Asking a Chicagoan where to find the best deep-dish pizza in Chicago is like asking them a serious and deeply personal question. Chicagoans are loyal and firm in their beliefs on everything from their favorite baseball team right down to their favorite pizza joint.
Unlike the cracker thin pizza crust native to New York City, Chicago coined the deep-dish style pizza, which can almost be considered more of a casserole than a pizza. Nevertheless when given the choice between “New York style” and “Chicago Style” I always prefer the latter. One bite of the pizza that made Chicago famous and you’ll know exactly why.
Just like the Philly Cheesesteak in Philadelphia, many establishments claim to be “the original” or “the first” to make the delicious Chicago style deep-dish pizza. I can’t tell you for a fact who was the first, but I can tell you 5 great places where you’ll find the best Chicago style deep-dish pizza in Chicago.
Where to find the best deep dish pizza in Chicago
What makes Pequod’s pizzas stand out from the rest is their signature caramelized crust. The crispy deep-dish edges of Paqudo’s is one of a kind unique and something you won’t find anywhere else in Chicago. At Pequdo’s each pizza starts with a base topping of cheese. From there you can choose from over 20 topping options to make your pizza truly unique and exactly how you want it.
Lou Malnati’s is considered the oldest family name in Chicago pizza. Lou himself opened up his very first pizza shop in 1971 and now there are 45 Lou Malnati locations in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. Malnati’s prides themselves on making each and every pizza from scratch using only the freshest and finest ingredients. Whats even better is that you don’t even have to be in the Chicago area to enjoy this deep-dish classic, Malnati’s is now available for shipment across the entire US!
The secret ingredient to Gino’s famous golden crust is said to be cornmeal. One look at Gino’s Chicago style deep-dish pizza and it’s easy to notice the pizza’s unique golden brown hue comes from some secret ingredient; if it really is cornmeal, we’ll never know, but never the less, their ingredients are working because Gino’s has long been known as one of the best places for Chicago style deep-dish pizza in the entire city. Gino’s is famous not only for it’s legendary pizza, but also for the unique decor of their flagship restaurant in downtown Chicago. Patrons of Gino’s are welcomed and encouraged to write their name or message on the walls of the inside of the restaurant. Years of writing covers not only the walls, but doors, booths, and even artwork hung on the walls!
The recipe for Giordano’s famous pizza is said to have evolved over 200 years. The recipe started in the small kitchen of Mama Giordano in Northern Italy, and then made it’s way to Chicago many years later when two Italian immigrants moved to the city to start their own pizza businesses. Since then, Giordano’s has opened several locations, including restaurants in Indiana, Florida, and Minnesota. Giordano’s pizzas are called “stuffed”, because their stuffed with ingredients and you’ll no doubt leave the restaurant stuffed as well. Take the meat loving man in your life to Giordano’s and order the “meat and more meat” stuffed pizza. He’ll be a happy man and even with the heartiest of appetites I’ll bet there will be plenty of leftovers.
Pizzeria Uno, has been a Chicago legend for many years. Their founder, Ike Sewll, is said to have been the original inventor of the deep-dish pizza. Whether or not that’s true is open to debate, but what is true is that Pizzeria Uno experienced so much success that Ike opened another pizza shop, Pizzeria Due, on the opposite street corner of Pizzeria Uno. The two pizza shops, though so close in proximity, are often seen with waiting lines extending out the doors.