Best Pizza in Chicagoland area

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firecommander3565
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/03/14 15:22:37 (permalink)
Best Pizza, Hands down HOME RUN INN on 31st, best deep dish EDWARDO's preferably on South Dearborn. The rest of the advice you received may be well intentioned, but off unless they included one of these 2 Chicago Pizza Palaces!
#61
Jim2903
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/03/19 12:42:32 (permalink)
I made it to Vito and Nick's last weekend after an absence of at least a decade, and it was just as fantastic as I remembered. Sometimes the best things in life never change; we were even served by the same waitress who worked there when I was 10 (I'm pushing 35 now). Of course, we always called it Nick and Vito's for some reason, and so did most of the others we knew who went there. No matter -- still the best.

Jim
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#62
lisakaren
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/03/28 00:51:37 (permalink)
After growing up in the Chicago area and then moving away I have come to the realization that the "best pizza" really is a personal thing. I happen to love Salerno's in Berwyn, but think Al's in Cicero is far better. Probably because I lived 1/2 mile from Al's from age 5-26 and we ordered at least 1-2 times a week!! When I miss pizza (which is often!!) I think of Al's thin crust - sausage and mushroom. In fact, over the last few years, when I visit, I always order partially cooked then frozen pizzas to bring back to my family that has also moved to WA. Do I enjoy stuffed or deep dish? Of course, but it's not what we would order for dinner on Friday nights. It was more of a special occasion type of dinner. Like going downtown for someone's graduation for dinner. Stuffed pizza was not every day pizza for us - thin crust was. Lou Malnati's will ship pizza all over the US. My personal opinion, I'd rather eat Pizza Hut (which I despise) than Lou's. Probably because even when I did reside in IL, I rarely (if ever) went there. They were not in my neighborhood. Giordano's made its way to Cicero when I was in HS, and I liked them, but I have to say that for pan pizza, there was a place on Cermak in Berwyn (just W of Lombard on the South side of the street - I cannot recall the name but believe it was a man's name maybe Vince's??) that was better. I seem to like the independants much more than the chains. They put more care into their product and use less "mass produced" types of items. Someone in a previous post referred to "da neighborhood pizza" and while he seemed to ridicule the notion, I really believe that is what determines many people's version of the "Best."
#63
jillandgordon
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/05/07 16:04:08 (permalink)
Any recommendations for delivery to Hyatt Regency O'Hare. I know that Giordano's will. Are there any others?
#64
lisakaren
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/05/07 22:27:09 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by jillandgordon

Any recommendations for delivery to Hyatt Regency O'Hare. I know that Giordano's will. Are there any others?

Since it's been 9 years since I lived in the area....as for who is good near the Hyatt O'Hare, I would say the concierge should be able to offer some good recommendations. I would not pass up Giordano's myself, but there could be a local gem. I imagine they should have that info - ask who they order from for lunch. Best of Luck and enjoy the city!
#65
louweezy
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/05/15 14:59:16 (permalink)
No one has even mentioned Marie's on Lawrence, Spacca Napoli on Ravenswood, or Candlelite on Western..
#66
Ram4
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/05/24 16:54:12 (permalink)
I'll second Marie's Pizza on Lawrence! I had it last night. Opened in 1950, my dad ate there since day 1. They still make pizza in the front window. It's a classic pizza neighborhood joint with the smoky bar and tacky interior. Pretty big place too.

Marie's is a true representative of thin Chicago pizza (which only a fool compares to New York style pizza - they are totally different-don't compare them as if they were the same!)

Do not take Marie's to go. You have to eat it there, it does not travel well.

***************************************************************
To the person who picked up Malnati's in Highland Park - you remind me of my brother and his wife - clueless. When you get a deep dish pizza to go, ALWAYS ask for it UNCUT! This will prevent the pizza from getting soggy. When you get home, you are going to turn your oven on and put the pizza on a cookie sheet or pan on the lower rack for 10 solid minutes. I'd even cover the top with foil. The crust bottom will get crisp and hard again and it will be as close to optimal temperature and texture as the restaurant. PS - You're welcome.
******************************************************************

I'm sorry if I come off as rude, but I have no respect for anyone that eats something not at optimal temperature/texture and still passes judgement. You're already disqualifed!

Barnaby's is a crazy one. They were started by Schlitz Beer, and opened in many states. We all know them for the windowless, dark rooms, corn meal on the crust, and the numbers they call out. If you want Barnaby's at it's best, there is only one location left that I know of that still does it right - Northbrook IL. They are the only ones that redecorated and actually have windows. The Barnaby's on Caldwell near Oakton is not bad, but it's still dingy. Other ones are god-awful. They just changed the recipe completely. Most people I know, including pizza freaks from the Chicago area, absolutely love Barnaby's of Northbrook over pretty much any other pizza. This includes all styles like deep dish, stuffed, New York style, etc. It's easily in my top 5. If you've never had it from Northbrook, PLEASE give it one more chance and try it. PS - Never ever go there on a Friday-Sunday between 5-8! It will be families with kids. Don't say I didn't warn you. Barnaby's is very consistent whether you take it to go or not. That is rare among pizza joints to me. You can even get them par-baked frozen, and keep some in your freezer.

Here are a bunch of quick mentions:

D'Augostino's - not bad, but sauce is just too sweet.
Pat's Pizza - another really thin one, really good.
Pequod (Morton Grove) - When it's at it's best - the deep dish is a favorite. Sometimes the dough isn't "right" and I'm not happy! I love the carmelized cheese.
Burt's Place (Morton Grove) - Once I found it, it was not bad, but maybe I will go back again.
Lou Malnati's - One of my all time favorite deep dish, Lincolnwood is the best location.
Gino's East - For some reason, all the locations are a step below the one on Wells and Ontario.
Home Run Inn - Cheese gets too rubbery. It can be really good, but I just don't crave it anymore.
Garibaldi's in Villa Park - I love this place for East Coast style pizza. Their frozen version was horrible.
Judy's (Highland Park) - Really thin, tasty, but sometimes too much cheese.
Bill's (Mundelein) - Many people love this Lake County place, and it's a good thin 'za. The double decker was ok, and deadly with molten sauce coming out of the sides.
Il Forno (Highland Park) - I had this a lot as a kid. It's not bad, very cheesy and greasy.
Il Forno (Deerfield) - Different owner and pizza. Similar to other one, but not as greasy. (So it comes down to how much grease you want this time!)
Aurelio's - A unique thin pizza, with a sweet sauce. The cheese is sometimes too much for me. It also burns really strange when I ask for well done.
Gulo's Pizza Paddle (Buffalo Grove) - Very good thin crust pizza. They win best pizza in Buffalo Grove all the time.
Joe's Pizzeria (Wheeling) - A real hole in the wall dive with a super thin pizza that is one of those neighborhood style joints that is all it's own.
My Pi (Clark near Fullerton) - A very good deep dish, similar to Gino's East. Sauce is smooth, not chunky.
None of the Stuffed Pizza places in Chicago have ever won me over, though one time I had an amazing pizza at Nancy's. The crust had corn meal on the bottom and a lot of flavor. I don't know what happened after that, the crust was totally different. Maybe it was a one off Nancy's location that had that. Anyone know?

HONORABLE MENTION (Top 5 pizza joint)
Timpone's (Urbana, IL) - Yes Urbana has one of the best thin crust pizzas hands down. It's paper thin, with minimal cheese and a unique flavor. They even cut it like no other place I've seen! Be ready to order 2 of them since they are not that big. Why this place? I've driven to Nashville a bunch of times and when I go with friends, they all want to stop there. My brother was in a band with 6 other guys, and on road trips to Carbondale or St. Louis or Springfield they would stop there on both legs of their trip even if it meant extra driving time. The crazy thing about this place is that it is an upscale Italian restaurant with cloth napkins. I always eat in the small bar area when you first walk in. Upstairs is the main dining room. There is a small chance I might go there next week. If I do, I am going to be tempted to bring a bunch home to freeze.



I could keep going but I'm tired![|)]










#67
the grillman
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/05/25 13:06:14 (permalink)
Aurelio's!
#68
ChiTownDiner
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/05/25 13:24:44 (permalink)
Had Lou's in the psuedo Victorian looking building in Schaumburg yesterday. It was pretty good although after Buddy recommended Burt's, I enjoy Burt's more. Yesterday, we had a sausage, a pepperoni and a Lou's with spinach, tomato and mushroom. All three were good. It was not busy, after the lunch rush, and service was great.
#69
viennadog
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/06/14 14:38:48 (permalink)
Palmermo's on 63rd Street near Pulaski (not far from the Midway Airport) is the best IMO. I've been eating their pizza since the 1960's and their recipe is still the same and it's all in the sauce!! Now that I live out of state whenever I visit Chicago they are a Must on my list. On a recent visit I printed one of their online coupons, purchased an X-large, froze it and brought it home. What a treat!!!

http://www.palermosof63rd.com/

Give it a try - you Won't be disappointed!!
#70
Bonk
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/06/18 17:33:50 (permalink)
I grew up in Glen Ellyn, and I've been eating Joseph's in Glendale Heights since I was a kid, and it's still my favorite when I get back to Chicago. Portillo's and Joseph's are the two places I have to hit on any trip there.

