Barney’s Pizza is one of Chicago’s oldest and most popular pizzerias. They have a wide range of dishes on the menu that are popular with the locals. Barney’s menu has grown significantly since it was launched in 1993, and now, besides whole pizzas and slices, they offer fries, wings, Italian beef sandwiches, steaks, pasta, and ice cream.
Before this pizzeria became famous, it launched what soon became the house special – buy one pizza, get the second for half the price. This restaurant started with humble beginnings and was founded by a construction worker named Bernie, whose main goal was to start another business to help him support his family.
Bernie’s restaurant worked as a haven for the locals in a neighborhood called Austin before relocating to Chicago Ave. This neighborhood became famous for this place, and Bernie was soon nicknamed Barney by the local customers. When he opened a shop at a different location, the business was renamed Barney’s Pizzeria.
While the Yelp reviews are generally quite mixed, we think their specialties were pretty good. The thin-crusted cheese pizza was excellent, and it’s also the signature meal of the place. You can get it by a slice or as a whole, and ponder – is pizza a sandwich?
You can order a delivery, sit at the restaurant and eat, or get it for take-out. Their sausage meals continuously get rave reviews on Yelp and otherwise, especially the Maxwell Street Polish sausage, which awakens a lot of nostalgia in customers of Polish descent, and excellent remarks from anyone unfamiliar with this type of dish.
Overall, their pizza is good but possibly the least appealing item on the menu. We don’t know if they use the 00 flour recipe, but the thin-crust cheese slice will satisfy your cravings for an affordable price. You might wonder if cheese pizzas are pizza at all, but you’d be surprised how many customers love this dish.
Barney’s Pizzeria is unassuming. You wouldn’t think of it as the local legend hot spot at first glance, but more and more people arrive to pick up their meals and orders by the minute.
Overall, the restaurant is kid-friendly, and the service is quick and friendly.
The sausages were very delicious, and the deep dish and thin crust pizzas had a nice flavor and not too much of a greasy texture. We also love the price range in the restaurant, although the large pizzas can seem a bit too pricey for the quality.
Luckily for everyone, the deal that helped Bernie start his business is still active and booming – buy one, get the other half price. The offer stands for the medium 12-inch and the large 16-inch dish.
This restaurant has developed its own delivery service and systemvia app and online, but it doesn’t work so well. If something becomes this restaurant’s downfall, it will be the efficiency of their delivery service and online system.
People complain on Yelp and Facebook that they wait hours to get their orders delivered and rate the experience as awful. Many folks prefer to order the food to their home if they’re busy or tired, so, logically, they’d expect a well-made, hot meal in the shortest amount of time.
If there’s anything this business needs to work on, it’s its delivery system and professionalism in taking care of orders correctly. That might just be on the workers and not the very organization, but we’ll leave those issues to them.
Pros & Cons
|Tasty thin crust and deep-dish pizzas||Badly organized delivery service|
|Pizza by the slice||Poor system for taking orders online|
|Versatile menu with a lot to offer||Long waits for home delivery|
|Locally beloved and recommended by Chicago natives|
|Great deals and coupons|
What’s Included in Barney’s Menu?
- Thin crust cheese pizza,
- Deep dish cheese pizza,
- Foot long thin-crust slice with topping,
- Salads like Caesar, Garden, and Gyro, served with bread and butter,
- Regular, cheddar cheese and loaded fries,
- Onion rings,
- Mozzarella sticks,
- Regular and Vienna hot dogs,
- Classic and Polish sausages,
- Dinner specials and bakes,
- BBQ specials,
- Lunch specials,
It seems like their menu has every food under the sun! It’s not surprising that it’s a local favorite – it serves every taste and does it well each time. Before we try the Philly Cheesesteak salad, though, we might go for some Cheesesteak pizza.
- Locally sourced ingredients
- A small, family-friendly restaurant
- A versatile menu with lots of different offers
- Meal deals and coupons
- Affordable, family and budget-friendly prices
- The reputation of a locally legendary restaurant
Barney’s Pizzeria gets a 7 out of 10 only because of their poorly managed delivery system. There’s not much to say about that, but it’s clearly a terrible position to be in when it comes to having numerous customers ready to pay for your service and you being unable to provide it.
While it may not be the best delivery pizza, the rating is purely for the food. Some folks don’t like cheesy foods, but we do. We devoured two pizzas in no time and wished we could fit a third one into our bellies. That would’ve been overkill, but what wasn’t overkill was the taste and texture of the pie.
The rest of the menu is also excellent, although it’s hard to try everything in such a short period. We managed to get a bite of some wings and sausages and were satisfied with the taste and preparation of the dishes. I heartily recommend the Maxwell Polish link sausages.
If you’re ever in Chicago, right at Chicago Ave, look for a small, unassuming pizzeria called Barney’s. You might be surprised by the flavors you are served, all for a pretty low price. Hopefully, Bernie’s now proud of his long-lasting restaurant.