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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, May 21

Gapers Block

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Andrew Huff / July 23, 2009 11:14 AM

We asked this once before in 2004, but the pizza scene has changed a lot in five years.

Your Dad / July 23, 2009 11:17 AM

Your mom.

J-Mart / July 23, 2009 11:17 AM

Piece pizza is the best in the city.
I used to think Pequods was the best.. but is it just me, or since they did renovations.. not as good now?

doubled / July 23, 2009 11:22 AM

Gino's EAST!

Tracky77 / July 23, 2009 11:24 AM


Teri / July 23, 2009 11:35 AM

I agree about Salerno's and offer La Gondola (thin crust) and Calo as other great choices.

fred / July 23, 2009 11:43 AM

I agree that all of the pizzas mentioned above are very good. I would like to add:
Lou Malnatti's and Pizza Metro.

Rene / July 23, 2009 11:45 AM

Apart Pizza on Montrose is so creative, thin, and yummy.

Baldeesh / July 23, 2009 11:50 AM

Rico's Pizza if you're in the south suburbs. Father and Son's has a pretty damned good thin crust (and is around the corner from my place), Lou Malnatti's for deep dish, and Ian's for wacky-ass pizza toppings.

Rene / July 23, 2009 11:53 AM

Apart Pizza on Montrose is so creative, thin, and yummy.

Spook / July 23, 2009 12:08 PM

Pequods which is the only Chicago pizza that comes close to D.C.'s Armand's which is the best in the nation.

Also Pete's Pizza on Western is decent

Alison / July 23, 2009 12:23 PM

Not so sure about pizza, but Pizza Broker in the loop has great pepperoni calzones.

annie / July 23, 2009 12:34 PM

If you are in the suburbs - Louisa's Pizza in Crestwood is amazing. In the City - Pizzano's in the Loop, but the one on State isn't bad either.

Shane / July 23, 2009 12:37 PM

Coal Fire!

charlie / July 23, 2009 12:38 PM

Aurelio's on Harwood in Homewood.

Game over.

Rich / July 23, 2009 12:55 PM

Charlie...I could not agree more.

Aurelio's is the best pizza in Chicagoland.

Good call.

greg / July 23, 2009 1:01 PM

Italian Fiesta, hands down!

Kelly / July 23, 2009 1:04 PM

Coal Fire is the best! Although, I enjoy Spacca Napoli as well...

jen / July 23, 2009 1:16 PM

heavier pizza - pequod's
lighter pizza - coal fire
different pizza - chicago pizza & oven grinder

@charlie/rich - what about the aurelio's near the loop grey hound station? i've only ever been to the one in... macomb (yes, at WIU)

Mucky Fingers / July 23, 2009 1:18 PM

In the past three decades I've had pizza all over the city (from Rogers Park to Bridgeport), including many neighborhoods that I can't recall.

It's all good, and good for your soul.

Joel / July 23, 2009 1:33 PM

Party Cut: Bacino's on Wacker or Lincoln. This is quintessential Chicago-style thin crust. Hearty, cheesy,and not light on sauce. My go-to pizza.

Pie-cut: Apart Pizza on Montrose. It warms my heart that a couple of people have already mentioned this. Interesting variety of toppings and with a slightly sweet sauce, I definitely shed a tear when I moved out of Ravenswood.

Other: Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinders on Clark. My parents would bring me here as I grew up, and every time someone would say, "Why would you get a grinder? How could you not get the pizza?" Well, eventually I moved a block from this old stand-by and frequented it enough to want to try something new. You heard it here: if you can pry yourself away from the pizza bowl and partake in one of the grinders, you won't be sorry. (You still need to get the Mediterranean bread. You always need to get the Mediterranean bread.)

Rich / July 23, 2009 1:34 PM

@jen....I've been to both, and the Loop is comparable, good enough to get a taste for how good the pizza is.

I think the sauce and crust are comparable..but the Homewood location takes me back. :-)

Mucky Fingers...I'm DOWN with that!

Carrie / July 23, 2009 1:58 PM

depends on what kind I'm in the mood for...

I just discovered Pequods last year and really, really like it. Like a lot.
Piece for their mashed potato topping.
Paula and Monica's has a really good veggie pizza.
And Festa... I have lots of fond memories of Festa pizza nights.

