The hometown favorite, Buona Beef is celebrating 35 delicious years in business. The famous Italian Beef restaurant serves up more than just its signature Italian Beef. It is home to a long list of other delicious foods like pizza, salads, burgers, hotdogs, sandwiches, panini’s, soups and desserts.
The top three Buona Beef locations near you are Oak Park, Hillside and the original located at 6745 Roosevelt Road in Berwyn.
The deliciousness doesn’t stop there, Buona Beef is popping up in various locations all across Illinois, having 18 locations already according to the business’ website, buona.com.
Through a simple google search, other hotspots for the restaurant include Beverly, Montgomery, Bolingbrook, Glendale Heights, Lombard, Orland Park, Hoffman Estates and Rosemont.
Front-man and owner, Joe Buonavolanto Sr. started the business, taking a second mortgage out on the place just to fund it, his wife and two out of five of their sons help keep the ship running.
The wife, “Peggy” Buonavolanto, crafted the original recipe for the Italian Beef that started it all with the help of the family’s Uncle “Jr.,” owner and manager of another Chicago favorite, Mr. Beef according to their website’s About page.
The famous Italian Beef is its legendary food and the recipe hasn’t changed in decades. “My family and I have been going there for years, regularly,” stated a female customer.
“The Italian Beef is my favorite of course, but I also like the Cobb Salad. I like to order my Italian Beef with sweet peppers and dipped once,”
“My family, my son and husband enjoys it too. They like to order the Italian Beef. Buona is delicious, they have really good food.” she said.
When asked about the environment of the place, she explained that the employees have good customer service. “Every time I go there I go through the drive-thru and everyone there is always helpful. They have really good employees there.”
Although I haven’t gotten the chance to go inside Buona, their Italian Beef is amazing. I ordered it recently. I ordered it as it comes originally and I added Mozzarella cheese, hot giardiniera, hot peppers, undipped. It definitely packed heat and the beef was juicy and tender, I truly enjoyed it.
Besdies having “really good food,” Buona offers a year of free Italian Beefs during grand openings, half off regular price for the Italian Beef, Italian Sausage and sausage combos during their “National Beef Day” May 28th and “Offering $5 burgers and meals” according to Director of the Siena Center at Dominican University Rachel Hart Winter.
In addition to their National Beef Day, Buona offers low-calorie food options and beer and wine. Customers can order their meals with “skinny” multi-grain and white bread to cut 25 percent of carb calories. Plus, Buona items can be made with gluten-free flatbread, according to buona.com.
More than that, Buona has expanded at such a rate that there is now hope for the brand to be the next Portillo’s according to the Chicago Tribune.
Other than locations previously listed, there’s a Buona in Harwood Heights on Harlem and Lawrence Avenue across the street from a Portillo’s and it has been there for six months.
Harwood Heights Portillo’s Spokesman Nick Scarpino said there’s room for both competing restaurants, “We think this area can support a Buona Beef and a Portillo’s. Buona Beef has their signature items and we have our – there’s plenty of room for both of us to do well in Harwood Heights.”
Buonavolanto, owner of Buona Beef is not worried about the competition, “They’re a giant compared to us, but we have our loyal customer base. I think people enjoy coming back to us because our beef is made with an original family recipe.”
With all that Buona has to offer, the brand has done a great deal for itself and residents from all over flock to the nearby locations for a taste of their original styled Italian Beef, myself included.