Feb 23, 2022 - Food and Drink

Local's guide to Chicago's best submarine sandwiches

sub sandwich

The Blockbuster from Fontano's in Little Italy on Polk. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

After we recommended Italian subs at J.P Graziano and Tempesta Market last week, we learned that you love eating (and arguing about) Chicago subs as much as we do.

  • We were deluged by your submissions, many for the same favorite spots.
  • They're listed roughly in order of your most popular responses.

Phil C: "You can't beat a Wiseguy or the Blockbuster from the original Fontano's in Little Italy! Makes me hungry just thinking about it."

  • Nathan K: "I’m partial to the Big Al from Fontano’s on Michigan in the Loop."
Italian sub from Bari on Grand. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Mareva L: "My partner (who’s a grinder aficionado from the East Coast) and I love Bari!"

  • Daniel B. recommends Bari, too.

Cheryl S and Monica H: "Capt'n Nemo's Northern Italian - they know their subs! Salami, Mortadella, Provolone, chopped Olive Dressing. Delicious!"

Thom C: "If I ever go downtown again, Harry's Sandwich at the south end of the Monadnock building."

We loved the Diavolo at Riviera Foods on Harlem, featuring freshly sliced soppressata, capocollo, prosciutto and mozzarella balls, plus spicy giardiniera, on crisp but tender Italian bread. Photo Monica Eng/Axios.

Stephen S: "Be enlightened and go to Riviera Foods and get the Classic Italian!"

Lisa W: "The Il Milano or the Napolitano at Piatto Pronto in Andersonville are yummy, especially after working out across the street."

John C: "Tony's Deli on the Northwest Side has great classic Italian subs. I haven't had better."

John C: "You’ve got to try Forza Meats with locations in Glenview and Skokie - the "Salvatore" is the best classic Italian sub I’ve ever had."

Matt G: "Best Italian subs hands down are from the North Buena Deli and Wine Shop in Uptown. Either the Italian or Sicilian are fantastic choices."

The Alpine from Alpine Food Shop on North. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Kristi B: "Get yourselves to Alpine Food Shop in Elmwood Park or Westchester. Order the Alpine with giardiniera and thank me later."

Brian M: The Classic Italian from Rosie's Sidekick in Logan Square. "The key is to order it with hot giardiniera, and then supplement that with even more giardiniera from your stash at home."

Jennifer M: "Bob-O-Rino's Italian Sub has been a staple since March 2020 for both lunch and dinner."


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