The aroma of freshly baked pizzas crowned with pepperoni, meatballs, and garlic fills the air every day at Coney Island Pizzeria. In the kitchen, the cooks assemble Coney Island–themed pies, such as the Luna Park with pepperoni, bacon, and pineapple and the Wonder Wheel, topped with alfredo sauce, bacon, meatballs, and green peppers. During two-hour pizza-making classes held every Saturday, students learn to re-create the restaurant's signature pies, preparing the dough, making the sauce, and topping the pizzas with fresh ingredients and cheese. After sessions, students tote home a complimentary 18-inch pie of their choice or the choice of the myna bird living on their back.
Denali’s Pizza deals out a menu full of fresh Italian fare and more. Everything from the sauces to the salad dressings are homemade, so customers don’t have to worry about the unwanted partial-invisibility side effects reported by consumers of pre-packaged marinara. Kick things off with appetizers such as garlic bread ($2.99) or pesto cheese bread ($4.99) before delving into Denali’s roster of pizzas. Pies come in four sizes (mini, small, medium, and large) and run the gamut from traditional favorites such as plain cheese ($3.99–$11.99) to inventive pies such as the brotherly love-laden Philly cheesesteak pizza ($6.75–$18.50) and the vampire-frustrating roasted-garlic chicken or shrimp ($6.75–$18.50). For the temporarily pizza wary, the barbecue-chicken sub ($7), filled with gouda cheese, red onions, and cilantro, and the veggie sub ($7) offer bun-embraced gustatory bliss. Denali’s also offers a piñata’s worth of Mexican cuisine, including carne asada nachos ($6.50) and grilled-chicken quesadillas ($5.50).
From thin, two-handed East Coast staples to the Midwest's famed deep-dish variety, Sweet Home Chicago brings the best to the west. Feast on a super skinny slice of NY-style pie smothered in cheese ($11 medium, $14 large), pepperoni and sausage ($15 for a medium), or pepperoni, sausage, meatball, mushroom, onion, and green peppers ($19 for a large). Toppings run the gamut from black olives to banana peppers. Chunky tomato sauce crested atop a buttery crest with mounds and mounds of cheese epitomize the Windy City's stuffed pie. Stretch stomach muscles to the moon and back with a monkey pie, studded with sausage and banana peppers ($17 medium, $21.50 large), or a meat-heavy and jalapeño-blessed El Goffo ($19 medium, $23.75 large). Sweet Home Chicago also serves Chicago-style thin crust (browned cheese, square cut), calzones, and salads. A wide selection of rotating craft beers makes perfect pizza companions.