25 Things That Are Considered Totally Normal In Chicago… But Nowhere Else

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25 Things That Are Considered Totally Normal In Chicago… But Nowhere Else

And because of that, there are some things we’ve become accustomed to that are strange to others, sometimes hilarious, and at other times shocking.

We asked our audiences which things they think of as uniquely Chicagoan and so, without further ado, here are your responses for things that are considered totally normal in Chicago… but would not be acceptable anywhere else. The good, the bad, and everything in between:

1. Craving milkshakes when it’s 20 below.

2. Giardiniera pizza topping.

3. Calling dibs aka saving your shoveled-out parking spot with a foldable chair or any old piece of furniture.

4. Corporate name changes that never stick (Macy’s, the Willis Tower, Guaranteed Rate Field).

5. Not having ketchup at a hot dog stand.

6. The cardinal directions in Chicago are north, west, south, and lake.

7. Calling soda “pop”.

8. Calling idiots JAGOFFS.

9. Huge intersections without any turn arrows (you just gotta turn and pray).

10. That sweet sweet taste of Jeppson’s Malört.

11. Using the outside as your fridge.

12. Making everything plural: The Jewels, Soldiers Field, Celozzi-Ettelsons Chevrolet…

13. “Driving on LSD”

14. Standing in the middle of the street to see if the bus is coming.

15. Dying the river emerald green on St.Patrick’s Day.


16. 16” softball.

17. Pizza puffs.

18. “Frunchroom”

19. Expressing distance as a unit of time.

20. Getting insulted at Wiener’s Circle.


21. Intersections with a soft right vs. hard right.

22. The sound of racing vehicles that you cannot see in the loop.

23. Mostaccioli – the unsung hero of Chicago foods.

24. Calling the highways by their nicknames, not their numbers. (The Ike vs 290).

25. Deep dish pizza.

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