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These Out-of-Town Pizza Styles Are Invading Chicago and We Don’t Hate It

A new wave of ambitious pizzaiolos is bringing delicious and often far-flung regional styles to Deep-Dish City.

Pizza from Bonci Pizzeria
Roman

Bonci Pizzeria

161 N. Sangamon St.
Photos: Jeff Marini

These focaccia-like pizzas owe their airy crispness to imported stone-ground flour and ovens from Rome that heat from underneath.

Best pie:Toppings can change hourly—like pancetta with scrambled eggs, meatballs with shredded Parmesan, or spicy eggplant—but one of the tastiest combos ($14 a pound) includes onions, pecorino, pesto, and tomatoes.

 

Pizza from Paulie Gee’s
Brooklynesque Neapolitan

Paulie Gee’s

2451 N. Milwaukee Ave.

You can thank the 6,000-pound wood-fired Ferrara oven from Naples for the perfectly blistered, Burrata-soft crust, but the soppressata and Brooklyn-made chili-infused honey are East Coast all the way.

Best pie:Big Bad Wolf ($18), sausage and soppressata, drizzled with bacon jam.

 

Pizza from Pisolino
Southern Coastal Italian

Pisolino

2755 W. Belmont Ave.

The sturdy crust, made with ultrafine-ground 00-grade bread flour, crunches like a hard pretzel. A glaze of herb-infused oil imbues it with hints of basil and parsley.

Best pie:Giacomino ($21), an umami bomb of sausage, green olives, and truffle purée.

 

Pizza from Pizzeria Bebu
Californian

Pizzeria Bebu

1521 N. Fremont St.

These hand-tossed, brick-fired beauties don’t buckle under the weight of even the most abundant toppings. About those toppings: Think vodka sauce with nut-free pesto or a “carbonara” of egg and house-cured pancetta.

Best pie:Perfectly piquant sausage with broccoli rabe ($18).

 

Pizza from Union Squared
Detroit-Style

Union Squared

1307 Chicago Ave., Evanston

The secret to these distinctive pies—baked in the Motor City’s signature rectangular pans—is the extra mozzarella and brick cheese cooked around the edges, which crisp to form a buttery frico-like crust.

Best pie:The Godfather ($26), a meatfest of sausage, pancetta, and pepperoni.

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