Chicago: Two Days, Nineteen Pizzerias (Part 1)


View Chicago Pizza in a larger map

I spent a total of two days in Chicago last month and managed to visit 19 pizzerias. It was my first time in Chicago since 2003. I’m not a big fan of restaurant reviews, so think of these more as abbreviated recollections of my experiences at each place. I might do more in-depth reports later but people ask me about pizza in Chicago so often I just want to use this as a quick reference guide. It’s split into two parts because Chicago pizza is too massive to fit into one post. Description first, photo below. Enjoy! 

——————————————————————

Pizzeria Uno
I hate to start this way, but Uno was the worst deep-dish I tried in Chicago. We ordered the Chicago classic onions-peppers-mushrooms-sausage-pepperoni (someone referred to it as “sticking to basics” — WHAT?!?!) and it was a soppy mess. You can see the runoff in the photo. Veggies were basically raw because they’re topped toward the end of the 45+ minute bake. I don’t need to ever go back.

image

Pizzeria Due
As its name suggests, Pizzeria Due is the second location of the more familiar Pizzeria Uno. They’re located a block away from each other. Even though the managers claim the pizza is identical, my experience found otherwise. I tried them both back-to-back and liked everything about Pizzeria Due MORE than Pizzeria Uno. If you’re on a Chicago pizza pilgrimage you’ll have to go to both, but save more room for Due. It’s a serious deep-dish pizza.

image

Coalfire
This was the first pizza I had on this trip and I was really jazzed up when I got there but I still think it would have been my favorite pizza in Chicago even if I tried it last. I know what you’re thinking, this is basically a New York coal oven pizza and NOT a typical Chicago style pizza. You are correct, and maybe that’s why I loved it. But it’s in Chicago so it belongs on this list. It’s a domed wood-burning oven but they keep a mountain of bituminous coal piled into the back of the oven for that dry heat. We use anthracite in NYC but Chicago doesn’t have easy access so they go with the lighter coal with more moisture content by default. Great crunchy-yet relenting crust paired with creamy fresh mozzarella, a sharp sauce and post-oven basil. 

image

Read More

Slice Out Hunger Raises $12,800 for City Harvest

Last Wednesday thirty-two pizzerias, sixty volunteers and over 700 pizza lovers joined forces to raise $12,800 for City Harvest, NYC’s premier food collection organization. Approximately 475 pizzas were delivered from all five boroughs to St Anthony’s Church in Soho to be sold for $1 per slice. Funds were matched by Seamless and Scott’s Pizza Tours with 100% of proceeds going directly to City Harvest. The funds raised will help rescue and deliver 51,200 pounds of food to NYC’s homeless and hungry.

NYC’s Biggest Pizza Party Oct 10 in Soho

Mark your calendars for an epic event in NYC that will make all your pizza dreams become reality. On October 10, we’ll be hosting our annual Slice Out Hunger event to make slices from NYC’s best pizzerias available to you for $1 each. Just show up to St Anthony’s Church (154 Sullivan St at Houston), buy tokens at the door for $1 each, go inside and cash in your tokens for slices, a Fizzy Lizzy soda or entries to our mega-amazing raffle. Every dollar we collect will be matched by Scott’s Pizza Tours and Seamless for a massive donation to City Harvest, New York City’s premier food collection organization.

Doors open at 6PM and pizza is first come, first served so be sure to get there early. Our friends from Brewla Bars will be on hand to serve up their brewed ice pop goodness and the geniuses from Green Box will have plenty of their revolutionary pizza boxes for your pizza eating and storing pleasure. October is National Pizza Month — celebrate it with a pizza party to benefit New York’s homeless and hungry!

Slice Out Hunger - $1 Slice Fundraiser for City Harvest
October 10, 2012 at 6 PM
St Anthony’s Church, 154 Sullivan St (at Houston)
FIRST COME FIRST SERVED

What pizzerias will be represented?
Lombardi’s, Joe’s, John’s, NY Pizza Suprema, Difara, Motorino, Da Mikele, Keste, Tosca, Rubirosa, Cowboy Pizza, Naked Pizza, Pala, Forcella, Pizza Box, Rizzo’s, Prince St Pizza, Two Boots, Arturo’s and MORE!

Need more info? Check out the Slice Out Hunger event website.