Andy Keil / July 23, 2009 2:08 PM

I'm going to go ahead and say that Nancy's Pizza is my favorite. I haven't had a chance to branch out too far but of the 3-4 places I've tried, Nancy's takes the 'pie.'

daruma / July 23, 2009 2:21 PM

There is no debate, there is only Lou Malnatti's. The best pizza in the whole world!

snuh / July 23, 2009 2:28 PM

pequod's, definitely. i don't think i've noticed a change in pequod's pizza quality since the remodel, but i do miss the dank and the old surly staff.
also, when i'm in the mood for a thin crust, folks mentioned pizza metro and father & sons. i agree! father & sons has a tasty roasted eggplant thin crust.

Spook / July 23, 2009 3:01 PM


all this pizza talk makes me want a Real slice from
in Brooklyn!

charlie / July 23, 2009 4:01 PM

@charlie/rich - what about the aurelio's near the loop grey hound station? i've only ever been to the one in... macomb (yes, at WIU)


I grew up on the stuff from when I was a wee lad 40 years ago. Some places are better then others it's said.

Go to Homewood and and order a meatball pizza with extra sauce, well done. Request it be cooked in the "original oven" and I guarantee you will love it.


No such thing.

I'm partial to the pizza's from Union Pizza in Evanston these days.

kate / July 23, 2009 5:07 PM

I have too many pizza loves to pick one.

However, I haven't seen The Art of Pizza mentioned. Mighty fine slice.

Zach / July 23, 2009 5:17 PM

For just everyday delivery kind of pizza, I have to say I love Pizza Metro!

Christopher / July 23, 2009 7:35 PM

Another vote for Apart Pizza. Practically the only place we order from anymore. Consistently yum-tastic.

nt / July 23, 2009 7:42 PM

Art of Pizza is delicious! However, ANY pizza in Chicago will beat out this crap they have in Silicon Valley. Bleh!

Len / July 23, 2009 8:44 PM

What? No one even mentions the original Pizzeria Uno on Ohio?
It's never been the same since they remodeled (was that 20 years ago) but they opened the year I was born and served me my first illegal beer when I went to Navy Pier. And don't gorget the gasoline salad.

Mikely / July 23, 2009 9:38 PM

I loved Bubamara and was sad they closed. Spacca is good but their prices are crazy. I like Pizano's. There's an Apart in Edgewater, on Broadway just north of Bryn Mawr, that's great.

p / July 23, 2009 10:01 PM

1. rosangela's
2. nick&vito's
3. salerno's

Taj / July 23, 2009 11:08 PM

oh it really closed?

pizza doc was pretty decent...spacca not so bad either..

charlie / July 24, 2009 6:33 AM

What? No one even mentions the original Pizzeria Uno on Ohio?

I'm with ya Len. I get in about once a year. I have very fond memories as a child eating there and Gino's East with my family. We would wait for what seemed like hours...

Chicago was so laid back then. It's hard to struggle with the tourists now at Uno. Always some pushy dude with 4 kids claiming he ate there the day it opened.

Good call.

flange / July 24, 2009 9:16 AM

off topic, satko from bubamara is opening what dish calls a "french/italian" spot soon. i leave it to his other fans to to find the info if they haven't seen seen it.

on topic, i'm originally from a city that actually makes pizza, so i dunno what y'all are talking about. pizza in chicago. heh.

(i do like apart on broadway. i wish i could like spacca napoli's limp, lifeless creations.)

unlikelymoose / July 24, 2009 9:34 AM

Dominick's Pizzeria in Villa Park (absolutely no association with the grocery chain).

Just a great all-round pizza. Not too greasy, not too sweet, not too thick or thin. Great balance of cheese and sauce. Crust is top notch.

I pick up a pizza from Dominick's Pizzeria about once a month and it's always well-prepared.

139 W Saint Charles Rd, Villa Park, IL (about one mile west of Route 83)

maximus_sunburn / July 24, 2009 11:23 AM


Andrew / July 24, 2009 11:40 AM

I love the barbecue chicken pizza at Chiki's in Rogers Park.

gemma / July 24, 2009 11:45 AM

The Florian in Hyde Park. It's so good that I once had their spinach deep dish delivered to me in Poland.

