To Each Their Own Slice! Latin Rates Chicago’s Best Pizzas


In September of 2020, the Daily Meal rated the Top 101 Pizzas in the United States, and six iconic Chicago pizzas won spots on the coveted list. So, what better way to celebrate the coming end of the school year than to have an outdoor, socially-distanced pizza party featuring the six Chicago pizzas that made the list? Forum staffers organized a taste-testing event, where the crust, cheese, and sauce of each pizza were judged by a panel of 10 avid pizza eaters, all self-proclaimed experts in the field, in Latin’s sophomore class. 

The Daily Meal rated Pequod’s pizza as #2 in the U.S., with Piece Brewery and Pizza coming in at #10, Lou Malnati’s at #22, Forno Rosso Napoletana at #27, Vito and Nicks at #46, and Bonci at #82. But out of these delicious pizzas, which one did Latin students like the best?  

Each pizza was served in a nameless pizza box to avoid biases toward familiar restaurants, and each taste-tester filled out a survey, ranking the crust, cheese, and sauce of each pizza on a scale from 1 to 5. The averages were then calculated to reveal Latin students’ favorite Chicago pizza. 

All of the pizzas sampled were delivered and reheated for sampling, so they were equally disadvantaged in this regard. To make them comparable, all of the pizzas were plain cheese. However, some were deep dish, others were traditional, and a couple were in their own category (thin crust, focaccia/Sicilian style)—which made the test a bit like comparing apples and oranges (or pepperoni and sausage?).  Finally, and perhaps most significantly, the reviewers all sampled the pizzas at the same time, sharing their comments with their fellow judges as they wrote their reviews. Although 10th graders are capable of thinking for themselves, a significant “herd mentality” effect may be at work here, and the results should be interpreted with that in mind.  

Vito and Nick’s came in sixth, with a 2.1 (crust = 1.9, cheese = 2.5, sauce = 2). It was met with harsh criticism from our judges. Will del Hierro said, “Interesting herbal crust. Lacking sauce and moisture.” Daniel Braun said, “The ratio is good. Not a fan of the crust.”

Bonci’s pizza came in at number 5, scoring a 2.7 (crust = 4, cheese = 2.5, sauce = 1.6). Bonci’s sauce was the pizza’s downfall, with Alice Mihas saying, “The sauce isn’t flavorful, and there’s not enough cheese.” However, the crust and cheese were met with praise from Will, who said, “The crust is textured and crunchy, and the cheese is flavorful.”

Several adults, who were given leftover slices to sample, conducted a separate and “unofficial” taste test of Bonci’s pizza in a separate room. Interestingly, while the official Latin reviewers were unanimous and rather emphatic in their dislike of Bonci for the unforgivable sin of too much dough and insufficient sauce and cheese, the “unofficial” panel of adults liked Bonci best, claiming that it was more of a focaccia, which is not supposed to have a lot of sauce and cheese. Focaccia must be one of those “acquired taste” things. 

Pequod’s pizza was number 4, with a composite score of 2.77 (crust = 3.4, cheese = 2.6, and sauce = 2.3). Despite Pequod’s coming in at #2 in the country, the Latin taste-testers were torn. Alice said, “Too much crust. Otherwise very good.” William Bremen’s verdict was nuanced. “Decent pizza,” he said. “Distinguished taste of marinara sauce. It almost stands out too much.”


Piece Brewery and Pizza was number 3, with a score of 3.7 (crust = 3.1, cheese = 4.1, sauce = 3.6). This pizza was met with opposing opinions. Avery Rosenberg said, “Overly greasy and very average.” Yet, Evan Jones said, “This had the best sauce by far. This pizza was great!”


Lou Malnati’s placed second, scoring a 3.83 overall (crust = 3.6, cheese = 4.1, sauce = 3.8). Though it was served in an anonymous pizza box, the testers instantly recognized this Chicago classic. Ainsley Heaton said, “The best part about Lou Malnati’s is even at an anonymous pizza tasting, you know it’s the one and only iconic Chicago pizza.” Echoing Ainsley’s enthusiasm, Daniel said, “the quality of every ingredient in this pizza is superior. You can taste the nice wood char on the pizza.” 

Taking our number 1 spot was Forno Rosso Pizzeria Napoletena, with a composite score of 4.4 (crust = 4.8, cheese = 4.7, sauce = 3.7). William said that it was an “outstanding pizza, The Margherita flavors stand out. Superb crust and even better flavor.” Cameron Woan agreed, saying, “This pizza is so good it hurts!”

All of the testers enjoyed tasting each pizza, and there were attributes of each sample, be it crust, sauce, or cheese, that everybody enjoyed. As all of the cited restaurants are in Chicago The Forum encourages Latin students to give each pizza a try, and choose their favorite – to each their own slice!