Mr. V’s Pizza – Forest Glen, Chicago

Since c.1960s

Mr. V’s Pizza is one of many independent pizza shops on Chicago’s Northwest Side, a land of great pizza. According to the business website, it has been serving pizza to locals for over 50 years!

We would not have guessed it had been open for that long by giving the building just a quick look. Located in at the end of a strip mall containing a cleaners and a Chinese restaurant–and not far from the Metra tracks–Mr. V’s has tables and booths and a counter for ordering illuminated by fluorescent lights. All of which give the place a pizza-by-the-slice feeling. A neon sign in the window, however, beckons to pizza lovers driving by looking to take dinner home for the evening.

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The Forest Glen neighorhood, the home of Mr. V’s, is sandwiched roughly between (with some exceptions) the Eden’s Expressway, Cicero Avenue, and a forest preserve to the east, a forest preserve to the north, Foster Avenue the south, and Elston Avenue and the Metra tracks to the south and west. It’s a small, fairly well-to-do community, with some fairly high home prices in the area, even for a common bungalow. Some other small neighborhoods within the official Forest Glen community are located to the north. Jefferson Park, a neighborhood on the other side of Elston, is larger and more varied in its housing stock. All of these places seem like great places to live.

And great neighborhoods demand pizza. The Northwest Side of Chicago has several good pizza choices, but many of them are located to the west of the neighborhood, particularly on Milwaukee Avenue. Mr. V’s Pizza, serving Forest Glen and the northern portion of Jefferson Park, therefore stands as the easiest choice for the area. “Heading home and hungry?” asks the Mr. V’s website. As noted, the pizza joint is conveniently located near the Forest Glen Metra Station!

After picking up the pizza, it was a quick drive home for us to open up the box and enjoy our meal. The Pizza Hound was very interested!

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We opened up the box, and the pizza was huge–18 inches! Taste and value-wise, it was very middle of the road. Don’t get me wrong! We ate every bite. The pizza just didn’t distinguish itself too much. The cheese hardened pretty quickly as it cooled to room temperature. This could be due to the cheese being, as the website notes, a blend of mozzarella and provolone. In that case, the cheese probably has nicer consistency right out of the oven. The toppings, thin crust (medium thickness), and sauce were standard. Again, we enjoyed it and were glad to have it.

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At the time we visited, Mr. V’s offered a free one-topping small pizza with the purchase of an 18-inch pizza, so of course we had to go for that deal. To our taste, this small pizza was noticeably better. Unlike the big guy, which was tavern-cut, the small was pie-cut, and instead of pepperoni and sausage, we got sausage as the only topping. The sausage complemented the other ingredients well, and the cheese wasn’t overdone. This all made for a well-balanced pizza. We recommend trying a sausage pie at Mr. V’s.

In addition to the regular Chicago-style thin crust, Mr. V’s sells “double thick” pizza and pan pizza. And loyalty is rewarded at Mr. V’s! CoIs that a drawing of owners Orazio and Luigi on that card?

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And don’t forget great hot dogs, beefs, and polish sausages at Duke’s, just up Elston Avenue from Mr. V’s! The Pizza Hound likes the french fries!

Mr. V’s Pizza is located at 5285 N. Elston Ave., Chicago, IL 60630

(773) 736-9434

Mr. V’s Pizza Official Website

Mr. V’s Pizza on Facebook

Phil’s Pizza D’Oro – Norwood Park, Chicago

Located on Chicago’s Northwest Side at the intersection of Milwaukee and W. Ardmore Avenues, Phil’s Pizza D’Oro has been around for a while, though I’m not sure how long. They don’t claim a “Since 19–,” but online reviews mention being loyal customers for 10-20 years, and some people note they’ve been fans for 30 or 40 years! It’s easy to see why this Phil’s–one of a few different and unrelated “Phil’s” in the Chicago area–has a strong following. Phil’s Pizza D’Oro sets itself apart from many pizzerias by using high quality, fresh ingredients. This was very apparent on this stuffed pizza the Hound and I ordered. 

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The 16″ pizza was huge! In a city of hefty pizzas (both deep dish and thin crust), this stuffed pizza was likely by far the heaviest we encountered. At some places you can tell the cheese is a little cheaper, especially at the national chains, but that’s not the case at Phil’s. There were tons and tons of super-quality, stringy, delicious cheese. Half of the pizza had sausage and pepperoni, and the sausage was notably fantastic. The other side was loaded down with spinach and huge chunks of chopped garlic. The crust was perfect, too, which gave Ernie a few nice soft hunks to chew on. Needless to say, he liked this one.

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Phil’s Pizza D’Oro is highly recommended if you live on the Northwest Side or as a
destination. The ingredients are fresh and the value is obvious. I cannot begin to express how bright and delicious the sauce was, and the photos really don’t do it justice. We’d like to try the thin crust sometime, or even the regular pan, but I have to say this probably the best stuffed pizza we had in all of Chicago. Giordano’s has nothing on Phil’s Pizza D’Oro! Check this one out! It is truly a fantastic pizza. Here are a few menu images.

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In addition to frequent customer coupon, Phil’s offers a deal for the local bowling alley!

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Phil’s Pizza D’Oro is located at 5800 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago.

(773) 763-2285

Phil’s Pizza D’Oro Official Website

Phil’s Pizza D’Oro on Facebook