Every Sunday, Papa Saverio welcomed his family with the enticing aromas of simmering tomatoes, garlic, and onions as he cooked a traditional Italian meal for the whole clan. Two generations later, his children and grandchildren have grown into expert cooks themselves—thanks to their papa's teaching—and have founded their very own restaurant, Papa Saverio’s Pizzeria. Opened in 1997, what was once a single shop in Lake in the Hills has since expanded to 15 stores scattered across Chicagoland. Yet no matter the location, Papa Saverio’s Old-World recipes remain the same and his love of family pervades each eatery. Patrons can build their own pies atop a light and flaky thin-crust canvas or a slightly thicker pan-pizza crust, or they can go even bigger with the Chicago-style deep dish, which requires a fork and knife for mess-free consumption. Chefs hand-roll the eatery's original double-dough pie and layer cheese and toppings, such as sausage, green peppers, and hot giardiniera, between two crusts to create the stuffed pizza. Although Papa Saverio’s is known for its pies, the menu also features other Italian favorites, such as baked mostaccioli and lasagna, and plenty of sandwiches and wraps for those who already ate pizza for breakfast, lunch, and second lunch.
Sandwichville's amiable servers expedite made-to-order bread-and-protein towers. The Elvis the King's amalgam of peanut butter, bacon, bananas, and honey ($5.29) saunters and swivels its way across the mouth’s threshold with gooey charm. A menu packed with stackable sustenance lets customers concoct You Call It dagwoods ($4.99) that sport custom assemblages of bread, fillings, condiments, and extras such as guacamole and bacon ($0.50 each). Symbolically make up for past encounters with subpar paninis or all-too-human human childhood heroes by triumphantly tackling the Cuban, which piles high ham, roast pork, salami, and swiss cheese on a pressed roll ($6.29).
Originally opened as the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, Sonic has grown into a burger-franchise mecca that today operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic specializes in made-to-order American classics—including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and marshmallow Ford Thunderbolts—which customers order and receive without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast, as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.
Sonic’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top five fast-food restaurants in three categories: Best Value Menu, Best Milk Shake, and Best Drive-Thru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through their program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.