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Chicago Classics: Mama Luna's Pizza

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Feb 13, 2012 8:40PM


Once in a while, I get nostalgic for the Northwest Side. When that happens, I scratch that itch by either taking in a film, doing some shopping at Six Corners, or simply walking through the old neighborhoods where I was chased by street gangs a quarter century ago.

Then there's the food, specifically pizza. One can't walk a handful of blocks on the Northwest side without stumbling upon a pizza joint. The quality varies but, more often than not, you'll find a good one that has you taking at least a mental note to revisit.

Such was the case last weekend when I revisited Mama Luna's, which has been serving hot, fresh pies for over 50 years. Not much has changed about Mama Luna's. The false ceiling is still intact. It's still one of the brightest lighted pizzerias in town. The banquet tables are still surrounded by red-trimmed office chairs, and the place almost always seems half-empty early in the evening. But the most important aspect of the restaurant — the pizza — is as I remembered when crashing quinceaƱeras or getting kicked out for throwing ice in the ceiling mounted smoke eaters.

Mama Luna's bakes their pies to that cracker crisp firmness, with a pizza sauce that's one of the sweeter ones in the city. Sizes range from a personal size 10 inch pizza to the "Megaball," a 16-inch by 32-inch behemoth of a pie. This would be ideal for the large group that isn't fussy about toppings. If you're in a smaller dinner party that wants to have multiple toppings and can't agree on one, opt for a couple of extra large or family-sized pizzas.

Mama Luna's is located at 5109 W. Fullerton Ave.