For more than 30 years, Pop's Italian Beef & Sausage has served up a Chicago-centric menu of beef sandwiches, burgers, and hot dogs. Silence empty-belly rumblings with one of Pop's delectable beef sandwiches ($4.19–$6.35), such as the italian beef, heaped with mounds of succulent, thin-sliced beef soaked in special spices and natural gravy. Windy-city visitors can delight in the classic Chicago hot dog and the savory polish sausage (each around $2.29–$2.99, depending on location), each nestled underneath mustard, relish, onions, tomatoes, pickles, and the looming shadow of oscillating skyscrapers. Other handheld fare includes the meatball and corned-beef sandwiches, which can be upgraded with a variety of extras, including red sauce, sweet peppers, hot mix (all free on sandwiches, extra as a side), feta cheese, and bacon. A fleet of made-from-scratch soups and salads is also available, and includes such options as the hearty cream-of-chicken rice soup and the large garden salad ($2.09–$3.99).
Salerno Pincente's owners, Andrew Salerno and Frank Pincente, bask in the happy clatter of pots and pans as chefs forge a menu of Italian cuisine. Under the dining room's hanging lights, chicken, steak, veal, and seafood fuel chatter and toasts, and long pasta strands cling to a variety of sauces, setting forks twirling. On sunny days, glasses clink merrily on an outdoor patio, and Trackside OTB provides equine entertainment more enjoyable than a slideshow of Mr. Ed's vacation.
No matter where you sit, there’s a good chance you’ll be in full view of the game at Harry's Sports Bar—that's because the Countryside pub encircles bar-goers with more than 10 plasma and LCD screens, three oversize projection screens, and 30 or so standard TVs. As the sound system roars with cheers and jeers during Blackhawks games and UFC matchups, guests drink ice-cold drafts and top-shelf liquor while noshing on thin-crust pizzas, sandwiches, and other menu offerings. On the off chance there’s no game to watch, Harry’s provides live entertainment of its own, thanks to three pool tables, beer pong, and trivia nights.
Though Dino’s is a pizzeria at heart, they also pride themselves in their fresh-cut fries. And just as with the pizzas, customers can deck out the fries with an array of toppings—buffalo sauce and jalapenos ignite the Spice of Life fries, and the Hungry Man fries get bulked up with ground beef, cheese, sour cream, and flannel napkins. They pair nicely with the restaurant’s half-pound Angus burgers, as well as the fresh wings. Of course, much of the menu is devoted to pizza, and diners can build their own or order a specialty pie, such as the gyros with meat, onion, tomato, feta, and gyro sauce.
“If we weren’t so stubborn we would have quit a long time ago.” That’s what Brian Mahoney told MySuburbanLife.com_’s Adam Rosen, in 2010, shortly after he and childhood pal Gianni Pincente opened Brando’s Beef in the historic depot district of Berwyn. After a lifetime of wanting to yell out gibberish from their own hot-dog stand, and plenty of trials with building codes and repairs, the duo finally opened the doors to their family-friendly eatery. Today, the best buds serve up decadent italian-beef sandwiches and sausages, hot dogs, and fresh-cut fries—all at prices that earned them a nod as a bargain eatery from _Chicago's Best. The menu includes other Chicago favorites, such as thick-crust pizzas and fresh-made lasagna. Beyond serving their typical lunches and dinners, the Brando’s crew heads to special events, alleyway meet-ups, and fundraisers with trays of beef, chicken parmesan, and mini subs.
Since 1965, The Original Arnie Salerno’s has cured pizza cravings with a menu of hearty Italian fare. Enfolded within a meatball sandwich, sauce-doused spheroids cozy up inside fresh bread under cover of melted cheese ($7.95). A team of ingredients plays atop pizzas ranging from 8 ($6.05+) to 16 inches ($19.69+), avoiding the eyes of the anchovies, forever chosen last. Dig into the lasagna's strata of fresh noodles, sauce, and cheese ($13.95) like an archeologist uncovering the secrets of the lost pizza parlors of Etna, or excavate sweet cheese from a cannoli shell ($3.50). Blue umbrellas shade people watchers at sidewalk tables, and the bar area taunts four eyes by hosting five 55-inch flat-screen televisions.