Author Topic: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!  (Read 4086 times)

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Offline CopperTop

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Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« on: March 01, 2013, 11:05:18 PM »
Heading out to the Windy City next week for business.  Never been there, so I thought a Pizza Tour with be a great way to be introduced to the city and the deep dish pizza.   

The Chicago Pizza Tour busses their guests to Pizano's Pizza and Pasta, Coalfire, Pequod's Pizza, and Flo + Santo's.   (By the way, the bus is named Dough Force One)

The Slice of Chicago Pizza Tour walks to Boiler Room, Pizza Art Cafe, and Pequod's Pizza.  l

Recently, I found a "Best Pizza in Chicago" list posted by the HuffPost Chicago editor:

Piece Pizzeria
Boiler Room
Lou Manalti
Spacca Napoletana Pizzeria (heard this is a must)
Pequod's Pizza ( listed 3x ---must be good)

Anyone care to agree or disagree?  Experiences? Recommendations?

Thanks!


Offline jeff v

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2013, 11:24:17 PM »
I wish I had my oven, I'd cook some pizza for you while you were here!

I really like Coalfire and Pequods. It's been a long time since I've had pizza at Pizza Art, but if you go definitely get some cevaps! Spacca is good and Jonathan has always been very hospitable and willing to chat when I go. Nella at Pizzeria da Nella is one of the best pizzaiola in the city and her husband is a member here. If you get to the south side try and check out Vito and Nicks for great thin crust.

Now I'm hungry for pizza.
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Offline JConk007

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2013, 12:09:54 AM »
SPACCA , for sure . Met the owner very cool guy !
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Offline CopperTop

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2013, 12:32:50 AM »
I wish I had my oven, I'd cook some pizza for you while you were here!

I really like Coalfire and Pequods. It's been a long time since I've had pizza at Pizza Art, but if you go definitely get some cevaps! Spacca is good and Jonathan has always been very hospitable and willing to chat when I go. Nella at Pizzeria da Nella is one of the best pizzaiola in the city and her husband is a member here. If you get to the south side try and check out Vito and Nicks for great thin crust.

Now I'm hungry for pizza.

Wow, you make artisan pasta.  I just liked you on FB!  Will have to try some of your pasta. Thanks for the suggestions - now I'm really excited about the Tour.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2013, 12:51:25 AM »
Wow, you make artisan pasta.  I just liked you on FB!  Will have to try some of your pasta. Thanks for the suggestions - now I'm really excited about the Tour.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,23704.msg240729.html#top
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2013, 09:53:57 AM »
CopperTop,

If you plan to go to Spacca Napoli, you may want to call the restaurant to see if Jonathan will be there. I spoke with him about a week ago and he told me that he was heading to Naples.

Peter

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2013, 10:22:45 AM »
and her husband is a member here.

 :-D
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Offline jeff v

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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2013, 10:21:34 PM »
You boys are bad.... ;D
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2013, 10:46:30 PM »
You boys are bad.... ;D

Bad? No.

Realistic.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
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Offline CopperTop

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2013, 01:01:01 AM »
You guys...what is so funny!?  Ok, there must be an inside joke  ::)

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2013, 11:59:26 AM »
You guys...what is so funny!?  Ok, there must be an inside joke  ::)
Even Bob ain't goin no where near that one.... >:D
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Offline jeff v

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2013, 12:10:17 PM »
You guys...what is so funny!?  Ok, there must be an inside joke  ::)

Somewhat. I've met Frank in person and he was very hospitable and treated me great.
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Offline acbova

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2013, 07:26:56 PM »
I liked Coalfire OK. 

Lou Malnati was the deep dish I ate there and enjoyed it. 

I really liked Vito & Nick's on South Pulaski. 

I spend a lot of time for work near Midway so that limited my choices. 

Offline malvanova

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2013, 12:14:16 AM »
down town Naperville or St. Charles   NEO's    very good

 Nella"s is good needs to crisp the bottom a bit more its too soft for my taste don't get me wrong it is good
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 12:18:26 AM by malvanova »

Offline derricktung

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2013, 06:50:24 AM »
I'm not going to repeat what's said on here, but I"ll give you one more burb tip if you make it out of the city:

Parkers (south burbs) is phenomenal... while they don't just serve pizza (and all their food is pretty good), they have a bar menu that features four Neapolitan pizzas.  They are also VPN certified, and what I personally believe is the best Neapolitan pizza in Illinois that I've tried.  (Yes, I've been to Nellas and Neo and other spots... this one has consistently been better in my humble opinion).

http://www.selectrestaurants.com/parkersamerican/menu.php

Another key - If you go between 2-7 PM Mon-Fri, the bar menu is half price.  My wife and I go about once a month at the minimum, just because it's such a great deal.  (Except the fish and chips... they're pretty tiny, even at the half price point).

