When Eshticken Pizza co-owner Dalia went on a low-carb diet, she found herself craving pizza, so the team started experimenting. After years of tweaking—and enlisting the help of pizza maker and former Egyptian actor Mohamed Aly—the crust was ready. Eshticken Pizza opened in January 2012, and it has been dishing up carb-free crust along with regular-flour pizzas ever since. Its unique recipe has caught the eye of Chicago Magazine as well as the Daily Herald, which hailed the carb-free crust as "a pleasant surprise and what really sets the place apart."
Cooks hand toss each pizza crust and calzone, then toss them inside a brick oven to bake. Using fresh, high-quality ingredients, they top each baked pie according to the diner’s preferences. The staff also hand ties their dough to make garlic knots, slow simmers fat-free lentil soup, and tosses orecchiette pasta with creamy tomato-pesto sauce. For dessert, they use a family recipe passed down over the years to create Mama Haam's rice pudding.
Rosati’s Pizza's history dates back to the early 1900s, when a recent Italian immigrant named Ferdinand Rosati moved from New York to Chicago with the dream of opening a restaurant. His first attempt was modest—with Ferdinand simultaneously fulfilling the duties of chef, server, dishwasher, and host—but quickly gained popularity for its crispy-thin-crust pizzas, originally served as complimentary appetizers. Encouraged by the public's response to the pies, Ferdinand and his son, Sam, decided to focus their efforts on opening a true pizzeria.
Today, at Rosati's Pizza locations across the country, plumes of heat swirl above piping-hot pies concocted from handmade sauce and dough. A smattering of toppings cling to five crust options—crispy thin, double dough, Chicago-style, pan, and superstuffed—as well as hide from their hungry predators inside hand-rolled calzones. Homemade lasagna and fettuccine alfredo battle for the top pasta spot, and fried chicken, baby back ribs, and fried-shrimp dinners work together to distract diners from hard-to-resist buffalo wings.
Following in the footsteps of their father, the three Coli brothers aim to capture the flavors and traditions of classic Chicago cuisine with their slate of hearty comfort fare. Backed by a team of chefs, they forge Georgio's Chicago Pizzeria and Pub’s trademark deep-dish pizzas from a more than 60-year-old recipe, kept hidden to preserve its authenticity and hand-model-caliber hands. The hefty pies, along with their crispy thin-crust cohorts, were declared the best pizza in McHenry County by readers of the Northwest Herald, and helped the eatery garner a slot on Pizza Today magazine’s list of the Hot 100 Independent pizzerias in 2011. The brothers complement their acclaimed creations with a roster of pasta and sandwiches, dished up amid a sleek, upscale sports-bar atmosphere. Both locations are decked out in flat-screen TVs and reclaimed exposed brick.. The comfortable environs regularly play host to fundraisers and events, such as dinners that pair the Coli brothers’ prize-winning pizzas with a lineup of craft beers on tap.
Owner Gregg Majewski doesn’t call Jerseys a sports bar—he prefers to think of it as a “sports restaurant.” A fleet of 35 high-definition flat screens and two 6'x10' screens project in-the-moment sports action, and etched glass murals depict all manners of contests from track and field to basketball to Greco-Roman thumb wrestling. The lengthy menu of signature sandwiches, pizzas, and entrees is what differentiates Majewski's eatery from a simple bar with a cable connection.
Three types of potato skins cover spuds with bacon, pico de gallo, and house sauces, and 11 types of sauce douse wings in innovative flavors such as Coca-Cola and spiced honey chipotle. On specialty pizzas, grilled chicken, homemade sausage, and stir-fried veggies cover specialty pizzas paired with creamy tomato and southwestern sauces. Families wash down suppers with fountain sodas, while adults nurse house wine and beer from independent breweries such as Two Brothers and Three Floyds. Diners can also peruse the menu of catered fare ideal for parties, business meetings, or training before the Olympics of competitive eating.
Nicodino's Pizza Co. & Café bridges the culinary gap between sweet and savory with a multipronged menu that couples sizzling pizzas with piping-hot café drinks, as well as cataloging gluten-free pizza and pasta. Fresh toppings adorn hand-tossed pizzas and run the gamut from succulent meats, such as italian beef and roasted chicken, to veggies, including green peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and jalapeños. The kitchen doesn’t restrict itself to making pizzas, though; chefs also grill chicken-pesto paninis and bake spinach calzones and mostaccioli. To complement the savory food, the café side of the eatery presents offerings such as mango smoothies and tiramisu. When it’s warm, Nicodino's Pizza Co. & Café invites guests to an outdoor seating area. In addition, the restaurant offers catering for those throwing a dinner party or a pizza-themed wedding in which all the toasts are cheesy and made with marinara sauce.
At six locations dispersed throughout the Chicago suburbs, Old Town Pizza Co.'s dough doyens handcraft an array of Italian edibles, including four styles of pizza—signature thin crust, double dough crimped with a hand-rolled edge, Chicago-style deep dish, and Sicilian-style stuffed pizza. Specialty pies, which comes in such varieties as the Florentine and The Butcher Block, arrive adorned with fresh spinach and spices or a choice of four meats. Chefs also tempt carb cravers with pastas, calzones, and sandwiches, including italian beef.