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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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Rosati’s Pizza

Starting with a family patriarch who served flatbreads to Al Capone in the 1920s, this Illinois-based pizzeria has grown to nearly 200 locations in 14 states. As with many Italian families, the Rosati clan’s roots run deep. In the 1920s, Italian emigrant Silvario Rosati served Pizza A’Olia—a flatbread with garlic and oil—as a pre-meal treat…

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Alongi’s

This small-town Illinois pizzeria has hosted the likes of Willie Nelson, Bob Hope, Stan Musial and Sonny & Cher. In the small mining community of DuQuoin, Illinois, Alongi’s is a true survivor: Sicilian immigrant Guy Alongi started his business in 1933, during the height of the Great Depression, and his family has continued to weather…

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Bill’s Pizza & Pub

Divine intervention played a role in keeping this little Illinois underdog—now famous for its two-crusted Double Decker pies—afloat when it first opened in 1957. When most teens in the ’50s were cruising around town and lining up dates, 17-year-old Bill Kwiatkowski was embarking on entrepreneurship, purchasing a tiny sandwich shack in Mundelein, Illinois. He had…