If you decide to go, let me know and I'll point you out to some of our favorite dishes there.

Enjoy your Chicago visit!

Offline jeff v

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2013, 09:29:45 AM »
I'm not going to repeat what's said on here, but I"ll give you one more burb tip if you make it out of the city:

Parkers (south burbs) is phenomenal... while they don't just serve pizza (and all their food is pretty good), they have a bar menu that features four Neapolitan pizzas.  They are also VPN certified, and what I personally believe is the best Neapolitan pizza in Illinois that I've tried.  (Yes, I've been to Nellas and Neo and other spots... this one has consistently been better in my humble opinion).

http://www.selectrestaurants.com/parkersamerican/menu.php

Another key - If you go between 2-7 PM Mon-Fri, the bar menu is half price.  My wife and I go about once a month at the minimum, just because it's such a great deal.  (Except the fish and chips... they're pretty tiny, even at the half price point).

If you decide to go, let me know and I'll point you out to some of our favorite dishes there.

Enjoy your Chicago visit!

Never even heard of that place and I will be in Carol Stream tomorrow. Thanks!
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2013, 12:23:00 PM »
Ach-N-Lou's out in Aurora make awesome pizza...
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Offline CopperTop

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2013, 02:45:32 PM »
Thanks for all the great suggestions!!  So many options, so little time.  After changing airport, airlines, lost luggages,... 12 hrs later, we arrived in Chicago late last night.  In time for a Laphroig and a French Martini!  Turns out, the Pizza Tour first meets at Pizzano's  tomorrow. And it's literally right Round the corner from the hotel!!!  Who knew!

Tonight, I think we will hit Spacca.  I can't believe all the eating options in the city.  I think I've become a new fan of this city - lots of attractions, and lots of ethnicity - Polish, Chinese, Germans, Scottish, Irish, Middle Eastern, Italians... And it all means amazing food!!

Two full days in Chicago warrants a return in the Spring for a longer stay.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2013, 03:04:09 PM »
Thanks for all the great suggestions!!  So many options, so little time.  After changing airport, airlines, lost luggages,... 12 hrs later, we arrived in Chicago late last night.  In time for a Laphroig and a French Martini!  Turns out, the Pizza Tour first meets at Pizzano's  tomorrow. And it's literally right Round the corner from the hotel!!!  Who knew!

Tonight, I think we will hit Spacca.  I can't believe all the eating options in the city.  I think I've become a new fan of this city - lots of attractions, and lots of ethnicity - Polish, Chinese, Germans, Scottish, Irish, Middle Eastern, Italians... And it all means amazing food!!

Two full days in Chicago warrants a return in the Spring for a longer stay.
Sharlene,
I hope you have a great time and are maybe able to return in July....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taste_of_Chicago
Bob
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 03:05:49 PM by Chicago Bob »
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Offline CopperTop

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2013, 10:53:03 PM »
I'm not going to repeat what's said on here, but I"ll give you one more burb tip if you make it out of the city:

Parkers (south burbs) is phenomenal... while they don't just serve pizza (and all their food is pretty good), they have a bar menu that features four Neapolitan pizzas.  They are also VPN certified, and what I personally believe is the best Neapolitan pizza in Illinois that I've tried.  (Yes, I've been to Nellas and Neo and other spots... this one has consistently been better in my humble opinion).

http://www.selectrestaurants.com/parkersamerican/menu.php

Another key - If you go between 2-7 PM Mon-Fri, the bar menu is half price.  My wife and I go about once a month at the minimum, just because it's such a great deal.  (Except the fish and chips... they're pretty tiny, even at the half price point).

If you decide to go, let me know and I'll point you out to some of our favorite dishes there.

Enjoy your Chicago visit!
Wow, what an amazing place.  Seems to have a wide variety to please many palates! Quite lucky to be living near this food haven  :chef: I will definitely be in touch when we return in the Spring - thanks!

