It's time to answer the most important question every Italian beef sandwich lover in Illinois needs to answer, "Is there such a thing as too much meat?" If there is such a thing, is this meaty behemoth the one?

Arguments over who has the best Italian beef sandwich in Illinois will never end until you bring up this one. It's the gold standard, fans say.

Life's Toughest Questions

Has someone ever asked you a question that had a precise answer that you couldn't come up with, but you could immediately identify what the answer wasn't?

Does that make sense to you?

Let me try another way. I sometimes speak more clearly when food is the topic.

Let's say you have a favorite Italian Beef Sandwich. Having a favorite means you've also had many not-so-favored Italian Beef Sandwiches.

I have some favorites. When I taste one that is good but likely won't become a favorite, my thoughts always go to the same spot. I may not always know exactly what needs to be added to make my sandwich experience great, but I always know precisely what needs to be taken off my sandwich.

My Italian Beef Absolutes (nothing too crazy):

  • Well-seasoned beef
  • Temperature very warm
  • Very messy (but not pre-dipped, I'll dip myself)
  • A blend of sweet & hot peppers

I don't know how I feel about this meaty sandwich from Johnnie's

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The Italian Beef Sandwich is a Chicago Icon

Very few arguments over who has the best Italian beef sandwich around the Chicagoland area will ever come to a consensus. It's impossible to choose just one.

However, it's a well-known fact, that one place tops more lists than any other.

Johnnie's Beef via Facebook
Johnnie's Beef via Facebook
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Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiled Italian Sausage & Beef

At 7500 W North Avenue in Elmwood Park and 1935 S. Arlington Heights Road in Arlington Heights.

@thetopspots via Instagram
@thetopspots via Instagram
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Thrillist.com says,

"The spice-rich, complex gravy is the gold standard."

"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."

Johnnie's Beef via Facebook
Johnnie's Beef via Facebook
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It is highly recommended that you order yours with sweet and hot peppers and cancel the rest of the day's plans, as you'll be enjoying a very unproductive meat coma.

Peak lunch and dinner hours can get pretty busy as there is almost always a line.

Johnnie's Beef via Facebook
Johnnie's Beef via Facebook
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