Star Tavern makes an amazingly great thin-crust pizza. I'm craving the stuff as I type this, and not just because I haven't had breakfast yet. If you don't already live in Orange, New Jersey, or in Essex County (because if you do, you already know this), Star is worth a detour — and even a trip. I really like the plain pie (even though it's not pictured here), but it's worth exploring some of the other options on the menu once you've tried plain perfection.
Order your pies at Pequod's with extra cheese and extra sauce if you want it to balance out the massive hunks of crisp, juicy, porky sausage. It's simple pizza—about as plain as a sausage deep dish gets, but its crust is one of the best in the city. There is nothing gourmet about the pizza at Pequod's, and there is no single ingredient we can point to as being close to the best in Chicago. But the way everything comes together is simply magical.
San Francisco's known for its bread, and the crust at Flour + Water is great. Flavorful and slightly tangy, with perfect charring and an ever-so-slightly crisp and pliant chew. Our bone marrow and rapini pizza with fresh horseradish seemed an odd combination to say the least, but it worked; chin-dripping fattiness with sweet sweet, nutty, lightly charred brassica and a Parmesan-esque sprinkle of fresh horseradish root to add a spicy kick—this pie assaults all of your senses at the same time.
Pat's is about as old school as thin crust pizzerias get, and by Chicago standards, that means that it's heavy on the cheese and sauce, they make their own excellent sausage in-house, and their crust is so thin as to be completely negligible as far as adding flavor goes: It's a vehicle for delivering great sausage, cheese, and sauce to your mouth.
Great Lake's Heirloom Tomato Pie has a beautiful lip. It looks and tastes a great deal like Nancy Silverton's pizza at Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles. This is glorious, light yeasty, pizza crust. The No. 1 comes with slices of fresh heirloom tomato, fresh mozzarella, garlic, herbs, and tangy, salty mona cheese (made from a blend of (made from a blend of sheep and cow's milk in neighboring Wisconsin), Inspired, perfectly proportioned, and wonderfully balanced.
The pizza style at Adrienne's sort of defies any of the traditional ones we normally talk about — it's just a really great, puffy, thin-crust grandmaesque pie. Not only good for the Financial District, which, let's face it, is not difficult — but great for anywhere. Destination pizza, folks
Art of Pizza (Chicago): No matter how many times we eat it, the mere thought of getting our hands on a stuffed pizza induces a Pavlovian response. The golden crust filled with a stunning amount of mozzarella and toppings, all topped with a rich tomato sauce brings a thrill that makes the typical 45-minute wait well worth it.