Since serving its first slice in Chicago in 1970, Nancy's has been winning over pizza enthusiasts with an expansive menu of thick- and thin-crusted dough disks along with hearty sandwiches. Slip into Italian elation with an appetizer-piquing Garbage salad, whose crusty bread-bowl confines contain fresh greens, pepperoni, canadian bacon, and mozzarella ($8.70). Nancy's dough, which is made from scratch each day, serves as an immaculate foundation for redolent herb-laden sauce prepared with sweet sun-soaked plum tomatoes. The sausage thin-crust pizza nurtures the hunger pains of cartoon steamroller victims ($16.85 for large) and inspired culinary alchemists can construct a pie from 27 available toppings, which include feta, bacon, shrimp, and roast beef. The herculean selection of sandwiches includes The Godfather, a mozzarella-bedecked mountain of italian beef as surprisingly tender as Mr. T's poetry ($6.30).
Family recipes from across Italy make every spoonful of sauce and melty morsel of mozzarella at Gianni's Cafe remind you of a happy home. Start your evening with ricotta-stuffed baked eggplant rolls ($9.95). Then, trail teasers with a trinity of customizable pasta: Choose your own noodle, sauce, and ingredients with a Romanesque thumbs up or down. Options include pesto and spicy diablo sauce ($13.95 each), with add-ons such as pine nuts ($2.50) and meatballs ($3.50). For those who would rather not choose what they chews, a house specialty eliminates decision-making. Garlic, white wine, herbs, peas, and potatoes erupt from unpredictable veal vesuvio ($21.95); pollo (most dishes are $17.95) and pesce ($18.95–$31.95) are other protein-packed options. In addition to its post-meridian menu, Gianni's also serves lunch at the Kildeer location (open seven days a week), and Sunday brunch in Palatine (open Tuesday through Sunday).
Papa Saverio's bill of fare has awakened appetites with cheesy, sauce-draped Italian fare alongside familiar American eats since 1998. Now with more than 20 locations, the menu reflects years of fine-tuning. A rotating deck oven evenly fires five types of fresh, hand-tossed and hand-braided pizzas crust, and their signature cheese is hand-mixed as it matures, giving it a rich consistency that melts over pastas and subs. Bone-in finger foods lean on savory condiments such as barbecue sauce and ranch dressing, whereas many of the meaty sandwiches are built to need little to fortify their flavor beyond their giardiniera flying buttresses.
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.