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Fuel

Steve / October 3, 2004 11:14 PM

Pete's Pizza for thin curst and stuffed -- both are delish....

Andrew / October 3, 2004 11:20 PM

(Can you believe it took us this long to get to this question?)

We've been ordering from Calo in Andersonville a lot, but we just moved back into the delivery range of Pizza Bubamara, we'll be all over that stuff. Damn good pizza, that.

Joe / October 4, 2004 6:48 AM

Vito & Nicks -- 87th and Pulaski.

jennifer / October 4, 2004 8:36 AM

Ah. Vito & Nick's was a childhood staple for me. Currently, I'm all about the spinach stuffed pizza from Bella's on Chicago and Damen.

Sarah / October 4, 2004 9:13 AM

Call me a heretic, but I've spent the last couple of months looking in vain for East coast style or New York style thin crust pizza. I've grown to love Chicago but I miss folding my pizza in half to eat it, pausing before my first bite to pour the excess grease off.

v / October 4, 2004 9:20 AM

mmm, j.b. alberto's in rogers park has the best deep pan. ever. seriously. their crust is SO. GOOD.

for thin crust, it's pat's pizza (really thin)or father & son (normal thin). they're both really good, so it depends how thin i want my crust at the time.
my god i love pizza.

steve_sleeve / October 4, 2004 9:36 AM

chicaGo's thin crust is pretty damn good, plus they cut the pizza into little squares -- as does pete's pizza, which is also great. and once in a while i go to robey's on roscoe and damen. good.

heretic sarah, have you not yet been to bacci?

anne / October 4, 2004 9:59 AM

After a friendly reco last week, I tried Pizza Bubamara and _can't stop_ thinking about how good it was! I highly recommend it as some of the best pizza I've had in years!

vit / October 4, 2004 10:24 AM

Aurelio's - 18162 S. Harwood Ave.
I'm a thin crust person, and their thin crust "garbage pizza" is the best.

Also, when I was younger, I lived within walking distance of the one my sister worked for on Western Ave. in Chicago Heights, so I'd walk over there and get free slices of pizza all the time. Perhaps other places have better pizza, but Aurelio's was so much a part of my childhood, I can't quite get it out of my system ;)

Michael / October 4, 2004 10:59 AM

Chicago's best kept secrect for deep dish pizza: Pequod's

Best thin crust pizzas: Pat's, Chicago's Pizza and The Art of Pizza

Pete / October 4, 2004 11:05 AM

We're now city expatriates, but back in the day we couldn't get enough of the chicken pizza at Tomato Head (Sheffield and Webster) which was just down the street from our house. Mmmm...Tomato Head...

Ann VanMoxie / October 4, 2004 11:15 AM

As a thin crust person, I second vit's vote for Aurelio's in Homewood (or Arrenello's in Glenwood). I wish I could say I've found something comparable in the city (I hear Aurelio's has opened a store downtown, but I don't know if it'll be the same without that Homewood oven), but I haven't. Though I have enjoyed Barcello's in Wicker Park, Father and Son, and Pete's.

I don't know what it is about South Suburban pizza. I've had friends that would make their entire family go down to Sanfrantello's every year (from the city) for their birthday. Another wouldn't eat deep dish unless it was from Augustano's in the Heights. I've gotten used to the pizza up here now that I've been eating it for more than a decade, but I still long for the pizza of my youth.

Krissy / October 4, 2004 11:45 AM

I like New York Pizza on Armitage and Western, but they keep closing all the time. A little sketchy. You never know when their doors will be locked, or when their phone won't be answered.

robin.. / October 4, 2004 12:00 PM

get the best in tasty pies at pizza bubamara.
second, but a close second, in that same 'hood (mine...): pizza d.o.c.
best frozen pizza ever, of all time: connie's!

winterfresh / October 4, 2004 12:04 PM

Pete's 2, on Montrose, near narraganset, it's pretty good, I use to work there. Also Dino's on Higgins near Harlem, then of course there's nothing like the original, Lou Mal's on Lincoln ave., in Lincolnwood. Moretti's in Edison park has the best BBQ chicken Pizza known to man. My dad can also make a good pizza dough, and isn't that what it's all about after all?

Anthony Ina / October 4, 2004 12:08 PM

Luigi's on Clark. The closest to NY style I've had in Chicago. Sorry fellow Chicagoans, I'm a thin crust lover.

