Gino's North - "Chicago's Best Kept Secret"
 
Don’t take our word, see what some of our many satisfied Patrons have said about their Gino's North Experience on YELP as well as other Media sources...    9/22/2013 My absolute favorite place in Chicago for pizza! Apparently, it's been as it is since the 1960s, and it shows. Inside, it's classic (restored), early-mid 20th century, rich (but homey) mahogany and marble...similar to the Green Mill. The kitchen makes the best deep dish I've ever had...the crust has an excellent flavor, flaky and light with a hint of sun-dried tomatoes...the cheese is rich and thick, and the toppings are generous (but limited to what you'd expect at a pizza parlour circa 1960). The thin is quite good too, as are their antipasto salad, their Italian beef and their ravioli...As for the bar, it's friendly with chatty bartenders and good specials. No surprises beer, wine or liquor-wise, though...selection-wise, it's typical for a classic American bar.

The only legit complaint I've ever heard about Gino's North (other than, "how could this place have been here since my grandparents were my age, without my knowing about it?") is that it is a smaller restaurant...five booths for parties of four-to-six, depending on your party's girth (if you know what I mean) along a curved bar that might seat 20 (25 in a pinch). But, if the place were any bigger, anyone, even the miracle-working Peggy, the octogenarian chef (and original proprietress), would have difficulty keeping everything real. This isn't your party of eight, party of 12, party of 50 sort of place...but this is, most definitely, the perfect place for two couples or one couple to meet...in fact, it's almost down-right romantic without trying to be so...which well...makes it twice as so...
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    • Chicago, IL 8/29/2013 This is a bar--OK, a bar with food--not a restaurant.  To prove it:  there are five booths opposite a long bar, and that's it.   No dining room.  No waitress or waiter.  Just a single bartender for the whole place.  He serves both the bar and the booths.  It's kind of entertaining:  when food is ready, a bell rings and he rushes to the window in  back, picks up the order, delivers it, and rushes back to the bar to mix the next round of drinks.  Repeat.  All nite.  Good for tips, not so good for customers.  Just like a game show routine Jackie Gleason performs in a classic episode of the Honeymooners.  But I digress.  There really ought to be someone to wait on the booths.  Either the owner is cheap, or the small (?) number of diners (20 covers) won't support additional staff.  That said, the bartenders do a decent job of serving one and all.
          And what a bar.  Long and curvy with comfortable seats.  And plenty of decor to gaze at.  Statues of nymphs and waterfalls.  Candles and cafe lamps.  A dropped ceiling and mirrored walls.  The colors are maroon and black, very dark, relaxing.  The look is deco, Italian.  This could be Rome, 1930, not Uptown, 2013. You forget the CTA station next door, The Anvil down the block (have your nightcap in there).  The two above-the-bar TVs detract from the atmosphere, but hey, it's a bar (see above). Perhaps the sound could be turned off and the closed-captioning on.
          The drinks are well-made and cheap-ish.  You can have a nice cocktail while you wait for pizza.  I had a Manhattan with Makers and it didn't cost an arm & a leg.  Chased with a $4 Miller.
         Who's at the bar?  The full urban panorama.  There's a guy who's a dead ringer for Don Rickles playing Wheel of Fortune out loud, by himself.  Girlfriends having drinks. Two scraggly folks waiting for their take-out.  Two gay guys--hey, one of them is cute.  You have time to notice all this because the pizzas take time.
          Finally, your food arrives.  I had the cocktail pizza with two toppings.  It was buttery and had a homemade quality.  I thought the 80-year old pizza maker was an urban myth until she actually came out to entertain a toddler with her pizza-maker doll.  Nice touch.  Nice place.  Actually, in my opinion, it's a hoot, a true Chicago original
        Saint Paul, MN 6/7/2013 Great neighborhood bar. Friendly bartenders and great food. Highly recommended
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          Chicago, IL 5/28/2013 I had this pizza on Sunday night. It is now Tuesday and I'm still thinking about how good that pizza was.

