Corned Beef Factory Sandwich Shop

Sandwich Shop
One of the best

The Corned Beef Factory really is a corned beef factory, having corned and packed briskets for Chicago-area restaurants and grocery stores since 1948. A few years ago, as the city’s meat-packing district began morphing into a restaurant row, the family who runs it opened up a tiny retail operation up front selling sandwiches of what they do so well in back. It was barely a restaurant, as it had no indoor tables — just one large communal picnic table on the sidewalk, with all sandwiches packed to go. In Summer, 2018, operations moved across the street to a place with actual tables and chairs.

About the sandwich: corned beef, sliced thin the Chicago way, is moist and tender, just barely briny, remarkably lean and yet dramatically flavorful. It comes piled high in rye with either yellow or spicy mustard, a pickle spear, and house-made potato chips that are themselves remarkable: see-through thin, lightweight, and crisp.

Nicely spiced pastrami is a good alternative. Like the corned beef, it is alarmingly lean but somehow extremely luxurious. Combos of both meats are available, known here as a Tom & Jerry sandwich; and anything is available with sliced Swiss cheese. And there are Reubens (as well as Tom & Jerry Reubens), loaded with sauerkraut and lubricated with 1000 Islands dressing.

Cured meats are the signature, but note that the Corned Beef Factory prepares a beautiful Chicago-style red hot: a Vienna all-beef dog in a steamed-soft poppy seed bun, fully accoutered with mustard, bright green relish, crisp onions, sport peppers, and a pickle spear. Nor should Italian beef be overlooked. It is available dry or wet, with sweet peppers or hot giardiniera, in a length of fresh, crusty bread and, if desired, with mozzarella cheese.

The joy of eating at the Corned Beef Factory beyond its meaty menu has a lot to do with the people who run it. They seem to love what they are doing, and love sharing that joy. They are an extraordinarily friendly, hospitable crew who put a fine human face on a true Chicago dining experience.

I tip my hat to Roadfooder extraordinaire Gregg Pill for putting this great discovery at the top of his Eat Chicago spreadsheet.

What to Eat
Corned Beef Factory Sandwich Shop, Tom & Jerry Reuben
Tom & Jerry Reuben
Tom & Jerry: corned beef and pastrami on grilled rye with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and 1000 Islands dressing.
Corned Beef Factory Sandwich Shop, Corned Beef Sandwich
Corned Beef Sandwich
Thinly-sliced corned beef, piled high on rye
Corned Beef Factory Sandwich Shop, Honey Puffs
Honey Puffs
Honey Puffs: puffy balls of warm fried dough wallowing in honey.
Corned Beef Factory Sandwich Shop, Italian Beef
Italian Beef
Italian beef dressed with sweet peppers (left) and hot giardiniera (right). In front: four-star potato chips.
Corned Beef Factory Sandwich Shop, Chicago Hot Dog
Chicago Hot Dog
A pair of beautifully dressed and perfectly bunned all-beef wieners: only in Chicago!
Directions and Hours
closed now
Monday9am - 5pm
Tuesday9am - 5pm
Wednesday9am - 5pm
Thursday9am - 5pm
Friday9am - 5pm
Saturday10am - 5pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
6 stops | 1 hr 10 min total driving
5 stops | 1 hr 12 min total driving
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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