At Eddie’s Pizza and Pub, friends and neighbors share laughs and frosty draft beers over cheesy slices of pie under a canopy of local high school teams' pennants. The pub’s décor exudes a familiar neighborhood charm with its red-checkered tablecloths and walls peppered with posters of pro football teams and sponsored Little League teams, and regular trivia nights that inspire friendly competition between tables. But nothing brings people together quite like the food: thin vs. deep dish debates are put to bed since Eddie’s happily served both, along with a soft dough crust that suits those in the middle, a gluten free crust for sensitive tummies, and an ultra thin crust perfect for those with coin slots for mouths. Piling toppings upon those pies may prove more contentious, though luckily, Eddie’s menu features no less than 15 specialty pizzas with tried and true topping combinations. The bacon cheeseburger pizza pays homage to America’s favorite vegetable by piling ground beef, bacon, and a three-cheese blend atop the saucy circle, while the pineapple express pairs pineapple and jalapenos with sausage, pepperoni, onions to create slices that are both spicy and sweet. There’s also a smattering of sandwiches piled high with homemade Italian beef, sausage, or salami and cheese, as well as a small selection of salads for those with iron-clad will power.
Before buying his own restaurant, Mario DeMarco spent 10 years in the imported Italian-food business, and his experience with high-quality ingredients is evident throughout the menu at Mario’s Pizza, Pasta & More. Fresh pasta is used in every pasta dish, breadsticks are made from scratch, and imported prosciutto fills paninis along with high-quality, extra-virgin olive oil. Pizzas come in varying styles, from thin crust to deep dish, and can be customized with flavorful toppings such as italian sausage, fresh garlic, and artichokes. And as the sister restaurant of Salt Creek BBQ, Mario’s serves Salt Creek's rib slabs and hand-pulled pork sandwiches.
In the four decades since the first Papa Saverio’s opened its doors, the pizzeria has expanded to more than 20 locations but stayed true to the family recipes its founders brought from Italy. As a tribute to their long paddle across the Atlantic, a Venetian gondola wraps around the pizzeria’s logo; though the boat’s five-pronged prow has become its signature of sorts, it’s Saverio’s oven-baked pies that continue to earn the eatery new fans. Guests can choose from a menu of specialty pizzas or create their own from more than 25 toppings and five crusts, including a double-stuffed crust that nearly bursts with melted cheese. Chefs also churn out Italian classics, such as calzones, family-size pasta dishes, house-specialty ribs, and fried chicken. Lest anyone question the Italian origins of the latter two items, the pizzeria serves each with a buttery garlic breadstick.
At Luigi’s Pizza and Fun Center, no belly goes unfilled, and no guest leaves bored. Between bites from a menu offering hamburgers, hot wings, and pizzas, kids and adults alike can explore Luigi’s entertaining confines. An arcade with more than 100 games entices with flashing lights, cheery sounds, and whispered advice on how to get to the kill screen, and a mini-bowling alley hosts frames. Nearby, a three floor, 4,500-square-foot laser-tag arena glows with friendly beams, and ghostly black lights transform the space into an otherworldly battlefield.
The menu at Amato's Pizzeria spans the entire spectrum of Italian cooking with lasagna, meatball sandwiches, panzerotti, and calzones each eliciting their share of salivating, but the pizza is the true centerpiece of the menu. Since the establishment's inception in 1966, the chefs have whipped up their own pizza sauce from scratch and made dough fresh each morning to create a delectable canvas for 24 available toppings. Pies arrive in thin-crust, double-dough, pan-style, and stuffed Chicago-style forms, piping hot and ready to be devoured by the slice or handed out to members of an easily persuaded jury.
When childhood pals Michael Caringella and Armand Christopher bought Elmwood Park's Victory Tap in 1956, one of their first orders of business was determining whom their new establishment would be named after. In the end Michael won the deciding coin toss and, to dodge any complaints that might arise, slyly chose to dub their eatery Armand’s Victory Tap. With Armand’s original artwork gracing the walls and Michael’s decadent thin-crust pizza flying from the oven, the restaurant received far more compliments than criticisms; and although Armand sold his portion to Mike in the 1960s, the eatery—since renamed Armand's Pizzeria—still thrives today.
City dwellers and suburbanites alike can taste a slice of the original thin-crust pie at any of Armand's 10 locations. Though menus differ slightly at each eatery, all contain thin- or pan-crust pizzas crowned with an array of fresh toppings, ranging from ham, bacon, and pineapple to feta and kalamata olives to italian beef and spicy giardiniera. Beyond pizza, the chefs pull fresh-baked mozzarella mostaccioli from the oven, glaze baby back ribs with tangy barbecue sauce, and assemble hearty sandwiches from italian beef, italian sausage, and genuine italian leather.