After returning from World War II, American service members brought back memories and souvenirs from the South Pacific. In the 1940s and 1950s, and even into the 1960s, tiki bars popped up all over the United States, including in Chicago, as people found escape from drudgery and horror.
Chicago has contributed countless dishes to global food culture, from the obvious (deep dish pizza) to the less obvious (chicken a la king). Many people are unaware that Chicago is where flaming saganaki, a famous Greek dish, was developed. A staple of Greek cuisine, the fried cheese dish is flambéed in brandy tableside by owner Chris Liakouras.
Take a look at these old photos to see what Chicago’s restaurants looked like in the 1950s.