Food & Drink in East Chicago

Select Local Merchants

Bulldog Brewery was born out of steelworker Kevin Clark's home brewing hobby. But founding his own brewery didn't mean Kevin was ready to quit his day job. And neither have co-owners, Bob Fausto and Jeff Kochis, a steelworker and a second-generation firefighter respectively. The hard work required of having two jobs is in keeping with the brewery's mission: to celebrate small town America and the blue collar workers who live there.

One of the ways they achieve this goal is by providing a place for customers to relax after a hard day's work, whether it's with a grilled panini sandwich or a pint of flavorful lager, stout, or IPA. Their beer also celebrates the working man. The 1890 Stout, for instance, commemorates the year that oil refineries came to Whiting. Its dark, crude-like color conceals notes of vanilla bean and cherry, and it's best consumed while wearing an oil can jauntily perched upon your head.

1409 119th St
Whiting,
IN
US

Originally opened as the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, Sonic has grown into a burger-franchise mecca that today operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic specializes in made-to-order American classics—including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and marshmallow Ford Thunderbolts—which customers order and receive without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast, as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.

Sonic’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top five fast-food restaurants in three categories: Best Value Menu, Best Milk Shake, and Best Drive-Thru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through their program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.

1299 Torrence Ave
Calumet City,
IL
US

• 678 River Oaks Drive, Calumet City • 2236 East 71st Street, Chicago • 616 East 79th Street, Chicago • 4653 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago • 5815 West Madison Street, Chicago • 4455 West Lincoln Highway, Matteson

678 River Oaks Dr
Calumet City,
IL
US

There are 25 different po' boys served at Tilly's Po'Boys, some with seafood such as the one topped with shrimp, seafood salad, and Cajun remoulade, others with chicken such as the one that combines buttermilk fried chicken with smoked bacon, cheddar, roasted tomato, and cool Ranch dressing. No matter what they're filled with, all po' boys—and all sandwiches on the menu for that matter—come with your choice of a side such as loaded baked potato salad, cup of gumbo-lia, or a duo of fries. Other sweet treats on the menu include cheesecake and peppermint patty milkshakes.

1455 Ring Road
Calumet City,
IL
US

A hearty American, festive Italian, tourist tolerant, family owned, neighborhood restaurant with nocturnal kitchens and divine delivered dining that’s been nourishing Chicagoans with good food and real hospitality since 1950.

1455 Ring Rd
Calumet City,
IL
US

The Wetzel name wasn’t always a source of pride. As a kid, Rick Wetzel grew accustomed to hearing, “Hey Wetzel, you pretzel!” on the playground. But the teasing inspired a quest for the tastiest soft pretzel, one that eventually blossomed into Wetzel’s Pretzels. After years in Nestle’s marketing department, Rick and coworker Bill Phelps channeled Rick’s soft-pretzel recipe into a chain of shops. They make hand-rolled, oven-baked pretzels that sit for only 30 minutes before being sold or chucked, an example that might be in the dictionary under "fresh," if Babe Ruth using his bat as a pool cue weren't already there. And though the buttered and salted Wetzel’s Original still occupies a spot on the menu, a flurry of imaginative flavors fills its other slots, from Sinful Cinnamon to Jalaroni, a cheesy pretzel scattered with pepperoni and jalapeños.

96 River Oaks Center Dr.
Calumet City,
IL
US

East Chicago Scene