Bari (1120 West Grand Avenue #1, Chicago, IL) is one of those old school places that seems impervious to time. Bari sells, as you would guess, sandwiches, and has been open since 1973. These sandwiches come with a variety of meat and cheeses, including turkey, mozzarella, roast beef and prosciutto. You can also get sides like olives, pasta salad and Italian wedding soup. However, what really sets Bari apart is their quality ingredients, the low prices and the sheer enormity of the sandwiches. For example, my favorite go-to Bari sandwich is the prosciutto and mozzarella on focaccia ($10) – which comes on an entire round LOAF of focaccia. For 10 dollars you can easily feed 3 people on one sandwich (sandwich doesn’t even seem to be the appropriate word here…maybe platter?). The subs also come in a variety of sizes (9″, 12″ and even 3 feet), so you don’t have to be quite as gluttonous – though many of the 3 foot sandwiches are still under $20. We ordered Bari for lunch at work (it is on GrubHub and delivers to the loop FYI), and everyone at work brought home leftovers.
However, the sandwiches are only one component of the Bari experience. It is also a full Italian deli – you can get imported meats and cheeses by weight, homemade pasta sauce and sausages, along with olive oil, pasta and canned goods. If you are a fan of heat, don’t forget Bari’s famous extra hot giardineira, a classic topping for any Chicago sub. While waiting to check out, you can even get a copy of Fra Noi, the Chicagoland Italian newspaper or chocolates. Going to Bari is like stepping into the Grand Avenue of the past, and it’s a lot of fun! You certainly wont leave hungry.