Chicagoans love brunch so much that more and more restaurants decide to get into the brunch game. However, the results can often be kind of surreal when you wind up at the local dive that’s trying their hardest to deliver an extravagant Lobster Eggs Benedict in the morning and greasy griddle burgers in the evening. In most cases, the best brunches successfully translate the personality of the restaurant.
The case in point: Pizzeria Serio. The Lakeview pizzeria is well known for its take on East Coast-style thin crust pizzas that are hand tossed and cooked in an 800-degree brick oven, and now they’re trying their hand in the brunch game with what seems like a perfect addition to their menu—breakfast pizzas.
What is Pizzeria Serio Like?
Eating at Pizzeria Serio feels less like a pizzeria and more like you’re at your favorite neighborhood bar. There’s lots of exposed brick throughout the restaurant that’s complimented by dark woods and deep reds. Inside you’ll find quite a bit of seating, a large bar area with plenty of room for standing, and there’s also an upstairs area used for private parties. On warm days, the front of the restaurant opens, which lets in a lot of light and makes for great people watching along Belmont Avenue.
At the back of the restaurant, you’ll see this large brick oven and there’s this cool tunneling effect no matter where you’re at that draws your eye to it. It almost acts like a hearth, giving you this warm feeling of being at home and makes Pizzeria Serio feel like a place that’s just as good to bring your family to as your buddies at night.
The Breakfast Menu
If you’re feeling low key, start with a freshly-made bagel, bagel sandwich, or pastry. I settled into a booth at Pizzeria Serio on a quiet Saturday morning with hot, gooey cinnamon roll that was dripping in a mixture of cinnamon and sugary glaze. For something heartier, Pizzeria Serio has a variety of hot breakfast items like French toast sticks and skillets. But if you’re a pizza fiend like I am, you’ll have your eye on a breakfast pizza.
Currently, there are four main options on the menu ranging from a classic ham and cheese to a Mexican pizza with chorizo and avocado. I was feeling something with a kick, so I picked the Cajun. If nothing’s catching your eye, there’s always the option to create your own breakfast pizza combination.
The Cajun pizza is topped with egg, onion, green Pepper, mushroom, Cayenne pepper, Hollandaise sauce, and cheddar Cheese. That may sound like a lot going on, but I found all the flavors to be blend well. If you like Cajun food, but have a low tolerance for heat, don’t worry. This was on the mild side.
There was also good balance of toppings. The slices weren’t skimpy, but they weren’t overloaded to the point where they were sloppy. Ideally, pizza should be eaten with your hands and the pizza should go in your mouth, not fall over your hands. Pizzeria Serio passed the test.
Lastly, there’s the thin crust. It’s just crisp enough with a subtle char to stay grounded as you pick up a slice, but fresh and chewy as you take a bite. The crust also didn’t overpower the toppings. Breakfast pizzas can sometimes feel like they have an identity crisis, but their take is almost like eating a skillet with the pizza crust acting as a zesty delivery system to your stomach.
Don’t settle for cold leftover pizza for breakfast on the weekends! Swing by Pizzeria Serio in Lakeview to try their delicious take on breakfast pizza, along with skillets, freshly-made bagels, pastries, and much more!