The Fennel sausage, oyster mushrooms, parmigiano pizza from Nellcote. | Ting Shen~Sun-Times Media
Flour & Stone isn’t the only thin crust pizza game in town. Here are some other great Chicago thin crust pies:
RENO, 2607 N. Milwaukee; (773) 697-4234; www.renochicago.com
Vibe: Brick and rough woods, with tables built of knotty lumber and industrial black metal, this spot has a Portland, Ore., feel.
Flavor: The dough on the pies rise at the edge and droops slightly under the heft of gooey cheese at the center. The best is “The Southern,” a Korean/Kentucky mash-up of salty country ham, sweet roast garlic, fiery-fizzy kimchi and juicy tendrils of spinach.
MARIE’S PIZZA & LIQUORS, 4129 W. Lawrence; (773) 725-1812; www.mariespizzachicago.com
Vibe: Cheap-wood paneling, ancient waitresses who call you “honey,” and a wine program that consists of anything you can find at the liquor store next store.
Flavor: Cracker-crisp crust larded with thick hunks of fennel-kissed sausage and stringy bits of sweet onion cut into tons of tiny squares, Marie’s is the quintessential Chicago thin pie.
NELLCOTE, 833 W. Randolph;
Vibe: The foyer is outfitted with flocked ivory wallpaper and 400-plus mini-vases filled with French lavender, and the dining room is decked out with a Swarovski factory of glinting crystal and silky white upholstered Louis XIV-style chairs.
Flavor: Nellcote’s pizza is highly portable finger food, one of the best, if not the best, Neapolitan-style pizzas in Chicago. The flour for the crust is milled in-house and it manifests in a nice chew. There are lots of flavor combinations on offer, but the pie topped with meaty clusters of hand-pulled fennel sausage and oyster mushrooms is my favorite.
— Michael Nagrant