I absolutely hate pizza cut into squares, and Chicago is the only place I've EVER seen that done.

tomato head? / October 4, 2004 12:11 PM

And far and away... Tomato Head is the worst pizza in Chicago. I've lived three buildings away for years now, and have order it twice. It's greasy, tasteless, poor crust... yuck! And the owner is a arrogant dickhead, too.

Waleeta / October 4, 2004 12:30 PM

Bacci's on Chicago and Western, the slices are HUGE, greasy, piping hot, and always available. Not to mention magically delicious.

I recently moved to DC, and I have dreams at night about Chicago pizza. Must you torture ex-pats like me?

Charles / October 4, 2004 1:13 PM

Chicago's Pizza, There are a couple locations i go to 3114 N. Lincoln. Great for Deep Dish or Thin Crust (I love both) and it is almost better the next morning. They also deliver until 2 AM if you ever get the jones for pizza in the middle of the night.

Pete / October 4, 2004 1:15 PM

Well, we moved away from Lincoln Park four years ago, so apparently Tomato Head must have gone dramatically downhill since then. It was great when it first opened. Possibly new ownership?

Paul / October 4, 2004 1:38 PM

For Chicago-style, Lou's all the way. For "ordinary" pizza, D'Agostino's up on Southport. Just fantastic.

margot / October 4, 2004 1:54 PM

Cafe Luigi on Clark has the best NY-style thin crust outside of NYC. Only problem: if you get their extra large pizza the box may be too big to fit into most apartment fridges!

Peace (Piece?) in Bucktown is pretty good; and the My Pi all you can eat buffet is worth a trip if only for the hilarity of the place....totally stuck in time. The pizza was ok at best, but the wood paneling and old resin crackled cups made me feel like I was back in junior high on a field trip.

Alex / October 4, 2004 2:34 PM

Deep dish - Lou Manatti's is O.K. but regular, I like Big Tony's on Milwaukee --- the sauce is tangy.


Margot: "My Pi," TOTALLY has an 80s feel to it! It takes me back to the Papa Charlie's and Home Run Inn of my youth, back in the day. *sigh*

Russ / October 4, 2004 2:42 PM

Luisa's in Crestwood.

Heretic Sarah / October 4, 2004 3:13 PM

Steve_Sleeve:

I went to Bacci (at Western and Chicago) this past weekend in the hopes of finding a pizza slice that reminded me of the stuff I grew up eating.

Alas, while this displaced East Coaster did find that the pizza at Bacci was 1) yummy, 2) larger than my head and 3) cut into triangles rather than squares, it didn't even come close to resembling New York Style pizza.

One of the main characteristics of New York style pizza is its thin, chewy crust. Chicago pizza is bready or doughy by comparison. The crust on a New York style pizza is so thin that when you pick up a slice it goes all floppy, the cheese starts to slide off, as does a stream of scalding hot grease.

(All of you native Midwesterners are probably thinking: why on earth would you make a pizza that is covered with scalding grease? To this I say: why do you cut your pizzas into little squares?)

East Coasters deal with the difficulties of their pizza in a variety of ways. Some pat their pizza down with paper towels to remove the excess grease. Some fold their pizza in half to make the slice less floppy, while others eat it with a knife and fork.

While I still haven't found New York style in the city, I have to say that I'm enjoying eating a lot of Chicago style thin crust as I follow leads.

As an East Coast ex-pat I also enjoy Philly's Best on Belmont which, in addition to having great cheesesteaks, also imports Tastykakes (like Hostess snack cakes, but better) straight from Philly.

Sarah

Vinny Delpusio / October 4, 2004 3:36 PM

I think there is something about the midwestern sense of geography reflected in the decision to slice pizza into squares. Rational, controlled, and flat as the prarie.

Joe / October 4, 2004 3:57 PM

Edwardo's for Stuffed Spinach and Pizano's
for everything else.

Pizza DOC used to be amazing for real Italian style pizza but now that more people know about it they are to busy to make a good pizza, anywhere to go for that?

jonk / October 4, 2004 4:01 PM

Did Philly's Best on Belmont close or relocate, I was walking by a couple of weeks ago and it was gone (I think).

When is the buffet at My Pi?

I am kinda new to the city so am still trying to figure out pizza faves, living in Pilsen, well, as you might imagine there isn't much here, but the mediocre slices are cheap (mostly a buck).

My fave so far is Father and Sons' pepperoni and garlic.

