Lower your Ray Bans, raise a Miller Lite, and clink bottles with your buddies - it’s time to make a toast to the temporary return to your college self. Parlor Pizza let’s you take a time machine back to senior year, when worries were minimal, caloric intake was maximal, and your biggest struggle was putting on real people clothes before noon. Parlor gives you decent pizza, better bar food, and a solid beer list that best accompanies all activities related to sports watching and outdoor drinking.
On a Friday/Saturday night, the whole place is a straight up Scene with a capital S. Everyone looks like they could be on The Bachelor, and most people are acting the part. You can feel the hormones bouncing off the walls as girls teeter by in jumpsuits and Macklemore-haired guys in a rainbow of pastel button-downs high five over Hawks’ wins. But the rest of the week, it’s low- key and casual and makes for a solid spot for day hanging, happy hours, and game watches.
It’s a pretty big space with a large rowdy bar plus ample dining options. But you’re not here to stay inside - head outside to either the large picnic table patio or the rooftop bar. Yeah, you heard that right. They have not one, but two solid outdoor spaces. Though these gifts aren’t without their sacrifices, because you’re going to wait at least an hour if it’s a beautiful day and you haven’t made a reservation. Go at a weird time and Columbus a picnic table, or accept that you might be standing for a while before you sit down.
Clearly, they serve pizza, and it’s decent, but we don’t want to set unreasonable expectations. The Neapolitan-style pizza will satisfy everyone and wow no one, which honestly might be for the best. Nobody will feel alienated like you do at a deep dish or New York-style spot. They’re big enough, cheesy enough, and full of good toppings. We’d rather make a meal out of mostly appetizers and top it off with one pizza to split amongst the group. Go into it with the mindset of, “This is bar food.” And as far as bar food goes, they’re doing great.
For a few hours on a warm afternoon, escape to a place where middle shelf vodka was a luxury good and metabolisms were still kicking. It’s the only place like it in the West Loop, and we’re sure it won’t be for long. We can’t promise that you’ll be able to handle your hangovers like a college champ, but for the time being, Parlor let’s you pretend like you aren’t going to feel it tomorrow.
We love nachos as much as the next person, but if nachos had a downside, it’d be that the chip to topping ratio can be inconsistent. Parlor perfects nachos by portioning nacho ingredients onto each individual chip so your OCD self doesn’t need to allocate each topping. And these are particularly good with sweet BBQ pork, refried beans, and chipotle cream.
Traditional sprouts aka charred with bacon and topped with parmesan. The serving size is good, and the pieces of bacon are thick and plump. The dish is pretty oily, which is either a blessing or a curse depending on what you’re looking for.
An Italian medley of prosciutto, artichokes, cheese, olives, and tomatoes. It’s on the smaller side and pretty light which is a nice partner to the heavy pizzas and apps. It’s not substantial enough to make a meal (which is true of all of the salads), but makes for a good side.
Marinara and fresh mozzarella with pepperoni and truffle oil. It’s a crowd pleaser. It might be a little heavy handed on the truffle oil, but there are worse things in the world.
Take the brussels and pancetta appetizer, deconstruct it, and throw it on a pizza. Add some lemon zest for good measure. It’s a delicious, tasty twist to traditional pizzas.
The Sausage King of Chicago did not disappoint with a subtly spicy sausage pizza with red peppers, spinach, and fresh mozz.
Fresh mozzarella and burrata, arugula, lemon vinaigrette, and truffle oil. Our favorite pizza of the bunch. They cover it with fistfuls of arugula, and the lemon vinaigrette makes it lighter than most standard white pizzas.