          Thin crust, sausage, green pepper, mushroom, and onion.

          Man, that was a good pizza
            Chicago, IL 5/6/2013 Tried the thin crust and it was great. The bottom was crisp enough to crack but the rest was chewy goodness. The staff is awesome...my wallet somehow fell from my pocket and Dwayne (sp?) was like "Yep we got it." You rock Gino's North..
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        • Chicago, IL 3/10/2013 I love this place.  It is also less than a block from my apartment so that helps.  The bar is a small gaudy little hangout that is only open after 4:00pm.  The drinks are priced well and the bartenders are all friendly and attentive.  Great place to go for a night-cap.  

          As for the food, I have only ever ordered the pizza.  I must say the pizza is top notch.  I love it.  The dough is the Peggy's (the owner) recipe and is phenomenal.  It has a yellowish/orangish color to it.  The sauce is also extremely good.  Being originally from the North East where good pizza is everywhere, I had a very hard time finding good thin crust pizza in Chicago.  I love the deep dish, but it is just not practical a lot of the times.  Gino's offers a great thin crust because they pay attention to what really makes one pizza better than the other, the sauce and crust.  If you are ever in Edgewater and looking for a good pizza, look no other place than Gino's.  Make sure to have a drink while waiting for it!.
          Updated - 5/28/2012 1 Check-in HereStopped in again for a pick-up order. Grabbed a couple of their $3 drink specials and got mystery shots on the house from a very engaging bartender while we waited for the pizza to come up.

          The thin crust was just as good and crunchy as ever, with that classic Gino's North almost orange crust and heavenly toppings. We got a pepperoni and black olive - no skimpy toppings here!!


          Awesome update - they take credit cards now.
          • 4/24/2012 Just a quick stroll down from where I was staying, Geno's North didn't disappoint. The ambiance was low-key and cozy. Everyone had their little conversations going and there even was a guy that had one of the best laughs you would ever hear. Now... to the food. We started of with the antipasto platter which was yummo-o! We started making little meat burritos and dipping it into that great mustard sauce. The deep dish took an hour to make but the guy notified us before we ordered, so it was ok. The pizza was awesome but if you're not a fan of cheese, you might want to go some place else. Their version of a deep dish pizza was a slab, yes, slab o' cheese. One slice was enough for me and I'm the type of person that can eat. I recommend going here as long as you don't have a very large party. We had 7 people eating and they had to put 2 extra chairs at the end of the booth.
           Zane D.Chicago, IL
          10/5/2010 Gino's super secretly has both the best thin crust pizza and best deep dish pizza in town, bar none.

          With $2.50 drink specials every night, the murmur of of the Granville Red Line station in the background, and the most laid back atmosphere you can find there's really nothing you can say bad about Gino's North.

          Unless you are fancy and dislike dive bars, in which case the charm this place is wasted on you.
          Evanston, IL
          5/31/2010   Go here to experience some original Chicago pizza. Both the deep dish and thin crust represent some of the best in Chicagoland. Drinks and foods prices are reasonably priced. The service is decent and atmosphere dark, but warm. I almost passed by the place, tucked almost under the Granville El stop.
           
