This Little Italy food icon actually began back in 1917, when Anthony Ferrari started making his own seasoned beef and peddled it in the neighborhood and for weddings. But jump ahead 20 years to 1938, when Anthony’s kids; Al Ferrari and his sister and brother in law, Frances and Chris Pacelli Sr further developed the beef recipe and sold it in their stand. In 1968, the family, with cousins, Chris and Terry at the helm, opened at their current digs on Taylor, adding Italian sausage and Vienna Beef hot dogs, as well as other specialties to round out the menu.
Al’s has truly been a father of the now famous Chicago style Italian Beef, with yet another generation of Chris Pacelli and Terry Ferrari involved in all facets of the business including catering. Their success has been due to generations of family hard work and, of course, consistent product that has led to the franchising of Al’s Beef; their great name and quality is now available around Chicago and throughout the country. They have been honored with Best Beef in Chicago awards and have appeared on numerous television stations and shows from NBC’s Today Show, to the Food Network and Travel Channel, A&E and PBS. Celebrities like Jay Leno and Jim Belushi, as well as the cast of Chicago Fire stop by for their Al’s treat.
At Vienna Beef, we are proud to have been along for the ride contributing Chicago’s iconic hot dog to the already iconic mix featuring Al’s century old recipe; and welcome the Original Al’s Beef into the Vienna Beef Hot Dog Hall of Fame. From all of us at Vienna, we say thanks, and wish the Ferrari and Pacelli families much continued success.