I never thought a TV show would make a sandwich "beloved," but that's the case here.

The website Mindfully American compiled a comprehensive list of each state's favorite sandwiches, and I wasn't surprised.

For California, it's the panini; for Florida, it's the Cuban Sandwich. Can you guess what was named Illinois' most "beloved?"

THE BEAR POPULARIZED THE ITALIAN BEEF SANDWICH

Only folks from out of town, out of state, or from beyond would say The Bear made the Italian Beef Sandwich that it is today.

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As a born and raised Chicagoan, Italian Beef Sandwiches were among the four food groups.

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I guess I'm saying that The Bear didn't make Italian Beef. Italian Beef made The Bear.

Mindfully American says, "Italian Beef Sandwiches have been a staple of the Chicago street food scene for years, but the popularity of Hulu's 'The Bear' in recent years has skyrocketed the classic sammie to stardom."

Hearty Italian Beef Sandwich
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THE BEST ITALIAN BEEF IN ILLINOIS

Inside Hook listed the restaurants with the best Italian Beef Sandwiches, and they include:

  • Al's Beef
  • Carm's Beef and Italian Ice
  • Mr. Beef
  • Serrelli's Finer Foods

All of those joints are located in Chicago or the surrounding suburbs. For us, a little closer to home in Rockford, Inside Hook says Portillo's serves up one of the best Italian Beef in the state.

The website also mentions Buona Beef, which is coming soon to Rockford, as one of the other great spots.

What about you? Where do you go for Italian Beef in Illinois?

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