Il Forno’s roots run deep. In 1953, Bruno Pupolo had the foresight to offer Chicago a relatively new concept – a place where families could sit down, listen to jukebox music and eat pizza with homemade fresh ingredients including specially prepared sausage, from-scratch dough and sauce made from Pupolo’s own family recipe. He called it Il Forno, meaning “from the oven” in Italian.
Il Forno still going strong. Stop in for the original thin crust pizza that’s pleased generations of North Shore families, along with a pan pizza that has an equal number of fans. Other favorites includes baked-in-the-oven grinders made with meat sauce and melted mozzarella cheese and sandwiches including a particularly delectable Italian Beef.
With a smoker on premises, don’t miss the smoked BBQ back ribs. Another great option is the fried shrimp, available by the half pound or as a meal or salads like the chopped chef’s salad with lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, pepperoncini, genoa salami, mozzarella and provolone.
Mike Rudolph, who has managed the Highland Park store from 1974, purchased the store from Bruno’s son-in-law in 1986. Today, he is serving the same homemade pizza dough, fresh vegetables, specially-made sausage and Bruno Pupolo pizza sauce. “Having grandparents, who ate the same pizza in their childhood, come into the store to purchase pizza for their grandkids, makes for a great story and conversation,” said Rudolph.
Il Forno Pizza is located at 496 E Old Elm Rd in Highland Park, 847-432-2440, www.ilfornopizza.com.