Mookie / July 24, 2009 11:49 AM

A yo Spook!

Didn't you use to come into
Sal's Famous in Bed-Stuy for
a slice and a Soda?

See I use to work there until my boy Buggin Out staged a protest because Sal wouldn't put no brothas on the wall!

So Sal called the police who choked my boy
Radio Raheem
to death with a night stick right there!

So I tossed a garbage can
the window, and a riot broke out and Sal's got burned to the

Greg / July 24, 2009 1:06 PM

What, no love for Burt's Place? Or did he close up without fanfare?

that_girl / July 24, 2009 1:07 PM

The answers to this will inevitably depend on where you grew up and where you live now. Far as I'm concerned, the world's best is outside Philly.

But for Chicago, Malnati's for deep dish, Palermo's in Oak Lawn for thin crust.

Dutch101 / July 24, 2009 1:29 PM

I'm with Greg on Burt's Place in Morton Grove. Anyone who likes Pequod's owes it to themselves to go out there and try Burt's. It is stylistically pretty much the same, but better executed. I do like Great Lake, though it might be a little over-hyped at this point.

Dennis Fritz / July 24, 2009 6:50 PM

Giordano's. Accept no substitute.

Hal / July 26, 2009 12:12 AM

Hand's down, Renaldi's on Broadway, just north of Diversy.

The best deep dish (NOT that stuffed crap) I've ever had.

In 15 years here, I have yet to find a better pie.

mike / July 26, 2009 1:07 AM

I've never had their deep dish, but Renaldi's thin crust with onions is pretty damn good ... if you don't mind paying $279 for it. My girlfriend lives near there and we'd sure go a lot more if they didn't charge so damn much. Nearby sushi places selling Fed-Exed raw fish are cheaper than Renaldi's bread, tomatoes and cheese.

Brad / July 26, 2009 9:19 AM

Great Lake or Sapore di Napoli for Neapolitan

Pat's on Lincoln for thin crust

Gigio's in Evanston or Cafe Luigi on Clark for NY Style

Art of Pizza for Deep Dish

erin / July 26, 2009 3:56 PM

emphatically seconding Art of Pizza for deep dish. I also like Spacca Napoli for Neapolitan-style thin crust.

dan / July 26, 2009 4:04 PM

Pequods & My Pie. Good stuff.

mmmmarshall / July 27, 2009 8:31 AM

#1 Marie's on Lawrence
#2 Homemade

bob / July 27, 2009 9:11 AM

Pizza Rustica.
Pizza Rustica.
Pizza Rustica.
Pizza Rustica.
3913 N. Sheridan
Buttery crust, freshes basil, made by the thickest accented (and nicest) italians ever.

Sarah-Ji / July 27, 2009 9:17 AM

I like Gruppo di Amici on Jarvis, but actually my husband Ted makes my favorite pizzas.

Barb / July 27, 2009 9:32 AM

Home Run Inn has great pizza.

Mr. Jimmy / July 27, 2009 10:10 AM

For all of the South Siders out there:
*Phil's on 35th is sinfully delicious.
*Milano's on 109th & Western. Their deep dish is easily the best deep dish in the city. Try the roast beef!

adam / July 27, 2009 1:45 PM

I second both Gigio's to basic thin crust (I go there probably twice a week) and Gruppo di Amici for wood-oven thin crust. Malnati's deep dish is also a favorite, after all this time.

I have to try a bunch of these other places, as many of them sound really good.

Maggie / July 27, 2009 2:49 PM

Villa Nova, Stickney

Len / July 27, 2009 4:15 PM

In the late 60s and early 70s you could call ahead to Uno's and then jump the line when you arrived. On Friday afternoon's we would meet at the Loophole cocktail lounge of Don Roth's Blackhawk on Randolph. We would have an ice cold Martini (at least I would) and then go for a liesurly walk to Uno's where our sausage pizza was waiting almost ready. We were seated immediately and by the time we finished the salad (which was big enough) for two) the pizza was ready. (We saved some of the onions for the pizza.

That pizza is one of the few things I miss since I gave up pork and started keeping quasi kosher.)

In those days a small pizza was $8.00 IIRC.

Mimi / August 3, 2009 12:56 PM

Gulliver's on Howard & California for deep dish, Apart for thin crust

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