Editor's Note: Whether you're a tourist or an office worker in downtown Chicago, you can get sick of eating at chain restaurants all day. So we've started a series to get you the lowdown on where to find a great...
'pizza' on Serious Eats
It's finally time to figure out who serves the best deep dish pizza. We're not the least bit interested in debating the merits of the style, or whether you even think it deserves to be called pizza. All we want to know is where we should go to find the ultimate version of this iconic dish.
One of my rules for scouting out places is that whatever they stress on the sign is probably the best thing they have. But while the pizza here is perfectly fine for a quick slice, grinders are actually the main attraction.
My quest to find good pizza in the Loop has been kind of frustrating. Pizza should be a pretty great lunch food. But a lot of places in the Loop that struggle with the basics. Is Pat's Pizza on South Clark the place I'm looking for?
I'm not here to provoke an argument or debate the merits of whether deep dish even deserves to be categorized as pizza. I'm just trying to deal with a Chicago winter that has brought two polar vortexes and over five feet of snow.
What's the best old school pizza on the South Side? That's an easy one for dedicated players of the Chicago foodie home game—Vito & Nick's. But here's a question: what's the second best old school pizza on the South Side?
I don't think I've ever heard anyone talk about restaurants they care about in Hyde Park. Instead, you usually hear people adamantly professing how little they care for the local restaurants. Admittedly, Hyde Park's restaurant scene is about as hip and happening as people who use the phrase "hip and happening" un-ironically. Well, with the opening of A10, there might actually be something worth caring about.
While Chicago may not be a college town, per se, Hyde Park is certainly a "college neighborhood." In a way, The Med is Hyde Park's answer to a the prototypical college town restaurant. The walls are covered with unrelated, incoherent, yet somehow interesting art, and the art is covered with unrelated, incoherent, and not-so-interesting graffiti. This is unadorned, but solidly good food.
My search for a good slice of pizza in the Loop continues. Paulys Pizzeria is located right by Columbia College on South State St, which makes sense because college kids and pizza are good friends, especially after a night of utter mayhem.
If, say, you've been chillin' at City Hall with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, talking about mayorly things—like legalizing cooking on food trucks or talking about your mutual love for creative profanity—and you're hungry for salads, wraps, pasta, and thin cracker-crust pizza, you can sprint across La Salle with your arms flailing (because that's how I sprint) to Mista Pizza.
Coalfire, which will see its five-year anniversary in May, has a style of pizza that's uniquely its own, drawing from regional variations in different ways. Its coal-burning oven is uncommon for pizzerias and harkens back to old school New Haven joints, and yet its thin crust is almost Neapolitan in style, but with more crisp.
If you've had your eye on the Vegetarian Option column thus far, you'll know that SE Chicago editor Nick Kindelsperger has gotten off to a promising start, but I'll be taking over for him in the search for delicious vegetarian eats here in Chicago. Nick and I held the torch-passing ceremony in suitably swank digs: the dining room of the recently refurbished and reopened Pump Room, in the Gold Coast's Public Hotel.
Don't come here for the pizza. Come for one of the best Italian beef sandwiches in Chicago. [Photographs: Nick Kindelsperger] Scatchell's Beef & Pizza 4700 W. Cermak Road, Cicero IL 60804 (map); 708-656-0911 The Short Order: Thinly sliced Italian Beef...
-->They say if you want people to pay attention all you have to do is put up signs that say "free beer" or "free pizza". It seems the same holds true when you put pizza in your beer. Walking around...
With Quartino, Osteria via Stato, and now A Mano all slinging cured meats, Chicago's downtown lunch arena is sporting more sausage than the Chicago Bears locker room after a big game. A Mano, the newest of the triumvirate, is helmed...