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The Chicago Epicurean restaurant review: Vinnie’s Sub Shop

Chicago Epicurean
Vinnie's Sub Shop

Vinnie’s Italian Sub (above), along with a Filbert’s soda are two of my new Chicago favorites (Photos copyright Daniel B. Honigman)

Vinnie’s Sub Shop
1204 W. Grand Avenue
(312) 738-2985
9:00 am – 6:00 pm
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Closed Sundays
Get directions

Verdict: If you like subs, check this place out. STAT.

It figures that I’d write my first review of a sub shop, right? But after visiting Vinnie’s Sub Shop this past weekend with Mollie, I realized that there would be no better way to start off this feature.

After hitting up the Intelligentsia Coffee tour on Saturday, we walked along Grand Avenue looking for a place to eat. We decided to stop off at Vinnie’s Sub Shop in the River West neighborhood of Chicago.

Vinnie’s is a charming, family-run, standing-room-only establishment. Festooned with historic photos of Chicago, I was hit immediately with an old-school vibe when I entered.

And then there were the sandwiches.

The Italian sub was outstanding. It may, hands-down, be the best sub I’ve had in Chicago. Piled high with capicola, genoa salami, mortadella, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, a mix of hot and sweet peppers, homemade basil oil and balsamic vinegar, on a fresh French bread, this sub was a steal at less than $6. Mollie ate the Vinnie Special, which featured a mix of ham, salami and provolone (no tomatoes for Mollie!)

Vinnie’s bubbly proprietor, Darlene, directed us to try their homemade tuna salad. I don’t usually like tuna fish – at all. But, with Mollie nudging me, I gave it a try.

Now, I still won’t eat tuna salad. But I’ll make an exception for Vinnie’s.

“We make three big party bowls every day, and every night it’s gone,” she said. Darlene wouldn’t give us the secret recipe, but it was seasoned with basil, tomatoes and onions. It’s absolutely to die for.

Vinnie’s features soda from Filbert’s of Chicago, a family-run beverage company in the city’s Bridgeport neighborhood. The sodas are quite tasty, by the way.

Here are the ratings:

Food: 4 of 5
Decor: 1.5 of 5
Cost: 4.5 of 5
Bathroom: N/A
Total: 4 of 5

Vinnies Sub Shop on Urbanspoon