Al’s #1 Italian Beef

Restaurants, American Little Italy, UIC
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
1 Love It
Save it
Al’s #1 Italian Beef
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas
Al's Italian Beef on Taylor St.

Though it was franchised at the turn of the millennium, this location of Al’s is the oldest (having opened in 1938) and the only direct descendant of the original (a wooden stand at Laflin and Harrison). These days, you’ll find Italian beefs all over town, but there’s something about eating one at this surviving piece of Little Italy. A six-inch bun piled with tender, thinly sliced beef is only better as a “combo” (topped with char-grilled sausage), “dipped” in beef jus and finished with hot giardiniera. Skin-on fries smothered with cheese are required eating for a meal lingering locals would be proud of.


Venue name: Al’s #1 Italian Beef
Address: 1079 W Taylor St
Cross street: between Carpenter and Aberdeen Sts
Opening hours: Lunch, dinner (closed Sun)
Transport: Subway stop: Racine Subway lines: Blue to Racine Bus info: 12 Roosevelt, 60 Blue Island/26th, 157 Streeterville
Price: Average sandwich: $6
Do you own this business?
To improve this listing email:

You may be interested in:

Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

Al's is a Chicago iconic joint. If you want to assume the eating position and bite into a large beef with fries, this is the place to do it. This is a cash only establishment. They have a very simplistic decoration with a few pictures on the wall and a small menu. They know what they are good at and they stick to it. If you are a vegetarian, stay far away from this place. For all you meat lovers, this juicy, spicy beef is a must try. 


Al's is probably the most notable grease joint chain in Chicago (maybe second to Portillo's), and rightly so. They set the standard for a classic Italian beef. They might not serve the best hot, wet sandwich in town, but they come pretty damn close. 

Love Al's on Taylor! Best beef & sausage anywhere! Tasty hot peppers & french fries to die for! Staff is friendly, especially after we go there all the time they know our order! Love Anthony , too! 5 star!