Choosing A Deep Dish Pizza Place In Chicago
In my quest to discover the best deep dish pizza in Chicago, I managed to visit three pizza joints.
The first two served the classic Chicago-style pizza that has become one of the citys icons. The third was a mistake from start to finish so I wont be mentioning it here, and youll thank me for that. Still, choosing where to try the deep pan was a challenge all in itself.
Obviously, I turned to the internet, where I quickly drowned in lists of top 5s, top 10s and even a top 50. There were the original pizza places, the most popular, the with a twist, the craft-creators and the urban trendys. If I learned one thing from my pre-pie research its that everyone has an opinion and Chicago is not short on great pizza parlours to choose from.
This gave me some quandary until I returned to the root of the issue. I wanted to taste the original and I wanted to taste the best. That led me to two places: Unos and Giordarnos.
Unos, you will recognise as the restaurant that originally belonged to the brothers who invented Chicagos deep dish pizza. Established in 1943, the brand has exploded into a staggering-sized chain with over 100 restaurants around the world . However, the original restaurant still stands in its original spot in Chicago and it is there that I went for my first tasting.
And so my pizzeria choices were set.
Chicago Pizza And Oven Grinder
The pizza at this spot isn’t traditional Chicago deep dish, but it has a pastry-dough rim, shaped like a carved-out French boule, that’s as high as anything you’d find at the usual places. The differentiator here is that the bottom crust is whisper-thin, and the interior is kind of like a casserole of winey, garlicky braised mushrooms, sausage and snappy green peppers, draped with a roof of bubbling mozzarella like one you’d find on a bowl of French onion soup.
Best Deep Dish Pizza In Chicago 2022
Deep dish pizza came to life back in the 1940s. The leading prominent characteristic of a deep-dish pizza is the vast and crispy crust. This crust firmly holds the chunky sheets of mozzarella cheese and thick tomato sauce. Deep dish pizza is still swimming in mystery. Who serves the best deep dish pizza in Chicago? Who invented the dish, anyway?
If you are trying it for the first time, it might be an overwhelming experience for you. One would generally be eating a deep-dish pizza with forks and knives. It has become a staple diet for a lot of people in and around Chicago. With time, a lot of different styles of deep dish pizza have come about. It is something that you must try if you ever get a chance.
Therefore, the following are some of the eat-outs where you can get the BEST DEEP DISH PIZZA IN CHICAGO!
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Who Makes The Best Deep Dish Pizza In Chicago
When you ask Americans what their favorite food is youll get as many different responses as there are Americans. While you cant beat a good burger and a slice of warm apple pie, if you ask Chicagoans what their favorite food is youd be given a swift boot in the keister if you didnt say deep dish pizza.Chicago is known for their amazing take on this American classic, so whenever you get a chance to visit this city youd better stop by some of the most iconic pizzerias for a slice . Here are 12 pizzerias I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying over various trips through the Windy City.
These are also widely recognized by locals and tourists as the best deep dish pizza on the planet. If you don’t have plans to visit Chicago any time soon, never fear because many of these pizzerias will ship to your door!These twelve are by no means ranked in order of best to worst – you really can’t go wrong with any of these options. In fact, at the end of this article you can pick your favorite – we’ll let Worldwide foodies decide which one comes out on top. If your favorite isn’t selected as the best then make sure you vote!
Where Is The Best Chicago Deep Dish Pizza In Chicago
To say I was jet-lagged when I stepped off the plane at OHare airport would be a vast understatement. Id zig-zagged across the Atlantic twice in two weeks with stops in London, Istanbul, Bologna and New York.
Not sure which way was up, I arrived in Chicago on a crisp October morning, craving a week in bed during the only week I had to explore the city. Cracking open the cloud and searching for the glorious silver-lining, I remembered that jet-lag leaves me craving carbs and Italy had provided a residual hankering for pizza.
And the solution to both of these urges surrounded me in Chicago, one of the most famous pizza cities on earth. Consequently, for the first few days in Chicago as I fought my bones out of bed and onto the city streets, I did one of the best activities anyone can do in the windy city , I ate deep dish pizza.
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Vegan Deep Dish Pizza In Chicago
Chicago is home to more than just The Bean, Michele Obama, and the Bulls. Chicago is also home to the infamous deep dish pizza, which can easily be made vegan. Its comprised of a thick hull of dough filled with a dense layer of cheese topped with a coat of tomato sauce. Its basically New York-style pizzas polar opposite, but Detroit-style pizzas lil cousin.
