Buona, The Original Italian Beef, is the official national champion of the annual Munch Madness Tournament, a competition to determine America’s Best Regional Eats put on by Goldbely, a curated online marketplace for regional and artisanal foods crafted by local food purveyors throughout the United States. Buona, the Chicago-based family-owned brand of Italian Beef, was up against some stiff competition, including Vienna Beef, Primanti Bros, and iconic pizza brands Lou Malnati’s and Gino’s East. In the end, Buona was not only the winning brand in the Midwest category, they were the victor over all 64 brands involved in the contest. 2018 marks the first year that Buona competed in the Tournament.
“We’re proud of our performance and thrilled that the ‘National’ Sandwich of Chicago has been recognized for its deliciousness,” says second-generation owner Joe Buonavolanto. “We owe our victory to our amazing family recipe and our dogged devotion to making it ‘old school’ and all-natural – just like they did in the 1930s.”
The Buona Beef sandwich earned 33,000 votes in the final round, while the nearest competitor earned 24,000.