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  • #1 by psedillo on 09 May 2021
  • My wife and I are headed to Chicago in late June for her 50th birthday. We want to spend several days eating as much pizza as we possibly can. We've been to Spacca Napoli Pizzeria before and plan to go back on this trip. Beyond Spacca I would appreciate any and all recommendations from deep dish to Neapolitan-style and all things in between.

    Thank you ,

    Paul
  • #2 by foreplease on 11 May 2021
  • Paul, I hope you will get many recommendations. I am 100 miles from Chicago but am there often both for medical care and because our youngest son and his wife live there. Here are two we like quite well. I checked the web site for the first one and it appears they are still open.
    Nellaís
    https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=60504.msg606218;topicseen#msg606218


    And a place called CoalFire. I think they hVe several locations. Somewhere in this sub forum I have read good things about Paulie-Geeís place in Chicago. Gotta try one of the bar pies too. I recently recommended Patís to my son based on things in this forum and they loved it.


    There is another great one out by Wrigley and Southport I can get the name of if you will be in that area. Iíve had it as takeout 2-3 times but was never involved in ordering or picking it up so donít recall the name. Great pizza though.


    My wife and I have a new favorite boutique hotel in Hyde Park, if you are interested. Their little downtown area is really changing for the better with many fine restaurants. Every time we have checked in at this place we have found a turntable and a couple blues records on the dresser. Very cool. We needed to find a place close to University of Chicago Hospital. I still recommend the area but you might prefer to be downtown. Their restaurant is vey nice, no pizza that I recall. Staff is great. On site valet parking.
    https://sophyhotel.com/
  • #3 by psedillo on 11 May 2021
  • Tony,

    I sincerely appreciate the reply, thank you.

    We've hit CoalFire before and I'm glad you reminded me of it as I'll add it to the list. My wife and I have hit Paulie-Gee's in Greenpoint, it would be interesting to hit his Chicago location.

    That boutique hotel looks amazing, if I wasn't a heavy Marriott person I'd be all over it. Ironically we almost moved to the Hyde Park area with my job, but the winters in Chicago are a bit much for my wife. So I spent several years going there monthly for work.

    On a non-pizza note we tried for a reservation at Alinea but they are already booked out the entire week. I ended up going with Sepia for her birthday. We will also be doing quite a bit of pasta while in Chicago and hitting a number of cocktail bars and breweries. My goal is to make it as memorable as possible.

    This will be our first trip since everything shutdown last March and we can't wait.
  • #4 by Jon in Albany on 11 May 2021
  • Never been to either the original or Chicago locations yet, but the Paulie Gee's in Chicago recently opened a Paulie Gee's slice shop. I think it is where Bonci used to be. Could be worth checking out.
  • #5 by psedillo on 11 May 2021
  • Never been to either the original or Chicago locations yet, but the Paulie Gee's in Chicago recently opened a Paulie Gee's slice shop. I think it is where Bonci used to be. Could be worth checking out.

    Very interesting. So I know that Paulie was starting to franchise his concept, do you know if the Chicago location is his or a franchisee?
  • #6 by Jon in Albany on 11 May 2021


  • Very interesting. So I know that Paulie was starting to franchise his concept, do you know if the Chicago location is his or a franchisee?

    Franchishee...Derrick Tung, a forum member, owns both the Chicago Paulie Gee's. I believe someone just opened in New Orleans too.

    Also, there is a Munchies episode on Chicago that might give you some ideas. Another never been for me but want to try is Jonathan Goldsmith's Neapolitan place Spacca Napoli.

    There's a Chicago pizza tour too. Could give you some ideas.

    https://www.chicagopizzatours.com/tours/original-chicago-pizza/

  • #7 by psedillo on 11 May 2021

  • Franchishee...Derrick Tung, a forum member, owns both the Chicago Paulie Gee's. I believe someone just opened in New Orleans too.

    Also, there is a Munchies episode on Chicago that might give you some ideas. Another never been for me but want to try is Jonathan Goldsmith's Neapolitan place Spacca Napoli.

    There's a Chicago pizza tour too. Could give you some ideas.

    https://www.chicagopizzatours.com/tours/original-chicago-pizza/

    Good to know, I will add Derrick's spots to the list. I will absolutely check out the Munchies episode and appreicate the link to the pizza tour.

