Though Giuseppe, the cofounder and namesake of Giuseppe’s La Cantina, passed on in 2005, his children still helm the restaurant in his honor. As a result, it’s no coincidence that the restaurant pulsates with a homey ambiance. The 50-year-old eatery has been in the Brunetti family since 1963, boasting menus and recipes passed down from family members in their native Italy. An appetizer of Italian antipasto leads diners to family specialties, such as eggplant giovanna topped with mozzarella and lasagna layered with ricotta and ground beef. Each day the Brunettis’ offerings continue to tempt locals with the family’s rich sauces, succulent meats, and seafood so proud to be on the menu it enters the oven willingly.
Since 1983, the dough twirlers at Vince & Dominic's Pizzeria have whipped up homemade Italian favorites stuffed with authentic and fresh ingredients and served in a family-welcoming setting. Pass your pupils over the extensive menu to peruse pizzas coated with old-fashioned, home-cooked tomato sauce. Patrons can order up a 14-inch, three-meat Meat Lover’s pie ($18.49) or a 12-inch pesto pizza with sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, and cheese ($16.49), both served ready to be eaten or stapled directly into a food scrapbook. The panoply of more than 20 toppings includes mouth-friendly morsels such as anchovies, bacon, black olives, artichokes, salami, and pineapple. Unpizza’d options include Italian staples such as chicken parmesan accompanied by a stack of spaghetti ($11.59), as well as an array of salads, wraps, sandwiches, and cold and hot subs, including the chicken cheesesteak sub, crammed with white-meat morsels and encrusted with provolone cheese ($8.49/large).
Since serving the inaugural slice from its original Chicago location in 1970, Nancy's Pizza has carefully crafted an expansive menu of thick- and thin-crusted disks and Italian dishes laden with sauces and cheeses. Customize a signature stuffed- pie ($12–$18.50) by choosing from more than 20 filling options ($2/ingredient), or sample one of the pizza shop's tried-and-true deep-dish combinations such as the chicken and bacon with barbeque sauce ($15.50–$23.25). Thin-crust pizza ($11.75–$14.75, plus $1.75/topping) comes in enticing varieties such as Uncle Carlo’s Favorite, which is coated with chicken breast, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers ($15–$19.50), or the four manggio—a quartet of mozzarella, provolone, ricotta, and romano ($15–$19.50)—brought together in melty harmony by the unifying powers of Nancy's pizza oven.
Cooks at Carmine's focus on Chicago specialties, starting with deep-dish pizzas crowned with toppings such as capicola, pepperoni, and bubbling, melted cheese. Turning away from the blazing ovens, chefs dip their signature italian beef sandwiches in au jus or cover them with cheddar cheese and zesty hot peppers. Five rotating flavors of fresh-fruit italian ice, blended fresh each day, cool the taste buds of diners splitting orders of spicy wings or slices sprinkled with hot giardiniera. Patrons may opt for carry-out or delivery, dine indoors at the restaurant, or practice Olympic vault dismounts off of its outdoor picnic tables.
Mr. Beef & Pizza karate-chops cravings with crunchy thin-crust pies topped with melty cheese and woos taste buds with 15 hearty sides. Adorn savory creations with classic spangles such as pepperoni, garlic, and sausage, or choose to layer a cheesy canvas with unexpected décor such as bacon, roast beef, or a portrait of Grover Cleveland created from spinach. Substantial sides such as crispy onion rings, juicy tamales, thick gravy bread, and seasoned popcorn shrimp accompany the meal's star entree, as does an effervescent roster of nine soft drinks.
At CiCi’s Pizza, patrons wander along a buffet brimming with fresh-baked pizzas, hearty pasta, crisp salads, and warm desserts. Dough spinners whip up pizza crusts from scratch every day, slathering them with vine-ripened tomato sauce or zesty white sauce before sprinkling on a coat of whole-milk mozzarella—the perfect trap for unsuspecting toppings such as ham, pineapple, Italian sausage, spinach alfredo, and macaroni and cheese. All of CiCi's offerings are free of trans fat and sad flour, including sweets such as brownies, apple pizza, and cinnamon rolls. Although pricing varies by location, many franchises offer the buffet for less than $6 per person, while inviting guests ages 2 or younger nosh for free. The pizzeria spices up its edible good works by launching community-oriented programs that range from fundraiser nights to lunch-and-learn field trips for students.