If I recall correctly, the cart next to Underdog in Bucktown sells NY-like slices, not sure which shop usually sells the slices, I just got one on the go once about a year ago - but it was good in that not very good, generic NY slice kind of way.

steve_sleeve / October 4, 2004 4:06 PM

heretic sarah, guess that shows you how much a midwesterner knows about east coast pizza. but answer me this: does using a paper towel to soak up some of the grease also remove some of the healthy things, such as calcium displaced from the cheese? someone told me this in college, and i believed them, but later i wondered if i was being misled.

paul, i second d'agostino's. there's something real sweet in the sauce, almost tastes like a little bit of honey (though not a bit-o-honey). and they deliver super duper late.

also, little caesar's isn't exactly anything to write home about, but the fact that a one-topping large pizza is always $5 = awesome.

daruma / October 4, 2004 4:16 PM

There is none better than LOU MALNATI'S for deep dish Chicago style pizza. Bar none, hands down. Thin crust, Calo's on Clark is pretty good. I used to like Barry's Spot, don't know if it's still around.

Erik / October 4, 2004 4:22 PM

My favorite thin crust pizza by far was from Simply Rays, by the Damon Brown line stop. Does anyone know why Ray got ride of his place? I miss it.

d4ve / October 4, 2004 4:39 PM

Perhaps the square cuts are an attempt to make the pizza easy to eat? If you have a thin crust pizza and pick it up doesn't it flop down immediately? i grew up on thickass deep dish so this thin crust confounds me.
Casa Luna Reprazent.

Michael / October 4, 2004 4:39 PM

jonk - Philly's Best didn't close, they just moved a few doors to the west...

Thurston / October 4, 2004 4:43 PM

Sonny's Pizza on Western just north of Fullerton is good for thin crust. For thick crust I go with Bella's on Chicago and Damon. I must dissent about d'Agostino's; I just don't think its' very good. The sauce is bad and if it weren't bad, there still wouldn't be enough of it.

Rogers Park / October 4, 2004 4:45 PM

In response to those provincial, East Coast thin-crusters: bah! I prefer not to eat my 'za off of a disintegrating piece of cardboard, thankyouverymuch... However, if you must eat your pizza that way, Gioio's Beef Stand at Clark and Wrightwood has NY-style slices that should sate your jones.

For deep dish: Lou's, Chicago's and Carmen's all hit the spot here.

For thin-crust: Pizza D.O.C., Art of Pizza and Aurelio's are the best, hands down.

I second the person who said that Pequod's was underrated. I stumbled across that place last year, and was mightily impressed.

And for the record, I'm a lifelong Chicagoan who HATES, HATES, HATES pizzas cut into squares (I loves me some crust). But I've also found that any place that is guilty of such a culinary atrocity will gladly do normal, triangular slices if you ask them politely when ordering.

Andrew / October 4, 2004 4:47 PM

jonk: Philly's Best just moved a couple doors west on Belmont. They're still open.

daruma: Barry's Spot, on Broadway north of Hollywood, is still open. Haven't had their pizza, but the rib tips are pretty good.

MC High Life / October 4, 2004 4:47 PM

New York style: The above mentioned New York Pizza has slices very similar to true New York-style. Must be something with the name...

For stuffed, I like Giordano's. They are all over the place. Tedino's up in Edgewater is good for stuffed as well. Ooh, Exchequer downtown is good for stuffed too.

steve_sleeve: Sounds like someone was pulling your leg. Calcium is not removed from the pizza if you soak up the grease. What actually happens is essential ink and ruffage is added to the pizza via the paper towel. If that's not your thing, try putting some multi-vitamins up on that ho.

Steve / October 4, 2004 5:19 PM

My least faves, though I haven't head either one in a good five years or more....
-- D'Agostino's = Disgustino's
-- Pizza Capri = Pizza Crappie

Maggie / October 4, 2004 5:45 PM

John's, in Addison, (not on Addison, sadly) makes Italian Beef pizza. Heavenly. Sounds crazy but imagine a cheezy beef on pizza crust. So, so, so good. I've actually fought with full grown men over the last piece.

Lisa / October 4, 2004 8:19 PM

This summer, I went to Maruca's down the shore at the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, NJ. I folded my beautiful slice in half and inhaled/ crammed it in my mouth as fast as humanly possible. My mother, horrified by my suddenly pig-like table manners, wiped the grease away as it dripped down my wrist.

There is nothing like that in Chicago.

Square pieces? GARBAGE!

Alex G / October 4, 2004 8:43 PM

It's not NY style thin, which I love, but north here in the burbs, I've re-fallen in love with my childhood fave, Barnaby's just off the Edens at Dundee.

