The Run Down

For this guide, we're keeping it low-key and spending the afternoon in Ukrainian Village for a Sunday Funday. You'll start the afternoon at a tiny, back alley pizza joint, but with seating at a premium, you'll head down the street to a backyard bar that we all wish we had at our own home. The rest of the afternoon is spent there scarfing down pizza and sipping on house cocktails.

1. Pizza @ Pizza Friendly Pizza

2. Cocktails @ Sportsman's Club

1. Pizza Friendly Pizza

I usually avoid alleyways, but tell me someone’s back there selling food, and okay, yeah, I’m down to hang out. Well, I got news: in the alley behind the Empty Bottle, Pizza Friendly Pizza is selling food.

It’s a walk-up pizza shop from the mind of Noah Sandoval, whose former ventures snagged him a few Michelin stars.

The entrance is right near the corner of Western Ave. and Cortez St. Head east on Cortez and look for this sign to get you going in the right direction.

Swing into the alley, and you’ll most likely see a few folks waiting patiently by the dumpsters. That means you’re in the right place.

When ready, line up and make your way into this small garden oasis they’ve created. The menu is simple, with a few pizza options, two types of sandwiches, and a few side salad options if you’re so inclined.

There are a few tables along the alley’s walls, but get your food to go because we’re going to enjoy it in a bigger outdoor space right down the street.

2. Sportsman’s Club

Our next stop is less than a five-minute walk from Pizza Friendly Pizza. We’re at Sportsman’s Club. No, this isn’t a sports bar. Instead, it looks like a refined hunting lodge with a beautiful backyard patio. You wouldn’t know it from just walking by, but through a narrow side entrance, you’ll come upon Sportsman’s Club’s backyard patio.

Now let’s talk about the backyard space itself. This is where backyard dreams are made. For those who dig that rustic, art deco design style, you’ll want to come here just for design inspiration.

A couple of two-top tables line the perimeter.  Getting back to one of the reasons we’re out in the first place. It’s this pizza. There’s a reason why food critics have named this the best slice in Chicago.

I’ll let that article do this pizza justice, but I will tell you this — we got one slice each, and in less than five minutes, every single bit, down to the last crumb, was gone. Luckily, we were only down the street, which made it easy to go back for a second pizza run. Get at least three slices for yourself. I’ll leave you with this final picture of the space inside the main bar.