Where Can I Buy Scala’s Authentic Italian Beef?

Chicago’s Scala’s Original Italian Beef is one of the most iconic Italian beef sandwiches around. Its thin-sliced, juicy beef piled high on a French roll is the stuff Chicago food legends are made of. But Scala’s has limited distribution beyond the Chicagoland area. So how can you get your hands on an authentic Scala’s Italian beef if you don’t live near Chicago?

In this article, we’ll cover different options for buying and shipping genuine Scala’s Italian beef nationwide. From mail-order kits to online retailers, here are some of the best ways to enjoy a taste of Chicago no matter where you live.

Ordering Directly from Scala’s

The most authentic way to get Scala’s Italian beef is to order it directly from the source. Scala’s has an online shop where you can order Italian beef kits, sandwiches, and other menu items to be shipped nationwide.

The Italian Beef Kit includes 2 pounds of thinly sliced Italian beef packed in broth, crew-made giardiniera, and gravy. Just heat, assemble on rolls, and you’ll have an authentic Scala’s sandwich wherever you are. The kit serves 4 and costs $59.99.

You can also order fully assembled hot Italian beef sandwiches ready to heat and eat for $9999. Or a combo kit with Italian beef and Italian sausage sandwiches for $119.99

The benefit of ordering directly from Scala’s is that you know you’re getting genuine dishes straight from their Chicago restaurant. The downside is that shipping costs are high since the items are perishable.

Vienna Beef’s Italian Beef Kit

Chicago’s Vienna Beef is another household name when it comes to Italian beef. Vienna Beef supplies the iconic neon-green relish, spicy giardiniera, and other staple Chicago hot dog toppings.

They also make an Italian Beef Kit that replicates the Sandwich King recipes of Chicagoland with thin-sliced beef and zesty gravy. At $54.95 for a 2-pound kit, Vienna’s version is more affordable than Scala’s.

While not exactly the same, Vienna Beef’s Italian beef kit uses high-quality ingredients. As Scala’s is known to source some meat from Vienna Beef, you’ll get a very similar sandwich experience for much less.

Retailers That Ship Scala’s Nationwide

A few online retailers offer nationwide shipping of Scala’s Original Italian Beef kits and products. This provides easier ordering and shipping logistics than buying direct.

  • Goldbelly – This curated marketplace ships iconic foods from famous restaurants nationwide. They offer Scala’s Italian Beef Sandwich Kits starting at $89 with free shipping.

  • Huey’s Chicago – A Chicago-based online retailer that ships Scala’s Italian Beef kits, sandwiches, hot dogs, and other Chicagoland specialties. Sandwich kits start at $65 with reasonable flat-rate shipping.

  • Taste of Chicago – Specializes in authentic Chicago foods like Eli’s Cheesecake and Vienna Beef dogs. Offers Scala’s Italian Beef combo kits for $99 with shipping around $20.

The benefit of retailers is convenience. But double check if you’re getting the real deal Scala’s brand, or if the retailer sources from elsewhere.

Who Really Makes Scala’s Italian Beef?

Part of what makes Scala’s so iconic is their secret recipe and food production process. The exact details of how they make their thinly-shaved Italian beef are closely guarded.

For many years, Scala’s beef was supplied by Vienna Beef. But in 1996 Scala’s switched to another local Chicago supplier, Sabatino’s. Surprisingly, Sabatino’s Italian beef recipe was developed by a previous Vienna Beef butcher!

While the exact supplier may have changed, one thing is constant – Scala’s commitment to high-quality, thinly sliced Italian beef piled high with just the right amount of fiery giardiniera.

It’s this balance of flavors, textures, and Chicago tradition that make Scala’s a gold standard Italian beef that’s hard to replicate. Your best bet for authenticity is to order directly from Scala’s online shop or trusted retailers.

Tips for Making Scala’s Style Italian Beef at Home

Without access to Scala’s closely guarded recipe, it’s difficult to fully replicate their iconic Italian beef at home. But here are some tips to get as close as possible:

  • Use top round roast – Top round has the perfect marbling for shaving into thin slices. Scala’s uses higher grades like Premium Choice or Prime.

  • Shave it paper thin – Use a slicer or very sharp knife to get translucent thin slices. This maximizes surface area for soaking up jus.

  • Simmer in seasoned broth – Slow cook the beef in a broth flavored with garlic, oregano, basil.

