Many of our guests include eating Chicago style pizza in their “to do” lists for their visit to our city. While we can certainly help you find the right slice of pie, it is important to note that based on our experience, most folks weigh in heavily on the great pizza debate: thick vs. thin. So here are some recommendations for both sides of the plate.
True Chicago-style pizza is a deep dish pizza, baked in a buttery round pan which crisps the dough. The dough is thick and hearty with cornmeal to hold the substantial fillings and usually rises a good half inch or so above the rest of the pie at the edges. This style of pizza, the story goes, was invented at Pizzeria Uno back in the late 1940’s. The style was translated by other Chicago pizzerias, a handful of which remain legendary as well today, such as Gino’s East and Lou Mahlnati’s. In the seventies a pinnacle was reached in deep dish pizza and a new Chicago tradition was born: the stuffed pizza. We are fortunate to be just a few blocks away from one of the many Giordano’s Pizza restaurant at 1040 W. Belmont. A large stuffed pizza, which can feed 4- 5 hungry adults, will run from $20 for a plain chesse to upwards of $30 for one loaded with toppings. Choices include sausage,spinach, pepperoni, mushroom, shrimp, ground beef, green peppers, fresh tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, onions, black olives, fresh garlic, broccoli, green olives, anchovies, pineapple, and Canadian bacon. Keep in mind if you fall in love with the stuffed pizza while you are visiting, you don’t necessarily have to wait until your next visit to enjoy some Chicago style pie – Giordano’s ships!
Now while my husband loves to attack the Chicago style pizzas with a fork and knife, I tend to prefer a thin crust pizza known by that other town’s name out east. But New York isn’t the only place to get a delish thin crust slice of pie. In fact, if it’s thin crust you like, you don’t need to even leave our block. Leona’s at 3215 N. Sheffield, a neighborhood staple since 1956 and now a Chicago wide chain, serves one of the best thin crusts around. Leona’s dishes up a lot more than pizza, in fact they have a menu that reads like a book with choices for carnivores, vegans, and everything in between, but I’ll save that for another post. I simply love Leona’s thin crust and enjoy a 9″ on my own or as large as a 16″ for myself and three others. They have an extensive list of specialty thin crust pizzas that include: the Chipotle Chicken, the Mediterranean, and the Italian Meats but of course, like Giordano’s you can create your own from another impressive list of toppings. At Leona’s roasted garlic, grilled tofu and sun dried tomatoes are also on the list. In fact, you can even get a gluten free thin crust pizza there.
So whether your a thin or thick crust fan we’ve covered right here in Lakeview. So mangia, mangia!