Castel Gandolfo

I recently had an awesome meal with my friend, Alissa, and I recommend Castel Gandolfo to anyone who is near River North 🙂 (It’s located at Chicago Ave & Dearborn)

I realized that I love Coal oven pizzas… Thin, fresh, tasty… it was a great experience. Also, with endorsements from WGN,, chicago pizza club, I knew I was in for a treat.
We arrived at the restaurant around 7:15pm and were pleased with the quaint decor. The building’s outside is nothing to write home about, but it’s good enough for making pizza.

There’s a fire burning in this 900 degree oven!
Roasting red peppers… looks delicious
The manager, Luke, was friendly and helped us make a decision on what kind of pizza to order. My eyes were clearly bigger than my stomach. I asked if we should split a large 16″ pizza to ensure we had enough, and he steered us toward the small pie, which was a whopping 14″.
Per his recommendation, we ordered 1/2 margherita pizza, and then chose pepperoni & onions for the other half. *Note to pizza connoisseurs*: When the owner/manager suggests you try their margherita pizza, take their word for it. It takes a lot of guts for someone to trust their most basic universal ingredients to show off their pizza. Sometimes toppings mask that.
Before the pizza arrived, we had the antipasto platter: House made Fresh Mozzarella Cheese with our Brick Oven Roasted Red Peppers, Genoa Salami, green Cerignola Olives and Fresh Basil. Normally, I don’t like antipasto because I’m not a huge fan of olives and smelly cheeses, But this platter included all necessary items that I enjoy.

Then our pizza came to the table… and I am proud to say we polished it off. 
Six slices went down in a pinch 🙂 
Left half pepperoni, right half margherita
I really tried to analyze this pizza, so bear with me as I describe it: The first thing I tasted was the cheese. The mozzarella was so fresh and a nice thin layer. Nothing was too overbearing. I loved that the sauce was on top of the cheese because it wasn’t hidden by the cheese; rather, it blended almost perfectly. It was also a sweeter sauce, which was nice. Lastly, the crust. YUM. But I’m always a fan of crust. The taste of the coal-fired edges was perfect, and as I write this, I’m contemplating rushing out to eat there again ASAP. Pepperoni and onions were a nice combo, but next time I want to add red pepper to the pizza because I had the opportunity to watch it being coal-fired and baked in the oven… and that got me excited.

So that’s my story! I highly recommend this pizzeria, and it makes me want to try similar pizzas from its competitors, Coalfire and Spacca Napoli. Hey! I’m a pizza blogger, I HAVE to check ’em all out.

Castel Gandolfo on Urbanspoon


  1. I can honestly say ive only been to castel gandolfos pizzeria only 3-4 times! Its awesome, great but they CLOSED!!! Why? I would like to know if they moved, or what happened!!!!


    • Claudia, I am sad about the restaurant closing as well! I have no idea what has happened, but it has not turned up in a new location. I do miss their high-quality pizza 🙁

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