LTH Home

Vito & Nick's Pizza

Vito & Nick's Pizza
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
     Page 1 of 10
  • Vito & Nick's Pizza

    Post #1 - September 28th, 2008, 7:17 pm
    Post #1 - September 28th, 2008, 7:17 pm Post #1 - September 28th, 2008, 7:17 pm
    As I mentioned in the GNR nomination thread for Vito & Nick's, references to and reviews of Vito & Nick's pizza are festooned throughout LTH Forum, but for whatever reason, Vito & Nick's hasn't had a thread of its own...until now.

    Vito & Nick's serves the platonic ideal of Chicago thin crust pizza. It's the pizza by which all other thin crusts are judged. They've been serving up the same great pizza since 1949, but in the restaurant & tavern business long before that. They serve a lot of pizzas and have developed quite a process for turning them out in volume, while maintaining the same high quality they have always had.

    Vito & Nick's Pizza Production Line
    Image
    While the guy on the left rolls out the dough and shapes it, the man in the middle sauces and passes the pizza along to the fellow on the right, who adds the ingredients and cheese. After that, the pizza is thrown (almost literally) in the oven to cook.

    It comes out thin, crackery crisp and delicious.

    Vito & Nick's Sausage, Anchovy and Garlic
    Image

    Vito & Nick's Sausage, Pepperoni & Hot Giardinara
    Image

    The thing I like most about Vito & Nick's pizza is that they achieve a nice level of caramelization on the edges of the crust. When it comes to crust, what Burt's is to deep dish, Vito & Nicks is to thin crust.

    Vito & Nick's Caramelized Edges
    Image

    Vito & Nick's has a moderately sized menu and a full bar. I'd recommend sticking to basics in both areas. Vito & Nick's is not the place to be ordering fancy cocktails. It's a shot and a beer kind of place. Your best bet is to stick to the pizza as well.

    Vito & Nick's Pizzeria
    8433 S. Pulaski
    Chicago, IL 60652
    773-735-2050

    Edited to correct grammar
    Last edited by stevez on September 28th, 2008, 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #2 - September 28th, 2008, 9:38 pm
    Post #2 - September 28th, 2008, 9:38 pm Post #2 - September 28th, 2008, 9:38 pm
    :shock: that pizza looks amazing!!!
  • Post #3 - September 29th, 2008, 2:03 am
    Post #3 - September 29th, 2008, 2:03 am Post #3 - September 29th, 2008, 2:03 am
    I have made limited visits to both the original V&N as well as the one at Lemont Lanes, and both are fantastic. I haven't been to the "other side of the family" V&N II locations but understand they do it well, also. Probably the best cracker thin crust pizza I have had with the exception of Zaffiro's in Milwaukee.
    Bob in RSM, CA...yes, I know, it's a long way from Chicago
  • Post #4 - September 29th, 2008, 9:09 am
    Post #4 - September 29th, 2008, 9:09 am Post #4 - September 29th, 2008, 9:09 am
    Thanks for the great post Steveo. This place has been "Our Pizza" for over twenty years. We love it, of coarse, for having the best thin crust, and best sausage. But also, for that "tacky basement" atmosphere. Where else can you find multi-colored light bulbs in the chandeliers, a carpeting on the walls? Not to mention the plexi-glass encased Italian chatch-kees, or whatever you call them! And what's a pitcher of Old Style draught? $5.00? I hope they continue for anothe 50 years!
  • Post #5 - September 29th, 2008, 9:44 am
    Post #5 - September 29th, 2008, 9:44 am Post #5 - September 29th, 2008, 9:44 am
    Any opinions as to if the pizza quality is as good at the Lemont Lanes Location as it is on Pulaski?
  • Post #6 - September 29th, 2008, 9:47 am
    Post #6 - September 29th, 2008, 9:47 am Post #6 - September 29th, 2008, 9:47 am
    As far as Chicago-style thin crust goes, Vito and Nick's is in a league of its own. I've been spoiled by this place, and no other thin crust pizza -- not even Marie's, Candlelight, Pat's -- can satisfy me like V&N's. I like to order my pizza well-done here, for a bit extra caramelization. Those caramelized edges are, as stevez notes, part of what makes this place special. I also like the sausage they use, and their slightly restrained (by Chicago thin crust standards) approach to the cheese. Most thin crusts I've had around the city, the cheese resembles a solid layer of plastic atop the pizza--you can almost literally remove it in one motion. In Vito and Nick's pizza, the cheese is better incorporated with the rest of the ingredients and more sensibly balanced.

