Potbelly started in 1977 when a little antique store on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago started selling toasted sandwiches (right along with vintage stoves, old books and other knick knacks) to boost business. The same care and attention used to select our antiques went into the recipes and menu preparation. Meats and cheeses were sliced in the store every day. The bread finished its baking as the sandwich came out of the oven, making it perfectly toasted on the outside and soft and warm on the inside. Fresh, crisp vegetables and condiments topped them for a tasty sandwich like no other. And folks could add an old-fashioned, real ice cream milkshake that was hand dipped especially for them. We still do things exactly the same way today. For over 30 years we have maintained this distinctive homemade quality and pride in our food that made our first store on Lincoln Avenue a local favorite.
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As you would expect, our passion for great food helped us develop a huge following of loyal Potbelly fans. Sandwiches like "A Wreck" made with Black Angus roast beef, old world salami, oven roasted turkey breast, hickory smoked ham and melted Swiss Cheese, have put an end to the antiques part of the business (although all our stores still have a bunch of antiques around and books to read). The chicken salad in our Chicken Salad Sandwich is handmade every day. Our Italian Sandwich has four Italian meats - authentic capicola, mortadella, salami, and pepperoni. The meatballs in our Meatball Sandwich are covered with rich marinara sauce and provolone. It's straight forward, great tasting, wholesome, comfort food.