Slideshow: Top 15 Most Popular Chicago Sandwiches of 2013

Italian Beef at Johnnie's Beef
Italian Beef at Johnnie's Beef

[Photograph: Josh Conley]

"The Italian beef ($3.90) itself is like meat origami--delicately cut, then expertly folded up into a Italian roll. Or like meat ribbons on a present you just keep unwrapping. I take mine wet and hot, the bun just lapping up those savory juices. Lots of garlic and black pepper bolster the rich, yet surprisingly not-too-heavy beef. It's the kind of sandwich you finish and feel completely satisfied, yet selfishly want to order another in the event of beefocalypse. And nothing pairs with it better than the house-made Italian ice." Read more here >>

Breaded Steak Sandwich at Ricobene's
Breaded Steak Sandwich at Ricobene's

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

"Take a minute to admire the big glorious feast before digging in--for some reason the sauce is so molten you're likely to burn your tongue. Luckily, enjoying it requires no instructions. Either the crunchy fillets and assertive sauce hits some gut-busting pleasure button in your belly or it doesn't." Read more here >>

Porchetta Sandwich at Publican Quality Meats
Porchetta Sandwich at Publican Quality Meats

[Photograph: Molly Durham]

"Publican Quality Meats has a not-so-secret secret, and it's their porchetta sandwich ($10). Only available on Saturdays, it's the big slab of meat you can spy atop the butcher block when you walk in. You won't see it on the menu, but they make a performance out of cutting it for all eyes to see." Read more here >>

Lobster Roll at Bub City
Lobster Roll at Bub City

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

"This sandwich avoids the common lobster roll pitfalls of too much mayo or a paltry serving of actual lobster chunks. There is mayonnaise, certainly, but it is spread on the roll itself instead of mixed with the lobster, which allows the sweet and buttery lobster taste to shine through." Read more here >>

The Hobbit at Bourgeois Pig Cafe
The Hobbit at Bourgeois Pig Cafe

[Photograph: Molly Durham]

"It's the first three ingredients listed for this sandwich that make it great: sun dried tomato pesto, mayonnaise, and crumbled bacon. I can't believe I'm saying this given my allegiance to real pesto (I travelled to its birthplace, Genoa, just to taste it), but this wouldn't be as good with the basil kind. The roasted tomato gives it a heartiness and acidity that brings it all together. The crumbled bacon gives it a more even bacon flavor than with slices, and the mayo gives a creaminess to counteract the 3-layers-of-toasted-bread crunch." Read more here >>

Don't Tell Tal at Zaleski & Horvath MarketCafe
Don't Tell Tal at Zaleski & Horvath MarketCafe

[Photograph: Eric Singerman]

"Simply put, this sandwich is pig on pig on pig on pig. Salty ham and some pretty thick-cut bacon sit between a thick layer of goat cheese and a rich slice of cheddar. The baguette was crackly as you'd expect a baguette to be, with a little more crunch imparted from the panini press." Read more here >>

Breaded Steak Sandwich with Fried Cheese at Johnny O's
Breaded Steak Sandwich with Fried Cheese at Johnny O's

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

"Back? Okay. As you can imagine, when you add a piece of fried cheese to the breaded steak sandwich at Johnny O's, the result is a ridiculous mess. The question is whether it's one worth the calorie busting or not. The answer is... sort of. As great as that sheet of fried cheese is, the breaded steak isn't quite as juicy as the similar one at Ricobene's. Still, if you're in the mood for some gut-busting adventure, this is your sandwich. Just make sure to load it up with some spicy giardiniera, which nobly tries to cut through the grease." Read more here >>

Spicy Chicken and Cheddar Biscuit at The Roost Food Truck
Spicy Chicken and Cheddar Biscuit at The Roost Food Truck

[Photograph: Molly Durham]

"The star of this sandwich is the biscuit. It is so buttery that ever since I ate it, I've been considering how many sticks of butter were used to make one biscuit. Just one! It's reminiscent of Popeye's biscuit on this level, but way more soft: it falls apart before you get your mouth on it." Read more here >>

Prime Butt at Schaller's Pump
Prime Butt at Schaller's Pump

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

"It may be hard to call this thing a sandwich, but if you're in the mood for a big slab of beef for under $10, all served in one of Chicago's most distinctive restaurants with one of the friendliest waitstaffs I've ever encountered, Schaller's Pump is your place. Of course, as a White Sox fan, I have to admit that I'm biased and shouldn't be trusted." Read more here >>

The Eastman at The Eastman Egg Company Food Truck
The Eastman at The Eastman Egg Company Food Truck

[Photograph: Molly Durham]

"The Eastman ($6) is the signature sandwich from this truck that shells out Dark Matter coffee and three varieties of breakfast sandwiches at a time. They proudly list their other local sources: Slagel Family Farm, Labriola Baking, and Cedar Grove cheese. I figured if they put their company name on this one, it must be their best. I can't tell if I was right. A few parts of this were whatever, while a few ruled." Read more here >>

Panini at En Hakkore
Panini at En Hakkore

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

"Think of it as a glorified grilled cheese, albeit one with a lot going on. All the ingredients are there, especially the spicy kimchi and the tender and sweet beef. Considering that there are two kinds of cheese, it has every right to be a big gooey mess, but instead it's thin and compact. Sure, the restaurant's vibrant and colorful bibim-bap is justifiably getting loads of attention, but this sandwich proves that just about every item could be worth exploring." Read more here >>

Steak Sandwich at Irazu
Steak Sandwich at Irazu

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

"Nothing revolutionary here, just a solid sandwich that is neither overstuffed nor too skimpy. It's all anchored by tender slices of marinated beef and crunchy sautéed onions. Along with some mayo, the sandwich also contains salsa Lizano, a Costan Rican sauce that is slightly sweet and spicy. While good on its own, a side of gallo pinto is a must." Read more here >>