese best chicago
Flickr/Hungry Dudes

The Restaurant: Greek Islands in West Loop (click here for address and deets)
The Dish: Flaming Saganaki
This appetizer would make Balki Bartokomous weep with joy -- order it, and a waiter will bring you a brick of Greek cheese, light it on fire, and then douse it out with lemon juice, as everyone yells "opa!"

cheese best chicago

The Restaurant: Giordano's (click here for address and deets)
The Dish: Deep Dish Pizza
Gotta respect a franchise that mows through 3mm pounds of cheese per year. Also, a pie that feels like it uses about a million of those. Just carve through an inch of mozzarella topped with sauce and grated Parmesan, and you'll see what we're talking about.

cheese best chicago
Nuevo Leon

The Restaurant: Nuevo Leon in Pilsen (click here for address and deets)
The Dish: Enchiladas Suizas
This family owned Pilsen staple provides house-made white tortillas for chicken enchiladas that're covered in tomatillo, green sauce, and about a Rio Grande-worth of Chihuahua cheese.

cheese best chicago

The Restaurant: Fat Willy's Rib Shack in Logan Square (click here for address and deets)
The Dish: Baked Four-Cheese Macaroni
The BBQ joint's mac recipe includes the Four Horsemen of the Cheesepocalypse: Romano, Fontina, cheddar, and Parmesan.

cheese best chicago
Geja's Cafe

The Restaurant: Geja's Cafe in Lincoln Park (click here for address and deets)
The Dish: Cheese Fondue
Relive the romance of the '70s with an old-fashioned key party fondue dinner, where a tableside pot is filled with Gruyere, blended with white wine, cherry brandy, and spices, and served with fruit & bread (French, pumpernickel, and pretzel) for dipping.

cheese best chicago
Bar Pastoral

The Restaurant: Bar Pastoral in Lakeview (click here for address and deets)
The Dish: Cheese Plate
This bistro has an elite assortment of small-production cheeses, ranging from soft goat to cheese from cows with a flavor profile of popcorn, hay, and sausage. If cheese from a cow that tastes like it's been eating other barnyard animals doesn't move your meter, what will?

cheese best chicago

The Restaurant: Longman & Eagle in Logan Square (click here for address and deets)
The Dish: Warm Cheese Gougere
These unassuming pastries look innocent enough, that is... until you bite into one and unleash a stream of Gruyere Mornay sauce.

Sean Cooley is Thrillist's Chicago Editor, and he really hopes you don’t have to battle all the animals you've eaten in your life to get into Heaven. Follow him @SeanCooley.