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Mar 17, 2010 12:15 PM

Pizza in or around Oak Park

Hi, I am wondering if anyone has a recommendation for good pizza (delivery or pickup) in the Oak Park area (and I know there are a ton of places in Elmwood Park, probably some great, but I have no idea where to begin).

We moved there in the fall and we have tried a few but have not been blown away yet at all.

Pizza is so subject to personal preferences, it is hard to go by reviews!

Here are some of my feelings on pizza in case it helps trigger any ideas:

I am from New Jersey originally, so I do prefer NY style if it is good but that is so rarely the case... I like Santullo's in Wicker Park okay. Venice Cafe, when it used to be on the NW corner of Wacker/Jackson was good for a slice (haven't been since it has been inside "Willis" - may still be). But I can't fully get excited about any NY style here, really. I just LOVE the chewy, bubbly crust of a pizza made from dough that has really been allowed to rise properly and has been stretched and tossed.

I also like Neapolitan pizza, also has the beloved bubbles - but there are not a ton of places that are great at this, even in the city. We used to live in West Town, so we got spoiled being near Coal Fire.

I am not a deep-dish/stuffed hater, but I am a Giordano's hater - I just think the crust is awful. I like Gino's, Uno's, Malnati's deep dish once in a while, nothing wrong with that.

I like a good regular ol' pan pizza though and I am totally fine with that being what we find in OP. I LOVE Art of Pizza for this. I cannot say enough - I think it is delicious. I also like My Pie. My husband likes Salerno's (on Grand), which I think is just okay. We both agree that the Oak Park Salerno's is crap.

One other thing I could really do without is cracker-style thin crust pizza. Even if it is not super thin, there is something about certain "thin" crusts that I just cannot stand. I can't think of a particular place, but usually this holds true:

If it is a round pizza cut into squares, I probably won't like it much.

So after that long pizza monologue, anyone want to point me toward some pizza in or around Oak Park?


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  1. Both my husband & I are originally from the East and live in OP. Like you, we prefer NY style pizza and have pretty much come to despair that we will ever find anything in OP that we really like. The pizzas at Trattoria 225 on Harrison are more/less Neapolitan style, and acceptable. They don't deliver (unless the new owners who just took over have implemented delivery). We typically order from Geppetto's when we want delivery; it's not great -- I don't even think it's good -- but it's ok. Trattoria Peppino on North Ave in Elmwood Park is also ok.

    6 Replies
    1. re: masha

      Thanks for the moral support! I am sad to hear that you feel so resigned.

      I have frustrated myself to no end trying to find a decent pizza. I read reviews and people say things like "the thin crust is great, sooo crispy!" Pizza is not supposed to be "crispy"! I cannot wrap my mind around this. I have zero interest in having tomato sauce and cheese on top of a Carr's Table Water Cracker, which is basically what it tastes like. No thanks!

      I liked Geppetto's less than you did.

      Maybe I just need to let the dream go...

      1. re: extra_everything

        Or embrace Chicago style pizza. Which is thin crust round pizza cut into squares or pan pizza. You aren't going to get a NY/NJ style pizza here of your liking. I wouldn't go move to that area and then lament the lack of good Chicago style pizza and complain about the gooey drippy floppy triangle cut slices. I'd learn to love the different style of pizza.

        I don't live in Oak Park so can't help with pizza deliveries in that area. But hopefully someone can.

        1. re: lbs

          Interesting approach. I said I like deep dish and pan pizza which I find to be a good part of "Chicago Style" - I'd say I have accepted it. I just don't really like one particular type. I fail to see how that is so horrible of me.

          I lived in Chicago for 9 years and I have tried PLENTY of square, cracker pizza. I don't like it, it just isn't my style. That is not going to change. I don't expect you to start liking "gooey drippy floppy triangle cut slices" either. It is just a matter of taste.

          I am sorry but I did not move to Oak Park for the pizza. I like pizza as much as the next person, but I have more important reasons for choosing a place for my family to live...I am simply looking for ideas, if they exist.

          If not, I am okay with that. I will eat something else.

          1. re: extra_everything

            I didn't mean to sound snotty. Your second post made just think -especially the comment about decent pizza. (I do like gooey drippy floppy pizza too). Have you tried Edwardo's? There is a location in Oak Park. The Edwardo's (at least the one I've tried by work) is pretty good for deep dish. I love Art of Pizza too and I really do hope that someone can steer you to something similar.

            Art of Pizza
            3033 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

            1. re: extra_everything

              Extra - After 30 years in the Chicago area, I've concluded that the only way to approach good Chicago style pizza is not to think of it as pizza. I've tried to
              "embrace" it but really just don't like it. It's not what I think of as "pizza." Don't feel bad about it. I am sure there are many native Chicagoans in diaspora in the rest of the States who lament that they cannot get good Chi-style pizza. And, yes, my approach is mainly to eat something else.

            2. re: lbs

              Or embrace Chicago style pizza. Which is deep-dish pizza, either the single-crust "pizza in the pan" or the double-crust "stuffed" pizza. You say you like Gino's or Malnati's once in a while - enjoy!

        2. I used to get slices from Spizzico in Elmwood Park. That's slices. Not squares. Not cracker crust. They were pretty good and different than most other Chicago places.

          I wouldn't call it NY style, but it's *somewhat* similar.

          1. I was all set to recommend Capone's on Harlem Ave for their good Marghareta thin-crust pizza until you mentioned that you DON'T like crispy thin crust. Having lived just north of your location for 28 years, I must admit that there really is a dearth of "world class" pizza in the area. We've tried many of the ones mentioned here; Spizzico's, Salerno's, Edwardo's, Armand's and they are just OK. Of the ones I mentioned, I remember Armand's as being pretty good but its been a number of years since we had one of their pies. (It's definitely not NY style though.)