The Windy City may be famous for its Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, but Pat’s Pizzeria in Lincoln Park caters to discerning locals who crave a delicious thin-crusted option.
Many folks order Pat’s for delivery (the busy restaurant employs 22 drivers!), and even regular customers may be unfamiliar with the bricks-and-mortar location. Walking by, you wouldn't know this hole in the wall is actually a charming dine-in eatery filled with Italian art posters, kitschy striped indoor awnings and year-round Christmas lights. The pizzeria, open since 1950, also goes above and beyond by offering complimentary olives, cheese and fresh baked bread to diners as they peruse the extensive menu.
The pastas, chicken entrees and sandwiches are fine, but the pizzas are the main attraction—topped with traditional adornments and unusual toppings like scallops, giardiniera and zucchini. The sausage is Pat’s claim to fame. Eat it crumbled atop a paper-thin crust, smothered with tangy tomato sauce and loaded with stretchy cheese (expect to pay about $12 for a small one-topping pizza, $19 for a large). The chicken pesto pizza is another solid choice, with generous bites of chicken, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes.