Since we have started this blog, we have had so many pizzas. No cancel that, between birthday parties, cast parties, and church events we have had so many pizzas. Everyone has their favorites . But there are so many pizza places in town that it is literally impossible to try them all. We have one advantage over the tourists, we are supposed to know where is the best pizza places in town. What do you do if are a transfer or heaven forbid not a foodie? Fear not, pizza lovers. Your prayers have been answered..
Recently we had the pleasure of going on the original Chicago pizza tours. We had heard about the tours and decided that we wanted to venture into the best of Chicagoland’s pizzerias. The best part is that they do not discriminate , local and tourists alike can partake into these Italian delights.Curiosity took over and off we went. Warning: You will be partaking the equivalent of two and half pounds of pizza, so plan on hitting the gym the following day . Also please don’t freak out when someone mentions the word pizza.
We started out our journey from downtown at the oldest of the Lou Malnati’s chain , Pizano’s. This is where we got to meet our pizza ‘family” for the next three hours. We also met out pizza tour guide, Danny. Danny proved to be friendly and also a font of knowledge.Before he joined the pizza tour, he worked for another tour company. Participants not only learned about pizza , but some fun facts about Chicago as well. When we sat down to eat, the servers put in front of us two of the most delicious pizzas that I have ever had. The deep dish had a flavorful sauce despite the absence of meat . The other two pizzas were thin crusts. Surprisingly, it seems that most of the pizza sold in town is not deep dish which is expected. Most pizza served in town is of the thin crust variety.
Danny proved to be a font of knowledge on pizza history and Chicago.You will learn a lot about Chicago , even if you have been here your whole life. The tour is a great introduction to the Windy City .
After we left Pizano’s , we got on a bus and headed off to points south. Luckily, that meant the South Loop and Flo and Santos. Chicago has some deep Polish roots and we found them at this South Loop destination. Along with their pizzas, they are known for pierogis and I made a note of that for Lent next year. They also pride themselves on serving authentic Polish vodka. Flo and Santos is truly a haven and was filled with lots of Chicago’s finest. This is a sign that you know the food is good. Today, they served us three of their specialty pizzas . The first one was a tribute to another Chicago favorite, an Italian beef pizza complete with giardinara. It had a little bit of spice. The second was my favorite at this restaurant . The pizza was covered with polish sausage or kielbassa and then one of my favorites , sauerkraut. Needless to say , Jen and a few people had an aversion to the sauerkraut and wouldn’t touch it. Some people were also surprised to know that almost anything could be put on a pizza. They only associated the traditional pizza toppings and sauces with pizza. With my own knowledge of pizza, I informed them of some of the more unusual pizzas we have had. Following the pizza entrees , we were treated with a s’more pizza for dessert. The pizza brought back pleasant memories of campfires and childhood. That is what food is supposed to do , it is supposed to remind us of happy memories . I think that the s’more pizza served that purpose for everyone. My favorite at Flo and Santos, was the polish sausage and sauerkraut. Chalk one up for originality and a great crust. Back on the bus we went, for a wonderful whirlwind tour of Chicago and our next destination.
On our way to our next destination, we got to see the best views of the city and the skyline. We started up toward the North side and went past such landmarks as Soldier Field, The Shedd Aquarium, and Buckingham Fountain. Lake Shore Drive always proves to have the most inspiring sites especially during the summer. Today was no exception as we watched joggers along Lake Michigan. Our next pizza place was not far from where we go to church in Lincoln Park, Pequod’s.
Pequod’s featured a thick crust that was flavorful despite being burned. The pizza was stuffed with cheese and it was at this point I started to get full. Repeat if you are on a diet or eat like a bird, you may have some problems. However, if you are a hearty eater and can enjoy your afternoon by eating pizza and drinking beer. (Note: Water is provided, but if you are planning on drinking any of the microbrews or summer shandys , they are not provided. You have got to pay for your own beverages. There is good news though , the boys at Chicago Pizza have another tour where your beverages are included. It’s called the Pizza and Cocktails tour) Finally we arrived in the chic neighborhood of Wicker Park. I love it because of the vintage clothes and used dvd stores located there. It is also a plethora of eating places as well. Our final place was a yuppy type microbrew and thin crust pizza place called PIECE . Almost stuffed anyway, their pizza did not impress me so I didn’t finish. It was also kind of greasy. Everyone who took the tour had fun, met some new friends, and took away the memory of their visit to the best pizzerias in town. They were such good sports that they even let me take a picture of them for the write up. I hope those that were visitors to Chicago continued to have a great time for the rest of their trip.
Here is the happy tour members after an afternoon of pizza and beer drinking. Bet you wish you could spend your afternoon this way. If you want more info then ,. go to their website at http://www.chicagopizzatours.com.
For a chance to try some of the best pizza in town