Sometimes a food item becomes so hyped that it almost becomes a guilty pleasure (which is why I tend to get into wildly popular TV shows years after they're wildly popular- allows me a more objective assessment). Here's my opinion of what is and isn't worth the hype.
1. Donuts- Chicago is sadly unrepresented in this category- Who can resist a warm donut? The market is dominated by Dunkin' Donuts, which frankly sucks compared to Krispy Kreme, Voodoo Donuts in Portland, or the mom n' pop shops in Berkeley (notably King Pin on Telegraph ave...omg). Mindy Segal at hot chocolate does buffalo milk ricotta donuts that are pretty tasty though.
2. Bacon- What is it about bacon and hipsters? I know the occasional Kosher Jew and vegetarian who make exceptions for it too. Bacon has become a parody of itself with bacon chocolate, bacon toffee, bacon apple pie, bacon salt, all you can eat bacon brunch- and yet, it's still that good. Salty meat crack.
3. Craft Beer- am I a pretentious yuppie douche for preferring craft beer? All I know is six months ago I didn't give a damn about beer and now I'm obsessed. And Goose Island makes it easy to indulge since even friggin Giordano's carries it.
4. Brioche anything- really, as pretentious as brioche is, it usually is hell of delicious.
5. Fois Gras- yes, it's cruel. So is factory farming.
6. Sushi- Sushi is for the most part a sad joke in Chicago, and not worth eating. But take me to Itto Sushi or the burbs and it's on. And yes, I secretly like those cream cheese and tempura rolls.
7. $3 Truffles at Vosges or Coco Rouge- delicious, but not really in my budget.
8. Pork belly- zomg delicious but KILLS my gallbladder.
9. "Truffled" anything- can you actually taste the truffles? Was it worth the extra $5?
10. Duck fat fries- I really want to like these. But honestly, I don't taste the difference.
Unrelatedly- this is the midwest, and I am seriously befuddled by how many SKINNY chefs, bakers and brewmasters I know here. Probably because they run around like a chicken with its head cut off producing their wares and I just sit around and eat them.