Jimano's Pizzeria's deft dough-tossers craft homemade crusts, succulent sauces, and pies layered with fresh ingredients for an oven-fresh menu of Chicago-style pizzas. Top a thin-crust cheese pizza ($15.80 for a 16") or piñata-pack a pan-baked deep-dish cheese pizza ($17.95 for a 16") with a panoply of ingredients, such as pepperoni, mushrooms, bacon, or pineapple ($2.10 per ingredient for a 16" pizza), ensuring that modest pizzas don't have to arrive at the table undressed. Cooks also create stacked delights such as the italian beef ($5.85) or the crispy buffalo chicken sandwich ($5.99); baby back ribs ($16.99 for a full slab, $14.99 for a half slab) offer carnivorous sustenance coated in a homemade St. Louis–style barbecue sauce. The pizzeria's famed bread sticks ($3.99) satisfy carb cravings alongside a slew of pasta dishes, which arrive with sides of saucy banter and cheesy dialogue.
At Spring Grove Family Restaurant & Pizzeria, the chefs specialize in comfort. All-day breakfast selections share menu space with dinners of fettuccine alfredo and half-pound burgers layered with bacon and cheese. From the pizza ovens emerge pies in both thin-crust and deep-dish variations, with ingredients added to emulate classic dishes such as tacos, reuben sandwiches, and the traditional delicacy known as "pizza." For sweeter cravings, the chefs bake tart cherry pies and top slices of molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and a chocolate drizzle.
Stuffed deer antlers, a large canoe suspended from the ceiling, and carvings of bears surround diners at Bill's Pizza & Pub. The northwoods seeps indoors at the venerable pizza place, which exhibits the idiosyncratic decor of a lodge. The wood-grained eatery first established its novel dining room more than 50 years ago, when its founder and namesake converted a garage into a roadside pizza joint. There, Bill and his wife, Pat, devised the double-decker pizza that still emerges piping hot from the kitchens at two locations. Both locales exhibit the same relaxed setting, in which families can scarf double-decker slices and freely toss peanut shells to the floor or out windows at mounted policemen.
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).
The chefs at Angie's Pizzeria are diligent scholars of Chicago's culinary traditions. In their bustling kitchen, they fill deep-dish pizzas with heaps of mozzarella, tomato sauce, and meaty toppings; adorn steamed franks with the canonical toppings of the Chicago-style hot dog; and sizzle up slices of Italian beef for pepper-laden sandwiches. But their expertise also makes for satisfying spin offs. The Grabber, for instance, stars a hot dog that's wrapped in bacon, deep fried, and slathered with cheese sauce, sport peppers, and celery salt. They also serve thin-crust and hand-tossed pizza varieties, which diners can order with any of their more than 20 toppings or with marshmallows, hot fudge, and peanuts—the ingredients atop their rocky-road dessert pizza.
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.