Some of Our Favorite Places in Cleveland to Score a Chicago Italian Beef, the Sandwich of the Summer

Thanks to 'The Bear,' we're all thirsting for drippy beef sammies

click to enlarge Chicago Italian beef, baby - Vince Grzegorek
Vince Grzegorek
Chicago Italian beef, baby

For those of us who have never worked in a busy restaurant kitchen, “The Bear” on FX offers an unvarnished behind-the-swinging-door glimpse at the workings of that chaotic world. For those of who have worked in a busy restaurant kitchen, the show likely conjures a string of long-simmering nightmares like being in the weeds, getting disfigured by the meat slicer, or forgetting to fire table #7.

When viewers aren’t drooling over Jeremy Allen White’s portrayal of chef Carmy, they likely are lusting over those drippy Chicago Italian beef sandwiches. Chicago’s most famous sandwich is the supporting star of “The Bear,” a show about a family-run sandwich shop. If there’s a Sandwich of the Summer 2022, it is this one.

Historically, Cleveland has never been blessed with options when it comes to legitimate Italian beef sandwiches. The Doghouse on Coventry took honors for having the very best in town, in my opinion, but that special little place closed eons ago. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find some excellent versions of the classic beef sandwich all over town.

For the uninitiated, an Italian beef sandwich consists of a long sandwich roll filled with slow-roasted, thin-shaved top round beef, which is dipped into or ladled with herbed au jus and topped with spicy, crunchy giardiniera.

Here are some of our favorites. Any we should add to the list?

Ferrara’s Imported Foods
5750 Mayfield Rd., Mayfield Hts., 440-442-3700

Local West
7402 Detroit Ave, 216-417-7001

Sainato's at Rivergate
1852 Columbus Rd., 216-772-4400

D'Italia Foods
26285 Detroit Rd., Westlake, 440-871-0887

Corbo Pasta And Pizza House
5766 Mayfield Rd., Mayfield Hts., 440-771-4471

Jim Alesci's Place
32910 Solon Rd., Solon, 440-498-0888

Gourmand's Deli
5345 Canal Rd., Valley View, 216-328-0942

Farmer's Rail
98 Main St., Hudson, 330-576-3333
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Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
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