The 10 Best Pizza Places in Chicago - my suggation


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1 KFC recipe challenge: Tribune kitchen puts the 11 herbs and spices to the test
  
Chicago Restaurant Week guide: Phil Vettel's list of best bets
  
Fish sauce: The secret ingredient that will transform the way you cook
Copyright © 2018, Chicago Tribune
Dining and Drinking Niles Kevin Pang Spacca Napoli
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 2 Sausage pizza at Vito & Nick's

This 90-plus-year-old pizzeria was voted Chicago's best spot for thin-crust by Tribune readers in 2016, and one bite through the red-sauce-smeared cracker crust, cut into squares and topped with fatty fennel sausage and melted mozzarella, and you will believe in democracy again. Not only is this one of the best Chicago-style thin-crust pizzas ever, it represents the best of a specific South Side substyle, with an addictive hard-bite crunch. The pizzeria, now in the Ashburn neighborhood on the far Southwest Side, is cash-only, and the pizzas come in only small and large. Get the large, always ($17). And if someone in the group is feeling the need for veggies? Pizza-makers are amenable to a half-and-half toppings situation, as pictured with green peppers.

8433 S. Pulaski Road, 773-735-2050, www.vitoandnicks.com

— Louisa Chu

3 The ’Nduja at Coalfire
For the ’nduja at Coalfire, chefs whip ricotta with the spicy, spreadable sausage, resulting in a spicy cloud of fat and salt, so delicious that the rest of the pizza almost doesn’t matter. (Kristan Lieb / Chicago Tribune)
2 The 'Nduja at Coalfire

4 This is the Leonardo DiCaprio of pizzas — it sweeps every awards list. And for good reason: Chefs whip ricotta with 'nduja (en-DOO-ya), a spicy salami that's soft enough to be spreadable (or, in this case, whippable), thanks to the high amounts of ground pork fat in the mixture. The result is a spicy cloud of fat and salt, so delicious that the rest of the pizza almost doesn't matter. For posterity: mozzarella, sausage, cherry bomb pepper and basil, all on Coalfire's signature blackened crust ($19, one size only).

1321 W. Grand Ave., 312-226-2625; 3707 N. Southport Ave., 773-477-2625, www.coalfirechicago.com

— Marissa Conrad

5 Russo sausage deep-dish
Labriola stands apart for crust that is crackly and gorgeously browned, looking like a beautiful loaf of bread.  (Kristan Lieb / Chicago Tribune)
3 Russo sausage deep-dish at Labriola Cafe

Deep-dish dissenters always harp on the lifeless crust that hides beneath the sauce and cheese of most versions. (I know, because I'm one of them.) That's where Labriola stands apart. The crust on their Russo sausage deep-dish ($21.25 for a 12-inch) is crackly and gorgeously browned, looking like a beautiful loaf of bread. Of course, it helps that the cheese is tangy and the sauce bright and chunky. While tourists jam classic deep-dish joints, know that what is probably the best deep-dish in the city is hiding in plain sight, just steps from the Magnificent Mile.

535 N. Michigan Ave., 312-955-3100, www.labriolacafe.com/chicago

— Nick Kindelsperger

 6    White pizza with clams and bacon at Piece
The clams mostly meld into the background, offering a slight and attractive brininess to each bite. That allows the smoky, fatty bacon to run free, adding pops of pure porky indulgence. (Phil Velasquez / Chicago Tribune)
4 White pizza with clams and bacon at Piece Brewery and Pizzeria

Piece specializes in New Haven-style pizza, so it would basically be a crime if the Bucktown joint didn't offer clam and bacon as toppings ($25.50 for a large). For the uninitiated, the clams mostly meld into the background, offering a slight and attractive brininess to each bite. That allows the smoky, fatty bacon to run free, adding pops of pure porky indulgence. I realize it sounds as if it shouldn't work, but this is my go-to order here from now on.

1927 W. North Ave., 773-772-4422, www.piecechicago.com

— N.K. 

7    The Lou at Lou Malnati's
The Lou, a three-cheese pie with rich mozzarella, Romano and cheddar, comes on a garlic version of Malnati's signature Buttercrust, a slightly crunchy upgrade (get it on any pie for 75 cents) with a hint of buttery flavor. (Anthony Souffle / Chicago Tribune)
5 The Lou at Lou Malnati's

This family-run Chicago pizza empire traces its roots to the origins of deep-dish pizza. Rudy Malnati, Lou's father, managed Pizzeria Uno from its inception. In addition to its iconic cheese and cheese-sausage pizzas, there are minor innovations; The Lou ($23), a three-cheese pie with rich mozzarella, Romano and cheddar, is my favorite. The pizza comes on a garlic version of the restaurant's signature Buttercrust, a slightly crunchy upgrade with a hint of buttery flavor. On all pizzas here, crushed San Marzano tomatoes (never a sauce) deliver pure flavors, and skillful baking is remarkably consistent.

Multiple locations, www.loumalnatis.com

— Phil Vettel

8   Stuffed pizza at Nancy's Pizza
Your server will draw your first slice of the cheese-stuffed pizza at Nancy's, which is wise because you may end up with cheese strings all over your table otherwise. (Kristan Lieb / Chicago Tribune)
6 Stuffed pizza at Nancy's Pizza

Nancy's Pizza locations now stretch nationwide, but the location in Niles, the oldest Nancy's, is where you'll bask in the presence of the woman for whom the pizzeria is named. Your server will draw your first slice of the cheese-stuffed pizza, which is wise because you may end up with cheese strings all over your table otherwise. This pizza is so good, it doesn't need any toppings ($18 for large).

