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Chicago Style Pizza - Wicker Park/Buckhead

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My wife and I will be visiting my brother-in-law next week, who lives in Wicker Park/Buckhead. We're chowhounds from Seattle, and we're looking for great Chicago style pizza in the area.

After a quick search of the board, I saw a lot of recs for some New Haven or NY style places, which is great - but it seems silly to focus on that while in Chicago.

Any ideas? Or places easily accessible by transit (I think he's on the Blue line) or car that would have a great pizza/authentic Chicago experience?

I'd also love any other recs for food in the area that seems typical of Chicago's character/gastronomic delights. We have two solid days to fill.

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  1. Bucktown, not Buckhead

    Piece is mentioned in the same breath as Wicker Park and Bucktown b/c it's in the neighborhood, but it's not typical Chicago pizza.

    There are several Giardanno's and Gino's pizzas in town for that (or Lou Malnati's or the the original Uno or Due). I can't think of any in the neighborhood, though. The blue line gives you a quick ride downtown for that, though.

    Although it's not "typical" Chicago food, if you have time for breakfast, I would suggest the Bongo Room on Milwaukee.

    1. I would have to also agree with the other reply.... Lou Malnatis, Ginos East, Giardannos, Edwardos, and if you do Uno's make sure that is the original downtown, not the chain.

      1. I can't think of any standout Chicago-style pizza in that area. The good thing is that it is easy to get anywhere from that part of town. So if your focus is pizza, you're going to want to go elsewhere. That being said, here are links to 2 recent discussions of Chicago area pizza (note that there are several styles of Chicago pizza - deep dish, stuffed, pan, cracker crust, etc)

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/327474
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/319254

        1. My Pi on Damen just north of Armitage has a good deep dish pizza. Not much space to eat there, so it's more for carry-out or delivery. You can do better, but for the neighborhood, that's one of my go-to places for deep dish (they also serve a good thin crust, salads, etc.)

          3 Replies
          1. re: JJ.

            That should be My Pie (not Pi).

            1. re: JJ.

              No, you were right the first time - My Pi.

              It is good, but since they have all of about 5 seats there, of which 2 are in the parking lot, I didn't suggest it as a destination :) I get takeout from there, but wouldn't recommend anyone go there to eat in.

              1. re: leek

                The logo is My (Pi symbol); but their website is My Pie: http://www.mypiechicago.com/

                I also like Pequod's as recommended by the poster below. Their pepperoni is the best around.

          2. I like Pequod's which is north of Bucktown on Clybourn, just north of Webster. The pizza is great and it's quite close to Wicker Park/Bucktown.

            Try Irazu (Costa Rican) on Milwaukee. It might not be a Chicago dog or Italian Beef but I think of Latin American cuisine as Chicago since their are a ton of good Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban places to eat.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cheapertrick

              I loved Pequod's, used to live in Bucktown and we got it delivered there all the time.

              Oh that carmelized cheese into the crust thing they do - yum

            2. As many of us on this board have tried to make clear to visitors for years now, thin-crust, "tavern-cut" (i.e. in sqares) is the preferred pizza style for the majority of Chicagoans. If this interests you at all try John's Pizza on Western Avenue in Bucktown.

              Oh, and if you go, keep it simple. I'd suggest a sausage and cheese pie, or a sausage, onion and cheese pie.

              John's Pizza and Lounge
              2104 W. Western Ave.
              773.384.1755

              http://centerstage.net/restaurants/jo...

              E.M.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Erik M

                Thanks for all the recommendations - it's always best to be guided by locals. I'm planning on checking out the thin-crust, tavern-cut at John's Pizza as well as some Chicago-style deep dish downtown...it sounds like there's 3 or 4 that are consistently mentioned as being one of the best.

                And thanks for the Bongo Room recommendation, that looks great for breakfast!

                Thanks for sharing what's good in your city, if anything else comes to mind I'd appreciate it...

                1. re: Erik M

                  Oh my! Thank you for mentioning this one. First of all, you're dead-on with the generalization about the preferred pizza style (at least in my book): We're not fans of chewey crust or deep dish.

                  We've lived in West Wicker Park for over 2 years and I have to say, delivery is somewhat limited around here. We were Sonny's and Bella's fans for awhile (Sonny's being the better of those two by far), then one day, rubber banded to the front gate was a flyer for John's.

                  I don't think we've ordered a pizza from anywhere else since. Their thin crust is the best. They don't over-do anything either.

                  And it holds up well in ziplocs overnight in the fridge for a cold breakfast, which in my book, is the defining definition of good pizza. Doesn't get too hard or too rubbery like so many do :-)

                  1. re: frankiewickerpark

                    The best thin-crust in Wicker Park has got to be Metro on Ashland. Awesome crust. Oddly it's square and you can get it as a whole, a half or by the piece.

                    1. re: chicgail

                      Hi there-

                      Be aware that if you go to Bongo room on the weekends, expect a wait of 30-minutes to an hour, if not longer. The food is quite memorable -

                      Also, if you were interested in eating at the aforementioned mi pi, there is a larger location on @ clark and fullerton in Lincoln Park-

                      Happy eating!

                      Charlie

                  2. re: Erik M

                    Actually, *most* Chicagoans prefer the deep-dish pizzas, and usually at the chains (Giordano's, Malnati's, Gino's, Edwardo's, Carmen's, Pequod's, etc). Sure, there are also some folks who like thin crust, but they are a distinct minority. Which is why the chains of deep-dish places have proliferated here; they all started as single locations, then grew and grew.

                    1. re: nsxtasy

                      Pequod's has 2 stores so I don't know if I'd call them a chain. In any case, ever since I transplanted from the East coast I have been constantly amazed at how many of my friends out here prefer thin crust or simply don't like any of the traditional Chicago styles. Most of the folks I know that grew op here say they are having pizza when its thin and otherwise say they are having deep dish or stuffed. YMMV and usually does. I never rule out any of them. I like Malnati's for the chain places but the best pizza I've had in Chicago is in the north burbs at Burt's (Burt is the fellow who started Pequod's). Doesn't really help with the OP but it's mighty good and worth the trip if you aren't visiting with a tight schedule.