Im sure that most of you are here to find out where to throw down on a vegan deep dish pizza. However, Im not going to leave you hanging if deep dish pizza isnt your style. There are plenty of spots in Chicago that serve vegan versions of other pizza styles ranging from Sicilian to South Side Tavern style. Therefore, I sprinkled on a little extra love at the end to include places serving up other styles of vegan pizza in Chicago.
/10 Uno Pizzeria And Grill
Uno Pizzeria And Grill isnt left out on the list of many tasty places to eat in Chicago. At the Uno Pizzeria and Grill, there is a luxurious selection of deep-dish pizzas available for customers to pick from, and each of these pizzas is equally tasty. The crust at this restaurant has been mastered to the point where each and every slice is to die for. Farmer’s market, Chicago Fire, and Numero Uno are just a few of the possibilities from which a visitor may select one to fulfill their needs. The chunky tomato sauce at that restaurant is so deliciously fresh that people won’t want to share their pie with anybody elseand shouldn’t have to because it’s already so satisfying on its own.
Since Gino’s East devotes an entire portion of its menu to deep-dish pizza, one may assume that the pizza served there is of high quality. Customers have a selection of pizzas available to select from, some of which are Meaty Legend, Diavola, and Ratatouille. After a customer has finished their mouthwatering pizza, they may treat themselves to a dessert of tiramisu, which is a tiered dessert consisting of ladyfingers and custard. If a visitor discovers that they like their pizza so much that they want something to help them remember them, the visitor can do so by purchasing a number of goods from their Swag Store.
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Which Pizza Is Better Unos Vs Giordanos
Like anything involving taste, it will always come down to personal preference. For me, Unos won.
Why? If youre new to Chicago style pizza, let me give you a chocolate-based analogy.
Cadburys chocolate is a brand I can consume by the truck load just ask the Easter bunny. Its an enjoyable taste thats reliable and consistent right down to the last flake of that family-sized bar. But then you have the chocolates created by the Belgians and the Swiss. Delectable, divine and likely to leave you feeling over-indulged before you get half-way through a small piece.
To me, that was the difference between Unos vs Giordanos. The former was the fine chocolate the latter offering the more consistent and predictable taste. And, it turns out I like my pizza just like my chocolate for the taste and pleasure I can derive from just a few bites of something rich and indulgent, Ill take the risk of overwhelming my tastebuds. In a world where average flavours abound, Id prefer the experience of somewhere like Unos every time.
Of course, I accept that its not possible to determine the best deep dish pizza in Chicago from just two pizzas but Ill commit to this as a work in progress and the next time Im jet-lagged in Chicago, Ill get a few more deep dish pizzas under my belt. Literally.
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What Is Deep Dish Pizza
For the uninitiated, Chicago-style pizza is created in a deep pan and is more similar in style to a pie. The crust sits at the bottom and the depth is filled with cheese, crushed tomato, meats and vegetables. This sets it apart from most other pizzas around the globe where you typically get a flat bread which is topped with a thin spread of tomato pizza sauce, cheese, meats and vegetables.
As for Chicagos claim to deep dish pizza fame, the story and the dish came about courtesy of two brothers. Since before the turn of the 19th century, Neapolitan immigrants had been crossing the Atlantic from Italy in search of work. And they bought their native flavours and recipe books with them.
Decades later, in 1943, brothers Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo decided to set up a new restaurant called Unos where they recrafted the original thin crust pizza recipe to create a new style of pizza unlike any that had been served before.
With a Buttery out-of-this-world crust that had a tall edge like a fruit pie. He* created a recipe that combined authentic Italian spices and quality tomatoes with more cheese than people could believe and then baked it for nearly an hour.
And therein they created a food icon. And with more cheese than people could believe how could they not?
Final Thoughts On The Best Deep
For some out-of-town visitors, the musts on a trip to Chicago are a pilgrimage to Wrigley Field, a cruise along the Chicago River, a trip to the top of the John Hancock Center, or a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago. These are all wonderful ways to enjoy the city. But if you make it to Chicago, youve got to make time for Chicago deep-dish pizza. This home-town specialty is as much a part of the fabric of Chicago as any of these other attractions.
Chicagoans are passionate about their deep-dish pizza, and they love to argue over which Chicago-style pizza restaurant is the best. However, it all comes down to a matter of personal preference.
All the pizzerias featured above have droves of loyal fans and have won numerous awards for the pizza they proudly serve. So, if youre ever visiting Chicago, you should try at least a couple of the pizzerias on our short list of whos making todays best Chicago deep-dish pizzas.
Leave behind your Pizza Hut or Numero Uno ideas of deep-dish. Experience the authentic recipes passed down through generations of Chicagos best pizza makers. In other words, dont settle for good pizza when you can have great pizza!
