With all due respect to the Chicago-style hot dog and deep-dish pizza, no food is more "Chicago" than the Italian beef sandwich. While it was most famously glorified by Jay Leno and playfully mocked by the Super Fans of Saturday Night Live, Chicago’s essential culinary invention stems from inauspicious (and sometimes shady) origins on the city’s West Side dating back nearly 100 years. Who invented the Italian beef? Depends who you ask.
“When tracing the history of the Italian beef, all roads lead through Al’s #1 Italian Beef on Taylor St.”