Like religion, barbecue and—gulp—politics, discussions about pizza often lead to heated debates. I’m saying it anyways: The recently opened Pizzeria Bebu puts out some of Chicago’s best pies. Located on the ground floor of a new high-rise condo in the North and Clybourn area, Bebu announces itself quietly with just its name written on the windows and a simple red neon pizza slice sign above the door. Inside the sliver of a space decked out with blond wood tables and a matching banquette, the intoxicating aroma coming out of the brick-lined gas-fired oven indicates you’re in the right place. That gets reinforced tenfold once your pizza arrives.
But first, order one of the four salads. Here, the greens aren’t just a way to justify your upcoming indulgence but are worthy of a visit on their own. With its varying shades of green—lettuce, peas, fava beans and toasted pistachios—the perfectly dressed little gem salad is gorgeous to look at and even better to eat.
Choosing from the 12 intriguing pizzas on the menu isn’t easy. But Bebu helps by offering them in half-and-half versions, meaning you can get the terrific littleneck clams and the funghi topped with wonderfully chewy mushrooms and roasted garlic. Consider pairing the soppressata with the margherita or the puttanesca with the sausage and broccoli rabe. All offer a crust that’s both crispy and chewy in all the appropriate places. Having both a chef (Jeff Lutzow) and owner (Zach Smith) who worked at Nico Osteria doesn’t hurt when it comes to offering excellent food, an interesting wine list and top-notch service. In other words: End of discussion. 1521 N. Fremont St., bebu.pizza –LS