Chicago is known for many things, so if you’re vacationing in the city, you can catch a concert, visit a museum, go shopping and sightseeing along the Magnificent Mile, and enjoy some great food. The city is home to some of the best Italian beef sandwiches in the country. If you’re a sandwich connoisseur, you’ll want to visit a few spots to try the tastiest Italian beef sandwiches in Chicago to make your trip even more enjoyable. Here are some spots to include in your quest for deliciousness.
548 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654
This casual restaurant has some of the most delicious Italian beef sandwiches in Chicago, but you can also order tamales or a famous Chicago-style hot dog. Try the Little Al, Regular Al, or Big Al beef sandwiches topped with sautéed peppers and a variety of spices. The Italian meatball sandwich is a hearty lunch option as well. You can also order the chili cheese dog topped with onions, the classic Chicago dog on a poppy seed bun, and the Polish sausage sandwich with mustard and sweet grilled onions. Al’s Beef also offers a Tamale Boat which includes two delicious tamales topped with chili sauce. The restaurant has a variety of additional lunch and dinner options, so if you want a savory and slightly spicy bowl of chili (without beans), want to try the soup of the day, or a gourmet salad like the Chinatown peanut and chicken salad, Al’s Beef has you covered.
Branko’s Sandwich Shop
1118 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
This local spot is known for its Italian beef sandwiches and roast beef gyros served with hearty steak fries. In addition to Italian beef sandwiches, you’ll find some of the most delicious grilled chicken sandwiches and pitas in the city. Branko’s has several meal options for breakfast, too — try the egg sandwich, the bacon, egg, and cheese entree, or the veggie omelet for a tasty way to start your day. Additional vegetarian options include the veggie burger and the veggie pita. Check out Branko’s for delicious sub sandwiches are available as well, whether you prefer a ham and cheese sub, a tuna sub, or a sandwich filled with Italian cold cuts or corned beef and Swiss cheese. Complete your meal with fries, chili cheese fries, or a tamale.
3435 N Central Ave, Chicago, IL 60634
The cheesy beef sandwich is one of the most popular items on the Boborino’s menu because of its savory tomato sauce and melty mozzarella cheese. You can also enjoy the meatball sandwich for a filling lunch or dinner. Boborino’s also has several deli sandwiches so you can grab a quick lunch like a corned beef sandwich, a tuna salad sandwich, a turkey breast sandwich, or a classic roast beef sandwich. Choose from tasty paninis as well including tuna melt, turkey bacon and cheddar, corned beef and Swiss, or turkey and provolone. Check out the selection of sub sandwiches such as the American with ham, salami, and American cheese, or the Italian sub with salami, capicola, and provolone cheese. Complete your order with fries covered in decadent cheese sauce or the soup of the day, and enjoy a refreshing bottled artisan soda.
Corned Beef Factory
1016 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60607
Even though this restaurant is known for its famous corned beef sandwiches topped with hot peppers, you can also find an impressive Italian-style beef sandwich at the eatery. The Italian beef sandwiches are served on soft French bread and served with a side of chips. If you prefer the corned beef sandwich, you can enjoy it on rye bread with chips. The restaurant is also known for its tasty pastrami sandwiches and the classic Reuben sandwich. Corned Beef Factory offers housemade chips, which is another tasty element that makes the restaurant stand out. If you don’t want beef, you can substitute turkey for many of the beef sandwich options to fit your dietary preferences.
7367 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60626
If you’re visiting Chicago and want to know where to go for the best Italian beef sandwiches, check out the reviews on Capt’n Nemo’s. The Italian sausage sub is another favorite at the restaurant and is served with tomato sauce with green peppers and onion. You may also want to try the ham Reuben with melted Swiss, sauerkraut, and a tangy dressing to bring all the flavors of the sandwich together. Choose split pea soup to go with your entree any time you visit the restaurant, or you can try the soup of the day. For example, you can enjoy navy bean soup on Mondays and minestrone on Wednesdays. Capt’n Nemo’s also offers beef, turkey, or vegetarian chilis at varying spice levels to enjoy with your Italian beef sandwich.
2255 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Jay’s Italian Beef and Sausage does all the favorites just right at a fantastic price. You can get an Italian beef or an Italian sausage (or both with the combo) topped with peppers and it’ll ring up at under $10. You can also get a classic double dog with mustard, relish, onions, pickles, sport peppers, and tomatoes with a side of crispy fries or go simpler with a hamburger or cheeseburger.
1001 N Winchester Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Kasama is a bakery and modern Filipino restaurant from Genie Kwon and Timothy Flores. Filipino? What about Italian beef, you may be asking? They bring their own culinary twist to the Chicago staple with the Kasama combo sandwich topped with shaved pork adobo, longanisa sausage, and giardiniera. You won’t be sorry for venturing outside your comfort zone. Pair it up with their pastries, some garlic fried rice, or an order of lumpia pork spring rolls.
6008 W. Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL, 60639
Marco’s (polo!) Beef & Pizza offers amazing food for amazing prices. Their sandwiches are all between $4.50 and $9.00, but they’re anything but cheap in quality. You can get the classic Italian Beef on French bread with sweet or hot peppers and you’ll be completely satisfied. But you can also go outside the box with a gyro on pita with onion, tomato, and gyro sauce. Or if you’re not feeling a sandwich, they make a killer broasted chicken with a side of fries, broasted potatoes, or rice.
3917 N Harlem Ave, Chicago, IL 60634
Mr. Beef and Pizza has been dominating North Harlem Street since 1979. They offer the usual Chicago favorites, like pizza and hot dogs, but they excel in Italian Beefs. The beef is delicious on its own, but no sandwich is complete without the requisite hot peppers (though we’ll also accept sweet peppers). The toughest decision you’ll make, though, is whether you want it pre-dipped in jus or if you want to do it yourself.
520 West Taylor, Chicago IL 60607
You don’t get to over 60 locations without making a mean sandwich. This Chicago icon has grown substantially, but the quality hasn’t taken a hit in the slightest. The beef and sausage sandwiches are the classics, available in a variety of sizes and with several different toppings. But did you know they also have hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, ribs, burgers, and even pasta? No two meals at Portillo’s are the same, but they’re all going to be delicious!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on June 24, 2021 and last updated on January 4, 2022. Please refer to restaurant websites and social media pages for the most up-to-date information.