For the restauranteurs behind Rocco Ranalli's Cafe and Pizzeria, keeping Chicago well fed is a family affair. Run by the Ranalli clan since the 1970s, this neighborhood joint at the heart of Lincoln Park still serves the pizza, sandwiches, and brews that made it a Lincoln Avenue insitution to begin with. In the kitchen, chefs wrangle the ingredients necessary to master their own huge menu, which includes everything from barbecue pork sandwiches to chicken parmesan and beer-battered fish ‘n’ chips. Their pizzas pair standby flavors such as the Meat Lover's italian sausage, pepperoni, and bacon with unorthodox favorites such as the Mexicano's taco-style ground beef, salsa, and refried beans. A menu of eight Ranalli specialty sandwiches also honors the neighborhood itself, with names like The Redline, The Lincoln Park, and The Blue Demon working in conjunction with gourmet ingredients including fried eggs, sauteed mushrooms, smoked gouda, and balsamic glaze. At the bar, barkeeps serve brews from the restaurant's extensive craft beer list, which includes more than 50 labels. In the warmer months, mealtime revelries also unfold on Rocco Ranalli's gargantuan patio, where diners can soak up mid-meal sun amid Lincoln Park's bustling din and rustling leaves.
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