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Pizza City Fest Returns To Chicago Next Weekend

Pizza City founder Steve Dolinsky hosts the second annual pizza fest in his hometown, Pizza City Fest Chicago 2023, featuring 40 pizza makers, workshops, panels, and more.

Steve Dolinsky

Steve Dolinsky is founder of Pizza City USA, a book, podcast, and a food festival. Photo: Todd Rosenberg Photography

Nobody knows Chicago pizza better than Steve Dolinsky, the author, TV personality, podcast host, and founder of Pizza City Fest, an annual event in his hometown Chicago with another in Los Angeles. The second Chicago Pizza City Fest will take place this coming weekend, Saturday and Sunday, August 26-27, at The Salt Shed, and Dolinsky has assembled an impressive group of pizza makers and experts.

The event kicks off Saturday at 1pm (noon for those who purchase a VIP pass) with 20 Chicago pizza shops serving up slices, from Roman-style (Bar Cargo) to Chicago-style (George’s Deep Dish) to Neapolitan (Labriola) and even New York-style (Zazas). There’s also salads and desserts on offer.

Chef adding cheese to a pizza
A scene from last year's Pizza City Fest in Chicago, featuring a deep dish pie.

Saturday’s lineup includes a full day of programming, with a “collab lab” pairing Chicago chefs with farmers and food artisans, and a series of panels featuring pizza talk from guests such as Brian Spangler of Apizza Scholls in Portland, OR and Dan Richer of Razza in Jersey City, NJ. There’s a seminar on making pan pizza by master pizzaiolo Leo Spizzirri, and another panel on third wave/deep dish pizza. DJs and live bands round out the bill.

It all starts again on Sunday at 1pm (noon for VIP ticketholders), with a different lineup that includes pizza from veterans Home Run Inn, My Pi, and Lou Malnati’s, as well as a strong group featuring Pizza Lobo, Vito & Nick’s, and Lantern Pizza Co. Salads and desserts are available Sunday as well.

The Sunday programming includes another collab lab, music performances, and talks/panels covering women in pizza, pizza making at home, and the so-hot-right-now tavern-style pizza.

man eating pizza
Enjoying a slice at last year's Pizza City Fest in Chicago.

Pizza City Fest always partners with charitable organizations and donates a portion of ticket sales to help fund their work. The Chicago event will benefit Slice Out Hunger and Careers through Culinary Arts Programs (C-CAP).

One-day tickets for each day of Pizza City Fest Chicago 2023 are available for $65 (kids 4-10), $95 (general admission), and $200 (VIP). For tickets, a complete list of participants, and more information, visit the Pizza City Fest website.

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