Last week we went back to Johnnies. Have been going since 1974. In our eyes it was the best Chicago offered. We only get there once a year, due to the distance we now have to travel. What a difference! The beef amount is very cheap compared to what is used to be. There was more sweet peppers then there was beef and it seems they were not as sweet as they used to be, with way too much vinegar. I will try Portillos, Als and Mr. Beef again. The italian lemonade is a good as ever. Mr heart is sad, first the lose of the "Come Back Inn" and now this. Thank God for Jenes and Jude! Make me wonder if the "Boys" sold the business.
Johnnies Beef is a must try in my opinion. Not only is it the best Italian beef in the Chicago land area but it is an experience to see this famous place and how it works.The service is good and fast. The line is usually wrapped around the outside, but don't worry it takes very little time and is well worth the wait. They only have a counter inside but have outdoor seating during warm weather. You can't beat the prices and most important the taste. Try their delicious Italian ice too.
Went to Johnnie's yesterday - for the last time. I placed my order and my son ordered the rest of what we came for. I was standing next to him as he ordered. Although we did not see cheezy beefs on the menu he first ordered a cheezy beef combo and the person taking the order turned around and told his co-worker he then ordered a cheezy beef with sweet peppers and again he turned and told his co-worker. The last item was a combo. He also ordered three fries & a tamale. We took our order home and we do not live close at all. Lo and behold the order was wrong. One beef was missing, there were no cheesy beefs, my son's beef had peppers all over it (he hate's peppers) and four fries instead of three. Needless to say I was not happy. I called and spoke to I believe a manager. He was in no way apologetic. He said that he doesn't believe that the order taker didn't tell me there were no cheezy beefs on their menu. He said that if my son placed the order how do I know that's what happened. I told him I was standing right next to him. I told him that I have ordered food for parties in the past and that I didn't think that it was worth a beef sandwich for him to lose a customer. I also told him this was not a way to run a business and he should be aplogizing to me. He told me that I was not being nice. I didn't think it was my responsibility to be nice . He made me feel like I was lying to him, he did not offer an apology and did not offer to correct the problem. I was so surprised by this man's reaction and made a vow to not go there again. Even though the beef is good at Johnnie's their customer relations are terrible. As my friend said, they think that they do such a good business they don't have to be nice. I went to another restaurant closer to my home and got a beef there. It was very good and a comprable replacement for Johnnies - if interested the name is Frannie's in Schiller Park.
Super clean establishment. Good hot dogs. But my favorite is their Italian beefs. Most places give you a roast beef with no spices, not at Johnnie's there is a slight spiceyness to their beef and Italian Sausage. My husbands favorite is the Italian Sausage.
PROS: Not Bland food
No need to say much here. the beef was off the chain and so was the Italian ice. Get them both! If you want, go for the combo, which is an Italian beef with a polish sausage. A-mazing!
Pros: Best beef, Great price
Cons: Not much parking
Have any of you who think Johnnie's is the "BEST" especially idigmusic55 ever had Portillo's??? I know some locations are very chincy on the amount of beef, but even so it should be about the whole experience but most importantly the FLAVOR, the SPICES you can taste...
I had a mission when I came home from the Army to find the "BEST" Italian Beef. I've tried hundreds. Most places that claim to be the best only serve a hot beef sandwich, NO ITALIAN FLAVOR!
PLEASE, PLEASE TRY OTHER PLACES BEFORE YOU CLAIME ONE AS THE "BEST"!
I can't believe Patrick Hayes I love Johnny's Beef I have never reviewed anything before but his comments necessitated response. Johnny's is my favorite beef I have ever had, the bread is not store bought its Gonnella, A hometown bakery that's been around since 1836, and the beef oh god the beef spicy juicy just enough meat I live in NYC now and I dream about it at night. The fries are delicious somehow they avoided the whole anti trans fat craze and kept their fries delicious anyway I just wanted to set it straight as if the mile long line there everyday wasn't enough to convince you to try it
great beefs. fast service even for larger crowds. it is a small place with juicy beef and GREAT ITALIAN ICE. doesnt rip you off.
I really don't know how this place keeps get first place.
I really wonder who owns this place?
I mark Johnny's one step above a generic beef.
(A generic beef is one that has the same basic ingredients that you will find at any pizza/beef shop that chooses to drop some beef in ajue. Giardiniera is store bought. And the bread is the same.)
The beef has an ok taste but ,nothing to right home about. I thing most people who love this place really don't go anywhere else. Or are not willing to try something else, since they think it is the best and for some reason so, do a lot of people.
I like to try different places and I am glad because I can truly tell you I have had the best beef. It is fro a place in Cal city called Pepino's thy are moving to a better area over the border. The fall in to the best of everything. Taste and value.
Try Pop's or Chickies all better than Johnie's. Hell Portillo's has more flavor and they are just as stindgy with the amount of beef you get
And just so you know, I have been to Johnnie's a few times so, it is not a one time thing. Also for the combo the sausage seems to be over cooked each time.
You can get a better beef at, at least a half dozen places.
