When you think of quintessential Chicago food, pizza inevitably comes to mind. We've sampled quite a lot of deep dish and thin-crust around the suburbs, so I present to you a totally not-exhaustive list of local chains and suburban pizzerias worth checking out:
• Generoso's Pizza (1006 E Algonquin Rd; others) has extremely tasty deep-dish that has the most cheese on it of any pie we've tried. Seriously, this stuff was mutant, and the pie weighed about 5 lbs. Good crust, nice sauce, but what I remember most is the cheese.
• Aurelio's (1455 W Lake St.; others) is some of my favorite thin crust. The sauce is zippy and a little sweet, the cheese is just right, and the crust is crispy around the edges with an excellent flavor.
• Home Run Inn (1480 W Lake St.; others) is neck and neck with Aurelio's for great thin crust. Their crust is a little butterier. the sauce a little more garlicky.
• Zio Tony's (613 W Lake St., carryout only) has great deep dish (called "pan" on their menu), with some of my favorite deep-dish sauce -- lots of garlic, a little spice, excellent.
ELK GROVE VILLAGE:
• Lou Malnati's (1050 East Higgins Rd.; others) is possibly my favorite deep dish. The sauce is excellent and the crisp, wonderful garlic-butter crust can't be beat.
• Tree Guys Pizza Pub (101 E Irving Park Rd) has great food all around, but their pizza definitely merits a mention. We've had thin, thick and stuffed here and you can't really go wrong. The sauce is chunky and zippy on the deep dish; smooth and savory on thin-crust.
• Palermo's on 95th (4849 W 95th St) has my husband's all-time favorite thin-crust. (This is also an Italian restaurant where everything is excellent.) Their sauce is a bit on the sweet side, the crust nicely browned and crispy around the edges with a hint of caramelizing on the cheese.
• White Cottage Pizza (350 N Wood Dale Rd) is a solid local choice for thin crust, with plenty of cheese. I also recommend their garlic cheese-stuffed breadsticks. :)
Also worth mentioning:
• Marino's Pizza, 136 E Irving Park Rd., Wood Dale
• Barraco's Pizza, 7926 W 159th St., Orland Park
• Gino's East, 15840 S Harlem Ave., Orland Park (and others)
• Beggar's Pizza, 11329 West 143rd St., Orland Park (and others)
• Giordano's, 1323 W Lake St., Addison (and others)