Chicago Italian Beef

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 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.



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


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.


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.


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!



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

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.