Taylor Street Pizza dishes out succulent Italian-American fare in a family-friendly sports-bar atmosphere. Gather friends to watch a football game or an emotional rerun of the Airwolf finale while noshing on a bouquet of crusty breadsticks or a platter of spicy or barbecue chicken wings. A large handmade pizza arrives doused in Taylor Street's signature tomato sauce and festooned with two toppings, including options such as canadian bacon, anchovies, eggplant, and giardiniera. Sips of fizzy, refreshing soda clear palates and extinguish spicy mouth fires. Diners can indulge in their delicious bounty in a Taylor Street Pizza dining room, carry their meals home, or request for it to be delivered to the inflatable ballpit of their choosing.
Family-friendly Nick's Pizza & Pub’s menu exercises decision-making muscles with descriptions of thin and double-decker pizzas, italian beef, and stacked sandwiches served inside a winsome barn-style setting. Nick's signature pizza ($10.29–$20.29) arrives at tables metaphorically signed by the chef with sausage, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers, which sit atop a crust that, like a the ice under a child whose parent has counted to two, is thin. The Hawaiian pie, alternatively, shimmies with barbecue sauce, pineapple, and canadian bacon over regular ($9.89–$18.99) or double-decker crust ($20.49–$23.29). Visitors looking to diversify their culinary portfolio can orally invest in italian beef resting between an 8-inch loaf of french bread ($7.99–$8.49), or dig into the layered goodness of a super italian sub, which packs a wallop of genoa salami, imported krakus ham, mozzarella, and a dollop of vinaigrette ($8.49).
Nuova Italia's chefs take influences and recipes from the northern and southern regions of Italy to fill plates with wood-fire pizzas and helpings of handmade pasta. After looking through the menu, dig into the insalata capricciosa, which intermixes greens, black olives, artichokes, and gorgonzola cheese ($7.95). The gnocchi della casa ($13.95) unites potato-dumpling soldiers in matching uniforms of house-made marinara before infiltrating tummies to beat back hunger insurgencies. Buffalo mozzarella, arugula, prosciutto, and shaved parmesan perch on the pizza Nuova Italia ($15) as it emerges from Nuova's wood-burning oven. For dessert, plunge sweet teeth into a piece of chocolate flourless cake ($5.95) or lap up mouthfuls of gelato, in vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut or limone flavorings ($4.95+). On some nights, live music floats through the air, scoring meals like a sousaphone scores a clown walking down the street.
Old Town serves saucy pastas, cheesy sandwiches, and pizzas in varying dimensions. Build your own medium cheese pie on one of five crusts: thin ($12.50); double dough ($13.65); or deep dish, Chicago style, or Sicilian-style stuffed, which has all four smaller crusts stuffed inside it ($15.40 each). Choose from one of Old Town's specialty 'zas, such as a medium veggie ($19.20), barbecue chicken ($17.90), or the meat-tastic Butcher's Block ($19.20). Pasta dishes are all less than $10, and include noodley hits such as baked lasagna and chicken parmesan ($9.55 each). Old Town also specializes in subs, burgers, and sandwiches ($6.25 and under), as well as fried panzarotti and baked calzones, otherwise known as Italian Hot Pockets ($7.50–8.95).
At Papa Saverio’s Pizzeria’s newly opened South Elgin location, cooks plate pizzas in a variety of styles, from traditional Chicago deep dish to hand-rolled double-dough crusts. Toppings such as barbecue chicken, italian sausage, and fresh garlic bedeck create-your-own pies, and chefs construct specialties such as the pizza Bianca, slathered in Alfredo sauce. They also layer pans of baked lasagna and mostaccioli with sauce and cheese in gargantuan portions designed to feed four family members or that second cousin who’s actually a grizzly bear. House specialty racks of ribs brushed with barbecue sauce, shrimp, and fried chicken round out in-restaurant or catered dinners, which can also include italian beef, meatballs, and sauce-covered wings.
When Eshticken Pizza co-owner Dalia went on a low-carb diet, she found herself craving pizza, so the team started experimenting. After years of tweaking—and enlisting the help of pizza maker and former Egyptian actor Mohamed Aly—the crust was ready. Eshticken Pizza opened in January 2012, and it has been dishing up carb-free crust along with regular-flour pizzas ever since. Its unique recipe has caught the eye of Chicago Magazine as well as the Daily Herald, which hailed the carb-free crust as "a pleasant surprise and what really sets the place apart."
Cooks hand toss each pizza crust and calzone, then toss them inside a brick oven to bake. Using fresh, high-quality ingredients, they top each baked pie according to the diner’s preferences. The staff also hand ties their dough to make garlic knots, slow simmers fat-free lentil soup, and tosses orecchiette pasta with creamy tomato-pesto sauce. For dessert, they use a family recipe passed down over the years to create Mama Haam's rice pudding.