About this Business
From Our Editors
Since 1975, the family running Johnny's Italian Beef and Hot Dogs have kept a secret. It isn't some dark deed from their family's past or a treasure map they're keeping from Nick Cage, but the family recipe for their signature Italian beef sandwiches. Though they keep mum about the beef's seasonings, they aren't so secretive about other aspects of their sandwich.
They start by slicing open a loaf of freshly baked bread, then topping it with piles of beef and optionally adding hot or sweet peppers—or both—, hot giardiniera, or cheese. They also will dip the sandwich in the beef's sauce.
When the family's not crafting their signature dish, they also serve up another Chicago specialty: hot dogs. They layer Vienna Beef hot dogs on steamed poppy-seed buns, then garnish them with a choice of chili cheese, cheese sauce, or classic Chicago toppings such as mustard, tomatoes, sport peppers, and pickle spears. The beef sandwiches and hot dogs accompany sides such as cheese fries and mozzarella sticks, creating a meal that is more American than hardtack in the shape of a bald eagle.