Printers Row in the South Loop, at 521 S. Dearborn St. ( & 312/939-3366 );
and one in Lincoln Park, at 2662 N. Halsted St. ( & 773/871-3400 ). Very near
to the Lincoln Park Zoo is Ranalli's Pizzeria, Libations & Collectibles, 1925
N. Lincoln Ave. ( & 312/642-4700 ), with its terrific open-air patio.
In Wrigleyville, just off Belmont Avenue, are Leona's Pizzeria, 3215 N.
Sheffield Ave. ( & 773/327-8861 ), and Pat's Pizzeria, 3114 N. Sheffield Ave.
( & 773/248-0168 ), both of which serve all three kinds of pizza. Leona's also has
a location in Little Italy, at 1419 W. Taylor St. ( & 312/850-2222 ), and Pat's
has one downtown in the Athletic Club Illinois Center, at 211 N. Stetson Ave.
( & 312/946-0220 ).
For a unique take on the deep-dish phenomenon, try the “pizza potpie” at
Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder , 2121 N. Clark St., steps from Lincoln Park
Zoo ( & 773/248-2570 ); the pizzas are baked in a bowl and then turned over
when served, for a distinctive upside-down pizza experience.
Chicagoans like to think that they stand head and skewers above the rest of the
world when it comes to hot dogs. The facades of Chicago's hot-dog stands, as if
by some unwritten convention, are all very colorful, with bright signs of red and
yellow, exaggerated lettering, and comic illustrations of the wieners and fries. The
classic Chicago hot dog includes a frankfurter by Vienna Beef (a local food
processor and hallowed institution), heaps of chopped onions and relish so green
it could be pop art, a slather of yellow mustard, pickle spears and fresh tomato
wedges, a dash of celery salt, and, for good measure, two or three “sport” peppers,
those thumb-shaped holy terrors that turn your mouth into its own bonfire.
Chicago is home to many standout hot-dog stands and shops, such as Gold
Coast Dogs, 418 N. State St., at Hubbard Street ( & 312/527-1222 ), 2 blocks
off North Michigan Avenue. Fluky's, in The Shops at North Bridge mall at 520
N. Michigan Ave. ( & 312/245-0702 ), is part of a local chain that has been serv-
ing great hot dogs since the Great Depression. Portillo's, at 100 W. Ontario St.
( & 312/587-8910; www.portillos.com), is another local chain that specializes
in hot dogs but also serves excellent pastas and salads. Murphy's Red Hots,
1211 W. Belmont Ave. ( & 773/935-2882 ), is a neighborhoody spot not too far
from Wrigley Field. Besides hot dogs, Murphy's serves charbroiled Polish
sausages, burgers, and tasty hand-cut fries. The Wieners Circle, in Lincoln Park
at 2622 N. Clark St. ( & 773/477-7444 ), is a favorite where rude order-takers
are part of the shtick.
But if you ask the locals for their sentimental favorite, we'll most likely steer you
to the legendary Superdawg Drive-In, 6363 N. Milwaukee ( & 773/763-0660 ),
at the intersection of Milwaukee, Devon, and Nagle avenues. It's impossible to
miss: Mr. and Mrs. Superdawg, in Tarzan and Jane tableaux, beckon the masses
from the rooftop, their beady eyes pulsing an electric red. Maurie and Florrie
Berman haven't changed a thing about their place—the city's last real drive-in,
with its Order-Matic ordering system and female carhops on roller skates—since
they opened for business in 1948. Their main attraction still arrives in a red 1950s-
design enclosed box that declares on one side, YOUR SUPERDAWG LOUNGES INSIDE ,
CONTENTEDLY CUSHIONED IN SUPERFRIES .