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There's no shortage of good Polish food in the city, but I wouldn't dream of heading to Gary for a Railcats game ($10 or less!) without stopping at Hammond's Cavalier Inn first. A landmark to the northern Indiana Polish community, the Cav was founded in 1949 by the late, beloved Wally Kasprzycki; it's now run by his son Wally Jr. and his mother Mary, who still makes the pierogies twice a week into the wee hours of the morning. Mammoth portions of fried chicken livers, stuffed cabbage, potato pancakes, and Polish sausage, preceded by a gratis trio of bean salad, coleslaw, and cottage cheese, are mostly priced under $10, many closer to $5. And you couldn't find a friendlier spot to dive into them. —Mike Sula
Viewed from the strip mall parking lot next to a combination lottery ticket and Chinese-takeout counter, Cunis Candies has all the charm of a Baskin-Robbins. But the old-timey ice cream parlor, opened by George Askounis in Chicago the same year as the Century of Progress, is an original. While the regular flavors of dense, American-style, house-churned ice cream are pretty good (rum raisin being a personal favorite), come summertime fresh peach and blueberry are essential picks. Sundaes drizzled with a dark chocolate sauce hint at the quality of the huge variety of hand-molded and/or -dipped chocolates, everything from almond bark to coated Oreos, green meltaways to cherry cordials, dixies to turtles. —Mike Sula
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