Food & Drink

The 10 Best Specialty Pizza Slices in Chicago

Published On 03/30/2015 Published On 03/30/2015
pizza slices
mike gebert/thrillist

For centuries the human race lived in a dull, unforgiving world where the only pizzas by the slice you could find were cheese, sausage, and pepperoni. Today, though, we live in a multicultural pizza wonderland where you can get slices with all kinds of ingredients... along with cheese, sausage and pepperoni. These are the best of them: 10 specialty slices that set the Chicago bar.
 

The Monster Slice

Pie-Eyed Pizzeria (address and info)
West Town
This little spot at Chicago and Milwaukee puts out a nice slice spread at lunchtime. The star is The Monster: a sharp improvement on the classic all-meat pizza with sausage, pepperoni, bacon, and cured soppressata. It’s also the only place we’ve ever seen cactus on the menu of possible ingredients... though it’s unlikely to actually turn up on a slice. Or is it??? (It is.)

mike gebert/thrillist

The Artichoke

Dough Bros Pizzeria & Sub Shop (address and info)
Near North Side
You wouldn’t guess by looking at the outside that this modest State St slice joint had a high-end French chef (Roland Liccioni) and a hot startup (OrganicLife) behind it. But the sourdough-tinged, crispy, puffy crust is proof that the dough is something special. And so are specialty slices like the Artichoke (pictured), a white pizza with artichoke, spinach, and aged provolone, or even the Roland with lemongrass sausage and Sriracha.
 

Jack Daniel's BBQ pulled pork topped with onion rings

Big G’s Pizza (address and info)
Lakeview + University Village
Wrigleyville has become crazy-pizza-toppings central, and Big G’s (also on Taylor St) gets bonus points for making (and even more importantly, delivering) big, gloppy, delicious slices like the Jack Daniel's BBQ pulled pork topped with onion rings, or the spicy Dance with EL DIABLO.

nyc slices

Carne asada pizza

NYC Slices (address and info)
West Loop
Carne. Asada. Pizza. Carneasadapizza. CARNE ASADA PIZZA. (Carne asada pizza.) There are other oddball things like Buffalo chicken pizza and teriyaki chicken pizza too, not to mention breakfast slices (like the ones Wolfgang Puck sells at the airport). What they all have going for them, however, is a legit, foldable New York-style crust.

Flickr/Stephanie

Mac & cheese pizza

Dimo's Pizza (address and info)
Wicker Park + Lakeview
Dimo’s started as a franchisee of Madison’s Ian’s Pizza with plenty of offerings delivered straight from the “Late-Night College Student Cookbook” like mac & cheese pizza (mmm... mac & cheese pizza...) or chicken & waffles pizza -- not to mention the s’mores dessert pizza. But there are some surprisingly well thought-out items on the menu, too, like the vegetarian Trixie (pesto, beets, and goat cheese with lemon vinaigrette). And if the Al Pastor pizza ever comes back as a special, grab it.
 

The Bleubird

Santullo's Eatery (address and info)
Wicker Park
Ever wished you could have an entire dinner on a pizza slice? Okay, probably not, but it feels like we’re heading in that direction with the Bleubird -- which combines roasted chicken, bacon, fresh garlic and bleu cheese. We’re also fans of the Mama’s Meatballs pizza, which is like a fat meatball sub on a crust.

mike gebert/thrillist

East Coast white pie

Jimmy’s Pizza Café (address and info)
Lincoln Square
Tucked onto a corner way up North on Lincoln Ave is maybe the best New York-style pizza crust in Chicago. The slice toppings aren’t anything that unusual, but they do a first-rate version of an East Coast white pie that’s well worth stopping in for.
 

Potato and rosemary pizza

Pizza Metro (address and info)
Wicker Park
Potato on a pizza sounds like the least interesting topping ever. But if you’ve eaten pizza from bakeries in Italy, you know that a potato and rosemary pizza is one of those simple perfections the Italians do so well. Pizza Metro is the only one in town doing it as a slice.

mike gebert/thrillist

The Minotaur

Dante's Pizzeria (address and info)
Logan Square
This satanically themed -- but in a “nice” way! -- Logan Square joint may be best known for offering whole pies, but the slices to be had include a daily special consisting of whatever they feel like making. This often includes one of the whole pizzas on the menu like the Minotaur: Italian beef and giardiniera with cheese and garlic sauce.

mike gebert/thrillist

Spicy soppressata with peppery arugula salad

Roxie’s by the Slice (address and info)
Wicker Park
The roster of ingredients at Brendan Sodikoff’s Wicker Park slice tavern is pretty basic (except maybe that they actually have anchovies, which you always hear of as a pizza ingredient but have never seen anyone actually order). So we asked the man himself for an interesting combo out of the ingredients on hand, and he said he usually gets the spicy soppressata with the peppery arugula salad on top. And now, so do we.

