CHIReview

Bob’s Pizza review image
8.2

Bob’s Pizza

$$$$

1659 W 21st St, Chicago
View WebsiteEarn 3X Points

We want you to know two things about Bob’s Pizza. For one, there is no “Bob”— the owners just liked the name. Two, this place makes “Pilsen-style” pizza, which is not a thing. But like how America had to pretend the Jacksonville Jaguars were a real organization during their first year as an NFL expansion team, we’re treating it like it is.

So what’s the deal with Bob’s (fake person) Pilsen-style (also fake) pizzas? Unlike the Jaguars, they’re great.

In fact, we like the pies at this counter-service spot so much that we’re starting a petition to make it a certified Chicago pizza-style. The fantastic hand-stretched dough is made with beer, which gives the crust a wonderful yeasty flavor. It’s soft and foldable, with a puffy, bubbly edge, and has a nicely-charred undercarriage. They nail basic pizzas like cheese or pepperoni by using high-quality toppings along with a nice blend of local cheeses, and their tomato sauce is the perfect mix of acidic and slightly sweet.

Bob’s Pizza review image

photo credit: Sandy Noto

The other thing that makes Bob’s stand out is their short list of specialty pies. These pizzas are good enough to hold their own against Bebu’s, one of the best hand-tossed pizza spots in the city - particularly the spinach pesto and stracciatella, topped with prosciutto and sun-dried tomatoes. There’s also the slightly disconcerting pickle pizza, made with mortadella, garlic cream, and an intimidating amount of sliced pickles. It sounds like a hundred miles of bad road ending in regret, but we promise that it tastes like a fancy ham sandwich and you should order it.

Even though Bob’s is BYOB, it feels like a bar - it’s small and dark inside with a few flat-screen TV’s and a vintage Atari table, which is a thoughtful touch for a place currently under review by the Chicago Department of Pizza Style Regulation and Licensing. But we don’t care if it gets licensed or not because while Chicago is known as a deep dish city, we’re not pizza sociologists. Our job is to tell you when we find a great pizza spot, and even if “Pilsen-style” pizza doesn’t really exist, Bob’s has made it a reality for us. Anyways, who are we to tell Blake Bortles and Nick Foles that they played for a fake team.

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Food Rundown

Bob’s Pizza review image

photo credit: Sandy Noto

Spinach Pesto And Stracciatella

This is one of our favorite pizzas in the city. The combination of prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes, creamy cheese, and pesto goes really well together, and it’s topped with arugula that adds some nice freshness. We like to order this with truffle honey.

Bob’s Pizza review image

photo credit: Sandy Noto

Bob’s Pepperoni Pizza

Bob’s uses Hungarian pepperoni, which has a strong, funky flavor that goes well with the slightly sweet tomato sauce and fresh basil.

Bob’s Pizza review image

photo credit: Sandy Noto

Pickle Pizza

There’s no getting around that this is a pizza topped with a lot of pickles. But it also has a tasty garlic cream sauce, fresh dill, and mortadella. Basically imagine eating a fancy, open-faced ham sandwich. If you’re curious but nervous, remember you can order the pies half and half, so feel free to experiment, just like you did in college.

Bob’s Pizza review image

photo credit: Sandy Noto

More Pizzas, Because Why Not

Some honorable mentions: the cheese, which has just the right amount of cheese to sauce, and a little cracked black pepper. And the sausage, which has thyme and pickled onions that cut through the meat.

Bob’s Pizza review image

photo credit: Sandy Noto

Hot Blue Cheese Fries

This pile of fries is a fork and knife operation, and a valid choice if you feel like a big pile of crispy french fries covered in hot sauce and blue cheese.

Meatballs

The best part about these are the soft rolls they come with, with the intention of making sliders. But unfortunately the meatballs are a little greasy and just not that great.

Bob’s Pizza review image

photo credit: Sandy Noto

Oatmeal Cream Pie

We like this as a post-pizza dessert. The thick oatmeal cookies are soft and chewy, and the cream is more buttery than sweet.

Featured in

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