Illustration by Sarah Becan
The Ratty Patty Illustration: Sarah Becan


The Ratty Patty

Ludlow Liquors

This ingenious twist on ratatouille features a fried patty of eggplant, squash, and other veggies that’s topped with basil pesto and a smear of Calabrian chile aïoli. Add mozzarella and ricotta to turn it into a melt. $11. 2959 N. California Ave., Avondale


The Hat Yai Chicken Sandwich

Same Same

A fried chicken breast marinated in coriander, cumin, and white pepper, topped with chile aïoli and crisp pickles, and served on a brioche bun — not a bad way to kick off the workweek. $10. 2022 W. Roscoe St., Roscoe Village


The Christkindl Sandwich

Hannah’s Bretzel

Hannah’s dresses up German Speck with loads of bright, fruity flavors — sliced apples, fig chutney, a drizzle of apple vinegar — plus Brie and arugula for a wintry seasonal sandwich on a pretzel bun. $11.49. for locations


The Ribeye Sandwich

Lola’s Coney Island

A steakhouse-caliber sandwich at a hot dog stand price: thinly sliced rib eye, grilled mushrooms, onions, and cooling horseradish aïoli on a lightly toasted brioche bun. $12.50. 2858 W. Chicago Ave., Humboldt Park


The Sloppy Joe

Kathy De’s Deli

This old-school Joe — ground beef in a sweet tomato sauce served on a fluffy white bun with a side of fries — will satisfy the most primal, childlike cravings. $7.50. 3642 S. Parnell Ave., Bridgeport


The Ultimate Reuben

Li’l Guys

This by-the-book Reuben — corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing — rises a notch above your ordinary deli number: The ingredients are placed between slices of raw dough and baked together in the oven to order. $11.95. 2010 N. Damen Ave., Bucktown


The Meatball Dip


Coalfire solves the age-old problem of meatball sub construction by slicing the beef and veal meatballs in half and carefully layering them so they won’t tumble out. The sandwich comes with garlic butter, mozzarella, and giardiniera, plus a bowl of neck bone gravy for dipping. $13. 1321 W. Grand Ave., West Town; 3707 N. Southport Ave., Lake View


The Muffuletta

Tempesta Market

Keep an eye on Instagram, since Tempesta will occasionally drop its cult-fave muffuletta as a special. It comes decked with porchetta, mortadella, chorizo, marinated eggplant, mozzarella, pesto, pickles, and more, all on house-baked focaccia. $13.50. 1372 W. Grand Ave., West Town