8706 W. Golf Road, Niles, 847-824-8183, www.nancyspizza.com

— L.C.

9     The other pizzas in Chicago
Logan Squares sport pepperoni that curls up like a contact lens as it cooks, letting its juices pool in the middle. (Abel Uribe / Chicago Tribune)
7 Logan Squares at Paulie Gee's Logan Square

While this local incarnation of the Brooklyn cult pizzeria specializes in Neapolitan-inspired pies, owner Derrick Tung created a menu category just for the Chicago location: Logan Squares, referring to (oddly enough) Detroit-style rectangular pan pizza. Each month Tung and his pizza team invent two new Logan Squares to feature alongside the always-there Carnivore, covered with beautiful pepperoni that curls up like a contact lens as it cooks, letting its juices pool in the middle. However the others are topped, they'll always be shockingly light and airy, ringed with a lacy edge of baked cheese. But get there early: There are only 20 to 30 Logan Squares available each night. $18

2451 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-360-1072, www.pauliegee.com/logan-square

— L.C.

Margherita at Pizzeria Da Nella Cucina Napoletana
The margherita at Pizzeria Da Nella is beautifully simple — just a generous coating of freshly made tomato sauce speckled with piping-hot islands of fior di latte mozzarella and basil. (Kristan Lieb / Chicago Tribune)
8 Margherita at Pizzeria Da Nella Cucina Napoletana

Nella Grassano is an established name in Chicago pizza, with a stint at Spacca Napoli and a turn partnering with Davanti Enoteca’s Scott Harris on Nella Pizzeria Napoletana, before opening on her own in a cute storefront on Fullerton near Southport. The quality of her pies hasn’t suffered. Three brickworkers from Italy traveled to the States to build her wood-fired oven out of Italian bricks, earning her the coveted VPN certification. The crust is classic Neapolitan, soft to the point that it’s threatening to be soggy but never crossing the line (unless, of course, you try to bring home leftovers), wonderfully elastic and paper-thin to the point that it’s not hard to down a whole pie solo. The Margherita is beautifully simple — just a generous coating of freshly made tomato sauce speckled with piping-hot islands of fior di latte mozzarella and basil.

$14, one size only. 1443 W. Fullerton Ave., 773-281-6600, www.pizzeriadanella.com.

— M.C.

House giardiniera at Boiler Room
While adding giardiniera to a pizza sounds like overkill, the housemade version at Boiler Room isn’t nearly as oily as most. Instead, the pickled vegetables are crisp and balanced. (Kristan Lieb / Chicago Tribune)
9 House giardiniera at Boiler Room

If your idea of pizza perfection trends toward enormous foldable slices, the kind with impossibly thin crusts and minimalist toppings, this Logan Square joint is for you. While adding giardiniera to a pizza sounds like overkill, the housemade version here isn’t nearly as oily as most. Instead, the pickled vegetables are crisp and balanced. You could even throw on the salty, spicy pepperoni, which the chefs make sure cover nearly every square inch of the pie. Just make sure to ask for the crust well-done, since it can occasionally be a little too floppy otherwise.

$24, one size only. 2210 N. California Ave., 773-276-5625, www.boilerroomlogansquare.com.

— N.K. 

Fried pizza at Fiamme
Fried margherita pizza at Fiamme has a crust that's both crispy and chewy. (Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune)
10  Fried pizza at Fiamme

What we're talking about when we talk about pizza is, really, the crust. Toppings matter, of course, but the baseline for critiquing pizza is on the merits of the dough and the cooking method. If you don't have a good crust, you don't have a good pizza, no matter what's on top. Fiamme adheres to the strict guidelines of Neapolitan crusts: double-zero flour, an 800-degree brick oven that produces blistering pies in less than 2 minutes. But I'm drawn to the restaurant because of a seldom-seen variant called montanara, or pizze fritte, or, in more alluring terms, fried pizza ($14-$16). Pizza dough is flash-fried for 45 seconds before being finished in the oven for 75 seconds. That quick fry puffs up the interior, and gives the pizza a crisp chew. It also adds a richness that reminds me of a buttery breadstick. Fried pizza: It's a wholly Italian concept that seems more wholly American.

19 N. Washington St., Naperville, 630-470-9441, www.fiammepizza.com

— Kevin Pang



KFC recipe challenge: Tribune kitchen puts the 11 herbs and spices to the test
  
Chicago Restaurant Week guide: Phil Vettel's list of best bets
  
Fish sauce: The secret ingredient that will transform the way you cook
Copyright © 2018, Chicago Tribune
Dining and Drinking Niles Kevin Pang Spacca Napoli
  by Taboola Sponsored Links FROM AROUND THE WEB
Toshiba: Producing Thermal Power For The Next India
Toshiba
Flight Prices You're Not Allowed to See
Save70.com
Father And Son Take Same Photo For 25 Years! Don't Cry When You See The Last One!
TopGentlemen.com
Play this Game for 1 Minute and see why everyone is addicted
Delta Wars
Cisco HyperFlex Help Build Datacenter For Future. Learn More Data Center
Cisco HyperFlex
Cheap All-Inclusive Cruises
Cruises-Shop
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