    But, most of all, it's that perfectly executed cracker crust that makes me crave V&N's.
  • Post #7 - October 2nd, 2008, 7:03 am
    Post #7 - October 2nd, 2008, 7:03 am Post #7 - October 2nd, 2008, 7:03 am
    LTH,

    On a recent visit to Vito and Nick's I got into a friendly, at the start ;), disagreement with Ronnie_Suburban about what type of cheese they use in the shakers on the table. Ron contended he tasted the tang of sheep's milk, I thought parmesan, not the industrial green box, but parmesan none the less.

    Mr. Perfect Pitch Palate Ronnie_S was correct it was imported Pecorino Romano, lucky for me the bet wasn't whether leprechauns were imaginary or real. Which brings me to my point, the secret is not all in Vito and Nick's ability to hit the perfectly crisp thin crust benchmark, they also use quality ingredients.

    Vito and Nick's Table Shaker Cheese

    Image

    Sausage, Pepperoni & Hot Giardinara

    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #8 - October 2nd, 2008, 10:28 am
    Post #8 - October 2nd, 2008, 10:28 am Post #8 - October 2nd, 2008, 10:28 am
    Good to know. I don't think I've ever even touched the cheese on the table in all my visits there.
  • Post #9 - October 2nd, 2008, 11:11 am
    Post #9 - October 2nd, 2008, 11:11 am Post #9 - October 2nd, 2008, 11:11 am
    Binko wrote:Good to know. I don't think I've ever even touched the cheese on the table in all my visits there.


    Give it a try next time. The slight funk from the pecorino really adds a some nice complexity to the already great pizza.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #10 - October 2nd, 2008, 11:53 am
    Post #10 - October 2nd, 2008, 11:53 am Post #10 - October 2nd, 2008, 11:53 am
    One mystery down. Now we just have to ferret:

    - do they make their own giardiniera, and if not, whose are they using?
    - do they ever have fresh basil leaves, or is that item on the topping list always dried crap?
  • Post #11 - October 2nd, 2008, 12:03 pm
    Post #11 - October 2nd, 2008, 12:03 pm Post #11 - October 2nd, 2008, 12:03 pm
    stevez wrote:
    Binko wrote:Good to know. I don't think I've ever even touched the cheese on the table in all my visits there.


    Give it a try next time. The slight funk from the pecorino really adds a some nice complexity to the already great pizza.


    I will. I'm just so used to not ever touching the table shaker cheese, assuming that it's repackaged green-tin Kraft crap.

    As for the basil, I've never seen fresh basil on pizza at Vito & Nick's, but I've never asked, either. I don't think I've ever seen fresh basil on a Chicago-style thin crust in this part of the city, but I may be mistaken or just hanging out with the wrong crowd.
  • Post #12 - October 2nd, 2008, 12:23 pm
    Post #12 - October 2nd, 2008, 12:23 pm Post #12 - October 2nd, 2008, 12:23 pm
    Binko wrote:As for the basil, I've never seen fresh basil on pizza at Vito & Nick's, but I've never asked, either. I don't think I've ever seen fresh basil on a Chicago-style thin crust in this part of the city, but I may be mistaken or just hanging out with the wrong crowd.

    Binko,

    I was with Jazzfood, a Left Coast occasional LTH poster and his wife who ordered basil on a Vito and Nick's pie. I offered that was a mistake on the order of asking for the Wisconsin style brat at a vegan joint, but he went ahead anyway. In his defense, if there really is any ;), he asked the waitress if the basil was fresh......"sure, yeah" I asked again, not quite believing the answer, "sure, why not, we sell a ton of basil"

    It was, of course, dried basil, and tons of it, (at least she had the ton part right) and it gave the entire pie a bitter off flavor.

    Do NOT order basil on your pizza at Vito and Nick's.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #13 - October 2nd, 2008, 12:29 pm
    Post #13 - October 2nd, 2008, 12:29 pm Post #13 - October 2nd, 2008, 12:29 pm
    You know, when a place is as firmly stuck in its time warp as Vito & Nick's, one really should approach it as if one had literally traveled back in time, and not ask a grillman named Sal with a cigarette glued to his lower lip and a tattoo of the destroyer he served on for an egg-white omelet with chicken sausage and arugula and a double no-whip decaf soy latte.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #14 - October 2nd, 2008, 4:27 pm
    Post #14 - October 2nd, 2008, 4:27 pm Post #14 - October 2nd, 2008, 4:27 pm
    Mike G wrote:You know, when a place is as firmly stuck in its time warp as Vito & Nick's, one really should approach it as if one had literally traveled back in time, and not ask a grillman named Sal with a cigarette glued to his lower lip and a tattoo of the destroyer he served on for an egg-white omelet with chicken sausage and arugula and a double no-whip decaf soy latte.

