Chicago’s Famous & Delicious Pizza Joints (Part 1)

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Pizza is one of life’s greatest joys, and pretty much everyone can agree with me on that one, well, if you exclude the poor unfortunate souls that either don’t like or can’t eat the lovely sauce, cheese, and crust taste-explosion of glory. I mean, there is a reason why it is always the chosen food for little kids birthday parties. Everyone loves pizza, and that is why as I, myself, eat a slice, I’d like to talk about some of Chicago’s most locally favored pizza places. More to come!

Giordano Spinach Slice. Copyright Giordano's.

Giordano Spinach Slice. Copyright Giordano’s.

Giordano’s, Multiple Locations
Many Chicagoans will only bash this pizza because it’s a hot spot for the tourists, but I got to say, Giordano’s was the first deep dish that I had ever had and it was one impressively cheesy and filling experience. When the waiter slides that spatula under a slice, lifting it up to put on your plate, your eyes trace the mouth watering string of gooey cheese that stretches from the other resting slices. It looked like the picture perfect pizza’s that are only seen in commercials. When you bite in, the combination of sauce, cheese and crumbly crust create nothing but delight in your mouth, and one slice is so big that you might not even need another, but you’ll want to force yourself to, because it tastes so damn good.

a case of chicago

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Dimo’s, Lakeview
If you want your pizza to be different and exciting for your tastebuds in all the best ways possible, then Dimo’s is definitely your go to. This place is known for their bigger sized, thin slices, their famous flavor called, “The Mac,” which is basically mac and cheese and pizza combined. Two of America’s favorite cheesy foods, what can get any better? “The Mac” isn’t the only cool pizza at this joint either, they even have a chicken and waffles one with literal chicken and waffles on it, a S’mores one for your sweet tooth, and a tasty vegan one that is so flavorful you won’t even believe it’s vegan. Your mouth will never experience such a range of delicious, complimentary tastes like this. And I gotta say, after a long drunken night out, their pizzas are like medicine.

Piece, Wicker Park
Piece is not only known for their pizza, they also have their own freakin’ brewery. The creators had to be the smartest people ever for conjoining pizza and beer under one roof, because obviously together they are simply magical. Piece is known for their thin and crispy crust and high quality flavor. Their menu is kept simple with the luxury option of being able to create your own pizza or add on any toppings you’d like. This is the kind of pizza that you would imagine would be from Italy. The taste is so rich and the bread is baked to perfection. Everything has that freshness to it, which in the end doesn’t make you feel guilty for having four, five… okay, fine… six slices.

Gino’s North, Edgewater
Far North up in Edgewater on Granville is Gino’s North. Now in all likelihood unless you live far north or have a reason to visit far north, you probably aren’t coming up to the top of Chicago for a pie. But if you do, be sure to check out Gino’s North. It’s a local favorite and for good reason. It has a pretty romantic vibe and it’s so Chicago that it literally sits about 10 feet from Granville Red line train. So in addition to having one of Chicago’s best pizza’s, you get to hear the train go by every 5 minutes. Can’t get much more Chicago than that! Oh, and Peggy, one of the pizza makers at Gino’s is freaking 85 years old! How awesome is that? She is an Edgewater legend. When you order you can see her in the back making your pie.
If you go in at the right time, she will also sit at the bar and have a cocktail with you.
Speaking of cocktails, give their Gino’s North Manhattan a try. It’s a good time.

Lou Malnati’s, Multiple Locations
Yep, we already know. Like Giordano’s this one will get scrutiny for being too mainstream. But there is a reason that it keeps coming up in conversation. They make a fantastic deep dish and they’ve been doing so for over 40 years. Secret family recipe for the amazing crust and sausage topping is nothing short of amazing.

Homeslice, Lincoln Park
Not far from Fullerton Redline is pure pizza deliciousness to the soundtrack of 90’s throwback rap music. There is a reason that they have a 93% rating on Urban Spoon
and four stars on Yelp. It’s also a great place for groups and a stones toss from the Fullerton & Armitage stops in Lincoln Park.

Vito and Nick’s Pizzeria, Ashburn
This place is a south side legend…Any pizza joint that has been around since 1932 is clearly doing something right. If you’re a sucker for family owned diners and dives, then Vito and Nick’s is a good call without a doubt. The thin crust at this place is the talk of Ashburn. Wash it down with an Old Style draft, and you have yourself a win/win situation.

Boiler Room, Logan Square
So yeah. Logan Square is full of hipsters. We all know that. But it also has some pretty nice places to eat, including Boiler room on California. You can’t miss it, since you literally get off of the California Blue Line train and almost walk into the front door. Go and order what they’re famous for…the PB&J. An enormous slice of pizza, a tall boy PBR and a shot of Jameson. The pizza here consistently gets high ratings on Yelp, and the PB&J deal alone is enough to give the Boiler Room a shot. Assuming you can survive the shot of Jamo. That stuff is hardcore.

Link: The 7 weirdos you may come across in Wicker Park

Connie’s Pizza, Bridgeport
A local Chicago chain, Connie’s always gets great reviews across the board for having a delicious pie. With several crust choices and an awesome “Connie’s special,” (sausage, mushroom, onion bell peppers), it’s sure not to disappoint. A great place for families and pizza and a haven after Sox/Bears games. Oh and you just can’t beat the free shuttle service to Sox games and other Chicago events!

Pequods, Lincoln Park
Pan pizza with a delicious caramelized crust. It’s very unique and delicious. Their thin crust
also is pretty popular. This place is also caught up with the 21st century and you
can make reservations online.

If you aren’t craving a hot yummy slice of pizza at this point, I unfortunately have to tell you that you need to get back on your spaceship, because you, sir/madam, are not from this planet. One has not lived a complete life without pizza’s warm, cheesy embrace.

There is no one place that is the reining king of the pizza franchise, but I do believe that Chicago is surely a highly qualified competitor. Watch out Italy!

 

Alyssa
Pilsen, Chicago
Contributor, LoveforChicago.com
Instagram: @lyss_lou

 

Link: Cesar’s – Home of the Killer Margarita’s
Link: Nano Sushit
Link: Three Dots and a Dash…of Paradise

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3 comments on “Chicago’s Famous & Delicious Pizza Joints (Part 1)
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