Otherwise, a place in North Highland Park, Il Forno, makes a mean Eggplant Parm pizza, and for deep dish, Pierro's in Ravinia is hard to beat round these parts. Of course, Lou's never disappoints, either.

EmperorNorton / October 4, 2004 10:29 PM

I've been lurking for a while now, but I've finally been tempted into posting because of Thurston.

I cannot agree more with him about Sonny's and Bella's.

That's it. Sorry. I was hoping my first post would be more noteworthy than this one, but hey, we've got to play the cards we're dealt.

Veronica / October 4, 2004 10:56 PM

Edwardo's stuffed sausage. I could eat that everyday.

Anthony Ina / October 4, 2004 11:17 PM

All in favor of eradicating pizza cut into squares, say "I."

AI again... / October 4, 2004 11:20 PM

...oh, and if you work downtown, PIZZA BROKER on Financial and Van Buren has decent New York style.

Ella / October 5, 2004 1:18 AM

I!

Ahhh, how I miss Aurelio's... unfortunately I was not impressed by the downtown one.

For thin crust, I like Pizza Capri

For deep: Gino's East and Ofame.

Heretic Sarah / October 5, 2004 8:05 AM

I'm very happy to report that Luigi's does in fact have NY style pizza. I'm eating a cold slice for breakfast.

stan / October 5, 2004 8:10 AM

I will say "I" but I won't say "aye."
I like the square cut. Reasons? Too many to list, but a few:
1. nice little crusty triangular pieces. How can a crust lover not love these?
2. better portion control.
3. it's a quirky - chicago thingie - like giant softballs and such...I do believe I recall having square pizza in parts of Italy though...

Steve / October 5, 2004 8:39 AM

I think the square-cut pizza thing is generally a matter of structural integrity -- note that they only cut thin crust pizzas that way, not pan or stuffed or "deep dish."

I've never seen a place that cuts a small (8" or 10") thin crust into squares -- them, they do your standard wedge. But as you get to the bigger pizza sizes, where the thin crust will get all floppy and sloppy, we prefer something a bit more manageable. Probably so we don't get so much grease in our mustaches and the softball bat doesn't fly out of our hands.

Also, if you cut a family-size pizza into wedges, and you're an actual family with kids and all, them kids ain't gonna be able to do an entire wedge of it. Nope nope nope.

Steve / October 5, 2004 8:45 AM

(Note that in the above post the "we" means we hearty, practical Chicagoans, not them coastal crazies.)

Kris / October 5, 2004 9:07 AM

Ella: good call. Ofame' is really good deep dish, and if I recall they have some kind of hot Tuesday delivery special. Possible debate-watching grub?

Pizza Capri is the devil. Bad pizza and the worst service I've ever had. Twice.

Peter / October 5, 2004 10:02 AM

Pizza Broker is at least a once a week for me.

The secret with D'Agostinos is that you put tomatoes on as a topping. It makes it quite good.

Chicago-style is definitely Malnati's

cushie / October 5, 2004 10:48 AM

Italian style- Pizza D.O.C.
NY style- Gigio's (Evanston and uptown). I can't believe no-one has mentioned this place. It used to be a staple for me.

For instant heart attacks, Giordano's is good.

lisa may / October 5, 2004 10:51 AM

I have little to contribute in terms of recommendations, but I simply had to extend my thanks to all of the displaced East coasters for the heads up about Luigi's and New York Pizza. Five years in this city, and I still haven't found a decent NY style pizza. Good to know there's hope yet...

YO / October 5, 2004 10:53 AM

I always liked Cholie's on 53rd in Hyde Park. Maybe the pizza is bad but it has good memories. And really good hot sauce.

LC / October 5, 2004 11:02 AM

Growing up on the east coast, I'd have to say thin crust, NY-style pizza is the best. The "deep dish" sometimes tastes like cake, and that's bad...

paul / October 5, 2004 11:27 AM

If Sarah likes Luigi's, I'm going to have to try it, she sounds like she knows NY style. I'm with most ex-pat East Coasters - I've never found NY style pizza in Chicago. Too many times I've had to endure squares of ketchup-coated matzoh cracker in my search.

Gigio's is good pizza, very good, but there's something about it that doesn't make it perfect. It just doesnt have the proper oil drip. Maybe it's the water. Last time I was in Newark airport, there was a pizza place in the food court that claimed they brought water in from Brooklyn to get their pizza just right.

And Maruca's in Jersey, oh man, is that stuff good.

