'Reviews' on Serious Eats

Chicago Essential: Great Lake

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. More

Chicago Essential: Coalfire

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. More

Chain Reaction: Bennigan's

My first memory of Bennigan's from high school isn't a good one: I ate a greasy fried chicken-topped salad that left me feeling absolutely terrible. After recently returning to review the burger, I left feeling similarly terrible and overwhelmed with grease. More

Chicago Essential: Home Run Inn

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. More

Chicago: Cheffy Burgers Done Right at The Florentine

Some chefs at higher end restaurants get a little too fancy with their burgers, obscuring the wonderful simplicity of a ground beef patty. And some chefs simply put out a regular burger made of delicious beef, which is fine but not that inspiring. At The Florentine, executive chef Todd Stein finds an excellent middle ground, offering up a pair of patties that, while pricey, offer slight gourmet twists that make the burgers worth checking out. More

Chicago Essential: Gino's East

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. More

Chicago Essential: Giordano's

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. More

Chicago Essential: Finding Religion at Pizano's Pizza & Pasta

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. More

Chicago Essential: Burt's Place

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. More

Chicago Essential: Pat's Pizza

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. More

Chicago: A Very Good Burger is Not Worthy of a Kitchen as Great as Nightwood's

Nightwood has gotten a ridiculous amount of praise since it opened its doors nearly two years ago and from what I can tell, every bit of it is deserved. Most of the menu changes regularly and the kitchen has been known to show some creativity with its burgers. But while the burger I ate during my visit was truly delicious, at a restaurant this good I wanted to be wowed. More

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