Foodie Field Trip to Freddy’s

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There’s a little Italian gem that is near and dear to my heart, it’s located on a corner in a very unpretentious neighborhood, the name of that gem is called Freddy’s Pizza, but don’t let the name fool you, this is so much more than a pizza place, Freddy’s is a landmark!
We’ve been going to Freddy’s for years, ever since my kids were little, and today with families of their own they still continue to go, it’s that kind of place, once you go, you’re hooked for good!

Last week my girlfriends and I went to Freddy’s for lunch, we arrived right before they opened , got a little table in their screened in area and managed to order our lunch before the constant flood of patrons started forming a line. This is a small place, the aisles are tight but nobody cares because you’re here for the food, Italian ice and gelato, and it’s so worth the wait!

Owner Joe Quercia who emigrated from Naples, Italy and his wonderful wife Ann Marie treat you like family when you walk in, no matter how busy they are they never seem to get flustered and always take the time to walk around asking how everything is, always making you feel welcome.

The aisles are filled with imported pastas, oils, giardinara, eggplant salad and various other Italian goodies, ( too many to mention). Farther down the small aisle you’ll hit the deli section filled with imported cheese and meats, fresh mozzarella, homemade sopressata and the most delicious Italian sausage. Warm crusty bread and foccacia is brought out before you and smells are so enticing you just can’t resist! Have I mentioned the pepperoni bread? Oh my, when you see it you can’t hesitate for a second, because it will be gone!

A slight turn from the deli and you start seeing all the fresh homemade Italian specialties lined up, platter after platter of beautifully presented food. This is old world cooking made with loving hands and the taste confirms it all!

Lemon chicken, eggplant, meatballs, sausage and peppers, Italian beef, prosciutto sandwiches on focaccia, to name a few.

Antipasto everywhere, seafood salad, fried artichokes, roman style artichokes, garlicky rapini, ( Outstanding, I get some every time) arancini, salami salad, caprese, garbanzo bean, I could go on and on!

As you walk along the counter it’s almost impossible to make choices because everything looks so amazing!

Thin crust, thick crust, Neapolitan style pizza with every different combination you can think of coming out of the oven piping hot!

Homemade ravioli, gnocchi, and various other pastas bathing in the most delectable sauce.

In the mood for risotto? No problem, it’s there for you in all it’s creamy glory!

That prosciutto just melts in your mouth!

We have a system when we go there, someone holds the table and a couple of us go up and start ordering, a little bit of this and a little bit of that, old favorites and something new, it dosen’t matter what you get, it’s all good!.
We bring it back to the table and savor every bite.

No fine china here, heavy duty paper plates with plastic forks and spoons, this was our glutinous table we could barely fit all the plates on. I’m still dreaming about those green olives, so creamy and buttery, I made sure they were all gone before we left.

After we’re done eating we go back in for dessert, gelato and Italian ice is a must!

When we’re done with dessert it’s time to shop for goodies to bring home. A loaf or two of pepperoni bread will always go home with me along with a couple pounds of sausage.

Their Italian ice, what can I say, I crave it on a hot summer day, let’s just say we’ve made many trips out there just for that over the years. Their gelato is amazing, no wonder it has been voted “Best gelato in all of Chicago” by Chicago Magazine!

One lick and you’re transported to Italy!

So when you go you absolutely have to try both the Italian ice and the gelato, it’s a must!

Here’s my friends loaded down with goodies to take home.

I did some shopping too!

I told you I love the pepperoni bread!

In close, if you live in the Chicagoland area and have never been to Freddy’s plan to go ASAP, you’ll thank me later!

1600 South 61st. Ave.

Cicero (2 blocks West of Austin Blvd)

M-Sat 10 – 7

Closed Sundays

Cash Only!

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  1. Oh!!

    I am TOTALLY adding Chicago to my “Must Visit” list, just to go here. This is my idea of heaven.

  2. Thanks goodness you go with a group of friends. Sharing the table filled with goodies is the way to go. I think this place would become my regular haunt if I lived in Chicago.

  3. What a fantastic place – a home from home. We don’t have an Italian store/casual restaurant anywhere as good as this where I am in England. I think it would almost be worth the flight price to go there!

