Good until last bite at Roxie’s


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Roxie’s By The Slice, 1732 N. Milwaukee Ave., includes a limited menu of a slice with a range of toppings options.

By Arts & Culture Reporter

The best restaurants are not always in the most obvious locations. Hole-in-the-wall, side-of-the-road eateries often make for the most memorable dining experiences, especially when looking for a quick bite to eat in bone-chilling temperatures. If this is the criterion for an unforgettable, small-time meal, Bucktown pizzeria Roxie’s By the Slice at 1732 N. Milwaukee Ave. definitely fits the bill. 

The latest restaurant from Brendan Sodikoff’s Hogsalt Hospitality group—which also founded Chicago eateries Bavette’s and Maude’s Liquor Bar—may look like a tiny shack on the outside, but the humble interior gives a sense of comfort for customers seeking a cozy space and some delicious slices of pizza.

Roxie’s blends a dimly lit New York pizza parlor aesthetic with a casual pub vibe. The loud music—a blend of old Neil Young tracks and some indie radio songs—a variety of seating options and homey decorations, such as spice racks and an old-style fridge stocked with bottled soda, make customers feel right at home. The restaurant is lit by no more than a few small lamps and some meager candles, many of which are adorned with pictures of the Virgin Mary. 

Appropriating most of its identity from that classic New York pizza parlor, Roxie’s includes a one-item menu—a slice of pizza ($4.50)—with the choice of additional $1 toppings including pepperoni, prosciutto, soppressata, anchovies, arugula, sweet peppers, olives or mushrooms. The slices might seem a bit expensive, but a single piece is filling and will satisfy most diners. Although Roxie’s does not offer a wide range of items to choose from, one bite of the thin-crust “Brooklyn-inspired” pizza will be sufficient to make it stand out from the abundance of deep-dish pizza places in the city. 

Roxie’s pizza excels where other thin-crust pizzerias falter. Each slice has just the right amount of grease to it, nothing that will drip all over your shirt while biting into it. Each of the eight optional toppings are prepped to order, making for a flavorful slice that is fresh out of the oven, giving the pizza a hearty and flavorful crunch.

The real star of the show is the crust—fluffy with just enough crispiness—which is hand-shaped with enough garlic and seasoning to make each slice seem like a journey to the tasty finish line. The crust either makes or breaks a slice of pizza, and Roxie’s definitely gets it right. Although the crust is different from the thin, extra crunchiness of authentic New York-style slices that inspired Roxie’s, it is hard to complain about.

Roxie’s only offers two types of sauces on the pizza—red and white. The sauces do not overpower the slices with wetness like many other pizza places throughout the city, but rather they give the slices a perfect sauce-to-cheese ratio.

Overall, Roxie’s is the perfect hole-in-the-wall dining experience for any pizza lover. Although it may not completely adhere to what makes New York pizza New York pizza, Roxie’s succeeds at putting its own spin on the classic style. With its operating hours—opening at 5 p.m. and closing at 2 a.m. every night except Sundays, when it closes at 11 p.m.—Roxie’s will surely draw the young, hip crowd from Chicago’s Bucktown and Wicker Park neighborhoods. Whether you are looking for a warm hideaway from the blustering cold, a large, filling slice of pizza or a couple drinks with friends, Roxie’s Pizza By the Slice is a great addition to Chicago’s pizza-loving community.