Chicago is one of the few cities in the country where there are many places to eat great Italian beef and Johnnie's Beef ranks among the best of them. The small beef stand is a perfectly preserved piece of the traditionally Italian neighborhood that surrounds it.
The structure itself resembles an old drive-in eatery, with baby blue walls and yellow neon signs. It is only big enough to hold about ten standing customers at its bar, and seems to have a line that stretches down the block at any time of day. The employees work together as a well oiled machine, though, which minimizes the wait. One worker assembles hot dogs, one spears sausages from the grill, one slaps together the beefs and yet another fills cups with Italian ices (make sure you say you don't want a lid on your ice...that way you get a nice heaping cup of it). Be sure to have your order straight by the time you get to the head of the line; the man who rings you up gets quite upset at indecision or stuttering.
The menu is small, but everything is exceptional. The Italian beef and sausage sandwiches are notably famous, as well as the Italian ices and hot dogs. Every Friday Johnnie's serves up amazing fried egg sandwiches.
Average cost: <$10