    As for Spacca, we've been there before and it is worth all of the accolades it's recieved. I would say it's one of the best spots I've been to in the US. Granted I've never hit Pizzeria Bianco, but hope to make it there someday.
  • #8 by Pete-zza on 11 May 2021
  • Paul,

    If you see Jonathan Goldsmith while you are at Spacca Napoli, please tell him that Pete-zza of our forum sends his very best. His facial appearance has changed a lot over the years but you can see what he looks like as of last year in the video at:



    Peter
  • #9 by psedillo on 11 May 2021
  • Paul,

    If you see Jonathan Goldsmith while you are at Spacca Napoli, please tell him that Pete-zza of our forum sends his very best. His facial appearance has changed a lot over the years but you can see what he looks like as of last year in the video at:



    Peter

    Peter,

    Thank you very much for passing this video along, I will seek out Johathan when we are there and give him your best regards. My bet is we go at least two to three times while in town. The last time we went there it was the day before we headed back to Texas. It was bittersweet because we loved it so much but would not get a chance to go back until we returned to Chicago. Truly a special place.
  • #10 by Pete-zza on 11 May 2021
  • Paul,

    I should have mentioned that I did not meet Jonathan in person. He once approached me for help on a project, which I gave him, and the project turned out well.

    Peter
  • #11 by RHawthorne on 11 May 2021
  • Paul, I hope you will get many recommendations. I am 100 miles from Chicago but am there often both for medical care and because our youngest son and his wife live there. Here are two we like quite well. I checked the web site for the first one and it appears they are still open.
    Nellaís
    https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=60504.msg606218;topicseen#msg606218


    And a place called CoalFire.
    https://sophyhotel.com/
    I went there September before last. I liked it quite a bit. They actually let me step inside the kitchen a little bit and take some photos of their oven. They're very unusual in that they use bituminous coal, as opposed to the usual anthracite coal used for that application, and their style is a little bit more  Neapolitan than American, at least in the fact that they use 00 flour and go for a more traditional Italian flavor profile. I'd go back. What's more, there's another coal fired bakery that makes Sicilian style pizza just a few blocks east on Grand Ave called D'Amato's that I had never heard of until the day I went to Coalfire. I go to Chicago once or twice every year, usually, and I always try a new pizzeria every time I go.
  • #12 by foreplease on 12 May 2021
  • I hope you and your wife have a great time, Paul. Eataly would be a fun stop and a great place for lunch. I can tell you where in the building (but have forgotten the name) of the best pork sandwich Iíve ever had is located if you find that you are interested or may be there. So much good food on the 2nd floor. First floor is mostly ingredients, tools and cookware, and a huge fresh pastry and gelayo section, as I recall.


    Ironic you nearly ended up in Hyde Park as what little I know about you tells me you would have made a thoughtful and positive contribution to what is taking place there.
  • #13 by saltypecorino on 20 May 2021
  • Paulie Gee's
    Pizzeria Bebu (check to see if they are reopen, not sure what is going on)
    Coal Fire on Grand
    Bonci for taglio style
    Forno Rosso on Randolph
    Bungalow at Middle Brow
    Pop up called Pizza Finestra (look at their IG)
    Robert's Pizza Company - different style, but nice place on the River
    Coda Di Volpe - can be good
    Vito and Nicks - just for fun

    Spacca is my favorite but you mentioned you had already been, the pizza just gets better over time.  Last time I went they had a whole wheat dough special that I believe they cooked in their pizza master oven, it was divine.
  • #14 by psedillo on 20 May 2021
  • Thank you saltypecorino, I appreciate the recommendations and have added them to our list. We are working on a reservation at Spacca and hope to have it confirmed by end of week. It wouldn't be a proper trip to Chicago without hitting this place.
  • #15 by saltypecorino on 20 May 2021
  • Also just realized my error in the original post, I meant Pizzeria Bebu and not Beddia  ::)
  • #16 by Garvey on 13 Oct 2021
  • This is a pretty wild list of places that I'm sure are good, but why not eat indigenous pizza in that town?  It's like me coming to your hometown of Austin and wanting BBQ and everyone sent me to KC style ribs joints and NC style pork shoulder.
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