Naperville’s Little Pops NY Pizzeria got a shout-out from the Washington Post recently, in an article naming its slice as the best New York-style pizza in Illinois.
Best regional pizza in each state
The Washington Post researchers took a look at 7.5 million Yelp reviews to come up with their listings, using a formula they developed to see which pizza reigned supreme. The article maps out for readers the best regional pizza in each state.
That perfect New York-style slice means “thin in the center with a risen lip on the edge, dressed in sauce with cheese atop,” as per the article description. The larger than average slices of the New York-style are also known to be supremely foldable.
Little Pops took first in Illinois for New York-style pizza, with Zazas Pizzeria in Chicago coming in second, and Jimmy’s Pizza Café in Chicago in third. Rounding out the top six were Betty’s Pizza & Pasta in Oak Park, Pomodoro E Mozzarella in St. Charles, and Bob’s Pizza in Chicago..
Little Pops’ New York origin story…
Co-owner Mike Nelson spent his childhood eating out at his Uncle Tony’s and Uncle Joe’s restaurant Deleno Brother’s in Wappingers Falls, NY. His wife, Vicki, also a New Yorker and the other co-owner, grew up around her Grandma Berinato’s Italian cooking, with regular Sunday family dinners.
After the two were married, they eventually relocated to Naperville. But that love for Italian food stuck with them, and they decided to bring a taste of New York to Naperville, opening an authentic New York-style pizzeria.
For the name, the two drew from the nickname of Vicki’s Grandpa Berinato, “Little Pop.” They also got some help from Vicki’s brother Louis and his son, Steven, who had already brought the family recipes to their own Little Pops Pizza in Maybrook, NY.
Locally, there’s also a Little Pops Pizzeria Express in Aurora at 3015 E. New York St., and another opening later this year in Lisle, at 2799 Maple Ave.
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