There used to be a place called Little Sicily in Glendale Heights that I was addicted to, but it closed about 15 years ago.

Don't laugh, but I've never actually done Lou Malnati's. I guess there just isn't one that close to where I stay, and I didn't know about it until after I moved away. Giordano's is my favorite deep dish, but I haven't had that many in Chicago to compare.

Hatteras - I ate non-deep dish almost exclusively when I lived in Chicago, and I was surprised when I moved to Cincinnati that "Chicago style pizza" meant deep dish in everyone's mind here. I always thought the sauce was what made it Chicago style. That's what pizza in Ohio lacks - sauces are too sweet and don't have enough garlic.
#71
TamiRN95
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/07/29 16:50:43 (permalink)
I have lived in the Chicagoland area all my life. Currently, I live in Northwest, Indiana. Also, I am Sicilian, and have the expertise to know good Italian food since I was raised on it. I cannot believe that not one of the Chicagoans listed here has mentioned Sanfratellos!!! Sanfratellos is a pizza place that origated in Glenwood, Illinois (which is a far south suburb of Chicago). There are several other locations, some in Northwest, Indiana. Sanfratellos has the absolute BEST deep dish pizza I have ever eaten. The sauce is spicy/sweetish (but not overpowering). The sausage is made into patties and added on top of the thick cheesy crust. Believe me, it is a sight to behold, and not soon to be forgotten. My quest has been to find a deep dish pizza that even comes near to Sanfratellos Deep Dish. Their thin crust is also worth mentioning, although my favorite thin crust pizza is served at the infamous Aurelios Pizza. My father knew Joe Aurelio personally, and the families were friends. We know that good quality ingredients go into this pizza, and the business is run with integrity and hard work. Aurelios is a classic for thin crust.
#72
westsidetommy
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/07/30 21:12:09 (permalink)
My favorite pizza was Sorrentos at Madison and Menard. Needless to say that was a long time ago.

I like Homerun Inn and Palermos and Beggars on the South Side. Armands in Elmwood Park is fine.

Chicago is loaded with good pizza, you guys have it made. I moved to Lexington Kentucky where honest to God, the best pizza is at the Cozi and Panera chain sandwich shops.

There are many delightful things about this town but good pizza ain't one.
#73
cunnm2010
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/08/02 23:52:55 (permalink)
I'm out in the burbs but my favorite deep dish pizza would have to be Pal Joey's in West Chicago, the crust is the best part. My second choice would be Lou Malnati's with the butter crust. My all time favorite and the pizza I crave more than any other would be Aurelio's thin crust ordered well done, it is perfection! What makes their pizza unique is the sauce, it does have a slight sweetness to it. I think I would miss Aurelio's the most if I ever leave IL.
#74
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/08/17 11:56:14 (permalink)
I just noticed on CitySearch's Best of Chicago Pizza 2007 that Ed and Joe's in Tinley Park, IL got the well deserved recognition as the No. 1 pizza in the Chicago Metropolitan area (audience choice) for 2007. When I lived in the south suburbs, I always thought they were the best. Good, old-fashioned thin crust pizza that you can view being made from the window front (or at least you could years ago when I was last there). I definitely applaud the results.

Others on the list are: No. 2, Home Run Inn -- I use to go to when just a little tavern with pizzas made in back. It was much, much better in the old days. No. 3, Lou Malnati's -- which is generally great, but they have a consistency problem at some of their locations. No. 5. Gino's East -- which I had recently, but really didn't like. No. 8, Vito & Nick's -- great thin crust pizza and they deserve to be in the top 5. No. 9, Aurelio's -- another great pizza in the South suburbs that likewise has a consistency problem because of it's many Chicago/Indiana locations. No. 10, Pizzeria Uno -- not the stupid chain across the country, but the original on Ohio Street, has been coming back to greatness I hear, after some bad years in which it altered the basic recipe. No.s 4, 6, 7 (Pat's, Pete's, and Caponies Tattoria) I have not tried, but look forward to doing so in the future. See the results at http://chicago.citysearch.com/bestof/winners/pizza. These surveys, while not perfect, give you some idea of the excellent pizza products in the Chicagoland area. There are many others that unfortunately go unrecognized.
#75
danimal15
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/10/06 17:22:25 (permalink)
I'm going to try Burt's tonight and I'll report back on my experience. It's my first time there. Excited to go!
#76
trainutlen
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/10/06 17:48:34 (permalink)
Oh please, try Bacino's in Lincoln Park for deep dish. For any thin crust, try Edwardo's or Pizza DOC on West Lawrence Avenue in Lincoln Square.
#77
BuddyRoadhouse
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/10/07 11:02:05 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by danimal15

I'm going to try Burt's tonight and I'll report back on my experience. It's my first time there. Excited to go!
I'm going to jump in here before you comment on your experience.