          I don't recommend going here with a big group, as the rounded booths cater better to small groups (4-5). Any bigger, and you'll have to split up between tables
           kris c.Madison Heights, MI
          5/20/2010   I had originally written a review for Geno's North, which is listed with all the same location information and knew it was misspelled. Geno's is the chain...Gino's North is an original.
          So, instead of waxing on and on saying the same thing, I decided to just do a copy/paste. Here goes:
          I'll say it loud and proud....you won't find a better pizza in all of Chicago. Gino's North on Granville is a little step back in time. Walk through the doors of this unassuming building, located right next door to an ally and Loyola Campus Police, and you'll be transported. It's dark, it's small, with 5 horseshoe booths on one side and a mirroed bar that winds across the  the other. The ambiance isn't chic but it's still so cool. Dare I say, kind of romantic? Candles and flowers on the tables and a tv in each corner. The mix of hip and square that fits this neighborhood perfectly.
          And the pizza? Knock-you-down-and-leave-you-for-dead GOOD! I am not a big pizza fan and never have been, but the first time I had the thin crust pizza (with mushrooms and bacon, thank you), I fell. Amazing, crunchy crust that doesn't crumble with every bite...a fantastic, sweet and a little smokey sauce...and the cheese? Maybe there is some crack sprinkled in because it's out of this world. I've done the deep-dish and the standard thin, round pizza but Gino's North (no relation to the over priced chain further south) has made me love pizza.
          There is usually a bit of a wait to get your pie (or cracker) but it's worth it. They do a killer business, with the college so close and all the neighborhood regulars....the staff is top-notch and friendly and Peggy, (the beautiful woman dressed to the nine's who makes all that deliciousness) is a neighborhood gem!
          This place is the best kept secret in Chicago and it's a secret worth knowing! Worth a drive, you won't be disappointed.
          Chicago, IL
          5/14/2010    Gino's North is a great place to be!
          From the outside, well....it had me fooled.
          On the inside.....gorgeous little pizza joint!
          Staff.....They're great! They're nice to talk to and always just very cool.
          Patrons.....Diverse crowd, not just locals and not a college bar (thank you thank you!)
          Atmosphere....Every single time I've stepped inside Gino's North I felt at home.  Such a warm cozy atmosphere.
          Food.....It's good!  Do it!
          Drinks....These bartenders have been to a few rodeos.  They know what they're doing!
          Beer.....They have the basics (Fat Tire, Stella, Blue Moon, Guinness, 312, Honkers, Peroni, Killian's)  I REALLY REALLY  WISH THEY WOULD BRING THEIR BEER SELECTION UP A NOTCH (like the nearby, St. Andrew's Inn...killer beer selection, btw).  Personally, I can't stand the basic beers and I see them almost everywhere and it is so disheartening for me.  It's also the only thing keeping me from giving this wonderfully awesome place a fifth star. I really want to give that fifth star, too! (hint, hint, Gino's north)
          All in all, this is a cool lil' joint and it'd be a damn shame not to stop in and enjoy it
           
          Chicago, IL
          3/14/2010       I effing love this place.
           
          This is the kind of place that makes Yelp worth all our trouble. It is tucked next to the Granville red line stop and looks like no one has any business going there. When you open the front door, however, you are greeted to long curvy bar wrapped around a central fountain/statue. The decor is dark, smoky, reminds me of a speakeasy (reminds?), but without the annoying jazz. Instead, they MAY have annoying dance music . That is great because everyone I've ever met here has been all-round friendly! And if I am there, I may be annoying the clientele myself with Johnny Cash or RATM or something completely inappropriate to the scene. Feel free to liven things up yourself with the internet-connected jukebox in the back.
           
          As for the food, hands-down the best pizza I've ever had, Chicago or otherwise. I love both the "deep dish", which I would not call a Chicago-style: it is about 2/3 the depth of your standard Gino's East, etc; AND the thin-crust. I recommend the Gino's Special! Also, though I've only ever gone there for pizza, the pizza & garlic bread is also very good.
           
          Drinks are cheap and they have $2 daily drink specials, yes, even on weekends. I've gone in a few times just to have a $2 beer after work and watch Wheel of Fortune or Law & Order or whatever they have playing on the two TVs.
           
          I urge you to go here to try this place out, and complement the lovely Peggy on her jewelry!
           
