Join us for a pizza tour traveling over 50 miles via motor coach across the Chicago Southland area to visit six of the very best and most famous pizza restaurants!
Besides sampling many different styles and selections of pizza, you will also sample each location’s recommendations for accompanying beverages, varying from craft beers, specialty wines, unique ice teas and fabulous coffees.
Starting out at Beggar’s Pizza in Lansing, IL. Beggars Pizza has been bringing a delicious array of pizza and Italian food to Chicagoland for over 30 years. From the time Angelo Garetto opened the door to his first customer in 1976, people have been enjoying Beggars Pizza. Today, Larry and Peter Garetto (Angelo’s two sons) work hard to carry on the quality name of Beggars Pizza. The Garetto Brothers strive to provide a family style atmosphere in their restaurants and a positive influence in the communities of their stores. From Thin Crust to Gourmet Deep Dish and a wide variety of refreshments, you are sure to find a favorite from you samplings here.
Next travel to Homewood, IL where the famous Aurelio’s Pizza chain got started. In 1959, Joe Aurelio Jr., at age 26, opened a small, four table restaurant on Ridge Rd. in Homewood, IL. In the early days, sales were driven by Joe's homecooked beef sandwiches, but as more people were exposed to his pizza, the concept began to take flight. Combining generations of family recipes with his innovative approach to pizza-making, Joe's recipe for success was born.
Over the course of the next decade, and several expansions later, the Ridge Rd. location grew to over 150 seats, consuming four storefronts. The joint was busting at the seams while trying to accommodate the lines of loyal customers that formed around the block. Recognizing the need for expansion, Joe decided to take the biggest gamble of his career by purchasing a nearby, 12,000 sq.ft. warehouse to relocate his pizzeria.
A year of construction, a heart attack, and a million dollars later, the world's largest pizzeria opened it's doors in January of 1977. Proud of his establishment, Joe assumed that tripling the size of his restaurant would ease the long lines of patrons, but boy, was he wrong. People still lined up outside and waited as long as necessary for the one and only...Aurelio's famous pizza. Through the years, Joe's commitment to the quality of his product, his generosity to the community, and creating a showpiece for the south suburbs where friends & family gather, proved to be the perfect combination for success. The popularity of Aurelio's Pizza spread for many miles and loyal customers from surrounding areas approached Joe with a desire to serve the same great food in their communities. Currently, there are 43 locations in six states throughout the country, committed to providing the same quality, quantity and value.
Savor the tradition…at Aurelio's Pizza.
Another about 15 minute trip takes you to Ed n Joe’s Pizza located in beautiful Tinley Park, IL. Ed n Joe’s is a Tinley Park destination with full-service dining, take out, delivery and catering. We are proud of our eclectic menu; featuring delicious pizza, sandwiches, steaks, fresh fish and pastas. We are equally proud of our excellent kitchen and wait staff dedicated to customer service. We are well known for live acoustic music three nights a week, along with its old-fashioned warmth and hospitality, and an unstinting support of civic and community programs.
Our mission here at Ed n Joe's is to remain focused on the time-tested recipes and flavors of the past. We believe the extra time and care we take in preparing our food is what sets us apart and makes us unique. Fast food is great and has its place in our world, but when you are in the mood for the culinary comforts of homemade "slow" food, this is the place to go and spoil yourself!!
Off to Orland Park (very close to the Orland Square Mall) where we will find Papa Joe’s Restaurant. Papa Joe's Italian Restaurant has been recognized in Daily Southtown and Star newspapers' reader's polls since 1998 in such categories as "Best Italian Cuisine," "Best Catering," and "Favorite Restaurant."
The motor coach will follow the original historic and scenic Lincoln Highway which will lead us to Giordano’s Pizza in Mokena, IL. The recipe for Giordano’s now-famous stuffed pizza is one that has evolved over 200 years.
Its creation began in a small northern Italian town near Torino. Mama Giordano was famous around town for her exquisite cooking. Of all her renowned dishes, her most beloved meal was her “Italian Easter Pie”. Mama Giordano would serve this double- crusted, cheese stuffed masterpiece every year for Easter. This pizza pie became a sacred tradition in the Giordano family and a legend in the town of Torino. Years later, original owners and Italian immigrants Efren and Joseph Boglio moved to Chicago to start their own pizza business. The brothers introduced their Mama’s recipe for stuffed pizza. In 1974, on Chicago’s historic south side, Efren and Joseph opened the first Giordano’s. Over the next 40 years, hundreds of critics announced Giordano’s as the city’s “best” stuffed pizza! The rest is history you can still taste today, along with our other great starters, fresh salads, outstanding pastas and unique sandwiches. We continue evolving to bring you a taste of real, fresh Italian!
Giordano’s has been acclaimed “Chicago’s Best Pizza” by NBC, CBS Chicago, New York Times, Chicago Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Eater, Home & Garden Magazine, Concierge Preferred and more!
Finally we get to Frankie’s Touch of Italy Pizzeria, Monee, IL which became famous for their pizza yet it’s hard not to want to try some of their other Italian specialties, such as Chicken Parmesan, Anti-pasto salad and the incredibly good beef sandwiches. Consistently rated with high marks from all the restaurant internet rating systems and offering a wide selection of wines, beers and mixed drinks, Frankie’s is a place you are sure to enjoy the atmosphere, food and service.
Now sit back, relax on a short ride back to our original destination. The Pizza Tour will take about seven hours to get through all of your tastings and visits, yet it is such a fun trip and great experience. Plus you will return as an expert on Chicago Pizza, which surprisingly does not just consist of the deep dish varieties. Group or individual photos can be arranged at each or at least one of the above locations and provided to the members of the group by the Chicago Southland CVB.
Grab your friends and family and enjoy a great pizza day with us which you will long remember!
** Please note: Itinerary may be modified to meet your group’s specific needs. Locations and selections are subject to availability. Please contact Tobie at Tobie@VisitChicagoSouthland.com or 708-895-8200 to obtain current pricing and confirmation of dates and locations.
Beggar's Pizza in Lansing, IL
Aurelio's Pizza in Homewood
Ed n Joe's Pizza in Tinley Park
Papa Joe's in Orland Park
Giordano's in Mokena
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