The Run Down

This guide is what summer memories are made of. It starts with catching a ballgame, staying after with your kids to run the bases, and it ends a at a classic Chicago diner serving deep-dish pizzas, Italian lemonade, and a famous breaded steak sandwich.

1. Family Sundays @ White Sox

2. Breaded Steak Sandwich @ Ricobene's

1. Family Sundays @ White Sox

If you don’t have a particular allegiance to a Chicago baseball team, going to a White Sox game is the move if you have kids. Tickets are way cheaper, the food is cheaper, and it’s like a mini-amusement park with a game thrown in there for kids.

If possible, try to attend a Sunday game. During Sunday home games, they host “Family Sunday” events that include special pre-game kids’ autograph sessions.

Also, kids 13 and younger get to go on the field and run bases after the game. Be forewarned the line will be long, but it goes by quickly.

If you can power through a 20-minute wait, seeing your kids live out their major league dreams is well worth it. Also, kids are required to wear shoes to participate. A few families had to bail because their kids were in sandals.

Tickets can start as low as $7 for 500-level seats. The picture above is from the top level.

For younger kids, you’re probably spending half your time in the seats and the other half exploring the rest of the ballpark. On the 500 level, you can walk out to different mezzanines and get unobstructed skyline views.

Accessible from every level of the park is the ‘Kids Zone.’ It features a youth-sized baseball diamond, batting and pitching cages, and batting “swing” boxes.

2. Ricobene’s

If you didn’t fill up on too many hot dogs and snacks, head to Ricobene’s after the game for a proper South Side meal.

You’re here for one thing:  their breaded steak sandwich, invented by former owners and twin brothers, Frank and Sam Ricobene, in 1976. They credited this single idea as the catalyst that has kept them open ever since.

Ricobene’s is sort of on its own island along 26th Street. It’s on a block sandwiched between two highways, the I-90/94 overpass to the west and I-55 to the east. They act as artificial boundaries cutting this block off from everything else, which means the area hasn’t really changed since Ricobene’s setup shot back in 1946.

Now let’s get to eating. The plan is to get their breaded steak sandwich. It’s a thin steak that’s breaded, deep-fried, and smothered in peppers, cheese, and a sweet tomato sauce.  While they’ve been serving this sandwich for 40 years, their sandwich created a buzz when it caught national recognition from a food writer a few years ago, claiming it as the best sandwich in the world.

We’ll let you be the judge of that, but it’s a mighty fine sandwich worth all the hype.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind.

– You can order the sandwich in two sizes. Regular or King. The King size is a good option to split between two people.

– They’ll ask if you want peppers and cheese. Say yes.

– Other good options are the Chicken Vesuvio (Breaded chicken breast, garlic butter with onions, lettuce, tomato & Mayo) and Chicken Parm (Meatless Sauce and Parmesan Cheese) sandwiches.