Mar 2, 2023 - Food and Drink

Food fight: Pepper and egg sandwiches

Pepper and egg sandwich from White Palace Grill. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Chicagoans have eaten pepper and egg sandwiches for decades at delis, fast-food joints and Italian beef stands on Fridays or during Lent, when many Catholics abstain from meat.

  • Some places serve them only on Lenten Fridays, but others will whip one up anytime.
  • Today, we're fighting over our favorites.

Monica's pick: I used to order the pepper and egg at the Billy Goat Tavern on Navy Pier for breakfast. And it was fine.

  • But I recently swooned over the fluffy scrambled eggs, sweet sauteed green pepper and fresh griddled, French roll that make up the sandwich at White Palace Grill at Canal and Roosevelt. ($8.99). Yum.

Pro tip: Ask for some giardiniera on the side for extra deliciousness.

Greasy sandwich on a french roll on foil
Now this is a Chicago pepper and egg sandwich. Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

Justin's pick: I'm not religious, but I may have seen the light eating this amazing pepper and egg sandwich from Freddie's in Bridgeport.

  • The sandwich is huge ($7.95).
  • The greasy concoction features more of a fried/scrambled egg hybrid with juicy green peppers and your choice of cheese. (I opted for American.)
  • You can order it with sausage, too.

Verdict: I can't recommend this sandwich enough. And if you are still eating meat? Freddie's has every Chicago classic on the menu.

Readers responded with some great sammies of their own:

Bob A.: "Johnnie's in Elmwood Park has the best pepper and egg hands down. Call it a sammich or a sangwich! It's tops in the city area."

  • Pietro T.: "Nine out of 10 doctors recommend the juicy pepper 'n egg 'sangwiches' at Johnnie's."
  • Tony F.: "Johnnie's pepper and egg — it rules! Or D'Amato's and Bari."

Colleen M.: "For pepper and egg sandwiches and really any subs, you have to go to Tony's in Edison Park. Check out this video where they are prepping."

Joe J.: "You must try Gio's Cafe, a few blocks away from Freddie's. Their pepper & egg is substantial and delicious. They also make their own giardiniera."

Rebecca H.: "Justin, it was your mother who first introduced me to pepper and egg sandwiches at Nick’s Pizza in Crystal Lake. Probably not the gourmet ones you have in Chicago, though."

  • Justin: "Ha! My mom is a trendsetter."

Bill H.: "Punky’s in Bridgeport."

Matthew S.: "Paul's in Westchester. The thing is a full loaf of French bread, and their house made giardiniera is amazing."

Nick D.: "Jay's Beef has the best pepper and egg."

Stephen S.: "Pepper and egg is fabulous at Frangella Italian Market in Palos Park. Their Italian beef is top five in the city, too."

Top secret: You can easily make this sandwich at home with scrambled eggs and sauteed green pepper. Just use a nice fresh French roll.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include reader recommendations.


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