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Inside America’s First Bonci Pizzeria, Opening Tuesday in Chicago

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Chicago and Rome are the only places to get this pizza

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Bonci Chicago
Nick Fochtman
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Gabriele Bonci arrived a few weeks to oversee the operation Chicago, as the acclaimed-Roman pizza maker aims to introduce Americans to his unique topping combos on his pizza sold by the slice. The first Bonci outside of Italy opens on Tuesday, Aug. 15 and they’ve picked Chicago to debut the brand in the U.S. Bonci has seen long lines of customers in Rome, and thanks to the support of celebrities like Anthony Bourdain, this could be a Hot Doug’s situation at 161 N. Sangamon St.

Staff will cut pizza with scissors, weigh those slices, and charge customers by the weight. The crust gains comparisons to focaccia, but it’s not soft in the middle. They’ll have eight to 12 varieties available daily, and they’ll cost $8.99 to $18.99 per pound, depending on ingredients; foie gras costs more than mushrooms. There will also be more than pizza available with sandwiches and arancini-like suppli.

The Chicago location takes its cues from the one in Rome that debuted in 2003 near the Vatican. There’s limited seating thanks to a few stools positioned at the window, counter, and against the walls. It’s almost a pizza deli inside the narrow space where customers take a number and watch the staff slice their pizza. Also, check out Bonci’s mascot, a cartoon version of how its founder sees himself.

Take a tour through the space below. Bonci emigrates from Italy to Chicago on Aug. 15 in West Loop.

Bonci Chicago

161 N. Sangamon St., Chicago, IL Visit Website