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Elmwood Park, IL

Johnnie's Beef - Elmwood Park, IL Restaurant Review

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Chicago Food King
Chicago Food King
 29 days ago

Some restaurants or food stands become legends in their own towns or states. Some of these places have actually become so great that they are world-renowned. Johnnie’s Beef in Elmwood Park, IL is one of those places.
outside restaurantPhoto by Frank S/ChicagoFoodKing.

You know a place is good if late great Chef and Food reviewer Anthony Bourdain pays a restaurant a visit. The beef sandwiches here have such a unique flavor about them that, no matter rain or shine, the line stretches down the block.
Johnnies Famous Italian BeefPhoto by TZN M./Yelp

Johnnie's Beef has been around for decades, giving it a loyal fan base that claims it is the best Italian beef in Illinois, if not the world. The owners claim the secret recipe of the beef gravy is so guarded that employees are not even made aware. The thin cuts of roast beef cook for at least six hours in this secret beef gravy.
Fresh grilled Italian sausagePhoto by Frank S/ChicagoFoodKing.

Johnnie’s is not only known for their beef. They also have hotdogs and grilled Italian sausage, but the majority of their renowned fame comes from their Italian beef.
behind counterPhot by Frank S/ChicagoFoodKing.

Whenever I visit Johnnies I always get the same order: two beef with hot giardiniera, small Italian ice, and a fry. You must get the Italian Ice when you visit. It is homemade with real lemons. Nothing feels better than enjoying an Italian Ice on a hot summer day.
Italian IcePhoto by Yelp

One tip when you go to order at the counter at Johnnie’s is to know what you want to order before it is your turn. The lines are usually long and they do not mess around with people that do not know what to order. Another tip is to simply remember these phrases when ordering to expedite your order with no hiccups.
long linesPhoto by Frank S/ChicagoFoodKing.
Long linesPhoto by Tripadvisor

Start with how many beefs you want and then proceed with these ordering terms.

*Hot - Italian beef with hot giardiniera.

*Juicy - Submerged in their gravy.

*Combo - Italian Beef with Italian sausage.

*Plain - Nothing on the beef.

An example of an expedited order is:

“Let me get five beefs, two hot juicy, two Combos, and one plain.”

They do not put cheese on their beef sandwiches, so do not even ask. Johnnie’s is very simple. They serve Italian beef, hot dogs, and Italian sausages. They do not have cheese fries or onion rings.
counter where you orderPhoto by Tripadvisor

This all may sound stressful to someone who has never been here, but once you get the hang of ordering and taste Johnnie's Beef for the first time, you will definitely be returning.

I give Johnnie's Beef a rating of 8 out of 10. I will always be returning to them. They are that good.

© Frank S ChicagoFoodKing , 2021. All Rights Reserved.

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