As countless slumber parties and divorced parents will tell you, pizza is a great takeout food. This means it’s pretty much pandemic proof, so it’s no surprise that a bunch of new pizza options have been popping up all over the city - from takeout windows to virtual restaurants to weekly pop-ups. Here are six of our favorites we’ve had recently, and make sure to check back for updates.
We’re starting with our favorite: Pizza Friendly Pizza. This carryout-window in Ukrainian Village sells Sicilian pan-style pizza by the slice (you can also pre-order a full pie) and it’s f*cking fantastic. The thick crust is incredibly light and airy with a slight sourdough-y flavor, and the tomato sauce is rich and spicy. They have a few varieties available, like the charred pepperoni (that are perfect little grease cups) and one of our favorites, the Ruben’s Special - topped with sausage and a delicious housemade giardiniera. Do yourself a favor and just go for a full pie (or two).
You might already be familiar with the New-York-style pizza at Pizza Lobo. It’s from the now-closed Bad Hunter team and got its start serving slices out of Lone Wolf in the West Loop. Now the pies have their very own place in Logan Square, and we couldn’t be happier because the pizza here is great. You’ll find delicious red sauce options like the “amatrice yo-self” (roasted tomato, pancetta, and Calabrian chile), and white pies like the spicy broccoli rabe with garlic jam, creamy pesto, and fresh mozzarella. For now, this place is carryout and delivery only, but will be opening a patio for outdoor dining soon.
This is another spot selling Sicilian-style slices out of a takeout window. Pizza Fried Chicken Ice Cream is in Bridgeport, right next to Maria’s. The standout feature of the pizza here is the thick crust’s wonderfully golden brown undercarriage - almost like it’s been fried, but not too greasy. There are four kinds to choose from (cheese, sausage, veggie, and a weekly special like soppressata with fennel), and you can either order a full pie or by-the-slice. They also have a great back patio, perfect for enjoying your pizza and a cocktail from Maria’s.
What’s this? This European wine bar started selling pizza? It’s 2020, you bet your ass it did. Table Donkey Stick in Logan Square recently started making pan-style “grandma pies” (which look suspiciously like Sicilian-style) and the ones you’ll find here are intense. With flavorful cheese blends (with things like gruyere) that are so burnt, the pizza’s surface looks like Freddy Krueger’s face. But we promise all that caramelization tastes delicious, and all their pies are made with housemade charcuterie (like ’nduja with smoked onions) and a dense crust that can hold its own against the flavorful toppings. This is not a casual pie - it’s the kind to get you through a winter in the Alps.
Last summer (now known as the Season Of Innocence), we put Ludlow Liquors on our summer Hit List because of its fantastic back patio. Well, they still have that patio (which is currently open), but now this bar is making Sicilian-style pizza available for carryout. Ludlow’s has a fluffy, ultra-crunchy crust that goes heavy on the olive oil (if you’ve ever eaten a focaccia breadstick from Biaggi’s you get the idea) and is topped with a light tomato sauce. It also comes with a spicy pepper sauce and - most importantly - ranch. In other words, this is good beer-drinking pizza.
This pizza spot is a little more elusive than the others. Five Squared Pizza operates out of a virtual kitchen in The Hatchery on Fridays only, the menu changes weekly, and you have to order via Instagram. But if you like tasty and interesting Detroit-style pizzas, it’s worth seeking out. Their long menu has fun varieties like cheeseburger (American cheese, caramelized onions, and beef patties) pimento mac (topped with Cheez-it crumbs), and spicy housemade meatball.