I'm not saying there isn't good Pizza in this town, stuffed and pan pizza is an art form, and this town is full of artists. Gulliver's on Howard is my local favorite.

Ann VanMoxie / October 5, 2004 1:17 PM

Squares vs. Slices

Chicago-style pizza is a meal, so it is cut into slices, to eat with a knife and fork. But thin crust is considered just a snack, so it's cut like finger food. You know, so yous guys can eat it along with your watercress finger sandwiches and white wine spritzers. That's the idea, at least.

Eamon / October 5, 2004 1:36 PM

NAY! I like thin-crust in squares. It forces me to slow down and eat less.

vit / October 5, 2004 1:40 PM

if it is in tiny squares, how can you fold it in half?

Maggie / October 5, 2004 2:20 PM

We don't fold. The crust is just thick enough that there is no need to fold.

And for the record, give me Chicago pizza, not always deep dish, but definitely not NY thin, any day of the week and twice on Sunday. When I was a displaced Chicagoan living in DC, I could not find good pizza anywhere.

Jordan / October 5, 2004 2:48 PM

Though not a genuine pizza joint, Yakzie's serves up an interesting take on pies with their Chicken Tang Pizza (think chopped chicken slathered in hotwing sauce on thin crust with cheese).
As for the real deal, I'll take Pizza D.O.C.

vit / October 5, 2004 2:59 PM

Actually, I don't mind the little squares, but on NYC style pizza (yum!) that would make no sense (of course I love ours too, I was the one waxing esctatic about my fav. south suburban pizza spot a few posts above). However, I hate joints like California Pizza Kitchen, that place is just wrong.

tim / October 5, 2004 4:13 PM

My favorite Chicago pizza is Pequod's on Webster and Clybourn. Mmmm mmm mmm!

There isn't anything wrong with cutting pizza into squares, though I will admit that sometimes a gigantic, foldable triangular slice of pizza can really hit the spot.

steven / October 6, 2004 12:37 PM

one of the best is the potato and chicken pizza from pizza capri.

cg / October 6, 2004 4:30 PM

it's not much to look at, and in fact i don't even know the proper name -- we always referred to it as the "giant slice place" -- but there is a place on van buren and green which serves a wedge of thin crust so big they don't even bother with plates. just a sheet of wax paper on one of those brown plastic serving trays. and the smallest (yet refillable) styro cup you've ever seen for your pop. or soda, for you east coasters. it used to be $3.50 incl tax for both ... but inflation seems to strike about every six months there. it was $2.50 when i worked there in 2000.

i can't attest to the east coast-iness of it, but there was a definite need for blotting and you could fold over.

i will end with a moment of silence after hearing Simply Ray's is gone as suggested by another post.

Laura Doherty / October 7, 2004 1:34 AM

I can't believe no one has mentioned BRICKS pizza on lincoln in lincoln park. I'm from NY and I certainly miss the giant, oil-drippy slices, and bricks is not like that but it's damn good, sort of california-style I guess, not chicago style at all. But it's the crust that's so good. They put all sorts of things on top and there's an awesome beer selection.

Joe / October 11, 2004 4:41 PM

For a good lunchtime slice in River North, try Rizzata's on Grand between Franklin and Orleans. By the slice, it's a wedge, but if you buy the pie, it's square. I don't mind square slices, as long as I can fool everyone else into eating the pieces that don't have any crust.

I recently tried the Bacci on Addison near Wrigley and was appalled -- I love Bacci, but they'd definitely screwed something up then and there. Don't know if they were having a bad night or what.

thatbob / October 11, 2004 9:53 PM

Wow! I grew up in (a very Italian part of) New York State eating pizza of varying thicknesses cut into squares! Goes to show what you all know about this and that...

Nowadays, my #1 pizza is the "double decker" from J.B. Alberto's with bacon and onion and pineapple. They make a good deep dish, thin crust, and regular pizza, too. Order extra sauce, otherwise they skimp.

My favorite deep dish so far is Chicago, but I haven't tried Lou's and I keep an open mind.

And finally I have a soft spot for Gigio's under the Wilson red line for late nite super greasy, cheese only, soft and floppy thin crust in a dark, dingy place where the service is awful and the grease burns you and smelly people keep asking you for change. An Uptown tradition since...?

Jessica / October 17, 2004 6:18 PM

The best spinach stuffed pizza comes from Bella Bacino's, but I wouldn't count on the delivery staff to get it to you in one piece. Take some time out of your day to pick it up because it is truly worth it.

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