  • Giardiniera is key – The spicy mix of peppers, vegetables, and oil is essential. Use high-quality or make your own.

  • Fresh Italian bread – French rolls or dense Italian loaves work well. Best served hot.

  • Layer high – Pile up the thin beef slices overflowing with gravy and giardiniera so each bite pops with flavor.

Getting every detail perfect like Scala’s takes years of expertise. But following these guidelines will give you a crave-worthy Italian beef at home.

What Makes Scala’s Italian Beef So Special?

There are a few key factors that set Scala’s apart and make it an icon of Chicago sandwich culture:

  • 75+ years of history – Scala’s first opened in 1939. Generations of tradition go into their signature sandwich.

  • It “owns every bite” – Every component, from the seasoned beef broth to the giardiniera, is made in-house to Scala’s specs.

  • The beef-to-bun ratio – More thinly shaved beef is packed into each sandwich than seems possible, making each bite over-the-top beefy.

  • Perfectly orchestrated textures – Thin, tender beef paired with crunchy vegetables and soaked into a soft roll. Each texture has a role.

  • The element of surprise – You never know if you’ll get an extra-fiery batch of giardiniera, giving a welcome kick.

  • Local neighborhood joint – Scala’s has remained in Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood since day one, retaining its deep Chicago roots.

Recreating the full experience at home is difficult. To get the real deal, go straight to the source. Or enlist the help of worthy nationwide shippers.

Other Chicago Classics to Try

If trying to get an authentic taste of Scala’s spurs your interest in Chicago’s iconic foods, here are some other staples to sample:

  • Chicago-style hot dog – Vienna Beef frank topped with yellow mustard, neon relish, tomato, onion, sport peppers, pickle, and celery salt.

  • Italian sausage sandwich – Grill or steam Vienna Beef sausage links until plump and serve on rolls with peppers and mozzarella cheese.

  • Deep dish pizza – Sample authentic deep dish pies from Lou Malnati’s, Gino’s East, Pizzeria Uno, and other Chicago institutions.

  • Chicago-style popcorn – Garrett Popcorn is famous for flavors like CaramelCrisp and CheeseCorn.Available online.

  • Eli’s Cheesecake – A Chicago classic. Order directly from Eli’s Bakery or local retailers.

Chicago’s food scene goes far beyond deep

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Is Scala beef still in business?

Like Ferreri, Scala recognized that thinner sliced meat would cost less. Among other products like sausages, he sold thin-sliced beef used on wedding sandwiches and eventually Italian beef sandwiches. His company supplied pre-cooked Italian meats for the rest of the century, closing in the 2000s.

Does Aldi carry buona beef?

ALDI Buona Beef Italian Beef Delivery or Pickup Near Me | Instacart.

How many sandwiches does 1 lb of Italian beef make?

A 1/2 lb (8oz) portion on a sandwich is typical for most restaurants or delicatessens, so theoretically you can get 18 beefy sandwiches out of one roast. So 5 or 6 roughly.

What’s the best kind of meat to use for Italian beef?

The cut of beef used for Italian beef is typically chuck roast. However, top sirloin, top round, or bottom round would also work well. Giardiniera. A delicious blend of pickled vegetables that adds that wonderful, classic flavor to Italian beef.

Is Scala beef still popular in Chicago?

While Scala Beef may be gone, the legacy of Italian beef lives on in Chicago. However, some experts suggest that the traditional Italian beef sandwich may be losing ground to newer, more artisanal options like the Italian sub. These sandwiches are less messy and feature a variety of meats that appeal to a more diverse range of tastes.

Who is Scala meat packing?

Anybody who follows the inner workings and history of the local Chicago Italian meat business, knows the great name Scala. For those who don’t know, Scala Meat Packing was controlled by the Scala family throughout it’s entire life.

Why did Scala beef go out of business?

Scala Beef was once a household name in Chicago, known for its premium Italian beef and sausage. However, over time, the company’s popularity began to decline, and it eventually disappeared from the market altogether. There are several factors that contributed to Scala Beef’s downfall. One of the main reasons was the changing tastes of consumers.

Who invented the Chicago style Italian roast beef sandwich?

Pasquale Scala is often given credit for inventing the Chicago Style Italian Roast Beef Sandwich in 1925 and later, the Scala family became a premier Chicago supplier of their wonderful “Italian Sausage for Pizza” used (at one time or another) by pretty much every top pizza house in the Chicago area.

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