Many would expect that this Italian-American native Brooklynite would have a fundamental problem with Chicago pizza. Thankfully, I have an open mind and enjoy pizza in all of its forms.
There are plenty of big names in Chicago pizza, especially in and around the Loop and Magnificent Mile. None of these are particularly bad, but if you want to eat what the locals eat, you have to venture into the neighborhoods where they live.
One of the first places you’ll find on the way out of the downtown core is Toni’s Pizza & Organic Pasta. A true family business, Toni’s is run by Toni herself, her husband and their children out of a small corner space in River West. In warmer weather, there’s outdoor seating available. In the brutal cold of a Chicago winter, I’d advise delivery or takeout although if you’re lucky, you could find a spot at one of the two small counters inside.
Toni’s uses natural flour & tomatoes, low fat cheeses and locally made sausage to craft hearty pies loaded with flavor, yet maintain enough structural integrity to pick up a slice and eat it like a New Yorker. While I don’t think there’s such a thing as too much cheese, that idea is stretched here much like the trails of cheese stretching from the pie all the way to your plate as you take the first slice. Anyone with an Italian grandmother would feel nostalgic over the thick and hearty tomato sauce that tops Toni’s pies.
Toni’s Pizza & Organic Pasta is close enough for a short cab ride from, or delivery to, hotels in the Loop and Magnificent Mile areas. If you haven’t got the appetite for a whole pie, slices are available.
Find Toni’s Pizza & Organic Pasta at
457 N. Milwaukee Ave
Chicago IL 60654
☎ 312 243 1500