Offline CopperTop

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2013, 10:57:13 PM »
CopperTop,

If you plan to go to Spacca Napoli, you may want to call the restaurant to see if Jonathan will be there. I spoke with him about a week ago and he told me that he was heading to Naples.

Peter

Peter!  We just had dinner at Spacca's tonight, and he mentioned your name when I told him about being a member here on Pizza Making Forum.  He just returned from Naples and enjoyed his last few days there running into Antonio Starita...small world!

Offline CopperTop

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2013, 11:38:09 PM »
Ok, it's our first night in Chicago!  So many, many places to eat.  Since we only have 2 nights here...I thought it would be fun to check out Spacca Napoli since it is Neopolitan and being friends with Roberto (Keste) - I was interested to see how similar / different their pizzas are.  Besides, I know we would get the full treatment of deep dish pizzas tomorrow on the Chicago Pizza Tour!

Took the metro to Ravenswood area..north of where we're staying (Loop).  A block away from the Montrose train stop...Spacca Napoli is located in a corner building, first noticing a beautifully made, mosaic tiled picture of one of the ladies in La Primavera by Botticelli. (Later find out that his talented wife is an artist, trained in Florence - is the artist who created the tiled picture as well as encapsulating his remarkable wood fire oven with beautiful venetian glass, mosaic tiled.

Ordered prosciutto with arugula salad for starters. Pizza margherita. Pizza Bianca - with artichoke, porcini mushrooms and cheese.  First, the margherita - very light, airy,..soft with a slight crisp. Lightly charred.  I thought to order the pizza bianca to get a better sense of the flavor of the crust.  Again, soft with a slight crisp. Very similar to Keste's.

Had a short conversation with the owner, Jonathan, who was on his way out to a meeting....so by the time I tried the pizza bianca - it was on the cool side. Still flavorful.  But I now realize how much better pizza tastes -right out of the oven.

After enjoying cappucino, panna cotta, and pistachio & nocciola gelato...Jonathan had returned to the pizzeria. He presented us with glasses of Moscato and chatted some more about pizza, Roberto, VPN, Florence, visiting Naples, art school, and the Expo. Turns out he is the poster boy for Caputo, so he will be at the Expo, and probably will be judging pizza competitions.  While I enjoy having a great pizza and good wine, the highlight of the evenings for me is chatting with someone like Jonathan who loves his craft, enjoys sharing his passion and life adventures.

He spoke proudly of his oven, built by second and third generation artisans from Napoli.  He brought over several folks from Naples who stayed at his house while building his oven. I think even Roberto would have oven envy. His wife/artist did a beautiful job in the mosaic tiles.  A piece of art. Sigh.

As a proprietor, he was quite accommodating. In fact, he truly cares about his customers too. He is very much a hands-on owner - greeting his customers as they come in the door, making sure the tables are arranged perfectly for the larger crowds,...walking around the restaurant making sure things are in order. As the restaurant filled to full capacity, he remained very relaxed and hospitable to his guests. And still made time to chat with us!  Turns out the Chicago Pizza Tour will make their last stop at Spacca Napoli.   I'm forgetting that we are being driven on the "Dough Force One"!! What a riot.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/oakleaffarm/sets/72157632946479356/


Sharlene

 



« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 08:35:46 AM by CopperTop »

Offline DenaliPete

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2013, 12:05:28 AM »
Glad to hear you enjoyed Spacca Napoli.

Another gem for pizza in Chicago is Bricks on Lincoln avenue.  I consider it a must-have.  Their pizza is great and they make some awesome appetizers.  I highly recommend their slutty ravioli.

Their place is easy to miss, kind of an underground joint.  Cool atmosphere and a nice relaxed bar.

http://www.brickschicago.com

Hope you're able to make this a stop, you certainly won't regret it.

Offline CopperTop

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Re: Chicago 2013 Pizzeria Recommendations - Much Appreciated!
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2013, 08:41:25 AM »
Glad to hear you enjoyed Spacca Napoli.

Another gem for pizza in Chicago is Bricks on Lincoln avenue.  I consider it a must-have.  Their pizza is great and they make some awesome appetizers.  I highly recommend their slutty ravioli.

Their place is easy to miss, kind of an underground joint.  Cool atmosphere and a nice relaxed bar.

http://www.brickschicago.com

Hope you're able to make this a stop, you certainly won't regret it.

Thanks!  The menu looks really good.  Liking the  Medjool dates appetizer.  What makes a ravioli slutty?  You've peaked my interest now.