Great Lake Pizza

If someone asked you what your favorite food in the whole world is, chances are that you might say home food. That is exactly how the pizza at the Great Lake is made. Tucked away in the neighborhood of  Andersonville in northern part of the city of Chicago, this pizza joint has recently been closed (all good things do come to an end after all). However, this is not really the end, as owner Lydia Esparza has stated that she is going to start a new pizza business in 2013. While there is not much I could do about the place closing down, the least I could do is write about my experience there. And what an experience it was, a lifetime memory.

In a small family owned restaurant, the husband made every pizza that is ordered (he makes the dough himself as well), while the wife ran the cash register. The oven was big enough to make only 2 pizzas at once and every ingredient would be organic, sourced from a local farmer. There would be only 4 types of pizzas on the menu. Normal wait times after ordering were about 1.5 hours or 90 minutes, and the option to sit at the restaurant was rare, as the restaurant had only 12 seats. The place used to be open only 4 days a week and that too only in the evenings. It is almost like El Bulli of Spain meets American Pizza.

For me, it perhaps was the best cooked pizza I have ever had. The crust was not too crunchy, nor was it too soggy or undercooked. I could feel the crunch with every bite. The cheese quantity was not excessive and it was melted to perfection. The vegetable toppings were so perfectly cooked that the succulent flavor of each veggie was retained and the distinct tastes of various vegetables/toppings were easily discernible with each bite. Voted best Pizza in America by GQ Magazine and Rachel Ray, and getting an unusually huge number of rave reviews on websites like yelp, the Great Lake pizza truly makes one of the most amazing pizzas in America, if not in the world.

the great lake pizza

(Cremini Mushroom and Dante Cheese pizza with organic onions and herbs)

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Items: The Great Lake Pizza (# 2: Cremini Mushroom, Dante Cheese, Herbs, Additional toppings of onions)

Price: ₹2500 (US$ 40)

Location: Andersonville, Chicago (place is now closed)

Type: Fine Dining

How to get there: Take the Chicago subway train to Bryn Mawr or Fullerton and walk west.

Language: English speaking staff

Also visit: Lincoln Park, Lane Beach Park, Walk along the lake

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