Vito and Nick's isn't just a reminder of your old Italian family basement, it's an authentic museum quality reproduction. The walls are carpeted on top and wood laminate paneled on the bottom, the dining tables are covered in gold flake Formica, and plastic Tiffany style chandeliers hang from the ceiling.
Old Style-swilling men grasp tiny pilsner glasses with their meaty fingers, and chain-smoking scratchy throated women park their ample backsides in turquoise vinyl stools.
These folks have been coming to Vito and Nick's for more than 80 years, when Vito Barraco launched his original tavern at Congress and Polk. The signature pie didn’t arrive until 1949, when Vito's son Nick – fresh off a stint in the Army – developed it with his mother.
Today, that secret recipe for cracker-thin crust, cut into an impossible number of squares and drizzled with oozy cheese, tangy and sweet tomato sauce, and of course studded with saa-sidge, is the Chicago ideal for what thin crust pizza should be.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Michael Nagrant