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Like Pizza? Get Naked!

By John DiGilio in Food on Jul 3, 2012 7:20PM

John DiGilio/Chicagoist

Whether it's served deep dish, thin crust, by the slice, by the pie, or even in a "puff," Chicago is a pizza-eating city through and through. It seems that no matter how big the pizza market gets here in the Windy City, there is always room for more. Enter one of Chicago's newest (and smallest) pizza purveyors, with a slightly prurient name. If you like your pies loaded with fresh ingredients, cooked up fast, and made to order, you might just want to get Naked. Naked Pizza that is. Beyond that, how you eat it is up to you.

Now we know what you are thinking when you see the name. We thought it too. But get your mind out of the gutter. When it comes to this pizzeria, naked means natural. This international chain is known for serving up pies packed with whole food ingredients that are fresh and natural, the way nature intended. The crusts are made with 10 grains and probiotics. There is no white flour here! The cheeses and meats are hormone-free. The sauces have no added sugar. All of the veggies start out crisp and fresh. This is the pure essence of pizza, folks, a revolution in the round. With a list of choices that takes up a whole wall, you can be as creative as you want in piecing together your pie. There are even options for our vegan and gluten-free friends.

We popped into Naked's new Lincoln Park location on a busy Friday evening. The place was buzzing, but the pies were flowing fast. So we took our spot in the queue and set to creating a few cheesy masterpieces of our own. First, you choose a size. We chose two 10-inch pizzas at about $7 each to start. Other sizes include 12 and 14 inches. The base pizza comes with your choice of crust, sauce, and real mozzarella cheese. We went with original crust (thin and gluten-free are also available) and chose red sauce over the white and barbecue options. From there we set to building. Each additional topping comes at an additional price, depending on the size of your pie. There is a full range of veggies, meats, and extra cheeses from which to choose. Vegan and dairy-free eaters can delight in the Daiya non-dairy cheese option. For those not wanting to design their own, Naked Pizza offers a selection of "favorite" combinations. We went a little hog wild and loaded ours up.

Our pizzas, one veggie and one with meat, were ready in no time. They were hot, smelled amazing and were boxed to go. This is a small place—just a storefront with no real place to sit and eat. So we took our creations out into the beautiful Chicago evening for a little al fresco fun. We did not want to wander too far before chomping down! The crust was hearty, delicious and wonderfully crispy. The toppings were generous and definitely tasted fresh. For two of us, the pair of 10 inch pies were a bit too much. Next time, we will know better. That is not to say that we did not polish them off, just that we felt overly full after we did. Nothing a little belt-loosening couldn't handle. Besides, it was worth every tasty bite! We are already looking forward to getting Naked again.

Naked Pizza is located at 953 West Diversey Parkway.