Certain pizza styles can only be had at a few spots around town. Some are strange; others are just gaining national momentum; all are worth trying.
Est. 2001 | Wicker Park
Your chance to try New Haven-style pizza
Piece Pizza is the only place in Chicago to get the chewy, flat, oblong, often ugly-looking pizza known as New Haven style. You can get it with red sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan -- no mozzarella -- or if you’re so inclined, recreate the classic New Haven white clam pie by picking out your own toppings. Piece Pizza also hosts one of the last vestiges of legendary Hot Doug’s: the Hot Doug’s Atomic Pizza (pepper jack cheese, caramelized onions, and Hot Doug’s spicy sausage).
Est. 2012 | Various Chicagoland Locations
The only spot in Chicago for Quad Cities-style pies
This is a hyper-regional style from the Quad Cities, a region split between Iowa and Illinois. The crust is malted and sweet, the sauce is slightly spicy, and the pies are cut into strips. Honestly, it might challenge your conception of pizza. Roots is its only purveyor in Chicago, and if you order a pie with sausage, you’ll find it’s finely crumbled, not in big pieces. The taco pizza, which is topped with the ingredients you’d normally associate with a hard-shell kit (seasoned tortilla chips, taco sauce packets, and all), is a specialty of the Quad Cities that really, you can’t get anywhere else in the city.
Est. 2003 | Various Chicagoland Locations
Pizza al taglio: scissor-cut slices straight from Rome
Another style that’s quickly gaining popularity, Pizza al taglio (which translates from Italian to “by the cut”) is a Roman style known primarily for its ultra-bubbly airy crust and sheer variety of toppings. Chicago is the first place Bonci landed in the United States. All the pizza is laid out in a display, and you simply point at which you’d like. It’s then cut by scissors, and you’re charged by weight. Bonci’s crust is very light and fluffy like focaccia, and the toppings change every day (sometimes every hour). Go with your gut when you’re peeking into the glass, but don't overlook variations with potato or ‘nduja, which is silky, spreadable sausage.