Ryan Bluestone

Ryan Bluestone Provides A Guide to Chicago’s Best Italian Beef: 15 Restaurants to Try

Satisfy your Italian Beef cravings with Ryan Bluestone’s comprehensive guide to the best Chicago beef restaurants – try them now!

Looking to try Chicago’s famous Italian beef? Look no further! This post by foodie Ryan Bluestone provides a comprehensive guide to Chicago’s top Italian beef joints. Let’s dive in and explore the best Italian beef Chicago has to offer!

The 15 Best Italian Beefs in Chicago

Chicago is known for many things: great sports teams, iconic architecture, and of course, its amazing cuisine. One of the city’s greatest flavors comes from the Italian Beef Sandwich. Chicagoans have adored the Italian beef sandwich since the 1930s, when Al Ferreri first sold them in Little Italy. Today there are a plethora of choices for this sandwich, but how do you find the finest? Chicago boasts many excellent restaurants that offer delicious Italian beef. Whether you’re seeking a bare bones establishment or a more luxurious experience, we’ve got you covered. Ryan Hunter Bluestone did the work for you, and here’s the list of the 15+ Best Italian Beef Sandwiches in Chicago (in no particular order).

  1. Johnnie’s Beef, one of Chicago’s oldest and most enduring eateries can be found in Elmwood Park. Since 1950, they have served lip-smacking Italian beef sandwiches with a recipe that includes a mysterious mixture of secret spices. They also offer a range of toppings, including giardiniera with a side of refreshing lemon ice and Gypsy Fries for a change of pace.
  2. Up next is Al’s Italian Beef, offering delicious sandwiches since 1938. Al’s uses fresh-cut ribeye steak that has been roasted slowly until it falls apart. This melt in your mouth meat is served with a truly unique gravy that gives Al’s beef its signature, delectable flavor.
  3. The Original Mr. Beef & Pizza on Harlem Ave is third on the list, where they make their homemade rolls every day and serve them with hand-dipped giardiniera peppers and crispy fries.
  4. Mr. Beef in River North serves up hefty sandwiches dripping with flavorful jus and crunchy yet delicately flavored giardiniera that adds a pop of acidity to balance out all that meatiness. This neighborhood favorite has seen recent fame as Hulu’s, The Bear, filmed their first season at this location. Fans have been excited to catch the cast filming Season 2 at the restaurant!
  5. Roma’s Italian Beef & Sausage located in Portage Park. This restaurant boasts succulent, subtly spiced beef that is elevated by the house giardiniera, and their hand-cut french fries are crisped to perfection and can be topped with cheese. Delicious!
  6. The Patio on Taylor Street offers some of the best Italian beef in the city and a unique Atomic Combo sandwich that adds spicy sausage to the classic combo for an extra kick. This cash-only location is a classic, friendly neighborhood destination with a reliably excellent sandwich.
  7. Pop’s Italian Beef & Sausage in Mt Greenwood is the most iconic of their more than a dozen Chicagoland locations. They offer finely shaved beef that savors garlic and partially dipped bread, providing textural contrast while liberally applied giardiniera enhances the flavor profile.
  8. Bari Foods specializes in a super hot combination of habaneros and pungent capers as part of their standard giardiniera option, giving it a serious kick for those looking for a beef sandwich with even more spice than normal.
  9. Luke’s Italian Beef in the Loop offers classic Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches at an affordable price point that are delightfully salty and maintain structural integrity while soaking wet! Get there early because it gets busy quickly – it’s that good!
  10. For 50 years, Bob-O’s Hot Dogs on W Irving Park has been a beloved classic among Chicagoans, renowned for its much-loved wet sandwiches. If you’re looking for an unforgettable dining experience in the Windy City, you won’t want to miss out on O’s! The signature Italian beef sandwich is a must-try, as it comes slathered in gravy and topped with sweet peppers and onions—it really can’t be beat! Make sure to order their signature crinkle-cut fries with your sandwich too; you won’t regret it!
  11. Freddy’s Pizza, which offers one of the area’s best Italian beef sandwiches with tender, well-seasoned beef, fragrant herbs, and a mild yet flavorful giardiniera. It is enough to make even the pickiest of eaters drool!
  12. A newer spot on our list is Chickie’s Beef in Hillside, where they have been dishing out delicious Italian beef sandwiches since 2012 featuring lean shreds of beef and their unique house giardiniera mix of celery and jalapeño slices. This sandwich will tantalize your taste buds with its savory flavors!
  13. Buona is a family-run business with multiple Chicago locations. Buona is rooted in rich history with an unchanged recipe for 30 years that includes perfectly seasoned meat topped with char-kissed green peppers before being stuffed into a bun and dunked in jus. It’s definitely worth a stop at Buona if you’re looking for something hearty and tasty!
  14. Ryan Bluestone’s personal favorite is Portillo’s. They serve up delicious Italian beef sandwiches that feature juicy bottom round roast simmered until it is so tender it can be easily shredded, then dressed up with their own unique blend of spices, pickled hot peppers, mozzarella cheese, and sweet peppers, served on freshly baked French bread dipped in gravy to your liking (Dry, Wet, or Dipped). No matter what your preference is when it comes to flavor profiles or textures – they have something perfect awaiting you at every Portillo’s location! Customers keep coming back for the beef, cheese fries, and their unique Chocolate Cake Shake, which blends an entire slice of their decadent chocolate cake into a milkshake.
  15. Other notable mentions include Buona Beef; Tony’s Italian Deli; Gino’s East Pizzeria & Barbecue; Tony’s Subs; Ricobene’s Sandwich Shop; La Scarola Restaurant & Pizzeria; Salerno’s Pizza & Twin Anchors Restaurant And Tavern – all must tries!

So if you ever crave an authentic Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich, make sure to visit these 15 top spots – you won’t regret it. Which Chicago Italian beef joint is perfect for you? We hope this guide has helped narrow down your choice!

To Sum Things Up

Chicago is home to some of the country’s best Italian Beef. From Johnnie’s Beef to Al’s to Portillo’s, you won’t regret trying out any of these 15 restaurants. Whether you’re looking for a classic sandwich or something more unique, there is something perfect waiting for you in Chicago. Get out and try out one of these amazing spots today!

By Ryan Bluestone

Ryan Bluestone