Bari Italian Beef & Subs

Review by: Maggie Rosenberg & Trevor Hagstrom

Sandwiches Worth A Roadfood Pilgrimage

From the outside, Bari Italian Beef & Subs appears to be a neighborhood corner grocery store. Even after you enter, it doesn’t really look like a dedicated sandwich shop. As in many small urban bodgeas, you will see a little deli in the back. But at Bari, you don’t get ordinary sandwiches. The Italian beef & subs here earn pilgrimage status. Italian-American lunch on a roll gets no better.

Masterful Italian Beef at Bari Italian Beef & Subs in Chicago, IL

Italian beef puts Bari’s on the Roadfood map. We don’t mean just the sandwich. We are talking about the beef itself. In fact, Bari Italian Beef & Subs sells its meat and house giardiniera to small vendors around Chicago. They cook the beef to be tender and juicy. And the construct giant sandwiches with loads of roast beef and just a few scoops of pickled vegetables. The bread sogs from the jus-soaked meat, so you want to eat it quickly.

Super Subs

High as the Italian Beef ranks, Bari’s Italian sub outdoes it. Here you have a classic hoagie with every element done a little bit better. The hard roll comes from D’amato’s bakery next door (a place that’s worth stopping by after eating a sub here). They layer the cold cuts precisely. House dressing and hot peppers make it all come together into a world-class cold sandwich. 

Only three ingredients compose Bari’s meatball sub : meatballs, marinara sauce, and melted provolone cheese. Given the simplicity and hedonistic joy of soft meat, you’d think it difficult to screw one up … and equally as hard to make one that stands out. Bari blows us away again with this one. The soft herbaceous meatballs melt in your mouth. They apply just enough sauce to dress the sandwich but not overwhelm it.

Take Home a Souvenir

The Italian beef & subs at Bari come in in 9” and 12” sizes, fully loaded. Unless you are ravenous, consider splitting a foot-long with a traveling companion. The grocery component of the store sells dressings and giardiniera for to take home. You might not be able to recreate the great Chicagoan Italian Beef, but at least you can have a tangy dressing to remember it by. 

What To Eat

Italian Beef

Italian Sub

Meatball Sub


Bari Italian Beef & Subs Recipes


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