By Samantha Reid – Contributor
Named as one of Zagat Guide’s “Best Beer Halls in Chicago,” Piece Brewery and Pizzeria in Wicker Park doesn’t disappoint. The restaurant is an eclectic mix between a bustling pizza place and bonafide bar, with ample seating and even a few arcade games in the mix.
Its location in Wicker Park attracts a fairly young crowd with events like Saturday night live band karaoke.
What sets Piece apart from the number of other pizza places in the area is its “New Haven Style” pizza.
The Connecticut-born concept refers to pizza with a thin, bubbly crust, oregano, tomato sauce and a bit of parmesan cheese. The traditional mozzarella Piece also offers a long list of toppings, from goat cheese and chicken to mashed potatoes and clams.
Patrons are allowed to get as creative as they want with their choices or stick to a more traditional cheese-and-sauce style.
Aside from pizza, the menu also includes salads, sandwiches, appetizers and decadent desserts. The chocolate cake stands at an impressive six inches in height.
What really brings in crowds is their impressive selection of handcrafted beers. The restaurant boasts their own brew house, and they’ve won a number of awards, including the World Beer Cup. For those not interested in niche beers, Piece also offers a full bar.
Piece had a full house around 5:30 p.m., and the crowd continued to grow as the night went on. The pricing is average for most pizza places in the city, with a medium pizza at about $17.
The only major downfall to Piece is the crowd. The tables are incredibly close together, and it’s hard to get into some of the booths without bumping into the people next to you. Parts of the restaurant’s arrangement makes you feel like you’re practically sharing a table with the people next to you, so it would be best to check the establishment out during the less-crowded lunch hour.
Piece is a good place to grab reasonably priced dinner with a group of friends and then transition into a night out in Wicker Park.
Centrally located about a block from the Damen Blue Line, the location really lends to Piece’s atmosphere. It may not be the place for those discouraged by crowds, but the food makes up for the elbow-to-elbow atmosphere.