Laid out like an old-fashioned lunch counter, Manny’s is bustling with activity. Loud, raucous and overflowing with characters, it would be worth a visit even if you didn’t like the food. But there’s no way around a fantastic sandwich, and though the corned beef, roast beef and other hand-carved treats are wondrous, the pastrami is almost a religious experience. Available on a Kaiser, rye or an onion roll, this sandwich is piled high with amazing, hot, juicy pastrami. And it’s so big that you may just have to take half home to fit in the deliciously fried potato pancake. Visit with the crowds at lunchtime and you’ll get a one-of-a-kind experience with a staff that’s crusty yet kind, not to mention a sandwich worth the wait.
1141 South Jefferson (312)939-2855
Best of Chicago 2002