Sign up here for our daily Chicago email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

Mike Gebert is a James Beard Award-winning food video producer and writer, and founder of SkyFullofBacon.com. Follow him on Twitter @skyfullofbacon.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Pie-Eyed Pizzeria 1111 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642 (West Town)

This little spot at Chicago and Milwaukee puts out a nice slice spread at lunchtime. The star is The Monster: a sharp improvement on the classic all-meat pizza with sausage, pepperoni, bacon, and cured soppressata. It’s also the only place we’ve ever seen cactus on the menu of possible ingredients... though it’s unlikely to actually turn up on a slice. Or is it??? (It is.)

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Dough Bros 400 N State St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

A celebrated, high-end chef tackles everyday street food and shows how it’s done. Check out Chef Roland Liccioni’s Dough Bros, which does an awesome New York-style slice even during late-night drinking hours in this area.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Big G's Pizza 3716 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60613 (Wrigleyville)

The masterminds at Big G's Pizza in Chicago's Wrigleyville neighborhood offer pizza for the adventurous and crazy. You'd have to be insane to try their infamous Dance with El Diablo pie with habanero peppers, or perhaps insane to not try it.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Slices - NYC Pizza 500 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60661 (West Loop)

Carne. Asada. Pizza. Carneasadapizza. CARNE ASADA PIZZA. (Carne asada pizza.) There are other oddball things like Buffalo chicken pizza and teriyaki chicken pizza too, not to mention breakfast slices (like the ones Wolfgang Puck sells at the airport). What they all have going for them, however, is a legit, foldable New York-style crust.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Dimo's Pizza Wicker Park 1615 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Wicker Park)

Dimo's Pizza's Wicker Park location is bigger than the original Lakeview one, has got $1 slices with certifiably crazy toppings, and a beer menu of local and season drafts and cans.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Santullo's Eatery 1943 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

Perhaps Chicago’s finest example of New York-style pizza by the slice, the options here are ridiculous. Choose from daily specials including Flat Iron BBQ, Brickhouse, Bluebird (roasted chicken and bacon), white pizza, meatball pizza, and more.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Jimmy's Pizza Cafe 5159 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 (Lincoln Square)

Tucked onto a corner way up North on Lincoln Ave is maybe the best New York-style pizza crust in Chicago. The slice toppings aren’t anything that unusual, but they do a first-rate version of an East Coast white pie that’s well worth stopping in for.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Pizza Metro 1707 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

This neighborhood takeout mainstay keeps it interesting with a crazy array of slices, from potato rosemary and prosciutto di parma/arugula, to the Garbage Pizza (zucchini, black olives, blue cheese, mushroom, pepperoni, sausage, tomatoes). All that said, their simple grilled chicken slices may actually be the best.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Dante's Pizzeria 3028 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

This Logan Square pizzeria -- with another location in Avondale -- serves New York-style pizza with a quirky punk rock/heavy metal-themed vibe. Available in extra-large 20" pies or by the slice, the pizzas are made with a notoriously strong and foldable crust ready to handle an abundance of toppings. Though cheese, sausage, and pepperoni pizzas are on the menu, Dante's speciality is unusual pies topped with anything from shrimp and prosciutto to sausage and broccoli rabe. Your best bet is to trust whatever the kitchen is cooking up and order the slice of the day. The spot is super laid-back and has some old-school arcade games to play while you wait for your pizza.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. Roxie's by the Slice 1732 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60647 (Wicker Park)

Brendan Sodikoff checks "pizzeria" off his restaurateur bucket list with Roxie’s, a cozy, 56-seat, brick-fired ‘za mecca in the former Café Con Leche space, where Chefs Cameron Magee and Chad Anderson are slinging 28in Brooklyn-style pies by the slice. Toppings include hot coppa, serrano ham, pork salami rolled in black pepper, sweet peppers, and more. Thirsty? Snag a cold one from the shop’s selection of craft beers.

Clickbait