  4. A feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds!
    I can only imagine such delights. Thanks for the trip to such an amazing establishment.

  5. Are you enticing me to come to Chicago? This may seal the deal! Why bother to cook when you have Freddy’s? My kind of place!

  6. What an awesome find! Everything looks so good and fresh.

  7. I am sitting here at 5 something in the morning and now I am hungry. YUMMO! I really miss having an Italiam deli near me. Since we moved to Oregon 9 years ago I haven’t been to one. So sad….your pictures and descriptions are wonderful.

  8. now thats a place I could gain a few!
    Looks like a wonderful time.
    Food is love!

  9. I can only dream of a Freddy’s here in our area, this looks like my kind of place!!!!!

  10. Pepperoni bread? I should NOT have read tihs post right before lunch. *tummy growls*

  11. The sign outside gives new meaning to the word “understated.” Never in a million years would I have expected all this inside the place.


    Field trip indeed.

  12. I think I want to move in. Give up my life and just mov to Freddy’s. Do they take boarders? (Okay, I’ll stowaway)

  13. Merri Blevins says

    I live in a very small town in Washington state…no where near Chicago…and EVERYTIME you go to one of these places…it just kills me!!!! I die for good authentic Italian food!!! It all looks amazing!

    Thanks for bringing your world to mine!

  14. Merri come to Chicago, I’ll take you there!

  15. WOW!!! I’m putting Freddy’s on my list to visit the next time I’m in Chicago!

  16. Totally jealous!!

  17. oh my word, I want to go NOW!!! I think I may have to plan a trip to Chicago sometime soon!!!

  18. Wow!! I am so planning a trip to Chicago!

  19. Okay, so some day I’m going to live in Chicago! I’m not sure a simple vacation will ever do…And, I will be honest, I had to whip through the pictures this morning on your blog because I had gum surgery yesterday and can’t eat hard foods! Good thing, though, is in a few days (DAYS!) I can eat pasta again!!! Keep inspiring us to explore the Italian in all of us, Marie!!

  20. Anonymous says

    been going to freddys since the very
    beginning,when they were on the other side of of austin ave!cant imagine life without their pizza or
    bread or just about anything else they have.ann and joey are awesome
    and i hope the store never closes!
    lived in berwyn my entire life
    and moved a few years ago.cant tell
    you how much i miss having freddys
    in my backyard.

  21. Sounds like you had a blast! I’m a huge fan of pepperoni bread.

  22. Now I’m hungry! 🙂

  23. I am seriously ready to book a flight! Freddy’s food looks positively amazing. I am a huge fan of pepperoni bread too!

  24. Looks yummy..I am keen to visit italy.I just cant control now.


  25. I want to go to Freddies!! There is nowhere like this in Glasgow, Scotland!!!

  26. Hi Marie – It is on our list now. I bet Don and the kids would love it there!

  27. Hurray, another great place to visit when I come to Chicago next time. My kids and I try all your recommendations, Marie, and love every one. I would like to dive right into all the dishes on your table and top that off with a big bowl of gelato.

  28. what a mouthwatering post! i love this italian foodie excursion! I’ve just been back from a trip to rome, and these photos are making me miss italian food again!

  29. Love your photos – this is my idea of foodie heaven – I am so jealous!

  30. Love your photos – this is my idea of foodie heaven! I am so jealous!

  31. I’m salivating, like I do whenever I walk into an italian grocery and partake of the aromas. I envy you and appreciate your photos and etc. It reminds me of when I lived in Pittsburgh area – where I live now they don’t even put fennel seeds in the italian sausage (midwest)-bland, bland

  32. This looks like a gem of a place, Marie. Your photos should be “scratch-and-sniff” they look so good! I love the artichokes with the long stems attached. Everything looks delectable.

  33. What a great place, you must have a great time.

  34. I’m taking a few friends here today – thank you for sharing this lovely gem!

  35. Anonymous says

    Freddy’s has got every place beat!! I grew up in Cicero & now live an hour away…I still journey there for the ice!! Not to mention the other goodies. 🙂

  36. Thanks for the tip. I will definitely do a foodie trip there in the future.