This Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom Review is NOT sponsored.
It was 11:30pm and Pete and I were sitting in our hotel room in Fayetteville, NC. “I’m kind of hungry,” Pete said. So I resuggested something I had suggested an hour before: Did he want to go out to Old Chicago Pizza for, well, pizza?
This time, he agreed. And off we went on a pizzaventure.
If you’ve never heard of Old Chicago Pizza, you’re not alone. We only heard of the restaurant because we stumbled upon it. And then it followed us.
When we were packing to leave for Fayetteville, I was looking for a gift card I wanted to use while we were there. I had it last time we were in town, and I found it stuffed into an envelope with a hotel key from our last trip.
With the key was a business card for Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom.
“It’s like your dream come true,” I told Pete. See, he is in love with pizza and beer. That’s his favorite meal. I’m pretty sure he loves me more than pizza and beer, but I won’t take my chances and ask him.
(Kidding. I have. He picks me every time.)
So the restaurant was in and out of our head that quickly.
We checked into our hotel and went downtown, checking out a few of our favorite and a few new (to us) spots. We then went to the Fayetteville Marksmen hockey game.
“Woah, look!” I said to Pete, shocked that this new pizza place had a large advertisement on the ice rink’s wall.
And then, about 2/3 of the way through the game, someone actually gave us a coupon for a free pizza at Old Chicago Pizza. So off we went to find out what Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom was about.
Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom Review
Let me start by saying we’re reviewing the chain, not the exact location. We showed up just before midnight, not too long after the second of two playoff football games ended. The televisions were still showing the football game’s recap and there were football fans still at the bar.
We were sat in a back corner away from that section, again: just after 11:30pm on a Saturday night. The service was subpar, and we got forgotten about for a while, but I can’t imagine this would be the case at 11:30am on a Saturday or at any other location at any given time.
Is Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom a chain?
It is. You can find multiple locations.
Where is Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom?
In 22 states, including North Carolina. There are about 100 restaurants spread over those states. You can find all the Old Chicago Pizza locations here.
So Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom sells pizza?
That’s one of the crust options.
So, for those not as well versed in pizza, Chicago pizza is a deep dish style. The crust is thick and the pie is round (as opposed to Detroit deep dish, which has an airier crust and is baked in a square pan).
What are Old Chicago Pizza’s crust options?
There’s a Hand Tossed Ale Crust, which our server said was the most popular. The menu says it has a “slight” ale flavor, but I could really taste the beer in it.
There’s a Tavern Thin crust, which is exactly what you would expect.
There’s the aforementioned Chicago Thick crust, and there’s also a Gluten-Free Crust. You also have the option to turn any of the pizzas into calzones.
What type of pizza can you get at Old Chicago Pizza?
There are 11 signature pies on the Old Chicago Pizza lmenu (at least, there were when we went. This can change at any time.) The classic pie is the Chicago 7, which has pepperoni, Italian sausage, red onions, black olives, green peppers, and sliced mushrooms as toppings. This is the one we split.
It was really good. There was a generous amount of toppings and it had a lot of flavor. It was also really tasty reheated. The pizza (we got a large, which is 8 slices) was huge. We only had three slices between the two of us and packed the rest to go.
I’m glad we had leftovers because a large, ale crust Chicago 7 pie was $26.99. We had a coupon, so I didn’t really worry about the cost when we ordered, but I’m sure that will play a factor in our decision to go back.
If it was up to Pete, he would have picked the Classic Margherita. And if I was feeling really adventurous, I would have picked the Thai Pie with Thai chili sauce, three cheeses, chicken, mushrooms, broccoli, and peppers. It’s also topped with teriyaki sauce, sesame seeds, and green onions. It sounds delicious … but maybe more of a salad option than pizza toppings for me.
Mmm salad. Are there salads?
There are. We didn’t have one, but there are 7 entree salads and three additional salads on the menu.
What if I don’t want pizza?
I get it. You’re going to a pizza place because everyone else wants pizza, but you’re not in the mood. Old Chicago Pizza still has something for you.
There are pasta dishes (like craft your own Mac & Cheese), baked pasta (mmm Manicotti), burgers, sandwiches, and Stromboli.
What if I just want apps. Does Old Chicago Pizza sell appetizers?
Oh, you’re breaking my heart now. When I originally looked at the menu from the hotel room, all I wanted were the Bacon & Cheddar Mac N Cheese bites. I even send a photo of them to my BFF via Snapchat because they look amazing. But when I got there, I didn’t have enough room in my stomach for them and pizza.
That’s how I really feel about most of their appetizers. They’re all super heavy, so you can just get them as entrees. There’s an Italian Nachos appetizer that is pasta chips topped with a trio of cheeses, pepperoni, pepperoncini and Italian sausage.
And then there are wings, both chicken and pork options. So everything is a little bit more indulgent, heightened bar food.
Oh that’s right. It’s a bar.
Yup, there’s the word “taproom” at the end of the name because of the large selection of beer on the menu. The taps and cans/bottles change often.
I don’t drink, but I kept trying to get Pete to try the Oskar Blues Fumble Brewski because there was a huge sign advertising that it’s an Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom exclusive. He didn’t try it, though.
He drank two others, which could have counted towards the 110-beer World Beer Tour.
What’s the World Beer Tour?
OC Rewards members (it’s free to join) earn perks like a free pizza on your birthday and a free appetizer after your first purchase. You earn credits per beer purchased (in North Carolina, you earn 2 credits per visit; in other states, you can earn up to 4 credits per visit).
When you earn 10 credits, you get a set of playing cards and $5 to spend in house. When you get to 110, you earn a hoodie and $20 credit.
That sounds like a lot.
It does, but not if this is your local watering hole for Sunday Funday.
But if you really won’t get to 110 beers, there are Mini Tours.
What are Old Chicago Mini Tours?
They’re mostly seasonal. They consist of 8 to 12 hand-selected beers. Drink each on the mini tour and you’ll earn a limited-edition mini tour t-shirt (or other prize). The beers in the Mini Tour count towards completing your World Beer Tour.
So, the big question. Would you go back?
We hardly go back to the same place twice. And since our closest Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom location is over an hour away in a town where we don’t live (obviously), we’d rather check out other restaurants in that city while we’re there.
If we lived close to one, though, I could definitely see this being our spot for football games.