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Best Sandwiches In Chicago

Chicago's full of big appetites and big flavors from all types of cuisine. Some may be happy with a PB&J for lunch each day, but that doesn't cut it here. It's no surprise that all over town restaurants are cranking out sandwiches that'll take your mouth for an adventure. Here's a list of some of the must-try sandwiches in Chicago. - Jeff Pearl
11 City Diner
The Woody Allen from 11 City Diner. (credit: Jeff Pearl)

11 City Diner

1112 South Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 212-1112

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.

Capt'n Nemos Italian Beef
Italian beeg from Capt'n Nemos. (credit:

Capt'n Nemo's

Multiple locations, for more information check their

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.

Cemitas Puebla
Cemitas Puebla (credit:

Cemitas Puebla

3619 West North Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 772-8435

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 Grinders

Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Company

2121 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 248-2570

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
Pot roast sandwich from Depot American Diner. (credit: Jeff Pearl)

The Depot American Diner

5840 Roosevelt Rd
Chicago, IL 60644
(773) 261-8422

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.


Jerry's Sandwiches

1045 W Madison St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 563-1008

1938 W. Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 235-1006

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.

Manny's corned beef sandwich with potato pancake. (credit:

Manny's Deli

1141 S Jefferson St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 939-2855

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.

Silver Palm
The "Three Littly Piggy" sandwich from Silver Palm. (credit:

Silver Palm

768 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 666-9322

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.

A sandwich from XOCO. (credit: Jeff Pearl)


449 North Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 334-3688

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
The author. (credit: Jeff Pearl)

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.

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