Chicago's Best Beef

Johnnie’s Beef, Chicago’s Best Beef

The Italian beef is an honest sandwich, in that there’s really nowhere to hide when all you’re working with is beef, gravy, peppers, and giardiniera. It’s either the best, or it’s not. And when it come’s to the Best of Chicago’s beef places, you can go wrong with Johnnie’s Beef. A tiny, no-frills, cash-only hot dog stand serving sausage & beef plus Italian ice, fries & shakes.

The smell outside is going to make your mouth start watering before you even get inside the building. Everybody and their mother around here loves this place. All you have to do is mention it to a local, and they start licking their lips and rubbing their bellies. I can’t even put into words how good the taste of their sandwiches are!

It’s a very limited menu; Italian beefs, Italian sausages, Italian lemonade…and a line that’s almost always out the door!

Beef is full of flavor, food always tastes fresh and you get your food fast.  I’m a fan of their combo, their Italian sausage is cooked over charcoal so it gets a very distinct taste to it.  It’s also spicy, other places typically have mild Italian sausage.  That adds a great element and depth of taste to the sandwich.

 Johnnie’s regularly tops all the Chicago’s best Italian beef lists, and who are we to argue with other folks lists? The spice-rich, complex gravy is the gold standard, while the sausages (cooked over charcoal right there on the line) benefit from the rapid turnover of the line to guarantee you a juicy perfect one almost every time.
Fries could use a bit of work, Italian ice a mild diversion, but the beef is as good as it gets.

On Friday’s and Saturday’s except a line out the door. Noted chef/TV host/author/turner of a phrase Anthony Bourdain “Either on my way into town or out of town, I’m going Italian beef at Johnnie’s.” Say hi if you run into him!!!

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