Chicago Italian Beef

6 STOPS | 30 MILES | 1 hr 10 min
Save
Navigate

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 it – the whole sandwich can be submerged in gravy – and also exactly how to dress it. The two popular garnishes are roasted peppers or the spicy vegetable mélange known as giardiniera; and it is not uncommon for connoisseurs to ask for a length of charcoal-cooked sausage to be sandwiched in with the beef.

1

Johnnie’s

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

2

Vienna Beef Factory Store and Café

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

3

Mr. Beef

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

4

Al’s #1 Italian Beef

Chicago's Italian beef is at its best at Al's, where it's moist and garlicky and packed into fresh rolls. Add a charcoal-grilled sausage to double the pleasure!

5

Ricobene’s

Ricobene's is a casual restaurant serving many Chicago specialties: breaded steak sandwich, red hots, Italian beef & and a sandwich version of chicken Vesuvio.

Must Eats
6

Corned Beef Factory Sandwich Shop

A restaurant created by a genuine corned beef factory, this little gem makes great cured-meat sandwiches, plus Italian beef & Chicago hot dogs.