Burt's Place was featured in this month's issue of Saveur Magazine, which focuses on Chicago's restaurant and food scene in general, as Our Town's best pizza place. Needless to say, things have been a little crazy there lately. We've been regretfully turning people away on a regular basis, barely keeping up with the mad pace. We've been visited by folks from all over the country since the issue came out a few weeks ago.

danimal, I hope your experience at Burt's was pleasant. If not, wait a few weeks until the furor dies down and give us another chance. I'm generally there on Saturday nights and would love to meet you.

Buddy

P.S. I'm writing this on Sunday morning in Kansas City, the day after finishing up at the American Royal. The Barbecue Sauce Store, which I co-chair, was a big success. We had more than a hundred varieties of sauces, marinades, and rubs donated from all over the country and even overseas. We raised nearly $6,500 for a group of local charities. I'll be back at Burt's next Saturday night.

B.
#78
paoconnell
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/11/15 20:04:26 (permalink)
In the late 70s, my sisters and I found Gino's East by accident while touristing Downtown Chicago (we had tickets for the King Tut exhibit and they weren't good until 5 PM). It smelled good, even though we had eaten elsewhere, so we came back after seeing the exhibit. It was wonderful. Later I got a job in Michigan City IN, and met the lady that is now my wife. I took her to Gino's several times and each pie was amazing. We kept visiting Gino's until we moved to the Southwest.

I'll be visiting Chicago after Christmas. Please don't tell me that Gino's has gone downhill unless it really has. If so, lemme know the best substitute (I'm not fond of Uno's, though Giordano's wasn't bad).
#79
Tommy2dogs
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/11/18 20:28:18 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by paoconnell

In the late 70s, my sisters and I found Gino's East by accident while touristing Downtown Chicago (we had tickets for the King Tut exhibit and they weren't good until 5 PM). It smelled good, even though we had eaten elsewhere, so we came back after seeing the exhibit. It was wonderful. Later I got a job in Michigan City IN, and met the lady that is now my wife. I took her to Gino's several times and each pie was amazing. We kept visiting Gino's until we moved to the Southwest.

I'll be visiting Chicago after Christmas. Please don't tell me that Gino's has gone downhill unless it really has. If so, lemme know the best substitute (I'm not fond of Uno's, though Giordano's wasn't bad).

Gino's East ( 165 E Superior)was always my favorite Deep Dish destination, not only the Pizza but the entire experience, the alley wait, people watching etc. Several years ago, they moved to a much larger location at Wells and Ontario. They took the walls booths etc. to the new locations to try and maintain the "ambiance" and the ovens to maintain the pizza quality. While I felt the Pizza was still good the experience has never been the same. In a strange twist of events, the Superior St. location was purchased by one of the Buono family of Buono Beef, the place was gutted and totally rehabbed. They specialized in Deep Dish Pizza as well as other Italian food. Well a couple of years ago they closed and guess who is in the space now? Gino's East. So you can have the original address or the tourist place with the original booths. Have not been back to the Superior location so I can't comment. We are going to try it over the Holidays

PS I generally stay away from the Franchise locations.
#80
danimal15
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2007/12/21 16:16:22 (permalink)
Is Carmen's in Evanston still around? I had a great pizza there about 10 years ago, but haven't been back since.
#81
Logan2
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2008/01/24 10:35:27 (permalink)
My friends and I recently tried the deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati's restaurant in Lincolnwood. I was told that was the best place for deep dish pizza in the area. Service was very good, but the pizza was strangely dry and wasn't that great. After telling some friends about our disappointing experience there, they recommended that we try the Malnati's location in Buffalo Grove off of Lake-Cook Road. We did last week and it was like day and night. The deep dish pizza at the Buffalo Grove location was so good that we are so very anxious to go back for more. And the service at Buffalo Grove was superb also with the waitress always paying attention and checking back with us if we needed anything.

