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CHICAGO | If you’re planning a trip to Chicago, you likely already have one meal planned – deep dish pizza, a Chicago institution. The Windy City has long been a destination for foodies. It’s a melting pot brimming with celebrity chefs, but when it comes to deep dish pizza many just don’t get it. Comedians like Jon Stewart and chefs like Anthony Bourdain alike mock what they view as an abomination to a universally beloved dish.

There is some disagreement about where deep dish pizza originated. Italian immigrants brought pizza to the east coast of the United States but eventually it migrated inland where it started to evolve. Chicago-style pizza is completely different from the style invented in Naples. It features a super thick crust and a massive amount of tomato sauce, cheese and your desired toppings. Much like Chicago’s political history, the deep dish scene has been dominated by a group of connected families.

No matter your pick, make sure you go hungry and hydrated to prepare for all the salty, melted (oh-so-yummy) cheese you’ll take in. Deep dish magic takes time. Allow a couple hours for this meal, as a typical pie takes about 40 minutes to bake. Many of the places in our guide deliver, but we believe that Chicago-style pizza is best enjoyed in-house.

One thing is for sure – whether you love it or love to hate the idea of it, your plans to visit the Second City need to include trying deep dish pizza. So, where can you get it? There are a few places that appear on various lists that we haven’t included in here – below is our guide to the places that we think make the best deep dish pizza in Chicago.

Pizzeria Uno

best deep dish pizza chicago
For the most part, Pizzeria Uno stands its ground as the the original home of deep dish. Since its founding in 1942 it has been serving up delicious deep dish with a crumbly crust. Uno’s has since opened locations across the United States. For a taste of history, stop by the original location at Ohio and Wabash in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.

Pizzeria Uno

29 E Ohio
Chicago
Illinois 60611
United States

Gino’s East

ginos east deep dish pizza
Gino’s East was founded by two cab drivers in the 1960s. They were sick of being stuck in traffic and decided to open up a pizza joint instead. At the original location on Superior, they let patrons write on the walls. Visit and you can see all the Chicagoans, celebrities and visitors from around the world who have come to Gino’s to taste its signature golden crust. Gino’s have locations in Wisonsin, Arizona and Texas these days, but there’s nothing quite like the original Superior spot, and that’s the address we’ve included for you.

Gino’s East

162 E Superior Street
Chicago
Illinois 60611
United States

Lou Malnati’s

lou malnatis deep dish pizza
Lou Malnati got his start working at Pizzeria Uno in the 1940s but went on to open his own shop in the northwest suburbs in the 1970s. Lou was a fun-loving, gregarious character whose name is now synonymous with Chicago-style pizza. Today, Lou Malnati’s locations can be found in every corner of the city and all over Chicagoland. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a deep dish lover in your life, don’t forget that Lou’s ships pizzas around the US.

Lou Malnati’s

Various locations

Giordano’s

best deep dish pizza chicago
The Giordano family had a long pizza-making tradition in northern Italy. Two of the brothers took their mama’s recipe to Chicago when they emigrated to the US. Many in the city call Giordano’s the city’s best deep dish and enjoy its larger-than-average slices.

Giordano’s

Various locations

Pequod’s

best deep dish pizza chicago
For a caramelized crust of burnt cheese that tastes better than it sounds and draws a large local crowd, you want Pequod’s. The original Pequod’s is based in Chicago’s northern suburbs and due to popularity another location opened in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Pequod’s has won many local and national awards for its pizza. Pequod’s Lincoln Park is a great spot to enjoy Chicago-style deep dish on game day with its big screen TVs and full-service bar.

Pequod’s

Lincoln Park
2207 N Clybourn Avenue
Chicago
Illinois 60614
United States
Morton Grove
8520 Fernald Ave
Morton Grove
Illinois 60053
United States

Pizano’s

best deep dish pizza chicago
Pizano’s was opened by one of the sons of the pizza pioneers, the Malanti family. Rudy Jr. applied the knowledge learned from his father and opened his own restaurant in the 1990s. Pizano’s thin crust pizza is also worth a try – it is Oprah’s favorite after all!

Pizano’s

Various locations around Chicago and Glenview

Too many options? If you can’t pick just one, check out Chicago Pizza Tours to try full slices of different pizzas at several different restaurants. You’ll also get “backstage passes” to visit the kitchens and see how the glorious pies come into existence.

What do you think? Have you tried any of these deep dish hotspots, or are you planning to? Let us know in the comments.


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