    LMAO!
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #15 - October 7th, 2008, 10:47 am
    Post #15 - October 7th, 2008, 10:47 am Post #15 - October 7th, 2008, 10:47 am
    Yummmmmy Vito & Nick's pizza. Gotta love that place. The woman in the background of the very first picture has been there probably since the beginning.

    Now I'm hankering for some of that wonderful crispy thin crust sausage pizza with gardinierre.

    Have to love the only Old Style on tap as well!!!
  • Post #16 - October 7th, 2008, 10:53 am
    Post #16 - October 7th, 2008, 10:53 am Post #16 - October 7th, 2008, 10:53 am
    pamiela wrote: The woman in the background of the very first picture has been there probably since the beginning.

    Yep, she's the original owner's daughter...but whether it's Nick or Vito, I don't know.
  • Post #17 - October 7th, 2008, 2:33 pm
    Post #17 - October 7th, 2008, 2:33 pm Post #17 - October 7th, 2008, 2:33 pm
    They might be a time warp but they do have a website. It has some fairly extensive photo albums. The albums are accessible from the top of the page.

    http://www.vitoandnick.com/

    I'm looking for an excuse to wander down to the area. (I live in Schaumburg.) The first thought that comes to mind is Pullman http://www.pullmanil.org/. Is there anything closer/more interesting?
  • Post #18 - October 7th, 2008, 3:52 pm
    Post #18 - October 7th, 2008, 3:52 pm Post #18 - October 7th, 2008, 3:52 pm
    jeffs wrote: Is there anything closer/more interesting?


    I can think of two things. GNR Winner [url=Chucks viewtopic.php?f=28&t=4009]Chuck's Southern Comfort Cafe[/url]and GNR Winner Steve's Shish Kebab. Whay not make a day of it and hit a triple? :wink: Come to think of it, Top Notch Beefburger is in the neighborhood, too.

    Chuck's Southern Comfort Café
    5557 W 79th St
    Burbank, IL 60459
    (708) 229-8700

    Steve's Shish Kabob
    10719 S Roberts Rd
    Palos Hills, IL 60465
    708-974-3530

    Top Notch Beefburger
    4720 W 95th St
    Oak Lawn, IL 60453
    (708) 422-5544

    2116 W 95th St
    Chicago, IL 60643
    (773) 445-7218
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #19 - October 7th, 2008, 4:00 pm
    Post #19 - October 7th, 2008, 4:00 pm Post #19 - October 7th, 2008, 4:00 pm
    Speaking from experience, the area's somewhat low on non-food tourist attractions, apart from some FPDCC nature walk type places (The Little Red Schoolhouse!) Vito & Nick's is near the Lithuanian Museum, which will just hold the attention of a small child for an hour (again from experience).
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #20 - October 7th, 2008, 5:35 pm
    Post #20 - October 7th, 2008, 5:35 pm Post #20 - October 7th, 2008, 5:35 pm
    Found myself in Burbank last Thursday late afternoon and headed to Vito & Nick's. This was my first time so I sat at the bar with several locals watching the end of the Sox game. I asked if they par cooked the pizza so that I could finish cooking them at home fully realizing that it would not be the same. Thanks to the picture from Steve Z., I ordered a large Sausage, Anchovy and Garlic. While i waited for my Pizza I had a drink and then another. I am pretty sure I was there for well over an hour. During this time I had a clear view of the Pizza makers and at no time were there less than 3 pizza's being assembled. They were stacked up just waiting for oven space. When my pie did arrive, I was delighted to find they had screwed up and fully cooked it providing me with an excuse for eating some on the way home.(It also put my 2nd drink on the house) The sausage was outstanding, the Anchovies not to salty and the Garlic was subtle not overpowering like many places. The combination was perfect.

    Vito & Nick's is now my number one pizza in the area with Marie's and Q's in Hillside tied for second. Q's is still owned by the founder and with the exception of buying the building next door for a bar, nothing has changed since the sixties. Like Vito & Nick's, everything around Q's has changed but when you walk through the doors you are taken back to another time.

