Owned by an intrepid pair of dough-spinning brothers, Jeff's Pizza Shop is a haven for delicious, quickly prepared Italian-American cuisine. Patrons can design trillions of custom pizzas using the five pie sizes and an ample toppings list or choose a specialty creation such as a 12-inch Cordon chicken ($13.49), which mixes rich ham with chicken strips and dumps the meaty medley over a thin crust stippled with alfredo sauce and honey mustard. Diners diagnosed with meat-deficiency syndrome can wrap their lips around a 14-inch Farmer Frank and all its ham, ground beef, bacon, bison meat, and extra cheese ($15.99), and vegetarians can indulge in the self-explanatory spinach, havarti, and artichoke pie ($10.69/10") paired with Sprecher's root beer ($1.69). Jeff's menu delves deep into baked savories beyond pizza, heaving hot, hefty calzones ($4.99+), toasted subs ($5.79), and thick cuts of saucy lasagna ($5.99) directly into mouths before they can apologize for taking small bites out of all the breadsticks ($2.99/side).
Papa Murphy’s pizza eschews monarchical store baking and provides fresh, high-quality pies for customers to enjoy on their own terms. Every pizza on the menu is made to order and whipped together in moments by artisan dough-throwers, who slather on a groundwork of sauce and cheese and then construct leaning towers of harmonized toppings. Stuffed pizzas sandwich a slew of meat and veggies between two layers of dough in a tasty Windy City tribute ($12.99–$14.99) and gourmet pizzas such as the Papa’s Favorite feature traditional red sauce and smorgasbord of meat and veggie pie packers ($11.99–$13.99). A cornucopia of thin-crust pizzas can be loaded with one of four different sauces, including traditional marinara and herb tomato ($5.99–$11.99). With detailed instructions provided for baking, grilling, or laser blasting your personalized pizza at home, Papa Murphy’s lets you finally reclaim culinary sovereignty from the dictatorial delivery boy.
The crafty couple, Scott and Deb Coldiron, recreate the traditional Italian pizza with a menu of wood-fired pizza. In an imported, handcrafted oven, burning only seasoned hardwood, the pizza preparers cook up their tasty two-dimensional dishes at over 800 degrees. They do as the Neapolitans do by using locally produced ingredients when possible and baking fresh dough daily. The pizza pros proffer a selection of signature concoctions, such as the pie splattered with La Quercia dry coppa, Stickney Hills goat cheese, arugula, and crushed red pepper ($10), and the smoked provolone, goat cheese, fresh mozzarella, rosemary, and basil cheesily chatting atop hand-worked dough ($8). Personalize the belly-filling experience by topping a palatable pie with one of the 23 topping options, such as the toasted pine nuts, goat cheese, and prosciutto sausage, or by toting along childhood photos (build-your-own pizzas start at $7, with additional toppings $1 each extra).
At Mama Lacona's Italian Restaurant, cooks have baked pastas and stacked meatball sandwiches for more than 50 years, feeding hungry families and ravenous wolverines who wander in from the interstate. From the Sunday brunch buffet to gluten-free dishes, the family-oriented eatery caters to all of its patrons' special needs or favorite eating times.
People wage wars at Incredible Pizza Company, whether against other drivers on the go-kart track, golfers in the black-lit Day-Glo mini-golf course, or the limits of their own stomachs at the buffet. The funporium’s more than 100-item buffet centers on pizza, with three styles of crust—original, thin, and deep pan, crafted from gluten-free dough upon request—crowned with more than 30 toppings. Verdant greens and freshly made dressings await visitors at the customer-beloved salad bar, and the baked-potato station comes with every necessity for side-dish construction, from cheese to the bacon bits from which bacon is built. A variety of sauces enliven the buffet’s fettuccine and spaghetti noodles, and homestyle eats such as hot dogs and Frito pie complement the Italian pasta’s international flair.
Meanwhile, in the indoor adventure park, gamers zip around a track in two varieties of go-karts—the stock-car speed and the slower Busch speed—as announcers share their turns, accelerations, and favorite steering-wheel shape. Alternatively, patrons can instigate harmless car crashes while piloting bumper cars—each decorated with a unique animal theme—or spend five frames toppling pins during bouts of mini bowling.
Even with Chicago's skyline some 300 miles away up I-80, the taste of Felix and Oscar’s deep-dish pizzas seem to bring it into focus. Its chefs pile up to 15 toppings on their authentic Windy City–style pies, layering Hormel bacon, pepperoni, and Graziano’s italian sausage beside less traditional add-ons, such as sauerkraut or shrimp. They ladle housemade meat sauce atop regular or gluten-free pasta and supplement their comestibles with imported beers and California wines. For diners on the go, Felix and Oscar’s allows customers to place their orders ahead of time to reduce the time they have to wait in the seating area. The pie-smiths also keep galas well fed with their in-house party rooms or offsite catering.