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Maxwell Street Polish

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A Maxwell Street Polish is a sandwich that consists of a boiled, grilled or fried length of Polish sausage topped with grilled onions and yellow mustard and optional sport peppers, served on a bun. The meal traces its origins to Chicago's Maxwell Street market, and has been called one of "the classic foods synonymous with Chicago". The main feature of the sandwich is the sausage, which is widely available in grocery and specialty retail stores throughout the Chicago area. It is typically marketed as the 'Maxwell Street' variety, which is a Chicago-specific variation of kielbasa distinguished by it being typically more seasoned and made from a combination of both beef and pork.

It is said that the Maxwell Street Polish was created by Jimmy Stefanovic, a Macedonian immigrant, who took over his aunt and uncle's hot dog stand in 1939 (now called Jim's Original) located at Maxwell and Halsted in Chicago's old Maxwell Street market district. The Express Grill, which is located right next door to Jim's, advertises itself as the Original Maxwell St. Polish on its marquee, although it arrived after Jim's and serves almost an identical menu. Despite the competition, the Maxwell Polish sausage sandwich soon grew to be one of Chicago's most popular local offerings, along with the Chicago Hot Dog and the Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich.

Maxwell Polish are a staple of hotdog stands and today are found throughout the city and suburbs, including at restaurant chains such as Portillo's and Brown's Chicken, and is available at most sports venues in the area serving concessions.

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