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Porretta’s Pizza

An Italian immigrant who taught a teen busboy the ins and outs of the pizza business shaped a worthy successor to carry his company into the future. A few years after arriving in the States from Italy, Pat Porretta, having already worked in a local pizzeria, was ready to stake his own claim on the Windy…

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Pizzeria Uno

This Chicago institution permanently altered our culinary history with the invention of deep-dish pizza. When people think of Chicago, they often think of deep-dish pizza: layers of toppings piled high and baked into a bucket of crust that customers need a knife and fork to dig into. The source of this often-imitated (and, some would…

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Vito & Nick’s Pizzeria

From humble beginnings in a Chicago saloon, this South Side pizzeria continues, now in its fifth generation, as a family affair. Vito & Nick’s Pizzeria (vitoandnick.com) has its roots in a saloon, Vito’s Tavern, that Sicilian immigrant Vito Barraco started in the early 1920s. He added food to the menu—sandwiches and spaghetti at first—in 1939….

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Connie’s Pizza

Jim Stolfe offered up his 1962 Oldsmobile Starfire to buy the first freestanding Connie’s Pizza shop in Chicago—and went on to become an accidental pioneer in pizza delivery. On June 1, 1963, Jim Stolfe purchased a little food stand from Connie DeGrazia on Chicago’s South Side. He left the Connie’s name on the storefront and…

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Home Run Inn

This pizzeria, named after an errant baseball, has hit home runs in the frozen-food and family markets. Home Run Inn began in 1923 as a small tavern on Chicago’s South Side. Founded by Mary and Vincent Grittani, the tavern received its name when a baseball from the neighborhood park smashed through one of the windows….