If your plans dont have you visiting Chicago anytime soon, keep in mind that nearly all the major pizza restaurants in Chicago ship frozen deep-dish pizzas across the country. This way, you can enjoy a literal slice of Chicago from the comfort of your own home. Now thats taking pizza delivery to a whole different level!
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Labriola And La Barra
The sign of any great pizza is that the crust is so good that even the unadorned parts never get left on the plate. And that’s what happens at Labriola and La Barra. Labriola got its start as a bread-baking concern and in the process produced artisanal-style loaves for some of Chicago’s best restaurants. The owners took this bread-baking experience and created for the pizzas in their restaurant a deep-dish crust filled with airy bubbles, the kind you might find in a good croissant. As a result, even the most-carb-conscious diners will have a tough time leaving any part of the slice behind.
Ginos Eastfamous For Chicago Fire Deep
Ginos East is one of the few Chicago-style pizza restaurants that did not evolve from Pizzeria Uno. The original Ginos East opened in 1966. It was founded by two taxi drivers, Fred Bartoli and Sam Levine. They asked their friend George Loverde to join them in getting the restaurant started.
However, the trio credit Alice Mae Redmond as the creator of the recipe that would make Ginos East famous. A highly talented African-American woman with 17 years of pizza-making experience before coming to Ginos, Redmond developed a unique dough recipe, dough conditioner, and dough-handling procedure that set her pies apart from the competition. She worked her magic at Ginos for 29 years.
Ginos East had their initial location on Wells Street, near Chicagos famous Rush Streetone of the major spots in Chicago for nightlife and great restaurants. In the early 1980s, their flagship restaurant moved from its original location to Superior Street in Chicagos River North area.
Ginos East is well known for creative pizzas like their Chicago Fire deep-dish pizza, featuring spicy patty-style sausage, fire roasted red peppers, and red onions. They also feature an Italian Beef pizza. This pizza is covered with Italian beef , sweet peppers, and giardiniera. All these pizzas are also available in thin-crust versions.
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What Is Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
Reportedly invented in the 1940s by Pizzeria Uno, deep dish pizzas can be up to 3″ deep allowing for a heaping of cheese and tomato sauce. Being so thick, deep dish pizza crusts require longer cooking which could burn the toppings. For this reason, the pizzas are assembled in the reverse order with the tomato sauce on top. It really is a pizza pie!
Deep dish pizza starts with the dough which is pressed into a circular steel pan that resembles a cake pan. After this initial bowl of thick dough is created, it is filled with favorite toppings like pepperoni, sausage, onions, olives, and green peppers. Loads of mozzarella cheese is added, of course. Finally, the pie is topped with tomato sauce.
You mustnt confuse deep dish with stuffed pizza as that is a completely different pseudo Italian meal. Stuffed Pizza adds another layer of dough after the cheese to create a giant pizza pie. Usually there is a hole in the very middle to vent the pie and sometimes there is tomato sauce on the very top.
My big downfall is deep-dish pizza from Chicago. That is why I can’t go vegan – I can’t give up cheese. I can’t give up dairy. –Parvesh Cheena
/10 Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
The fact that it is run by a family explains, in part, why the pizza here is so delicious. The dough is a buttery and flaky work of art, and when mixed with their sweet sauce, it makes for some of the greatest pizza in the neighborhood. Their cheese is usually delicious since it comes straight from a tiny local dairy. Some examples of their deep dish pizzas are the Malnati Chicago Classic, the “Lou,” and the Cheese Deep Dish. The proprietors are a kind family that will see to it that the customers are well-fed before they leave their establishment.
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Burts Placeanthony Bourdains Favorite Deep
After selling Pequods Pizzeria in 1986, Burt Katz took a break from the pizza business. In 1989, however, he got back in, opening Burts Place in Morton Grove. He went back to making the caramelized crust deep pan pizza that had already made him a Chicagoland legend.
At his new place, Burt was the only pizza maker his wife Sharon ran the front of the house. That was the entire staff.
People would come from all over Chicago, elsewhere in the U.S., and even from abroad to enjoy Burts world-famous pizza. Among them was Anthony Bourdain, who visited during the filming of a Chicago episode of his beloved show No Reservations.
Bourdain was a New Yorker, New York pizza lover, and longtime Chicago-pizza skeptic. But Burts Place won him over. After trying a pizza at Burts during his 2009 visit, he proclaimed, Burts is the only deep-dish pizza I ever loved.
Burt passed away in 2016, but he passed along his original recipes, techniques, and iconic pizzeria to its current owner, Jerry Petrow. Burts Place is still going strong, retaining lifelong customers by staying true to its roots and earning new fans by continuing to make marvelous pies.