    It was also great to see that Chicago Thin Crust will finally emerge from the shadow of Deep Dish and be receiving the much over due national attention it deserves.
    Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.
    Woody Allen
  • Post #21 - October 13th, 2008, 9:33 pm
    Post #21 - October 13th, 2008, 9:33 pm Post #21 - October 13th, 2008, 9:33 pm
    Vito & Nicks pizza is fantastic! Can't get anything like it in Minneapolis.
  • Post #22 - October 24th, 2008, 1:33 pm
    Post #22 - October 24th, 2008, 1:33 pm Post #22 - October 24th, 2008, 1:33 pm
    My wife and I went to Vito & Nick's last night. It was excellent. I grew up not far from there but can't remember ever having had their pizza. Crust was thin and cracker crisp. We will definitely be going back, it's like stepping into 1963.....very cool. There was a sign stating that they are going to be on Diners Drive-ins and Dives this Fall. They don't know when as yet, but it will be posted on the V&N web site as soon as they know.
  • Post #23 - October 24th, 2008, 1:49 pm
    Post #23 - October 24th, 2008, 1:49 pm Post #23 - October 24th, 2008, 1:49 pm
    Yep, we were there as well last night. My two sister's came in from out of state (California and Georgia), and they both requested a trip to Vito and Nick's, right off the plane! Both say nothing is available where they live that even closely resembles a thin crust Chicago pizza.

    The draught beer was running a little flat last night, though, as well as the service. We had dear "Aunt Lee" as our waitress. She's great with the one liners and zingers...I'll give her that!
  • Post #24 - October 24th, 2008, 2:30 pm
    Post #24 - October 24th, 2008, 2:30 pm Post #24 - October 24th, 2008, 2:30 pm
    I ate there earlier in the week for the first time. I've finally found the pizza that answers my age old question...."Why can't I find a place that makes pizza like I had as a kid growing up".
  • Post #25 - January 12th, 2009, 1:49 pm
    Post #25 - January 12th, 2009, 1:49 pm Post #25 - January 12th, 2009, 1:49 pm
    Vito and Nicks is supposed to be featured on tonight's "Diners and Drive-Ins" on the Food Network. 9PM repeats at 11PM.
  • Post #26 - January 12th, 2009, 2:30 pm
    Post #26 - January 12th, 2009, 2:30 pm Post #26 - January 12th, 2009, 2:30 pm
    Artie wrote:Vito and Nicks is supposed to be featured on tonight's "Diners and Drive-Ins" on the Food Network. 9PM repeats at 11PM.


    Cool! Thanks for the heads up!

    I just checked and the 9 pm repeat is at 12 midnight. Unwrapped is on at 11.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #27 - January 13th, 2009, 10:36 am
    Post #27 - January 13th, 2009, 10:36 am Post #27 - January 13th, 2009, 10:36 am
    I've never thought of even trying it, but that roast beef pizza w/hot giardinera looked great.

    I don't know about the egg pizza though. Doesn't seem that appetizing to me.
  • Post #28 - January 13th, 2009, 10:40 am
    Post #28 - January 13th, 2009, 10:40 am Post #28 - January 13th, 2009, 10:40 am
    roast beef? how rare was the beef?

    I cant imagine the beef woud be too different as one of the toppings on one of my favorites... Italian Beef, sausage, green peppers, and giardinera
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #29 - January 13th, 2009, 10:50 am
    Post #29 - January 13th, 2009, 10:50 am Post #29 - January 13th, 2009, 10:50 am
    jimswside wrote:roast beef? how rare was the beef?

    I cant imagine the beef woud be too different as one of the toppings on one of my favorites... Italian Beef, sausage, green peppers, and giardinera

    It actually was Italian Beef, not roast beef, per se. And the segment included a section where it was shown how the Italian Beef at V&N's was actually made.

    Great segment, really made me hungry.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #30 - January 13th, 2009, 10:57 am
    Post #30 - January 13th, 2009, 10:57 am Post #30 - January 13th, 2009, 10:57 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    jimswside wrote:roast beef? how rare was the beef?

    I cant imagine the beef woud be too different as one of the toppings on one of my favorites... Italian Beef, sausage, green peppers, and giardinera

    It actually was Italian Beef, not roast beef, per se. And the segment included a section where it was shown how the Italian Beef at V&N's was actually made.

    Great segment, really made me hungry.

    =R=


    I really wanted to watch this episode last night but it was on past my bedtime, and I was too lazy to get out of bed, turn off the alarm, and go set the DVR to record it. :oops:

    I will hopefully catch the replay soon.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more