The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
Pizzeria Antica serves up a menu of made-to-order pizzas, each prepared with fresh ingredients and premium italian cheeses. Muffle the moans of rapacious stomach-sirens with an order of bruschetta crowned with tomato, basil, and a drizzling of extra virgin olive oil ($4.75), before diving into the restaurant's array of specialty thin-crust pizzas ($12.95–$19.95). The Barese pizza adorns chop canvases with the colorful flavors of prosciutto di parma and panna, along with fresh ground pepper, shaved parmesan, and arugula, while Nemos of nourishment can submerge themselves in the Antico pizza, a spherical serving of tuna and capers frolicking in a cheesy pasture of mushrooms and onions. Build-your-own-pizza options are also available ($8.95–$14.95; $1–$2.50 per topping), as well as starch-surrounded fare such as the meatball sandwich or the italian beef sandwich ($4.95 for small, $6.45 for large).
Cousins Pizza Pub boasts a menu of specialty pizzas padded with sandwiches and salads. Appetizers such as fried zucchini ($6) and mini tacos ($6.25) introduce pizzas founded on a range of crusts including thin, double-dough, pan, and stuffed. The cheeseburger pizza protects its cargo from roving Hamburglars by offering a pizza disguise to beef, american cheese, mayo, lettuce, and tomato ($16.50–$24), and chicken alfredo pizza tops pies with grilled chicken and a cream sauce usually reserved for flavoring pastas and styling angel hair ($13.50–$20). The strip steak sandwich also offers an alternative delivery system for a forkable classic accented by onions and a choice of american, mozzarella, or swiss cheeses ($9.50), and the Julienne salad mingles turkey and ham with cheese and hard-boiled egg ($7.25).
Chicago Street Pizza's dough artists pile crusts with enormous helpings of fresh, tasty meats, melted cheeses, and a garden's worth of vegetables. Ten distinctive specialty pies, such as the Chicago Monster pizza, load up with canadian bacon, ground beef, fresh basil, and barbecue sauce, creating disks that work equally well as hearty meals or frisbees. As chefs prepare Italian eats, they ensure the juiciness of the beef sandwiches, the crispness of calzones, and the tang in the sauce-slathered pastas.
At Rosati's, specialty pizzas cavort with traditional pastas across a sprawling smorgasbords of Italian cuisine on the Northbrook menu, Carol Stream menu, and Gilberts menu. Equipped with a family recipe more than a century old, the pie personnel spin Chicago-style deep-dish disks ($13.20–$15.50 for 14", depending on location) with chunky tomato sauce and deliciously gooey cheese slathered upon a buttery, pan-cooked thick crust. Unlike horror films starring frozen vegetables, the Rosati's Monster pizza ($13.50–$14.75 for 10") terrifies hunger pangs thanks to its hearty ensemble cast of nine toppings. Engage grub receptacles with the baked mostaccioli ($5.50–$5.99), a mozzarella-infused Old World pasta dish, or feed 4–6 geologists with the complex layers of the family-style baked lasagna ($20.95–$24.99).
At RoccoVIno's, a dish can never be too Italian. That's why you can order a pizza—already an Italian staple—in Italiano style, crowned in spinach, tomato, and three types of cheese. Customers add their own personal touch to the pizzas, too, choosing from thin crust, classic pan, and stuffed-crust deep dish styles, or select a specialty pizza such as the Margherita, Veggie Delight, or il Paisano. The pasta dishes are similarly customizable, filled with noodles from farfalle to rigatoni and drizzled in a choice of 10 sauces. These include a spicy tomato sauce made from only tomatoes that look like winking faces. Other gourmet Italian dishes include seafood risotto mixed with scallops, calamari, and shrimp, filet mignon, topped with a chunk of gorgonzola cheese, chicken or eggplant parmigiana, lasagna, and baked mostaccioli.