Chicago >Restaurants >
Pizza >Great Lake
1477 W Balmoral Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions 6064041.979844 -87.667840
Neighborhoods: Far North Side, Edgewater
If you have an obsession with chewy, bubbly crust, then this is the pizza joint for you. Topped with herbs and a blistered brown crust kissed with the oven fires, this restaurant serves interesting ingredients like bacon and creme fraiche on it's adventurous pizza.
There's a reason GQ Magazine said that Great Lake's boasts the best pizza in America. If it's not THE best, it's one of 'em.
Best Neapolitan Pizza – The place is tiny and the owner is the one making all the pizzas from scratch! Yes, even the dough, right in front of you. If you're up for the experience, I think the taste of the pizza will be worth it. It is definitely the best I have ever tried, anywhere! If you decide to check this place out, I have the following advice for you. Make sure you're not starving because the wait will be long!!! Get there early as you will be waiting about 30-45 minutes even if you are the first one in line and more if you're somewhere down the line. Last time my boyfriend and I went we were the third party to get there after they opened their doors (behind a party of 6 that ordered a couple pizzas, and another couple) and we waited for 1.5 hours to get our pizza. We got salads while me waited ( they also chop the veggies right after you order) and talked a lot. We were also fortunate to sit right by the chef so we could watch his incredibly meticulous technique which entertained us some more but also made us even more hungy. :) We ordered a "plain pie" and it was just perfect. The freshest, lightest pizza we have ever tried that just melts in your mouth. If you're an American pizza lover (deep dish, lots of cheese and oil) I don't know if this is for you. If you prefer the Neapolitan style, there is nothing better than Great Lake!!! And another thing, the menu changes seasonally as Great Lake uses local ingredients. The list of supplying farms is right by the menu! Bottom line: amazing pizza that is definitely worth the wait to try.
Great Gourmet Pizza, Cozy BYOB Spot – This place is a real gem. I expect they do most of their business from carryout, but I encourage everyone to get their pizza to eat in. When the weather is warm, they have a lovely little patio area which is just off the bustle of Clark Street. You can also eat indoors, where its BYOB. There is limited seating, and the big table seats 8 and is shared seating, which I just love, because its a great way to make friends. Every time I go in, there is a merry group laughing at the big table, and not all of them came in together. :)
The owners are also lovely people, they kind of remind me of a cool aunt of uncle. Get them talking about the pizza or the ingredients or the art they have displayed, and they will have you charmed.
And speaking of the pizza, oh my God! Andersonville is blessed to have a number of fantastic pizza joints, including Pizza Apart, but this one is the winner. I have yet to have a disappointing pizza there, its just so good! I'm a very picky foodie, but not very good at writing about it, so bear with me. The crust is great, and the toppings are so fresh, you can taste each flavor. But the key to the tastiness has to be balance. Its like a symphony in your mouth.
Also, they have very cool decks of cards for sale, done by some local artists.
Service? – I stopped in to Great Lake by accident. I was dropping off shoes to be repaired next door. I was in there for at least 5 minutes (being generous here) and was never acknowledged. There was a man behind the counter, we made eye contact a few times and he never even spoke to me....hmmm. Don't think I'll be heading back there any time soon.
Close confines and a microscopic kitchen means all attention is on the fresh, painfully crafted pizza. – In Short
With nearby restaurants and shops this Andersonville storefront isn't exactly alone, although its curious concept sets it apart. Pizza, and only four to six of them depending on the season, is the main draw, but patrons can also select Italian specialty items, knick-knacks and greeting cards from a tiny shelf. Weird. Good thing those pies are meticulously crafted from things like hand-pulled mozzarella, artisan sopressata and fresh mushrooms.
Photo by Jasmin Shah
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Great Lake on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.