Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
May 1, 2006 05:21 PM

Is there any place to get an Italian Beef in this city?

  • o

I'm a relatively recent transplant from the Chicago area and I've been absolutely dying for an Italian Beef sandwich. I've chased menus all around the city only to find that even places that claim to have them (Rosamunde, Dogzilla etc;) have actually stopped carrying them. Does anyone know, for sure, of a place that still offers one?

I suppose I should explain what I'm looking for: to me, an Italian Beef sandwich comes in two varieties. There's the heart-stomping fast-food variety that serves up a ton of finely chopped beef on an extremely greasy/soggy bun and loaded with giardenera hot pepper mix...and there's the more refined "Italian deli" version that offers slightly thicker slices of beef on a good hard roll...still with the giardenera.

Any help?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. As a former Chicagoan myself I feel your pain. After 6 years in the bay area I haven't found one place that comes close. I usually have my brother ship me some along with the peppers.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Rose
      Melanie Wong

      Not in the City, but I've Italian beef at Gumbah's in Vallejo, which many deem authentic. Here's link to my description of it.


      1. re: Melanie Wong

        As another Chicago ex-pat, I'll recommend Gumbah's. A bit light on the giardiniere but the real thing. There is a place out in Pleasanton that's ok but not worth driving that far. Search for the Chicago hot dog threads for more suggestions.

        1. re: Larry

          Not a Chicago ex-pat, but I'll third Gumbah's. Lots of other tasty options other than the Italian beef.

          The thread below kinda' encapsulates many if not all the visits from folks who've posted on the place.


    2. I am a Chicago ex-pat and when I need a fix I order some online from portillo's. They send a whole kit with rolls and all (sweet peppers and hot giardiniera.


      1. As another ex-pat from Chicago I will go along with Portillos online. At the moment there is no place (Ive not tried Gumbahs) that I have found remotely acceptable. There used to be a place down in Santa Clara called Chi-Dog that closed in the Dot Com crash. So I go with Portillos shipped. I will be going down to LA in mid July and plan on visiting their new location in Anaheim. Bay Area continues to be an Italian Beef wasteland......

        2 Replies
        1. re: tomritza

          Rosamunde Sausage on Lower Haight in SF has one on the menu...I never tried it, but since I never had one I wouldn't be able to tell you how it compares with the Chicago model

          1. re: ChowFun_derek

            Yep, I've seen it on Rosamunde Sausage menu as well, but did not partake. I must admit, the title of this post gave me a good giggle.

        2. I'm a Bay Area native who just moved back here after three years in Chicago (brrrrrr...). The only Italian beef I ever ate was at Portillo's, and I disliked the fairly tasty, but incredibly messy, thing. We don't allow food like that in California!

          Seriously, I know you Chicagoans need regular infusions of Italian beef, deep dish pizza and Vienna dogs...good luck in your search.

          1. The original comment has been removed