There are some books Chicagoans should own.
Then there are books Chicagoans must own.
Where to Eat Pizza, the gorgeous 500+ page tome released by Phaidon this week, is the latter.
It’s a cheesy directory. A crusty compendium. A city-by-city guide to the best ‘za you’ll eat there, as chosen by a crack team of local experts who have one simple objective: to inform you, lover of the slice, who makes the best pizza in the world.
From the introduction written by Editor Daniel Young:
“In the best of hands pizza is fast food but it is not fast-food: an artisan pizzaiolo, Italian for 'pizza maker,' allows his dough up to a day or longer to gradually ferment, only to flatten, stretch, dress, and bake it in a matter of minutes. In the hottest of wood-fired brick ovens the pizza can bake in as little as 60-90 seconds. The base layers of tomato and cheese form a molten pool on the lunar-like surface of the browned crust, achieving an ethereal ideal of structural abandon. This volcanic valley and its floating vegetation, cheeses, meats or seafood are contained only by the ridge around it — a puffy, chewy, air-pocketed border Italians calls the cornicione (cornice). And sometimes even that is not enough to contain the topping.”
Photo: Spacca Napoli
Turns out good pizza knows no boundaries.
All in, Where to Eat Pizza drops knowledge on 1,705 pizza joints across 48 countries, detailing can't-miss orders and local specialties in addition to practical info.
Like the Hellfire's Kiss pizza (sopressata with chilli and roasted-garlic-infused honey) from the Chicago Pizza Boss food truck.
Or the only-in-Chicago sausage and giardiniera pan pizza from Pequod's.
Or all the pies from Spacca Napoli, a resturant crowned king of neopolitan pizza by Chicago Magazine Dining Editor Penny Pollack.
Hungry for more? We suggest picking up your own copy.
Then go forth and live free and eat pizza.