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Chicago: Roots Handmade Pizza Does the Quad Cities Proud

Slice: Chicago Daniel Zemans 9 comments

Chicago Essential: Great Lake

Slice: Chicago Daniel Zemans 9 comments

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: Abigail's Is Still Going Strong on the North Shore

AHT: Chicago Daniel Zemans 9 comments

There's only one burger on the menu at Abigail's American Bistro and it's good enough that if for some reason you find yourself there twice in one day, it's worth getting for lunch and dinner. More

Chicago Essential: Coalfire

Slice: Chicago Daniel Zemans 6 comments

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

AHT: Chicago Dennis Lee 37 comments

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: Excellent Fusion Burgers at bopNgrill

AHT: Chicago Daniel Zemans 5 comments

After a slow first few months, bopNgrill has established itself among the top tier of burgerias in the Chicago area for their quality griddled burgers made with freshly ground beef and innovative toppings. More

Chicago: Excellent Bar Burgers at Revolution Brewing

AHT: Chicago Daniel Zemans 10 comments

While food isn't the primary reason most people go to Revolution Brewing—it has quickly established itself as a go-to spot for quality beer in Chicago—the kitchen ensures there's no need to eat elsewhere before coming in for a drink, especially if you're looking for a good bar burger. More

Chicago Essential: Home Run Inn

Slice: Chicago Daniel Zemans 15 comments

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

AHT: Chicago Daniel Zemans 7 comments

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

Slice: Chicago Daniel Zemans 17 comments

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

Burger Day 3000: An All-American Celebration in Chicago

AHT: Chicago Daniel Zemans 15 comments

Over the Fourth of July weekend, three friends and I devoted a day to exploring six burger emporiums around Chicago. It was the third time we've embarked on such a journey, and thanks to some better planning and the injection of good old-fashioned patriotism, it was the best one yet. More

Chicago Essential: Giordano's

Slice: Chicago Daniel Zemans 30 comments

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: Get Solid Burgers at The Wiener's Circle (But Late Night Visits Are Not for Everyone)

AHT: Chicago Daniel Zemans 23 comments

Most people who have only heard of The Wiener's Circle probably know it for the screaming insults that are part of the late night routine. But those who have actually been to the place will tell you this small stand puts out some very solid burgers. More

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

Slice: Chicago Daniel Zemans 18 comments

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: Say Aloha to an Outstanding Burger at Sola

AHT: Chicago Daniel Zemans 14 comments

At sola, amid a menu built around Hawaiian and Hawaiian-inspired fare, sits a burger that might seem out of place. But its toppings, a wonderful blend of textures and flavors, combined with one of the most flavorful pieces of ground beef in town results in one of Chicago's best hamburgers. More

Des Plaines, IL: Burger Paradise Found at Paradise Pup

AHT: Chicago Daniel Zemans 18 comments

Memories of the best backyard grill burger you've ever had will come flooding back when you eat Paradise Pup's excellent char burgers. Add some seriously delicious milkshakes into the equation and you've got a top Chicago burger destination. More

Chicago Essential: Burt's Place

Slice: Chicago Daniel Zemans 46 comments

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: Burgers at Bull & Bear Show Promise, but Fall Flat on Flavor

AHT: Chicago Daniel Zemans 7 comments

Bull & Bear, an upscale sports bar that caters to the trendier types, puts out a menu that, on paper, appeals to just about everyone. There's no question that a lot of thought has gone into the burgers, but on my visit the kitchen managed to overcook one while undercooking the other. More

Chicago Essential: Pat's Pizza

Slice: Chicago Daniel Zemans 24 comments

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

AHT: Chicago Daniel Zemans 2 comments

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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