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Al's #1 Italian Beef

169 W. Ontario, Chicago, IL - (312) 943-3222
No matter how many napkins you take and no matter how far forward you lean, shreds of beef and spills of giardiniera will fall onto your clothing. Wear the drippage like a badge of honor! Al's beef is sliced so thin and is so tender that it verges on being hash. Al's French fries are some of the best in this city.
93% Approval Rating (29 votes)

Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Combo
French Fries
Italian Beef
Hot Dog
Italian Beef
Char Burger
Italian Beef Sandwich
French Froes

Highlighted Reviews

rating
Michael Stern - Photos (5)
Roadfood.com Editor
"The strangest thing about Al's #1 Italian Beef at the corner of Wells and Ontario is that there are tables to sit at. The original Al's out on Taylor Street has high counters on which to lean one's elbows while ingesting a sandwich, thus preventing drippage on shirt ..."   [Read More]
rating
Kevin Brown
April 17, 2007
"First visited June 1983 and at least once a year ever since! Al's Italian Beef is the one you want. They have the location on Ontario in the downtown area (the one listed on Roadfood.com). I prefer their original location on Taylor Street just west of Hausted ..."   [Read More]
rating
Rich Malitz
November 08, 2013
"Al's is like no other Italian Beef. It has it's own exotic spices, it's own bread, it's own hot peppers, and the meat is so tender it's literally shredded. Some don't care for the unique, pungent flavor profile. But I love it. It's very unique. It's on the ..."   [Read More]

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Map & Web Site

169 W. Ontario, Chicago, IL
(312) 943-3222

http://alsbeef.com/

Hours & Policies

Seasons:Open Year Round
Meals Served:Lunch, Dinner
Operational Hours:Always Call Ahead!
Credit Cards Accepted:Yes
Alcohol Served:No
Outdoor Seating:Yes
Reservations Accepted:No
Delivery Available:No
Takeout Counters:Yes
Al's combo: you cannot see the taut, full-flavored Italian sausage buried underneath the beef and giardiniera in this sandwich, but it is a significant presence. No one ever nominated Chicago's Italian beef as one of the prettiest foods, but to those who know and love it, there is nothing more beautiful than this sandwich's exquisite combination of flavors and textures.
"Al's combo: you cannot see the taut, full-flavored Italian sausage buried underneath the beef and giardiniera in this sandwich, but it is a significant presence. No one ever nominated Chicago's Italian beef as one of the prettiest foods, but to those who know and love it, there is nothing more beautiful than this sandwich's exquisite combination of flavors and textures."
Michael Stern





Here's a side view of the combo, showing the mighty sausage secreted within the bun below the beef.
"Here's a side view of the combo, showing the mighty sausage secreted within the bun below the beef."
Michael Stern


Aside from those at the annual Minnesota Fair, America's best French fries are in Chicago; and Al's serves some of the best of the best. No matter what else you get, you MUST have these. While they are available topped with cheese and/or chili, I recommend them au naturel.
"Aside from those at the annual Minnesota Fair, America's best French fries are in Chicago; and Al's serves some of the best of the best. No matter what else you get, you MUST have these. While they are available topped with cheese and/or chili, I recommend them au naturel."
Michael Stern


A 6' with hot peppers, a 6' with sweet peppers, cheese fries and onion rings. Both sandwiches equally delicious - just depends on your heat meter - fries perfectly covered with ooey cheese and onion rings were nice and crunchy. A definite must eat when traveling to Chicago!
"A 6' with hot peppers, a 6' with sweet peppers, cheese fries and onion rings. Both sandwiches equally delicious - just depends on your heat meter - fries perfectly covered with ooey cheese and onion rings were nice and crunchy. A definite must eat when traveling to Chicago!"
Jeanne Smiczek


Messy and delicious
"Messy and delicious"
Ben Weiner


Al's inclusion of
"Al's inclusion of "#1" in the name refers not only to its profession of unequalled excellence, but to the fact that its owners, the Pacelli family, claim to have invented Italian beef back in the 1930s."
Michael Stern


This downtown Al's is a convenient walk from the hotels and shops on Michigan Avenue. While it lacks the basic street food amenity -- a counter to lean on while you eat -- the cuisine is impeccable.
"This downtown Al's is a convenient walk from the hotels and shops on Michigan Avenue. While it lacks the basic street food amenity -- a counter to lean on while you eat -- the cuisine is impeccable."
Michael Stern



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