          Also, I urge you not to come here because I would hate it to become a hipster-packed Kuma's-esque mess
          Chicago, IL
          2/23/2010        Stepping into Gino's North is like stepping onto the set of Goodfellas.
          We live in the neighborhood and love to stop in for pizza or just a beer at the bar. The thin crust is flakey and buttery beyond belief and the deep dish and just more of the same with more gooey cheese and toppings. Be ready to wait if you order the deep dish - it can be over an hour for a pie. But there are always drink specials and descent appetizers to keep you happy while you wait. The pizza is the real draw here and well worth the wait.
          Not a great place for a bigger group or someone in a hurry - but if you have the time to relax and enjoy a brew while you wait, this is the place for you.
          418Nikki G.Chicago, IL  1/22/2010   This thin crust pizza is sooooogood! Get a bigger size than you normaly do.  The crust is perfect and airy. They do not deliver. Carry out or dine in and the drinks specials are a good price.
          You can’t see it though the glass-block window, but hidden in this nondescript storefront is a gem of a bar/pizza parlor. A grandiose statue of a Rubenesque woman is the center of the Art Deco room, and her disciples—regulars from the neighborhood—gather around her to sip Bloody Marys and debate this and that. But we don’t come here for people watching alone: The kitchen puts out a nice deep-dish, with a crispy crust and a well-spiced (if slightly sweet) sauce. We’d tell you to go for the Gino’s "special," with its big chunks of sausage and strips of green pepper. But really, with this atmosphere, your night’s going to be special no matter what you get.
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          4 star rating          2/8/2009
          Love this place!  The service, the food, the beer, all great.  I'll be back.  I wish it was closer to me.
          4 star rating      10/10/2008
          We stopped in here during the Edgewater Eating Tour (not the official name) and were pleasantly surprised by what we found!  Cheap beer, good pizza, friendly service.  I expected a dive bar with sticky floors and scary patrons.  So not the case!  Give it a try.  Don't let the dive-ish outside scare you away.
          4 star rating      11/30/2008
          Gino's North is a double-edged sword. Yes, it looks like a total hole from the outside. Yes, it's cash only. And yes, it can take a ridiculous amount of time to get your food.
          BUT. The inside is perfect: '30s-era speakeasy-perfect, with what I assume is original woodwork, wonderful seating (they replaced the cushions), and a fantastic period-piece statue of a woman - named Snowdrop, I was told (apparently, the place used to be called The Snowdrop). I've trained my friends who live in the area to call it the Prohibition Pizza Parlor.
          I've only had the pizza here, but it's well worth the trip. The deep dish has an amazing flaky crust, and they don't seem to skimp on any ingredients. It does take forever to make --i believe it's only one person making everything -- so just call ahead. Or go in knowing you have a good long chat ahead of you. Hell, that's what the bar is for.
          5 star rating       6/9/2008
          The first time I walked into this place, that my friend had been RAVING about for weeks, my literal first thought was, "I'm going to kill him."  From the outside, this place looks like the biggest hole-in-the-wall, dive bar ever.  WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.
          I have come to LOVE this place both for the pizza and the atmosphere.  The pizza first: absolutely delicious.  The thin crust...not so exciting.  But the "deep dish" (which I actually think is a cross between deep and think crust.  You can't necessarily pick it up to eat it but it also doesn't feel like a block of cheese either)...holy smokes.  The sauce is deliciously "round" and kind of sweet and the crust...AH...you can tell it's homemade and super fresh.  Just wonderful.  And very affordable.
          And the atmosphere: the service has always been GREAT.  Very friendly and attentive withoutbeing annoying.  All I can say is they're like real people in there who just want to help you have a nice dinner with some pizza and wine or beer.  I somehow always forget this place is there, but then I go in and can't believe I don't go in more often.
          WARNING: It's cash only.  That kills me every time!
          5 star rating       7/25/2008
          These guys unfortunately get confused with the "other" Gino's tourist traps which is too bad.  This place out charms them all.  The 1930's decor is hidden by a storefront that screams creepy.  Inside you'll find the coziest little bar with good cheap drinks and great pizza.  You'll have to wait on your food for a while because the kitchen is small and sparsely staffed (one person) but it is worth the wait.  Do check it out and bring your cash..it's cash only which is becoming more common (it's so New York) Take that Uncle Sam!
