On a recent trip to Chicago with my family, with 2 young boys, I was doing some pre-trip research and looking for a suitable restaurant to take my young picky eaters. I came across a review of Roots Pizzeria. Pizza is on the short list of accepted foods of the highly refined palates of my youngsters. So when I saw this place listed as family friendly- AND it catered to craft beer, I was sold.
The neighborhood seemed like it was on the edge of a slightly dodgy area (bars & metal grates over storefronts, business signs hand-painted on building walls, etc.), but as we went down the street there started to be hidden gems mixed in. Roots Pizzeria was one of these. Walking in, you immediately felt relaxed as some funky music floated out and the subdued hub-bub of happy conversations at the tables.
There was a giant oval bar in the center of the floorplan, and there were numerous C-shaped booths along the outside edge of the floor. The booths were raised up on platforms to give a sort of commanding view over the room, rock-style-like.
The pizza was out of this world. The crust was amazing. Supposedly they use some mix of malt in the crust. I don’t know what it was, but it was decidedly different and delicious. We ordered half of the pizza with some special goat cheese, which was also phenomennal. I don’t know what was special about the sauce, but yes, it was great too.
Enough about the pizza, Roots specializes in Great Lakes states beers (MN, WI, IL, IN, OH, MI). Supposedly over 100 different Midwest beers amongst an impressive draft list, plus bottles and cans. After fighting my way through ridiculous Chicago traffic, I thoroughly enjoyed working my way through the draft list of Midwest beers not available in Michigan.
As icing on the cake, Roots set up a giant window with a view into the pizza-making kitchen with a small bench for young viewers to stand in and peer in on the process. And my young one was thoroughly fascinated and stood and studied the process for a long time.
Roots is great for beer, awesome for pizza, great for kids, and an amazing atmosphere overall.