Chicago: home of hot dogs, Italian beef and, yes, something called the Gym Shoe.
But while there are plenty of bread-and-meat creations to be had at the less sophisticated end of the spectrum, today we’re looking at something slightly more refined: the steak sandwich.
We’re talking meat sizzling over an open flame, served to you straight from a piping hot grill and smothered with the finest of sauces and toppings.
Herewith: a compendium of seven of the tastiest beef sandwiches you’ll find across town.
Pack extra napkins.
Home of the Hoagy
Home of the Hoagy has been slinging steak sweet sandwiches since 1969. What’s a steak sweet? Think charred sliced steak smothered in a proprietary sweet-and-tangy red sauce. It’s topped with sliced tomatoes and green peppers, and cradled by a chewy sub roll.
Mr. D's Shich-Kabobs
The husband-and-wife team behind Mr. D’s keeps their menu very simple, just like their steak sandwich. Each steak is seasoned with a secret family recipe and then charbroiled over a scorching open flame. It’s then finished on a toasted sub roll with sliced white onion, tomato and Greek oregano, and served with a side of fresh-cut fries.
Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse
Filet Mignon Sliders
Gibsons knows a thing or two when it comes to steak. So it should come as no surprise they make a mean steak slider. Take a hefty piece of filet mignon, top it with melted maitre d’ butter. Eat. Repeat. It’s easy to throw back three or more, but stop in early, since they’re only offered at lunch.
Image by Kailley Lindman
Carne Asada Sandwich
If you’re looking for a steak sandwich with Latin flair, stop into Xoco on Tuesdays for the Carne Asada torta: sliced flank steak smothered with salsa verde mojo, meaty woodland mushrooms and housemade crema.
Breaded Steak Sandwich
Likely the most famous steak sandwich on this list, Ricobene’s steak sandwich has adopted a cult following. It all starts with Turano French bread, which provides the ideal canvas for a veritable work of sandwich art. Available in regular or king size, each breaded filet is topped with a hefty portion of red gravy; we recommend getting it fully loaded with spicy peppers and cheese — and grabbing extra napkins.
Gio's Cafe & Deli
Ribeye Steak Sandwich
Down the street from Ricobene’s is Gio’s: part cafe, part market where you’ll find a simple steak sandwich. Think chargrilled sliced ribeye, shredded lettuce and thinly sliced tomatoes. And pick up some Italian grocery staples while you’re there.
90 Miles Cuban CafeBistec De Palomilla Paillard
This restaurant with three outposts offers an extensive menu of Cuban favorites, including their steak sandwich with stacked slices of angus steak, lettuce, tomato, chimichurri, grilled onions and shoestring potatoes, all served on a baguette.