Chicago is sort of like Transylvania: it’s a real place, but your associations with it have likely been colored in by pop culture more than anything else. While The Bear, an FX summer hit about a struggling Chicago restaurant, sometimes walks around with its Manhattan showing—unconvincing Midwest accents, culinary anomalies—it has nonetheless won over the vast majority of its skeptics, largely by the sheer force of its central performances. And, of course, due to our evident collective thirst to see Chicago, in all its messy glory, represented on screen in a way that feels halfway honest and nuanced. Thanks to favorable ratings from viewers and critics alike, it has been renewed for a second season. It just proves what we’ve said all along: Chicago sells.
Probably not for a little while—but the studio knows better than to let the momentum around this series die down. Here’s our review of season one, and all that it gets right about running a restaurant.
“‘The Bear’ has exceeded our wildest creative, critical and commercial expectations,” said FX Entertainment president Eric Schrier in a statement. “We can’t wait to get to work on Season 2.”
More specifically, the show promises a season 2 release next year.
“We are so grateful to FX, our insanely talented cast, our crew who worked hard, fast, and in the dead of winter, not to mention everyone who watched,” series creator Christopher Storer and co-showrunner Joanna Calo said in a statement. “And we can’t wait to bring you all back to The Bear in 2023.”
The Chicago beef is a storied institution—one that we never seem to stop talking about. Part of the fun of an Italian beef sandwich (besides its delectable sloppiness) is the great debate that rages on about the best way to customize it. Are you #TeamDry, #TeamWet, or #TeamDipped? If none of that makes any sense to you, please read this handy guide for how to order an Italian beef in Chicago.
Further reading on this fine sandwich can be found here:
- What’s the Ideal Level of Jus Saturation for a Beef Sandwich?
- Make Italian Beef at Home and Become an Honorary Chicago Meatball
- The Best Way to Make a Chicago Italian Beef Combo at Home
- Taste Test: Buona’s Italian “Beefless,” a Plant-Based Beef
Maybe, amidst all these Bear necessities, you’re wondering if you’re the only one who just doesn’t like an Italian beef. It’s a position that we will never understand, but always respect. (Seriously, though, have you tried the vegan one?) Luckily, if you don’t want to eat a beef, there are many other Chicago classics you can educate yourself on.
- 8 Recipes That Real Chicagoans Ought to Know
- For Chicago Flavor, Make a Dijon Giardiniera Vinaigrette
- Deep Dish Is Not the Pizza of Choice for Most Chicagoans
- Stop Making the Same Tired Joke About Deep Dish Pizza
- My Obsessive Quest to Make the Best Chicago Tavern-Style Pie at Home
- Chicago’s Hot Dogs Are Variations on a Theme
- Char Dogs: The Most Underrated Chicago Hot Dogs?
- We Tried Portillo’s Vegan Chicago-Style Dog—Here Are Our Thoughts
Whether you enjoyed The Bear or not, having more media focus on Chicago’s singular food scene is an objectively good thing. Each new series pushes Hollywood to think about the Second City with a bit more nuance—and highlight for the rest of the country what the Midwest, at its best, is really about.