Pros: it is better than some
Cons: you wait in line for nothing special
We knew it was a good sign when we pulled up and saw people lined out the door around noon on Sunday. Everyone in front of us ordered the tamales and the italian ice. We were there for the italian beef and it was fantastic. Service was super fast, the tiny kitchen area was run with precision and we only wondered if it kept busy like that all day! Anyway, this place is worth the drive for a great sandwich. We can't wait to try it again, next time we'll try the tamales too.
Pros: Fast, fantastic food, fast moving line
Cons: Far from the downtown area, but no real complaints!
I'VE BEEN GOING TO JOHNNIE'S MY WHOLE LIFE AND IT IS MY FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT. I NOW LIVE ON THE WEST COAST AND ALWAYS GO BACK THERE WHEN I'M IN TOWN
Just a few words..The Best, the best, the best.......I hate this place my mom's beef doesn't even come close.....Trust me we tryied to reproduce it..We can't...Johnny's beef is the Soup yadda, yadaa of Chicago, and deservely so....Bravi....But one day. One day I will reproduce it and than I will conquer Chicago..Ciao
Pros: Great beef.
Cons: On cold days waiting outside is horrible, horrible.
I visited Johnnies recently and was sorely disappointed. They were so stingy with the beef that they made a Portillo's Italian beef look like a gut buster. After I saw what I got I started checking other orders. Same thing. Shortly after my visit I was talking to a friend who lives not too far from Johnnies. It used to be his favorite beef stand. But it changed hands some time ago and he doesn't go anymore due to the small portions.
Pros: Italian Ice
Cons: Where's the beef?
I've been to a respectable amount of italian beef joints including certain establishments that are high on everyone's lists and while some of them aren't bad, none of them leave the kind of impression that Johnnie's provides. Every element to their sandwich comes together in perfect balance--the wonderful thin slices of beef marinated and cooked to tenderness in a superb au jus, the explosive flavor of giardenera peppers circulating throughout each mouthful, all placed inside bread that is dipped in that perfect au jus. Top it off with an order of fries and an order of italian ice, and you have a slice of heaven in your hands.
I grew up in Chicago, but now live in the West Coast. Whenever I come back to visit, this is the first place I go to remind me there's no place like home.
Pros: heaven in a sandwich, long lines but quick service
THE BEST BEEF SANDWISH IN THE WORLD ,
I MAKE MY HUSBAND DRIVE FROM THE CITY TO GET A BEEF AT LEAST 5 OR MORE TIME A MONTH,THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE JOHNNIE'S BEEF, THE BEST AROUND ,NO PLACE BETTER AND THAT IS NO JOKE THE BEST
Pros: THUMBS UP ALL THE WAY
Cons: THUMBS UP ALL THE WAY
Johnnys Beff is great food at an affordalbe pirce. If you get a chance you should go. Just make sure that you have a little time. The line is usually a little on the long side. Other than that its great.
Pros: good food
Cons: long lines
the italian ice is the GREAT along with the hotdogs
By far the best beef in Chicago. This is the place to be if you like Italian Beef.
Johnnies italian ice is my summer favorite. The portion is just enough to cool you off on a hot summer night. The wait in line is sooo worth it.
Pros: great italian ice, staff, portion
Cons: the lines, the parking
I am a displaced Chicagoan and every time I come back, Johnnie's is one of the first stops I make. they never heard of Italian Beef in North Carolina and Johnnie's is definately one of the best in town. You can tell by the perpetual line outside the stand that this is one of the best!
Pros: great food, Chicago Flavor
I live in Austin now, but I grew up 15 minutes from Johnnie's. The beef is great and the sausage is wonderful. If you're a first timer, have a combo with hot peppers. The sausage is the better than anywhere.
Some say that the beef isn't as tasty as it used to be. That may be true, but coming from a beef lover, there isn't one reputable beef place in Chicago that is as good as it used to be. On a relative scale, Johnnie's is as good as any. The service is rude, but its part of Johnnie's tradition, just like the Wiener's Circle.
It may be pricey for the portions, but you shouldn't be eating that much anyway. Go. Its the best.
Pros: Awesome sausage, Great beef, Best combos
Cons: , Rude service
BEEF! BEEF! BEEF! A friend of mine turned me onto this place. ITS AWESOME. The best beef, forget the others. Small sandwiches, but no problem, i just order TWO! Eat em like hot dogs. :-)
I must have missed the "lines" that everyone talks about. The service is set up so great, the only line I hit in my 3 times there moved faster than any line I ever been in. Call it, they call it, its up, FAST! Simple as that. AWESOME! And besided, even if you have to wait, its worth it, ten times over. And no, im not the owners son, Im just a beef lover!@
Pros: GREAT BEEF!, FAST SERVICE, THE BEST BEEF!!!!!!!
Cons: , cantgetjuiceonside?, small sandwiches
I was never a fan of Italian Beef until I went to Johnnies. Now I'm hooked. No where else can you get as good a sandwich as the beefs at Johnnies. The "juicy beef" with hot peppers is the best.
