Home of the "best breakfast sandwiches" in Chicago, according to Jeff Mauro, the Deluxe Diner serves them any time of day. Taste the diner's take on the Monte Cristo, a ham and Swiss cheese sandwich served between two thick slices of grilled French toast, or order online for late-night delivery.
For more than 30 years, Chicagoans like Jeff Mauro have headed to one of Pita Inn’s various locales for mouthwatering Mediterranean cuisine. A favorite is the shawarma meat, which Jeff calls “so succulent and so juicy.” And almost every entrée entree comes with warm pita bread baked right on the premises.
When Jeff Mauro wanted to make the perfect schnitzel sandwich, he headed to Edelweiss for advice. The family-owned restaurant serves authentic German fare, like schnitzel, Bavarian pretzels, wienerschnitzel and spatzle, in addition to offering an assortment of 16 imported beers on tap.
Paulina Meat Market is the oldest sausage shop in Chicago. The sausages are made with fresh ingredients by hand. Jeff Mauro went there looking for the perfect Polish sausage to complete his Maxwell Street Polish sandwich; he found the sausage with the help of store owner Bill Begale.
On The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Troy Johnson celebrates his love of a Wisconsin favorite with none other than beer-battered fried cheese curds. Also try the Old Fashioned House Burger. Made from local beef, it’s topped with fried onion, bacon, cheddar cheese, garlic sauce and a soft-cooked egg.
Simple yet elegant, Chicago's Luxbar is a prime spot for a romantic date night dinner. With a menu of upscale salads, entrees, burgers and specialty drinks, just about any taste can be pleased. Jeff Mauro went for the Surf and Turf Sliders, which shrink the classic combo into small sandwich form.
In the back of a Mexican grocery in Chicago, this taqueria is dishing out scrumptious tacos al pastor. Sandwich King Jeff Mauro visited Tierra Caliente for tacos made with meat cooked on a vertical spit. Takeout is popular here, as room is limited.
Jeff Mauro swung by Poor Phil's for a meal worthy of a Sandwich King. In addition to snow crab claws and lobster tails, try the Catty'Boy po' boy sandwich made with a blackened catfish that has the perfect level of spice.
Le Reve's menu evokes a French bistro with plates such as crepes and the Filet de Boeuf sandwich (beef tenderloin with Cambozola cheese). But it was the restaurant's patisserie that led to a visit from Jeff Mauro. How could the Sandwich King pass up giant macarons spanning 8 inches across?
Grahamwich in downtown Chicago cranks out some cutting-edge sandwiches. Though its menu is filled with the classics, you're not going to get them the old deli way here. Instead, Graham, who Jeff Mauro dubbed the "Sandwich Wizard," serves kicked-up renditions of Reubens, grilled cheese and more.
When Jeff Mauro looks for inspiration for turning dessert into a sandwich, he looks to the masters at Sugar Fixe Patisserie in Oak Park, Ill. These pastries put a spin on classic favorites; be sure to try the almond croissant sandwich filled with almond cream and topped with toasted almonds.
When Jeff Mauro was in the mood to make comfort food on Sandwich King, the first place he went for inspiration was the Palace Grill in Chicago. The Ultimate Grilled Cheese is stuffed with three types of cheese and four strips of bacon, and the meatloaf sandwich is served with gravy on the side.
When Sandwich King Jeff Mauro craves a thick slice of pork, he heads to Publican Quality Meats. Known for their choice cuts, Publican Quality Meats also dishes out an ever-changing sandwich menu that features mouthwatering options like braised pork belly, smoked trout and adobo pork shoulder.
Showcasing artisan cheese, bread and wine in all their high-quality, earthly glory, Pastoral Artisan Cheese is a Chicago specialty shop with four locations. It views artisan sandwiches as a lovely way to pair flavors, so when the Sandwich King stopped by, he went for the Sinfully Healthy Sandwich.
With a cafe in Elmwood Park and a takeout spot on Navy Pier, Massa is renowned for authentic paninis, pizza, fried dough and other Italian specialties. Jeff Mauro swung by for the Italian stuffed Panzerotti, and locals recommend concluding any date night here with authentic, otherworldly gelato.