Frank’s Pizzeria – Schorsch Village, Chicago

Since 1952

Through the light snow as the Pizza Hound and I traveled down Belmont Avenue, a glorious neon sign beckoned. The sure sign that a classic Chicago experience was inside.

Frank's Pizzeria from Google Street View

Source: Google Street View

And that is a great neon sign. The only photo I managed to snap of it was crazy blurry, so I didn’t even bother posting it. But to me, a sign like that says “years of dependable quality,” and the sign didn’t lie. Frank’s has been open since 1952, making it one of the older pizza places we’ve visited.

Where Frank’s really excels is the dine-in experience. Many of the pizza places Ernie and I visit are mainly carryout. Even if a place has a dining room, sometimes it’s pretty boring and it’s not the most exciting place to enjoy your meal. The dining room at Frank’s, however, like the neighborhood surrounding the establishment, is a comforting time warp to decades before. Little appears to have been changed since maybe the ’50s or ’60s.

Covered with wood paneling, the interior of Frank’s is relatively compact, with several small, private booths lining the walls on either side and a few tables and chairs in the middle. Tablecloths and a few plants add to the atmosphere. When we went to Frank’s, the place was completely empty. People these days probably prefer newer, flashier places for a night out, and I get that. But treasures like Frank’s die all the time, and once they are gone, they are gone for good. As quiet as it can be there, Frank’s Pizzeria is surely a great place for private date or a secret agent meeting, though. Cozy and inviting, you will be treated to the way people used to enjoy pizza.

Of course, this trip was early in our pizza houndin’, so I don’t have any good pictures of the interior. Maybe it’s best that way. Go yourself and be surprised. It really is a treat.

We got carryout, as usual, with our typical thin crust. Tasty classic Chicago-style pizza cut in squares. We also ordered the breaded ravioli, which was good, as well. Breaded–or toasted–ravioli used to be pretty much an exclusively St. Louis thing (trust us, you can count on it on just about every menu in the city), but it seems be branching out all over the country, including to Chicago.

Frank's Pizzeria Menu

Frank’s does pan and stuffed pizzas, as well, and you can get double dough if you want your thin crust to be a little thicker. You can even get popular Chicago food items such as Italian beef and giardiniera as toppings. What’s up with the “half and half – 2 ingredients only” listing? Shouldn’t it be the same price as a one topping? I’ve seen this at a few other older pizza places and it confuses me a bit. Maybe it’s left over from years ago when people didn’t load down their pizzas with a lot of toppings and one different topping on each was all the variety one desired.

Frank's menu pizza listings

Frank’s also offers a number of appetizers, ribs, and “golden fried chicken,” the last of which seems to be fairly common on the menus of pizza places in all corners of the city.  And like many other pizza joints in Chicago, loyalty is rewarded. Collect 20 and get a free pizza!

Frank's Pizzeria cards

Frank’s Pizzeria serves good pizza that’s probably best enjoyed in their classic dining room. Going there is a great opportunity to get a slice of somewhat slower and timeless version Chicago than the craziness that happens as one gets closer to the lake. For these all reasons, Frank’s Pizzeria has become a favorite spot for my friends Christian and Brittney. Christian eyes his prize below.

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Frank’s Pizzeria is located at 6506 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago

(773) 283-2564

Updated: Official Frank’s Pizzeria Website

Geo’s Pizza – Montclare, Chicago

Since 1972     

As usual, the Pizza Hound and I look forward to getting a pizza on the weekend. So, one Friday night, right on schedule, Ernie caught a scent and led the way. Soon, we were heading west to try out a pizza we’d never had before, and boy were we glad we found it. 

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“Caught a scent!”

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“I know where to go!”

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“This is the place!”

While there are numerous classic pizza joints on the Southwest Side of Chicago, the city’s Northwest Side should not be underestimated for meeting one’s pizza needs. There are all kinds of great dine-in, take-out, and delivery spots. In particular, Harlem Avenue north of Grand all the way to Irving Park Road is a bit of a Little Italy. It borders the suburb of Elmwood Park and is not too far from the longstanding Italian community of Melrose Park.

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The Hound and I agree: Geo’s Pizza was a great experience all around. It seems little changed over the years. A take-out joint with a counter and a just a handful seats for waiting. Old, faded photos–and some wood paneling–on the walls, connecting Geo’s to past generations of local pizza eaters and their families in the community. Nice people working there, too.

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After a short 15-20 minute wait, the Hound and I picked up our extra large all pepperoni and half-sausage, and it came on the classic cardboard base, covered in a paper bag, perfect for ripping open like a gift to get to the delicious prize inside. Geo’s gave us a free RC Cola, too!

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The pizza was fantastic! One of our favorites. Thin, but not ultra thin. Handmade crust. Nice, tasty sauce and very good cheese. We’d love to have it again. Along with Sorrento’s on Harlem and a number of other places, Geo’s helps make the Northwest Side a pizza destination.
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A few more menu images:

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Geo’s Pizza is located at 2849 N. Harlem Ave. in Chicago

(773) 237-4450

(708) 452-4367

Geo’s Pizza Official Website

Geo’s Pizza on Facebook (unofficial page)