          5 star rating       12/17/2008 
          gino's is terrible. never go there. don't even think about the best thin crust i've yet had in the chi, the lovely bartender, the delicious and large $2 bloody marys on sunday, the gorgeous warm 1930s wooden bar, the cheesily wonderful mood lighting, the cushy booths... i warned you. if i don't walk in and immediately get a seat next time i am here, i will have to kill you.
          ETA:
          $3.75 manhattans, cheaper than goose island beers? seriously? AND well-mixed? gino's, never leave me, i swear i'll change
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          Posted by:jasjChicago
          chicago
          Aug 26, 2008
          Everytime I have guests I always take them to Gino's North. Five years ago I took a friend from Izmir, Turkey there and he still asks about the folks there that he met. They still ask about him, too. Nothing fancy with the food, just great thin crust pizza made in a kitchen of one cook. The crowd is the most diverse you will find, local older folk regulars, young Loyola students, local gays and lesbians from the hood, black, white, latin, you name it. Everyone is always welcome. Now let me warn you the outside is plain scruffy, but once you walk it you are amazed by the 1940's art deco decore. Behind the bar is a lite five foot lady statute surrounded by a water fountain. There is only five booths refurbished as if they were still in 1940. You could imagine Al Capone sitting in one of them. There are even the old phone outlets at each booth when they used to bring a phone over to you. The drinks are cheap, Monday $2.00 beer, Tuesdays calls are $2.00. Don't ask to see the Wine list. It is Red or White from the Jug. WARNING, this is not a place to go with an expense account. They don't even take credit cards. Best local place you'll find!!
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          Detail for Gino's North Pizzeria : Restaurant, Italian
          Wow! Has this place changed . . . and most decidedly for the better! I've been coming here for a few years, but new owners took over Gino's North (not to be confused with or in any way affiliated with Gino's East) in February of 2007. Immediately, they scoured the place from top to bottom, put in new carpet that blended perfectly with the 1940's Art Deco interior (yes, it's mostly original!), expanded their hours and days of operation (open every day) and added a modern jukebox. They also hired some friendly new bartenders, who also wait the tables. But some things never change: like Peggy. She's the primary cook at Gino's and has been for over 20 years. She's also a long-time neighborhood resident who appreciates the diversity of Edgewater and the Gino's patrons. This place is finally realizing its potential as one of the most charming neighborhood pubs in all of Chicagoland. The kitchen is small, so the menu is limited. But Gino's is about quality and value, not fast food, and is probably best-known for Peggy's thin-crust pizza - the best in Edgewater. Parking can be tight in the area, but Gino's is just steps from the red line (the building is on CTA property), and a very short walk to either the Broadway or Sheridan bus stops. If you can't find parking on the street in front, just go a couple of blocks west (west of Broadway) where street parking is much more plentiful - you're still only 2 blocks away. The bar is open from 3 p.m. until 2 a.m. daily (opening at noon on Sundays during football season), and the kitchen is open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily. -
          MENUPAGES.COM
           Posted by CHITOWNBOB on 08/24/2007
          The Last of a Dying Breed
          Don't confuse this neighborhood bar and restaurant with the "Gino's East" restaurants in other parts of Chicago, as Gino's North is independently owned and operated. With a recent, much-needed change in ownership/management came some major improvements, such as new carpeting, the addition of a working jukebox, expanded hours for the kitchenand bar, a friendly, diverse staff, and increasing popularity as a result. But one important attribute hasn't changed: Peggy, the long-time primary cook, is still there, churning out the finest pizzas in Edgewater. This is one of the last of Chicago's true neighborhood pubs that still serves food, and at some of the most affordable prices you'll find anywhere on Chicago's north side. With only five booths, table seating is somewhat limited at Gino's busiest dinner hours, but many patrons consume their hot and fresh pizza and pasta dishes at the bar, where seating is relatively plentiful. The art deco decor is postively charming, a reflection of the establishment's 1940's origins. Football fans will enjoy the upcoming festivities planned for Sunday afternoons, as well as the Sunday $2 blood marys. Best of all, the crowd is as diverse as the neighborhood, but most are regulars. They know a good place when they find it, which is exactly why they keep on coming back.
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