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Why We Snubbed Pequod’s, Piece, and Vito & Nick’s

Our critics defend their decision to exclude three popular stalwarts from the rankings.

Pizza from Piece, Vito & Nick’s, and Pequod’s
Photos: (Piece) Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune; (Vito & Nick’s) Zbigniew Bzdak; (Pequod’s) Grace Wong

1. Piece

This beloved Wicker Park institution has many fans, but I always find that the heavy, misshapen crust and too-sweet tomato sauce bring to mind a college grad’s first attempt at homemade pizza. And while Piece may tout its New Haven–style clam number, you don’t need a Yale degree to know it ain’t the same as the pie back east. — John Kessler

2. Vito & Nick’s

I still don’t understand the big deal here. The heavy-handed sauce, flavorless cheese more unyielding than an alderman, and maddeningly uneven crust make for a frustrating experience at this legend. They don’t skimp on the toppings, especially the fennel sausage, but as far as tavern-style pizzas go, you can find plenty of better versions across the South and West Sides. — Jeff Ruby

3. Pequod’s

It’s not that Pequod’s caramelized-crust pan pizzas are bad — it’s just that for a place with this loyal of a following, in a town with as many good pizza joints as Chicago, I expect a little more than just “not bad.” — Carrie Schedler

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