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Sep 27, 2004 05:26 PM

REAL New York Style Pizza in Chicagoland?

  • t

My wife grew up on the East Coast and is now truly a Chicagoan. But she does miss her New York Style pizza very badly.

Is there anyone in the Chicago area making TRUE New York style pizza? She's really looking for recommendations from transplanted New Yorkers only, as others that thought they've found the real deal have disappointed. (Any tips on east-coast style chinese food would also be appreciated- big fat egg rolls, bowls of crunchy noodles as soon as you sit down...)

She's in the 7th month of pregnancy now, so while she hasn't officially craved food from the old stompin' grounds yet, I'm sure she will be comforted by anything that gives her a taste of where she grew up.


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  1. It took me over four years to find, but Cafe Luigi on North Clark has solid New York Style pizza.

    Sounds like you're in the burbs though so you may be screwed.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Adam

      Thanks, Adam!

      Distance from our house in the burbs to Cafe Luigi: about 8 miles.

      Distance from our house in the burbs to NYC: about 800 miles.

      So as I see it, we are far from screwed. The glass is definitely half full (or is it the crust is half folded-over?)

      Thanks again for the tip!

      1. re: Tim V

        There is a place (forgot the name) on State and Division (south side of Division street) that serves an excellent slice of NY style pizza, powdered crispy bottom, chewy yet thin center, large triangle cuts, bubbling and lightly greasy cheese taunting you with every bite. Yum.

        There is also Gigio's in Evanston which is undoubtedly the best NY style pizza in that surrounding area:
        1001 Davis Evanston, IL 60201


        1. re:
          Chicago Mike

          There is a place (forgot the name) on State and Division (south side of Division street) that serves an excellent slice of NY style pizza, powdered crispy bottom, chewy yet thin center, large triangle cuts, bubbling and lightly greasy cheese taunting you with every bite. Yum.

          This place is so over-priced. like 3.50 a slice or something, and not that good. It's there to feed off the drunks at nearby Rush street bars.

          1. re: Chicago Mike

            Tim -- try Luigi's at Clark just North of Deming. It's been called the best NY style pizza in the city.. she won't be disappointed; nor, will baby. :)

            1. re: Emily

              Correction: It's called Cafe Luigi.. the link from Metromix is here, along with the raving reviews:


              1. re: Emily

                I too am a New York transplant and would love to have some New York Style Pizza. Does anyone know if there is a place near or in Oak Park?

          2. re:
            Dan Silverburg

            The place on State and Division is the only thing close to NYC style pizza I have had since moving here 3 years ago from 96th and Broadway.

            1. re:

              I second Gigio's - excellent NY style pizza - down to being served on paper plates and garlic powder is available -

        2. From this transplanted NY'er ( Massapequa Long Island, alias Matzoh-Pizza)

          Best NY Pizza- Renaldi's- Broadway, Just North of Diversey in Lakeview area- cheesy, and just that right amount of grease!!! triangle slices, not those silly squares

          Best Chinese- For a bowl of those crispy noodles to dip in the mustard and duck sauce while awaiting your meal, the only place I've found is Best Hunan in Vernon Hills- in a strip mall off Milwaukee Ave

          Best Chinese in Chicago that will remind you of NY- Peking, on Halsted, just South of Belmont- Great for takeout, not a place to dine- They serve the thick, crispy noodles with the takeout orders- BIG eggrolls- best Hot and Sour Soup in Chicago- and great combo dinners with fried rice and eggroll all in the $6-7 range

          5 Replies
          1. re: Pauly

            We love our silly squares!

            1. re: JAN

              ...and we prefer our crust to be fully cooked and the pizza itself not dripping with grease.

              All kidding aside, NY pizza is great. The different styles of pizza are debatable to no extent...I choose to enjoy them all!

            2. re: Pauly


              Thanks so much for your suggestions! My wife is thrilled and I know we'll be travelling into the city soon to try these places out!

              The irony, of course, is that 3 years ago she lived at Diversey and Halsted and we never discovered Renaldi's or Peking! Better late than never!


              1. re: Pauly
                Chicago Mike

                Don't get too excited about Renaldi's... or the nearby Luigi's on Clark.

                The best slice close to NY style I've had in Chicago is at the place in the basement under the Fox & Obel grocery... think it's called Taste of Italy. But kind of out of the way, in Streeterville heading towards Navy Pier.

                1. re: Chicago Mike

                  I liked Slice of Italy too, but unfortunately it's been closed as that building continues its transformation into the River East Arts Center.


              2. Is Garibaldi's still around? It was located out in Hoffman Estates near South Barrington in the Barrington Square 6 strip mall on Barington Road and Golf (I think that is where it is). Used to go there as a kid transplanted from NJ and loved their pizza (cause it was foldable).

                3 Replies
                1. re: Jamieson S

                  Garibaldi's is still there. And there pizza is really BAD, don't waste your time.

                  1. re: Kim

                    Well should have mentioned that I have not been to Garibaldi's since 1994 or so but back then it was quite tasty! ;)
                    Why is it so bad now?

                    1. re: Jamieson S

                      There just wasn't any taste, the sauce was very thin, and the crust was soggy. It's very hard to find good pizza out there.

                2. As a born-and-raised NYer, I searched far and wide in Chicago for NY pizza. There is one - only one - place that does it very well. Run, don't walk, to Santullo's on North Avenue in Bucktown.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Kenny

                    Since she's pregnant, I guess I'll have to do the running!

                    Thanks, Kenny!


                    CENTER. DUNDEE & SANDERS ROADS

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mike shefler

                      Drove from the far southwest burbs all the way up to Northbrook on this tip about Marisa's, to satiate my Long Island Wife. Don't bother. The pizza is fine, but no better (and no more New York) than anything you can find in just about any neighborhood in the city. So if you're going to search for NY style pie, pass this one up. Don't get me wrong, If you live in the neighborhood, give it a shot-just don't waste $3 a gallon gas and think you're going back back to Brooklyn.