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Pizzeria Due

February 4, 2022

  • 619 N. Wabash Avenue
  • Chicago, IL 60611
  • (312) 943-2400
  • Website
  • Menu

This is where our Chicago plans took a detour. If you’ve read the last few posts (Sugar Factory, Corey’s NYC Bagel Deli, JoJo’s Shake Bar), you’ll know we took a trip to Chicago for L’s birthday. We hit all these fun restaurants, did some shopping at Water Tower Place then expected to go skating at Maggie Daley Park. We got most of that in, but not the skating.

I had skating reservations for Saturday evening. We ate lunch at JoJo’s pretty early, did some shopping, then came back to the hotel to relax and swim. As we were about done swimming, L started not feeling well. The hope was she ate something that didn’t agree with her but that turned out to be not the case.

We told her to take a nap and see if she could sleep it off. We pushed it right up to 5:00 when our skating reservation began and realized we weren’t going to make it. I look at the schedule for the 8:00 session and there were still openings so I told her if she shook whatever was wrong, we’d go at 8:00.

L went back to sleep for a while but the rest of us were hungry. J suggested pizza. She beat me to it because there was pizza right down the street.

Pizzeria Uno and Pizzeria Due were just a few blocks from our hotel. I know many of you have eaten at Uno Chicago Grill, but, ya’ll….that is not the real deal. The restaurant lost a little in translation when it was franchised. The two original locations, Uno and Due, did not. They’re just as they were when they invented Chicago Deep Dish pizza in the 1940’s.

For many years, the restaurant was just known as Pizzeria. When they got so popular they needed to open another restaurant, they differentiated between the two with the designations Uno and Due.

I chose to order from Pizzeria Due on this trip. I enjoy a good, authentic Chicago deep dish but my family is more of a Chicago thin and crispy type of people. Due offered the thin crust on it’s ordering platform while Uno did not.

Pizzeria Due is on the corner of Wabash and Ontario in Chicago’s River North Neighborhood. The restaurant is just a little over a block north of Pizzeria Uno on Wabash. The restaurant is interesting because it looks like a three story house right in the middle of downtown Chicago. No clue what the building was originally….I searched the interwebs for quite a while and there’s no mention of it anywhere. The building has been Pizzeria Due since 1955.

The main entrance to the restaurant is actually at garden level. From Wabash Avenue, you go down a kind of twisty brick and stone staircase and enter a small area where the host stand is. There were a couple of parties already in the restaurant waiting. The guy working the host stand asked if I was there for pick up or dine in. I told him I had an order to pick up and he went to the back to look for it.

There are a couple of different dining rooms at this level. One has the bar. The other is what likely used to be the “non-smoking” dining room. The building has a really cool, cozy feel to it. The black and white tile floors are about as fancy as it gets. The dining room sits below street level so if you’re looking out the windows on the west end of the dining room, you at about knee level of the hustle and bustle of the Chicago city streets.

A different host came out with three boxes for me and B. She asked if we needed plates and napkins and I said yes so she grabbed a paper bag and handed that to B. He clutched that bag tightly as we walked the two blocks back to the hotel. He felt like he had a job to do and dagummit, he was gonna do it.

I ordered a personal size deep dish for myself. I picked the Chef’s Choice Deep dish because you can customize with up to three toppings. From the list they had I picked Italian beef and garlic. For the third topping, I added a note to add spicy Italian giardiniera if that was an option. It was for the thin crust so I know they had it…I was hoping they would add it to the deep dish as well.

I got my wish. When I opened up the box, I could see and smell those delicious pickled vegetables. The individual size is pretty small which is a bummer but I didn’t want to spend too much on a pizza for myself. When you order Deep Dish in Chicago, it’s a totally different experience than when you order it from one of the Uno chains (or Pizza Papalis which you Michiganders think is “Chicago-Style” pizza). The argument I always have with people is that it’s a thick crust pizza. The crust is actually really thing, buttery, and super flaky. This pizza is filled with a cold tomato sauce, several slices of Italian beef, more giardiniera that I expected, and little bits of roasted garlic. I smashed this individual size pizza pretty quickly and easily could have handled at least a small if not more. When you get real, from Chicago Chicago-Style pizza, it’s a totally different experience.

I got everyone else a 16″ Super Roni Chicago Thin Crust. 16″ is actually the only size option but what I probably would have gotten anyway. Chicago thin crust isn’t like most thin crust pizzas. It’s thin, it’s crispy, and it’s cut in to tiny little squares. This pizza, with almost a literal ton of pepperoni, came out well-done..just the way we like it. B and J both are a few pizzas but most of this pizza made the trip back to Kalamazoo with us once we realized L wasn’t getting better and we should probably just call it a weekend and head back home.

I always add some kind of cheese bread to our pizza orders. Pizzeria Due has an option for Garlic Bread with Cheese so that’s what I got. The bread had a great, golden brown layer of cheese on top of the garlicky bread but the flavor was just kind of..meh. It was fine. There was a cup of marinara for dipping but no one really raved over the bread. It was just a good compliment to the pizzas.

Our bill for the two pizzas and garlic bread, with tip, was just under $60.

Unfortunately, this was the end to L’s birthday weekend in Chicago. Turns out, she just got a stomach bug that’s going around Kalamazoo Public Schools right now so she was fine by the time she woke up Sunday morning but we didn’t know that and didn’t want to take a chance if it was something else so we came home early.

I’m glad we were able to get one last meal in though. I had planned all along to order dinner from Pizzeria Due. The plan was to order it after ice skating and pick it up on the way back to the hotel but we rolled with the changes.

If you’re only experience with “Chicago-style” pizza is outside of Chicago, you’re really missing out. I’ve had Uno Pizzeria before but I have never eaten at either Pizzeria Uno or Pizzeria Due in the City. The pizzas we got were fantastic. We took a big chunk of that thin crust home and while I know it’s not what Uno/Due is famous for, it’s great pizza and right up our alley. We had a disappointing end to our quick weekend getaway but we ended on a culinary high note with delicious, authentic pizza.

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