Street Food
One of the best

The breaded steak sandwich is a specialty of South-Side Chicago that is little known beyond the Bridgeport neighborhood. Although similar in girth to the city’s widely-beloved Italian beef sandwich, the Italian steak sandwich is a whole other animal. It is a steak that is pounded to the thinness of a potato chip, then lightly breaded and fried, and rolled inside a length of Italian bread. Topped with sweet peppers, hot peppers, or the spicy vegetable-pickle mélange known as giardiniera, this is one hefty sandwich!

Only a few places continue to make a specialty of Italian steak sandwiches; one of the best-liked is Ricobene’s, which has been a local institution since 1946. Now a big, modern dining room with evocative pictures of old Chicago on the walls, Ricobene’s is a good place to eat not only breaded steak but also good versions of many other Chicago specialties, including red hots, Italian beef, and a curious “Vesuvio Italian Classic” sandwich. That’s a crisp, garlicky breaded chicken cutlet dressed with onions, lettuce, tomato, and mayo stuffed into a length of Italian bread – a quick-eats version of the knife-and-fork meal known in Chicago as Chicken Vesuvio.

Alongside any of these fine meals, you want French fries. While it is possible to get your fries gilded with melted cheese, Ricobene’s are so good straight from the fry kettle, we recommend only a sprinkle of salt. Chicago in general and Ricobene’s in particular have so many wonderful street foods to occupy one’s attention that excellent French fries like these are sometimes overlooked. Once you’ve eaten your way through a bag of Ricobene’s celestial potatoes, you won’t soon forget them.

What to Eat
Ricobene’s, Italian steak
Italian steak
A beauty shot of an Italian steak sandwich, from Ricobene's menu
Ricobene’s, French fries
French fries
Chicago has so many great street-food specialties, it's easy to overlook the city's great French fries. Ricobene's are among the good ones.
Breaded Steak
Italian beef
Deep Dish Pizza
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday10 am - 12 am
Monday9 am - 12:30 am
Tuesday9 am - 12:30 am
Wednesday9 am - 12:30 am
Thursday9 am - 12:30 am
Friday9 am - 2 am
Saturday10 am - 2 am
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
6 stops | 30 MILES | 1 hr 10 min

More New-World than Old-Country, the Italian beef sandwich was invented on Chicago's near West Side and it has become a city signature dish as beloved as red hots. It is a heap of thinly sliced beef, sopped with garlicky natural gravy, sandwiched inside a sturdy length of Italian bread. Customers choose how drippy they want…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Mr. Beef

    Chicago, Illinois

    Mr. Beef is one of Chicago’s premier sources of the sloppy, big-flavored Italian beef sandwich. Add spicy giardiniera as a condiment.

  • Merichka’s

    Crest Hill, Illinois

    Saturday-night splurge meals are Merichka’s specialty, but the Roadfood lure is Poor Boy Steak — an under-$10 sandwich sopped with margarine & garlic.

  • Johnnie’s

    Elmwood Park, Illinois

    Is this the best Chicago sandwich ever? Johnnie’s Italian beef delivers juicy garlic kick; add vibrant giardiniera and you’ll hear angels sing.

  • Paradise Pup

    Des Plaines, Illinois

    Char-grilled burgers and fries topped with Merkts cheddar cheese as well as classic Chicago red hots make Paradise Pup a best bet.

  • Vienna Beef Factory Store and Café

    Chicago, Illinois

    A Vienna Beef workers’ cafeteria open to the public. Chicago dogs are perfect and fresh. Corned beef sandwiches are piled high on good rye.

  • Tempo Café

    Chicago, Illinois

    Tempo is a 24/7 Chicago cafe with a full menu. It is best known for mighty omelets served in silver skillets on wooden trivets.