Also, we recently tried thin crust pizza at Pat's on North Lincoln Ave. in the city. That's got to be one of the best thin crust pizzas that I've had in a long time. Highly recommend it.
#82
cali74
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2008/02/01 21:24:43 (permalink)
Gino's East now has a great coupon out. They are offering, from their downtown location on Wells Street, a free order of Breadsticks with any Delivery order. Which is a $9 item.

When you place your order just tell them the offer and say code #694. Any they will hook up the deal. It's a reusable code so you can use it over and over again.
#83
mraps
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2008/02/11 10:40:13 (permalink)
I am new to this board as I am planning a baseball park roadtrip and was looking for restaurant advice throughout that trip, but being a Chicagoan all my life (40 yrs), I stumbled onto this board and thought I would through in my two cents.

Deep Dish - I saw Lou Malnati's, hands down! It doesnt get any better than a sausage patty.

Thin Crust - Pete's Pizza near Western/Addison. I use to live directly behind this place and I have had EVERYTHING on their menu. It is all Top Notch. I am a Cubs season ticket holder and now everytime I take one of my kids to a game, guess where they want to go afterwards - Pete's!

Honorable Mention - I think Pequod's which was mentioned earlier has tremendous pizza. The restaurant itself leaves a little to be desired, but the quality of the ZA far outweighs that!
#84
Jeep2000
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2008/02/15 15:50:18 (permalink)
Not really a traditional pizza, but every time we go to Chicago for pizza, we can't skip the pizza pot pie at the Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Company.
We talk of trying someplace else, but the thought of missing the pot pie always makes the decision for us.
#85
lisakaren
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2008/02/15 23:58:51 (permalink)
CPOG! You're right, not traditional Chicago pizza, but it should be on the list of top to try! The pizza pot pies are baked upside down in porcelain bowls - they layer cheese, sauce, mushrooms then top with the crust. You have choices - meat sauce or marinara, mushrooms yes or no, crust wheat or white. All the combos are delicious! This pot pie is cooked with the crust up then flipped at your table by your server. I have tried the Oven grinder sandwiches but I'm not a fan - I just kicked myself for not getting the pizza pie! The Mediterranean bread is phenomenal dipped in the poppy seed and sour cream dressings - perfect blend of sweet & sour. Don't miss out on this dining experience!
Plus its claim to fame of being across the street from where the St. Valentine's Day massacre happened.
#86
Logan2
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2008/03/08 10:35:34 (permalink)
Based on the reports above, my friends and I tried the pizza pot pie at the Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Company restaurant the other day. Yeow! If you like something different, then good for you. This was a glob of something, comes in very limited varieties, and is a "freak" of sorts substituting for a pizza-like dish. Words are hard to describe it, but "awful" comes the closest. An interesting restaurant with good service, but we wouldn't return for that meal. The four of us all gave the pizza pot pies we had a big, big "thumbs down." But its good that some others like it as variety is the spice of life.
#87
PIZZAKING
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2008/03/21 01:38:43 (permalink)
Re Nancy's, I will only go to the one in Niles, which is excellent for stuffed pizza. The rest are franchises and have a conveyer belt oven, which dramatically effects the taste and quality of the pizza. Frank, who runs the Nancy's with his wife, are the son in law and daughter of Nancy and Rocco, the founders of Nancy's. I have had the stuffed pizza at probably every place in the North suburbs of Chicago, Nancy's in Niles is hands down the best. As an aside, there is a really good place for both stuffed and thin crust pizza called Primo in Barrington. I am really picky on pizza, this place is a little dump which happens to serve great pies. The owner allegedly worked for Nancys in the 70s.
#88
PIZZAKING
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2008/03/21 02:12:56 (permalink)
Anyone remember these places

1. Oddo's Pagliacci pizza, Skokie, Dempster and Bronx, first pizza I ever had, thin crust, with burnt edges, loved it.

2. Little Caesars, Dempster and Keeler. This was a predecessor to the chain, actually had the first pan pizza I can remember, it was so good, i actually worked there as a kid for free passing out coupons on cars, just to get a free pizza.
#89
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RE: Best Pizza in Chicagoland area 2008/03/24 08:32:23 (permalink)
The original Home Run Inn was our favorite pizza when I was a kid living on the west side. Oddo's was our favorite pizza when we moved to Lincolnwood in the mid-fifties. Other favorites included Alberti's in Skokie, Niles Pizza on Milwaukee and Harlem, the Inferno in Evanston, and the original Lou Malnati's in Lincolnwood.

CSD PhD-Professor of Hot Dogs
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