Standing out in the Chicago food scene is no easy feat, especially when it comes to pizza, and we all know the age-old argument of who serves the best ‘za will never be won. However, much like Katy Perry’s left shark, there are some pizzas that garner more attention than others. And while pizza can’t draw in customers by sprouting legs and performing spirited dance moves, there are a variety of eclectic toppings and pizza making methodologies that astonish and intrigue pizza lovers everywhere all the same.
Robert’s Pizza Company, Bacon & Eggs
Located in Streeterville, the Bacon & Eggs Pizza is made with ZaDough (pizza crust that took 20 years to perfect), and this creative breakfast sensation is one of the best things to ever happen to brunch. Smothered in environmentally conscious olive oil and topped with crispy Applewood smoked bacon, five fried eggs, melted Monterey jack cheese, avocado and a healthy portion of pico de gallo, Robert’s utilizes the freshest ingredients to create a punch of exciting flavors. Beware, after your first taste you’ll be hard pressed to find a breakfast pizza as enticing.
Bonus Item: ZaDough Cinnamon Buns
When the head chef presented Robert with mouthwatering cinnamon buns for the new brunch menu he asked him to guess how they were made. After several guesses, Robert was stunned to find out they were created using his coveted ZaDough. Soft, gooey and everything a cinnamon bun should be, they prove the versatility of his crust.
355 East Ohio Street, Chicago, IL 60611
Max & Leo’s, L’Umina
Simply put, this Lincoln Park pizza is special. The dough is hand-stretched, placed in a 900-degree coal fire oven and cooked well done. The fiery crust on the L’Umina is then topped with olive oil, caramelized onions, creamy ricotta cheese, fresh sliced pears, decadent prosciutto and basil. The finishing touch is a sweet drizzle of organic wildflower honey. It’s a far cry from traditional but remains exquisite down to the last bite.
Bonus Item: Garlic Rosemary Wings
Another coal fired creation; the bone-in garlic rosemary wings are an herbaceous starter. They have a rich earthiness and are surprisingly easy to eat. No Wet-Naps required.
Roots Handmade Pizza, Aaron Silverman’s Bangers & Lace Duck Sausage BLT Pizza
With locations in West Town and Lincoln Square, this casual hang out boasts some of the most creative pizza in the city. The hand-tossed crust is made using a dark-roasted malt that promotes its complex flavors and textural divinity. Roots has a section on their menu dedicated to specialty pizzas featuring chefs from around the city, which makes it ten times more difficult to make a selection. And while each pizza is literally delicious beyond comprehension, Aaron Silverman’s Bangers & Lace Duck Sausage BLT Pizza stands out from the crowd.
Smothered in Roots’ secret pizza sauce and topped with locally sourced duck and pork sausage, crispy bacon, garlic aioli, succulent tomatoes, and fresh arugula, it’s finished with a comforting blend of smoked Gouda and mozzarella cheeses. This soul-satisfying creation will make you appreciate pizza on a level in which you didn’t know you could.
Bonus Item: Panza Sticks
A Roots’ staple, these loaded breadsticks are made with a blend of fresh garlic, a special Quad-Cities mozzarella blend and Parmesan cheese. The aforementioned secret pizza sauce is served on the side. Don’t pass on these.
West Town: 1924 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622 | Lincoln Square: 2200 West Lawrence Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625
Featured Photo: Street Art by JC Rivera