Pros: great food, fast service
Everyone in chicago knows what a beef is. Johnnie's, for many years, was in my opinion one of the best beef stands in chicago. I used to stop in here all the time to grab a sandwhich while on my way to work. Although in recent years, it seems to me that Johnnies taste quality may have gone down just a little. I have heard rumors of Johnny selling out to new owners, and I guess that could be the reason. It is still a great place to go and they still have great beefs.
The Italian Beefs at this restaurant are the best I have ever tasted in the chicagoland area. The only thing about it they could be bigger.
"Johnnie's over by dare on Nort Ave. "what a classic . BEST BEEF IN COUNTRY!!! Combo with sweet peppers a one of a kind
Being a beef fan I had heard from some people that Johnnie's had the best Beef in Chicago. I will admit it is damn good. However, it is rather on the small side and a bit expensive. I can't say the place is bad but if you want a better beef go to Duke's drive inn in Bridgeview Il. Great beef sandwich and it takes 2 hands to eat it.
Cons: Small, Pricey
No fluff. No puff. Just damn good food. This is literally one of the few places i could eat at everyday and never get tired of it. Also, definitely the best Italian ice in the city. I've kept an eye open around the Chicagoland area for a better ice, there isn't any. You must try this place.
Pros: Inexpensive, Quality
The beef here is the best! Be sure to ask for a sandwich that's juicy. I also love the ice, and you should ask for it without a cover! I'll always love Johnnie's; growing up with it in Elmwood Park, it has become a tradition for me!
Pros: inexpensive, quick service, excellent food
Cons: you can't eat in, long lines, cramped parking
Always a wait, but ohh so worth it. Orgasmic beef(Home made), heavenly Sausage(also home made and spit cooked b4 your very eyes) and one of the best Ices around. Know how you want your beef, default is always wet. It could be -30 out and people will still line up to get in.
You must go b4 u die.
best beef in the south side of elmwood park, gotta love the ice on a summer day
Pros: combo, hotdogs, italian ice
Cons: long lines @ peaktime
One of the Best Beef in Chicago - especially in summer. Very few others in Chicago are so good. I have talked to people in line from Kentucky who came back to get a beef. Better in summer as there is no where to sit.
Jonnie's has the best beef in Chicago, as the line outside shows. Service is fast, because before you even have your money out, your food's ready to go. The lingo of Jonnie's makes it great too.
I just jumped on this website and ironically enough, my two favorite cheap eats in the city are #1 and #2 (Potbelly and Johnnie's). These should be flip flopped however. Before my wife and I moved to chicago, she would take me to Johnnie's when we visited her parents here. Since then (4 years ago), I have only had two other restaurants' Italian Beef and I did not finish either one. This sandwich doesn't dissapoint from the seasonings in the beef, to the awesome bread, to the slow cooked and finely chopped sweet peppers. It'll make a grown man cry! Get the combo if you like Italian Sausage as well. In the summer, they've got a line like the Soup Nazi's in New York for their Italian Ice. Johnnie's is the king of restaurant row in Elmwood Park and that says a lot.
Pros: Italian Beef, Sausage, Italian Ice
Cons: Crowded, No Eat In Option, Congested Area
Johnnie's Beef is the mecca of cheap eats for local college students. Anyone wanting a good portion for a very reasonable price has to try Johnnie's Beef. Be sure to have the Italian Ice!
Pros: Inexpensive, Great Food, Good Portions
Cons: Outdoor seating
If your looking for an Italian beef and you want it done right, come here. And remember, price is relative. You will definitely get what you pay for.
Pros: Fast service
Cons: No dining room
Johnies Beef is one of the best around, the only problem is you better order 3 if your hungry. The portions are much smaller than the average sandwich, and the price is the same.
Pros: excellent food
Cons: crowded, small portions
The Best Beef at Great Prices....
Don't forget the Italian Ice with no lid..
Pros: inexpensive, Good Parking
I have found that recently the samdwich size has become smaller and the sausage very over-done. The beef is still very good.I do not think that right now Johnnie's is worth the ride.
Pros: good beef, good peppers, good juice
Cons: small size sandwich, sausage over-done, over proced for porti
Heard a lot about Johnnie's and went there a few weeks ago. The beef was definitely good, but didn't live up to all the hype. Too small and too expensive. For the BEST - go to Freddie's - at 31st and Union (just east of Halsted)! The beefs are easily twice the size (I'm NOT exaggerating), taste better and are still cheaper.
Johnnie's is worth the trip. If we can't get into Jean& Judes on River Road , we go to Johnnies for a beef instead. Johnnies may be crowded but the line goes faster. Oh, and what a beef!!!!!
Pros: beef, hot dogs, fast moving line
Cons: parking, north ave.
Like the title says food is good, nothing special. for a great beef go to Jays Beef. Bigger and better
Can't go wrong with their a-list italian ice and the beefs are to die for.
Delicious beef and sausage sandwiches. Lines can get long but the wait is worth it. Add some homemade Italian Ice and you're set.
The Best Beef And Tamales In The World.
I Would Eat There Everyday if I Could.
Pros: Tamale, Tamales, Tamale
it is the best beef i've ever had they but alot of ingredents that make it taste so good , i live at least a half hoour away and it's worth too go their
Pros: excellent, very good, best
Cons: inexpensive, good parking, crowded