Chicago’s Best Italian Beef


Chicago is best known for its Italian Beef sandwich. We’ve picked some of our favorite places – perfect for any Chicago native or first-time visitor.

THE BEAR Mr. Beef on Orleans

If you’re a fan of FX’s “The Bear,” you will definitely enjoy the Italian Beef restaurant that inspired the show. Not only can you experience “The Bear,” but Mr. Beef on Orleans at Huron in River North has some really low prices to satisfy your wallet, as well. Praise for “The Bear” has injected life into Mr. Beef at Orleans and Chicagoans are thankful for it. Watch “The Bear” and head over to Mr. Beef on Orleans for some classic food and prices you just can’t beat.

Al’s #1 Italian Beef

Located in every corner of Chicago, Al’s #1 Italian Beef has a long history with the savory Italian Beef sandwich. Their list of awards is extensive, including “Most Iconic Dish in America” and “Top Food to Eat in Chicago Before You Die.” With customizable options, Al’s takes classic flavors to new heights.

Johnnie’s Beef

If you’re looking for classic Italian Beef in the western burbs, Johnnie’s Beef in Elmwood Park is the perfect spot, but get there early because their line grows quickly. Johnnie’s mother-in-law created their top-secret spice and gravy mix, highlighting the process and care Johnnie’s puts into their food. The hot peppers are made in-house every day, and the French bread is perfect, whether you drench your sandwich in juice or prefer it dry.


Chicagoans are blessed to have Portillo’s in their hometown; we wouldn’t be Chicago without it! Since 1963, Portillo’s has been at the heart of Chicago’s food scene, from their time-honored Italian Beef to their modern Chocolate Cake Shake.  They’ve also diversified their menu over the years to please every taste. It’s no surprise that celebrities near and far love Portillo’s, including Mindy Kaling and Guy Fieri. Portillo’s will warm your heart and taste buds, so don’t wait to try their Italian Beef!


Launched over 40 years ago, Buona Beef puts family at the heart of their Italian Beef Sandwich and recipes. The Buona Brothers have built the largest family-owned Italian Beef restaurant group and Italian Beef Producer group in the country. Their beef and gravy are completely additive-free, and they offer many options for both kids and large catering parties. They’ve kept their signature Italian Beef classic and stellar, but they also offer a full menu of pasta, pizza, salads, and burgers.

Luke’s Homemade Italian Beef

Luke’s Italian Beef is so popular that they have customers ready to put their name behind Luke’s product. Located in the Loop, Luke’s has been serving fresh Italian Beef with premium ingredients for decades. They have you covered when it comes to catering for your large events, too.  Pair your personal Italian Beef with extra side orders of marinara, meat sauce, and peppers.

Tony’s Italian Beef

With Tony’s extensive hours–open breakfast until 10 PM–there’s plenty of time to get in on all the action. With different Italian Beef styles on the menu from lunch through dinner, you won’t want to miss out on this Chicago staple. You can even call ahead to place your order, and Tony’s cooks will have your food hot and ready when you get there. 

Carm’s Little Italy

If you’re feeling adventurous, head down to UIC’s campus for one of the best Italian Beef sandwiches in town. Carm’s will make you feel at home. You can even take that welcoming feeling home with you with Beef by the Pound(with the juice of course)! Explore Little Italy with Carm’s Italian Beef in hand and we promise you’ll be back for more.

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