In a case of better late than never, , Chicago's first Quad Cities style pizzeria, has added yet another degree of variety to the city's diverse pizza scene.
I went to Abigail's to review their outstanding burger for AHT, but when I saw the menu featured a daily flatbread, I had to expand my order. On the day of my visit, the special went for $12 and was topped with a mixture of red and gold beets, goat cheese, black olives, arugula, a lemon-truffle vinaigrette, and Parmesan. At first glance, I worried the pile of greenery on top of the flatbread would ruin the plate, but the fresh leaves and lightly acidic vinaigrette actually served to balance out a rich, earthy appetizer.
How good is the pizza at Great Lake? If you meet someone who has eaten there and they do not tell you they had one of the best pizza of their lives, you probably don't want to listen to anything that person has to say about food.
Coalfire was an early pebble in the recent avalanche of pizzerias in Chicago that do not fit into the city's traditions of tavern, deep dish, or stuffed pizza. And from the time it opened, the place has remained a favorite for many in town. Across the board, I think Coalfire features some of the best ingredients in town but, unfortunately, that's not enough for me to overlook the flawed crust.
The list of places that put out good New York slices in Chicago is a short one, but it recently got a little longer when Jimmy Kang opened Jimmy's Pizza Café in Lincoln Square.
Bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon? Been there, brunched that. Not exactly a groundbreaking dish. But what if a reputable Neapolitan pizzeria makes a pizza with similar ingredients?
With better deep dish options available in Chicago, the long lines at historic pizza landmarks Uno's and Due's are left largely for tourists to wait in. But Chicagoans who don't take the time to check out the places where deep dish pizza was born are doing themselves a disservice.
Home Run Inn may be better known nationally for its frozen pizzas, but for generations of Chicagoans, it's a pizzeria first and foremost, and a popular one at that. In one day, I checked out the original location and a frozen pie. Not surprisingly, the fresh ones were vastly superior, but both versions do the tradition proud.
If Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar only served booze, the small Humboldt Park spot would do just fine. But Executive Chef Duncan Biddulph's ever-changing menu, which always includes a few "crusts," helps keep the place packed on a seemingly permanent basis.
While the popular history of Gino's East might be a little overblown, there is nothing misleading about this Chicago institution's reputation for making great deep dish pizza. The golden crisp crust is home to a whole lot of mozzarella, a thick and rich tomato sauce, and, in my case, a giant sausage patty. Together, that makes for one soul-satisfying pizza.
Giordano's flagship restaurant might be loaded with tourists, but residents all over the Chicagoland area keep dozens of other locations busy. There's a thin crust on the menu, but there's really no reason to get it when a wonderfully gluttonous pizza is calling out your name.
Pizano's Pizza & Pasta is required eating for anyone looking to sample the best deep dish pizza in Chicago. That pizza, made with a very restrained hand for the style, is my go to introductory pie for out of towners who might be overwhelmed by some of the other favorites in town. Making Pizano's even more impressive is that it's the only place that puts out stellar deep dish pizza and a thin crust that might be even better.
Chicago may be known by most as a deep dish town, but in many parts of the city, thin crust is unquestionably king. And while there are a ton of places making old school pies with crisp crusts that are cut into squares, few do it as well as Vito & Nick's Pizzeria.
For nearly 50 years spent at four different pizzerias, Burt Katz has been putting out some of the best pizza in Chicago. Since 1989, he's been putting out pies that have made Burt's Place a local favorite and must-try for visiting pizza freaks.
Old-school pizzerias that have been serving up delicious thin crust pizzas with outstanding sausage are wonderfully common in Chicago. Among stiff competition, Pat's Pizza and Ristorante stands out as one of the very best thanks largely to an excellent crust that seems to defy the laws of physics.
I could spend weeks putting together a list of Chicago pizzerias that I could describe with the phrase, "I'd be happy eating there regularly." But a much shorter list is one of pizzas that are truly crave-worthy; pies that make my mouth water whenever I think of them. Pequod's is one of those places.
In the pizza world, Chicago is justifiably known for thick deep dish and stuffed pizzas as well as heavily topped thin crust pies. But since Spacca Napoli opened its doors just over five years ago, this city has embraced the VPN-certified restaurant to the point that it is a required destination for every serious pizza eater around.
I had my doubts before I headed into SoNo Wood Fired. I knew virtually nothing of the pizza, but the name, which refers to a neighborhood that only exists in a real estate developer's imagination, screamed that the place was trying way too hard.
There's no doubting the popularity of Phil's Pizza in Bridgeport. The Near South Side institution has been satisfying pizza cravings since 1960 and repeatedly gets glowing reviews from diners. On my recent visit, the restaurant was packed. Given all that, you can imagine my surprise when I bit into a decidedly mediocre pizza.
East Rogers Park is not exactly overrun with pizzerias and Gruppo Di Amici is the only restaurant in the area that attempts a higher end pie. The dimly lit restaurant has a welcoming feel and the service is great. But the pizza came up short.