Formerly: I don't profess to having written the book on deep-dish. If anything, I've sampled a paltry number of pies considering the Chicago years I have under my belt. But no hunk of cheesy goodness has equaled the thicker-than-thick pies served at Rizzata's. The wonder partially owes itself to the tomato sauce; no runny liquid mess, the deep slab of red sauce that covers the cheese and crust is perfectly seasoned and tastes like (shock of shocks) fresh tomatoes. Though delivery is offered daily (widely; from Western to Michigan and North Avenue to 16th), this is the perfect lunch-hour location.
Though you can order a full pie (in individual, small, medium and large), a chalkboard above the extremely open kitchen displays that day's ready-on-demand calzone, deep-dish and thin crust offerings, which run from Canadian bacon and onion calzones to delectable deep-dish mushroom. A number of specials will save you a buck or two. Sandwiches, pasta, chicken and salads round out the menu. The warm interior, decked out in lots of yellow, can get literally warm as well, as the pizza oven tends to heat up the tiny space quite quickly.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Kate Schwartz