Better with Giardiniera: 9 Great Sandwiches Featuring with Chicago's Favorite Condiment


[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

I'd never heard of giardiniera before moving to Chicago, but now I can't live without it. In Italy, the term refers to collection pickled vegetables—usually cauliflower, celery, and olives—but here it's almost always addled with a healthy helping of chilies. The result is a crunchy, acidic, and fiercely spicy condiment, which improves almost everything it touches.

While giardiniera can top everything from thick-crust pizza to french fries, it's most often found on one of Chicago's oversized sandwiches.

In particular, it's hard to imagine Italian subs or Italian beefs without it. But not all giardiniera is created equal. Some is all spice and no acid, while others are soggy when they should be crunchy. These are the sandwiches we think get it right. Take a look at the slideshow to see all of them, or check out the list below.

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