For nearly four decades, the Benedetto family has hand tossed, sauced, and sprinkled authentic Italian pies and pastas, creating a menu of traditional family recipes. Munch on crisp thin-crust pizza ($11.95 medium, $1.70 each additional topping) or gobble a doughy disk of Chicago-style deep dish ($13.25 medium, $1.70 each additional topping), both of which don dough that the Benedetto's staff makes fresh daily. Specialty pies ($16.75 medium) include piquant pesto, vegetarian, and meat classic—a mound of sausage, pepperoni, bacon, and salami securely sealed with melted mozzarella and an intricate system of alarms. Dizzy cutlery with a plate of spaghetti bathed in marinara or meat sauce ($6.95) or spurn silverware for a juicy Italian beef sandwich ($5.95) or a slab of barbecued ribs ($17.95).
The mexican taco sounds self-explanatory, but at Pizza for U, the moniker refers to a specialty pizza. Crowned in refried beans, taco meat, and tortilla chips, it evokes Mexico without abandoning the menu’s bedrock dish. Other specialty pies, such as the sauce-less white pizza and a meat lover’s pizza with two types of sausage, round out the selection, along with build-your-own variations in thin crust and deep-dish styles. Meanwhile, burgers, gyros and three types of chicken wings suggest an alternative to pizza, much like the Ninja Turtles’ personal trainer.
Gnarly’s Eatery flavors each of its pizza pies with just a hint of the mythical with the apocryphal Legend of Gnarly, the cheese-riddled epic story of their founding. The myth translates into truth, though, in their fine pies paired with craft beers and topped with premium dairy products. To whet appetites for their oven-baked, golden disks of bread, butter, and cheese, the cooks craft deep-fried Gnarly nuggets sprinkled with parmesan cheese and the Apollo, a quarter-pound mozzarella stick.
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.
Luigi's Pizza & Pasta's owner, Michael Maretick, was featured on Chicago's Best for his popular deep dish pies, which have been a local favorite for nearly 40 years. Each one starts with made-from-scratch pizza dough, then cheese, followed by a generous serving of Luigi's secret house-made sauce. Additional toppings include green peppers, mushrooms, black olives, and giardiniera, plus a pie-sized sausage patty that ensures a bite of sausage in every bite. To complement their renowned deep dish pies, Michael and his team also craft thin crust ones, too, and, upon request, they can even make an extra-thin crust pizza for fans of that style or anyone trapped inside an outgoing mail box.
This cozy eatery isn’t really a diner, a drive-in, or a dive, but that didn’t stop its celebrated italian-beef pizza pie from being featured on the Food Network show of the same name. Cooks craft that superstar’s mozzarella and pepper-topped crust to order alongside other thin, deep-dish, or double-dough pizzas, and they form round meatballs and shape-shifting alfredo sauces in-house. Servers descend upon red-checkered tabletops with plates of juicy half-pound burgers or classic spaghetti, and they proffer glasses of wine and other liquid libations from the full bar.