11 City Diner
1112 South Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605
Right across the street from the museums that draw so many tourists to Chicago’s Loop, 11 City Diner is bringing Jewish deli food like none other. The mantra here is “in house.” They pickle everything themselves and roast all of their own meats. The portions are the size of your head, and owner Brad Rubin makes you feel like you’re at his mom’s home. If you’re lucky even she’ll make an appearance. Make sure to grab an Egg Cream or a Phosphate to wash down your sandwich.
Multiple locations, for more information check their websitewww.capnemos.com
Subs and soups is the name of the game at Capt’n Nemo’s. Large hunks of cheese, well textured bread, and Mrs. Nemo’s secret sauce turn any other set of ingredients into a top notch sandwich. With original sandwiches topped with everything but the kitchen sink, you’ll come away each time full to the brim. Also, if you’re a split pea soup fan, this is your place.
3619 West North Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647
If you’ve never had a Cemita, you may have taste buds that have yet to be activated. These seasoned Torta-style sandwiches with adobo peppers, oaxacan cheese, avocado, and your choice of meat. The Al Pastor (marinated pork) is the best in the city. They get ingredients fresh from Mexico too. One bit of advice is to wear some clothes that you don’t mind smelling like intoxicating Mexican food (although you may never want to get rid of the smell).
Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Company
2121 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60614
You may think the sandwiches are a little pricey, but the portions are enough to feed you for three meals. Spicy Italian meats and seasonings are the way to go here. This is one of the oldest places in the city to get a toasty Italian sandwich, and when you go it’ll be clear why it’s stood the test of time. Vegetarians are welcome here too with the Veggie Italian sandwich.
The Depot American Diner
5840 Roosevelt Rd
Chicago, IL 60644
Sitting at a counter and getting a sandwich gets no better than at The Depot. The keynote is the Pot Roast Sandwich smothered in homemade gravy and crispy onion strings. The meat is so tender, and the staff is friendly as can be. It comes with fries, but you’ll never ask for ketchup when there’s extra gravy for dipping.
1045 W Madison St
Chicago, IL 60607
1938 W. Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
With probably 100 options named after the patrons that ordered them and a build your own sandwich option, you can fulfill your wildest eating dreams here. Pretzel buns, high quality proteins, sides that’ll make your mouth water, and one of the better beer selections in the city make this an excellent way to spend a lengthy lunch. If you like salmon or thick cuts of roast beef then this is your place.
1141 S Jefferson St
Chicago, IL 60607
This family-owned deli has some of the best corned beef in town. Try the potato latkes as well. In a cafeteria-style setting, Manny’s brings in people from all walks of life to enjoy tasty meats and sides. If you don’t have the chance to get there, they even ship their meats all around the country.
768 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
Adventurous sandwiches with well balanced toppings are what you can get at The Silver Palm. The all star on the menu is the Three Little Piggys Sandwich. Anthony Bourdain even called it the best sandwich he’s ever eaten. If you’re not a pork fanatic they have an amazing Duck Club as well.
449 North Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654
Rick Bayless has taken his culinary skills and made them affordable in the form of a sandwich. Everything has local ingredients and authentic spices. You may have to fight some lines, but it’s worth the wait. If you get a chance you should also try a Churro, some Guacamole, and one of their soups.
Jeff Pearl has lived in the Chicagoland area his whole life and is currently a medical student at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Food has always been a passion of Jeff’s. In his free time, Jeff enjoys either cooking for his friends, going out to a new restaurant, or training for his next triathlon. Check out his blog, Jeff Eats Chicago.