With locations in Lindenhurst, Waukegan, and North Chicago, Rocky's Pizzeria ensures hunger and boredom never become permanent residents of Lake County. At each joint, families gather around handmade pizzas sporting more than a dozen different toppings. They also chomp into hot dogs, sandwiches, and 16 flavors of Hershey's premium ice cream, which are served in cone or sundae form.
Variety doesn't end with the food menu, however?Rocky's also boasts a DVD express store stocked with thousands of different movie titles for rent. And guests at the Lindenhurst and Waukegan locations can check out Roc Vegas Strip, where live video gaming machines spit out real cash payouts to lucky winners or anyone who correctly guesses their machine's biggest fear.
At Ferentino's Pizzeria, the keystone of the menu isn't pizza, but something more basic: bread. Homemade garlic focaccia bread, to be precise. This expertly seasoned mainstay provides the groundwork for many of the restaurant's dishes, acting as a side for pasta entrees—whose noodles and sauces are made fresh daily—and as a foundation for grilled panino sandwiches. Of course, pizzas aren't an afterthought, either. Guests can order pies in one of four styles: thin, deep-dish, stuffed, or Roma, which decorates that same focaccia bread in cheese, toppings, and a to-scale seating chart of the Coliseum. Seven specialty pizzas, such as the buffalo chicken ranch or the feta- and spinach-dressed Mediterranean, arrive with predetermined fixings. For those who prefer the comforting glow of their own oven, chefs also compose "Take and Bake" pizzas to be cooked at home.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
La Rosa Pizzeria & Restaurant first opened in Skokie in 1958, and more than 55 years later, they're still loyal to timeless dishes such as hand-cut fries and italian beef sandwiches. Other sandwiches include their eponymous signature creation, which is a meaty layering of capicola and mortadella topped with provolone and veggies. Of course, pizza is a large part of the menu, with specialty pies such as chicken alfredo and margherita. Equal weight is given to homestyle Italian entrees, including asiago-stuffed gnocchi and homemade lasagna.
Since 1964, Mike's Pizza has been customizing golden-brown pies from top to bottom?literally. The pizzeria boasts more than 15 toppings to choose from, ranging from classic peppers and sausage to international delights like feta and Canadian bacon. Below those, melted cheese blankets a choice of sauces, such as classic tomato, alfredo, and tangy barbecue sauce. Patrons have options beyond that, too, thanks to a culinary team that whips up crusts in three styles and a variety of sizes. Luckily, the pizzeria's hours leave plenty of time for indecision?it's open until at least 10 p.m. nightly.