The Bear on FX photo courtesy of Frank Ockenfels/FX

4 Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches in St. Louis to satisfy fans of 'The Bear'

Yes, Lion's Choice is on this list

If binging the latest season of The Bear has you craving a Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich as much as we are, never fear. We got you. It feels almost cruel seeing such culinary delights dangled in our faces from a mere five hour drive away. We’d be lying if we claimed to never eye our keys in temptation for a foodie field trip. Never fear – St. Louis is certainly not Chicago, but we hold our own in the sandwich department. Here’s a list of local places serving up Chicago-style takes on the classic, so that next time you’re in Chi-town, spend your time waiting in line for that breakfast sandwich from Kasama instead. We promise it’s worth it.

Vinnie’s Italian Beef
This Lindenwood Park staple is the obvious choice for getting a sandwich as close as you’re gonna get to the motherland. Owner Matt Mulholland’s specific Greek-meets-Italian-American-by-way-of-Chicago sensibility makes for some uniquely flavorful dishes. The Italian Beef is the star of the menu, and the irresistibly crusty bread takes it to the next level.

3208 Ivanhoe Ave, St. Louis, 314.644.7007,

Italian beef sandwich // photo courtesy of Vinnie's Italian Beef & Gyros


Classic Red Hots Albasha
This Chesterfield hidden gem serves up both Mediterranean dishes and plenty of Chicago charm and, yes, the hot dogs are Vienna beef. Served sweet or hot, dry or wet, and with all the peppers and relish you’d expect, this Italian beef is everything you want – tasty, messy and classic. And, what the hell, get an order of baba ganoush to go.

41 Forum Shopping Ctr, Chesterfield, 314.878.4687,

Blues City Deli
The oft-declared king of St. Louis sandwiches unsurprisingly makes a delicious, potentially controversial rendition with Italian-style roast beef and your choice of hot giardiniera or grilled sweet peppers piled onto a chewy hoagie. Purists may side-eye the grilled veggies and bread choice, but make sure you specify wanting it wet, take a bite and get back to us.

2438 McNair Ave, St. Louis, 314.773.8225,

Lion’s Choice
OK, Chicagoans, put those pitchforks down! Listen, don’t act like you haven’t been scoffing at this entire list anyway. It’s worth reminding desperate diners that St. Louis’ favorite local fast food chain offers a perfectly suitable take on an Italian beef. Swing through that drive-thru and order yours with spicy hot giardiniera that packs a surprising punch. Make sure to order it wet or with au jus on the side.

Multiple locations,