Freed from the tyranny of geographical purity—the pies here aren’t quite Neapolitan-style, or New York–style, or any single style at all, really—Coalfire is free to riff on any number of august pizza-making traditions.
- 1321 West Grand Avenue
- West Town
- 3707 North Sheffield Avenue
- Lake View
The pies are cooked in a wood-and-coal hybrid oven until the crust develops a distinctive, almost ornate char around the edges, yet the center remains delicate, even when it bears a load of, say, mozzarella, peppy red sauce, chunks of fennel-flecked sausage, and clouds of whipped ricotta (as in the lasagna pie).
Food geeks may continue to debate precisely what kind of pizza Coalfire is making, but the families and couples who crowd the tables night after night seem to intuitively realize what makes this place special—it’s mastered a style all its own.