Chicago >Food & Dining > Al's #1 Italian Beef
169 W Ontario St, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061041.893135 -87.633916
Neighborhoods: Central, Near North Side
You MUST try Al's! – I was looking for something quick, satisfying and definitly Chicago. I found it at Al's #1 Italian Beef. In my opinion world's better than any Cheesesteak I've had in Philly. If you like spicy food then I highly recommend the hot peppers. I had mine with hot peppers and cheese and it was great. Just enough heat to get your attention but not overpowering. No need for a side item unless you've got a huge appetite. You'll need plenty of napkins but worth the mess, I highly recommend this sandwich!
Not the Best Beef In Chicago – I have been on a mission to find out who has the best beef. I can say, unequivocably, it is not this Al's. First things first, it was a flimsy sandwich, lacking in what a beef sandwich should have on it: beef! Secondly, the bread didn't absorb any of the jus making the bread unnecessarily difficult to chew, especially when it got to the end. On top of these complaints, the meat had no flavor! none! All I could taste was the American cheese, of which they used too much. I could see the jus, I was wondering where it went from the vat to getting on my sandwich. The one thing that Al's had going for it was the fries, and the fries at Mr. Beef are better anyway. If you make a trip to this Al's, take the effort and walk over three more streets east to Orleans and go to Mr. Beef for a real, legit Italian Beef Sandwich.
not all that consistent – i've had the beef at this location and at the little italy location. the little italy location served up a good one, this location gave me a dry, flavorless beef. avoid this location and go to mr. beef for some consistent italian beef and a true chicago experience.
Definitely a good sandwich ... – I'm from out of town, and I ordered the big beef combo with sweet and hot peppers, and it came to over $10 (which just seems like a lot to me for the amount of food you get) Don't get me wrong, it was a really good sandwich. You need to get the peppers on it. Get lots of napkins too, because it's going to drip everywhere. The fries are really greasy ... and mine were mostly shards. But grab a table in the lot on Ontario and watch the cars go by. If you don't like the fries you can always toss them on the sidewalk for the pigeons.
THIS IS THE #1 PLACE FOR A BEEF – Don't let anyone lie to you this place has the best beef and fries anywhere in the city. The service was so friendly and the food was soooo good, I even took a bite of my friends burger and its was very very good. But dont get me wrong the main reason i am going back there many more times is the Italian beef. All I have to say to anyone is try it I am not going to stear you wrong.
Chicago Sandwich – My wife went to Chicago and ate at Subway?
She doesn't know what she missed by not going to Al's.
For 20 minutes, I felt like a native Chicagoan – This italian beef and chicago hot-dog stand is the real deal. I had the regular beef, 'hot and dry' which means with hot peppers and not too much beef broth. You can also get mild peppers and/or 'wet' which typically means the whole beef sandwich, bun and all is dipped into the broth. Even with the 'dry' sandwich, the juices from the beef were running down my hands and arms. Get lots of napkins! There are maybe 8 tables inside and another 8 outside. My wife found solace in the fact that they also sold salads. While I ate my italian beef, I felt like I belonged in Chicago, a native. My misty thoughts were shattered when a husky guy came in and odered a chicago dog with the works as an appetizer, and a large beef for main corse...I realized I was just a tourist!
AL'S #1 FOR GOOD, OLD-TIME FRENCH FRIES – I remember AL'S #1 when it was located in the west loop, right around my job in the 70's. I haven't found a place yet that fixes those GOOD, OLD-TIME FRENCH FRIES, the kind the mom-and-pop hamburger joints on the soughtside used to fix. Old tomers looking for these fries, give Al's #1 a try!
For an Italian beef sandwich, it's hard to beat this no-frills corner shack. – In Short
Al's is more takeout stand than restaurant: a few tables, some stools with a narrow shelf wide enough to hold a beef and a pair of elbows, and a tiny outdoor cafe. It's known for its Italian beef sandwich: Expect finely shredded beef atop French bread with green peppers or hot giardiniera. Other menu items include hot dogs, Polish sausage, tamales and fresh-cut fries.
Just great! – Looking for a great place to pick up a great sandwich? Al's is the place to go! With their great beef, burgers, and dogs at very reasonable prices you can't go wrong. Both the food and service are top notch. 10/10.
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