Here Are The Best Deep Dish Pizza Pies In Chicago
Pizza takes on many different forms across the country. There’s New York-style pizza with thin tomato sauce and grated mozzarella cheese, St. Louis-style pizza with a thin cracker-like crust and Provel cheese, and Detroit-style pizza, which is square with a deep-dish crust and marinara sauce. And then there’s Chicago deep dish pizza, which is all about the crust — all of the glorious, buttery surface area of the crust.
Deep dish stands out from the rest of the pizza crowd with a high-edged bread that’s smothered with hefty amounts of stringy mozzarella cheese and fresh, chunky tomato sauce. It also happens to be probably the most indulgent slice you’ll find anywhere. It’s basically a glorious, savory pie. Now that you’re obviously craving it, here’s where to get the best deep dish pizza in Chi-Town.
1. Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria (Multiple Locations)
This famous Chicago pizza chain is the real deal. Some hardcore fans even choose where they live in the Windy City based on proximity to a Lou Malnati’s shop. This Chicago classic combines a buttery crust with homemade, well-seasoned sausage. The tomato sauce is made from vine-ripened plum tomatoes and each is pie is loaded with thick slices of mozzarella. With 49 Chicagoland (Chicago and its suburbs) locations, Malnati’s isn’t just for the tourists. It’s been dubbed the “royal family of deep dish pizza” by many and for good reason.
2. Gino’s East (Multiple Locations In Chicago And Across The United States)
Opened in 1966 by two taxi drivers, Sam Levine and Fred Bartoli, Gino’s East has been around for more than 50 years. Gino’s is known for its graffiti-covered interior since the shop owners have allowed decades of customers to leave their mark on the restaurant. The deep dish pizza at Gino’s is cooked with the cheese on the bottom, followed by the toppings and then the sauce goes on top. The pies are baked in cast iron pans so you know the crust will be legit. The original Gino’s is in the Streeterville district of Chi-Town.
3. Uno Pizzeria And Grill (Multiple Locations Worldwide)
Better known as Unos, this pizzeria restaurant chain is best known for its deep dish created back in 1943. Many restaurants claim they were the first to cook the deep pizza style, and Unos is one of them. The crust is buttery with a tall edge just like a fruit pie. The pizza is then made with a combination of Italian spices, tomatoes and a ridiculous amount of cheese, and then baked for about an hour. Slices are so dense that you might have to cut them in half. And you better bet people come from all over for this crust.
This style might be a little more time-intensive than your average New York-style pie, but it’s worth it. There are more than 130 Uno Pizzeria And Grill restaurants scattered throughout 21 states and around the world. The original location, though, is in the Near North Side in Chicago.
4. The Art Of Pizza (Lakeview, Chicago)
The Art of Pizza ranks at the top of the list for Chicagoans. The inside of the restaurant is nothing special, but customers keep coming back, mainly for the herbed-crust pan pizzas and stuffed pizzas with intense amounts of mozzarella. The stuffed crust is about two inches tall on the outside and is noticeably less flakey than other deep dish pies around Chicago. The sauce is fresh with plenty of oregano and basil, and you’ll always have a solid selection of toppings. Pro tip: if you go for the whole pies, make sure you have a crew to share them with because these pies are tough to conquer solo.
5. Pequod’s Pizza (Multiple Locations)
In a city where everyone and their aunt has attempted to make a deep dish pizza, there is a handful that rises above the rest. Pequod’s Pizza is known for its caramelized crusts. The pie crusts are cooked in cast iron pans. The dough goes in first and then slices of mozzarella are laid against the sides of the pan to give the pizza its famous dark, caramelized, cheesy crust. Inside, the bread is light and fluffy, the sauce is tangy and the mozzarella cheese oozes out in between each slice.
6. Giordano’s (Multiple Locations)
The famed Giordano’s is constantly making headlines in Chicago and around the country. The pizza chain is known for its stuffed deep-dish pizza that bakes for around 45 minutes. The pizza at Giordano’s is essentially a buttery bread bowl filled with flowing amounts of sauce, cheese and meat. The crust is sturdy and flaky at the same time. The marinara sauce is simple — not too sweet or too spicy.
Don’t expect any kind of fancy cheese at Giordano’s. You’ll get the commercialized melted mozzarella you know and love. The toppings here also cater more towards the meat lovers with salami, sausage, bacon and pepperoni. If you go during the day, the atmosphere is city sleek, but at night, it gets insane with crowds, so be prepared.
Oh, and a little advice: if you’re going to order an entire deep dish pie, don’t order anything else. Most of these pies weigh as much as a small child.