Welcome to Ranalli’s of Andersonville.
Ranalli’s of Andersonville located at 1512 W. Berwyn in the heart of a former Swedish enclave has been a warm and hospitable neighborhood restaurant and gathering place since opening in September of 2006.
Owned and operated by Andersonville native Jennifer Grant and her partners, Ranalli’s of Andersonville offers the legendary recipes of the original Ranalli’s on Lincoln, a landmark Chicago pizzeria that opened in Old Town in the early ‘80’s. Jennifer worked at Ranalli’s on Lincoln for over two decades and when the original location closed, Ms. Grant and her partners, seeing the need for a similar style of restaurant in a quickly gentrifying neighborhood, rented a vacant gourmet food shop and built the warm and welcoming restaurant as the casual, family friendly, neighborhood restaurant it is today.
Famous for their thin, stuffed, double decker and pan style pizzas, panzerotti (which means “the bomb” in Italian), signature sandwiches, mouth-watering ribs, abundant salads, pastas, traditional Italian entrees and decadent desserts, Ranalli’s of Andersonville offers a little something for everyone!
While based on the Ranalli family’s century old traditions, recipes and gracious hospitality, Ranalli’s of Andersonville has also embraced contemporary dining trends and dietary demands offering low fat options, an entire gluten free menu and plenty of healthy items to choose from. Ranalli’s of Andersonville offers fast, hot delivery, online ordering, dining in, a seasonal sidewalk café, carry-out, off-site catering and in-house special events making Ranalli’s of Andersonville the perfect location for showers, reunions, rehearsal dinners, milestone events or celebrations of any sort!
Here’s what our friends have to say about us:
“I love Ranalli’s of Andersonville. They consistently have the best pizza around, and a nice italian menu to boot. My favorite is a Sausage and Red Bell Peppers, which I top off with Parmesan and Romano Cheese, and spicy red pepper flakes. I also love their steak and salads, but the pizza takes me home every time.” — David L.
“I am so thrilled to find a place that serves gluten-free pizza that tastes like real pizza. Not only that, but there was GF pizza and garlic bread, sandwiches, and even desserts. The price was right, too, I felt. The pizza was around 10 inches with 1 topping for a little over $12. For good-tasting pizza, $12 is a steal. The only suggestion I can make would be to make the outer crust thicker, because right now there really isn’t an outer crust. My husband ordered a panzerotti which he was pleased with. I’ll definitely be back and have already recommended other to try out the GF menu.” — Betty S.
“Love that this place has lots of gluten free options – pizza, dessert, buns. Our favorite gluten free pizza is a custom one – ranch dressing, chicken, onions, mozzarella cheese. We live too far for delivery, but sometimes pick up the pizza to take home when are in the neighborhood. It is very, very hard to ride in the car with the delicious aroma and not dive right in!” — Dawn B.
“…It’s in the happening area of Andersonville. The service is friendly and fast, and the food is great! No matter, more pizza for me!
I’ve had both the thin crust and stuffed (deep dish). Both are quite good and neither make you feel like crap after (I’m looking at you Giordano’s). The atmosphere is relaxed and casual, with dim lights and small candles. Equally excellent for a 1st date or a 501st. The price is just right as well and the beer/wine selection is varied enough for connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike.” — Joey M.
History of Andersonville
Andersonville’s roots as a community extend well back into the 19th century, when immigrant Swedish farmers started moving north into what was then a distant suburb of Chicago. In the 1850’s the area north of Foster and east of Clark was a large cherry orchard, and families had only begun to move into the fringes of what is now Andersonville. The neighborhood’s first school, the Andersonville School, was built in 1854 at the corner of those two thoroughfares, and served as the area’s primary school until 1908.
After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, wooden homes were outlawed in Chicago. Swedish immigrants, who could not afford to build homes of stone or brick, began to move outside of the city’s northern limits. Swedish immigrants continued to arrive in Andersonville through the beginning of the 20th century, settling in the newly built homes surrounding Clark Street. Before long, the entire commercial strip was dominated by Swedish businesses, from delis to hardware stores, shoe stores to blacksmiths, and bakeries to realty companies. The local churches, such as Ebenezer Lutheran Church, Bethany Methodist Episcopal Church, and St. Gregory’s Roman Catholic Church, were also built by Swedes, and reflected the religious diversity of the new arrivals.
Like most other European-American ethnic groups, Swedes began to move to the suburbs during the Depression and post-war periods, and the neighborhood began to decline. Concerned about the deteriorating commercial situation, the Uptown Clark Street Business Association renewed its commitment to its Swedish heritage by renaming itself the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce. On October 17, 1964 Andersonville was rededicated in a ceremony attended by Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley and Illinois Governor Otto Kerner. At about the same time, the annual Swedish tradition of celebrating the summer solstice blossomed into Midsommarfest, which has since grown into one of Chicago’s largest and most popular street festivals.
While some of the Swedish-owned businesses gave way to stores and restaurants owned by Koreans, Lebanese, and Mexicans, many remained in Andersonville, serving the remaining second- and third-generation Swedes as well as the new arrivals to the neighborhood. In 1976, a Swedish American Museum that had been on the drawing boards for fifty years was opened to the public in a ceremony attended by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. It later moved into larger quarters at 5211 N. Clark, where it remains today.
In the late 1980’s, Andersonville began a period of revival as professionals rediscovered its lovely housing stock and proximity to downtown Chicago and the lakefront. A large lesbian and gay population developed, spurred by the opening of such businesses as Women & Children First, a bookstore focusing on feminist authors and topics. New gift shops and ethnic eateries opened up and gave Clark Street a new commercial vitality and diversity.
Today, in addition to being one of the most concentrated areas of Swedish culture in the United States, Andersonville is home to a diverse assortment of devoted residents and businesses, including one of Chicago’s largest gay and lesbian communities, a large collection of Middle Eastern restaurants and bakeries, and a thriving Hispanic commercial area north of Catalpa Avenue.
Andersonville is now considered one of Chicago’s “hot” neighborhoods. It also enjoys nationwide renown for its unique commercial district, comprised almost entirely of locally owned, independent businesses. In 2004, an economic study of Andersonville was reported in newspapers across the globe. It demonstrated what Andersonville locals have known for a long time: that the locally owned businesses are a crucial part of Andersonville’s vitality and quality of life, returning far more to the community in economic benefits and neighborhood involvement than would non-local businesses. Communities everywhere now look to emulate Andersonville as a model of a thriving urban neighborhood.