The decor in Nello’s Restaurant and Pizzeria in Tempe, Arizona is strictly Chicago, Illinois, where I am from.
There are framed pictures of Chicago Cubs
players, Chicago Bears
players, and photographs of Chicago itself. When I moved to Arizona, I could not find Chicago-style pizza, made the way I used to enjoy it back home. Then I found Nello’s which has three locations in the Phoenix, Arizona area. The pizza boasts a medium crust (hearth-baked or oven-baked) that melts in your mouth. Ingredients are fresh and the tomato sauce tastes like real homemade Italian sauce, rather than like sauce in a can or jar. When you ask for a veggie pizza, you get real spinach leaves, not chopped up pieces. It’s the same with tomatoes, mushrooms and onions. Nello’s also makes a wonderful garden salad with tomato basil house dressing. It’s covered with several kinds of cheese, turkey or ham, olives and other toppings. The salad is so large that four people can easily share it. Nello’s does not have a website, but they are located at 1806 E. Southern, Tempe, Arizona, 85282. You can reach them at 480-897-2060 if you would like more information.
Another great Chicago-style pizzeria is Rush Street Pizza, located near my home in Chandler, Arizona. The restaurant is very small, so take-out orders are their usual business. Again, the portions are generous, full of flavor and the toppings are whole, rather than chopped. Rush Street Pizza makes a wonderful deep dish pizza which is a Chicago favorite. The crust is thick and shaped like a pie crust with edges turned up. The pizza crust is filled with sauce, cheese and toppings of your choice. Calzones are another specialty. These are crusts which are filled with your choice of ingredients and then folded over and baked. The cheeses that are used are very reminiscent of the pizza cheeses I enjoyed in Chicago. I’m glad to be able to order Chicago-style pizza in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Rush Street Pizza has one location at 2925 E. Riggs Road (at Gilbert Road and Riggs Road) in Chandler, Arizona 85349. To place your order, call 480-883-7300.
Organ Stop Pizza is a Mesa, Arizona landmark. The huge dining area has tables lined up in rows throughout the room like a mess hall. There is even a second floor surrounding the main dining hall. When you come in, you order your Chicago-style pizza, buy your drinks and find a table. Since it is a self-serve restaurant, order numbers are flashed on screens located in the dining area. When your order number is displayed, you go to the counter and get your pizza order. One entire wall of this two-story building houses the organ pipes for the magnificent Wurlitzer Theater Organ for which the restaurant is named. The pipes are two stories high and enclosed in glass. The organ and organist rise up from an enclosure in the front of the dining hall to thunderous applause from the diners. When the world-class professional organist plays the organ, you can see the pipes opening and closing, along with other special effects that are displayed on the wall in front of the pipes. This is a very family-oriented venue and it is always full to capacity. There is a waiting line outside the restaurant, as this is one stop that is on every Phoenix, Arizona area guide. One caution, however, is that the restaurant only accepts cash (not debit cards) for payment. There is an automatic teller machine in the ordering area just in case you need cash. Organ Stop Pizza’s website is (http://www.organstoppizza.com). It is located at 1149 E. Southern Avenue, Mesa, Arizona, 85204. They can be reached at 480-813-5700.
If you crave Chicago-style pizza in the Phoenix, Arizona area, any or all of these three pizzerias will satisfy your cravings.