Legendary Chicago pizza comes in deep dish form or gourmet thin crust

Asking Chicagoans for their favorite pizza place is like asking them for their favorite baseball team. Nearly everyone has an opinion and they are hardcore about what they like and where to get it.

While there isn’t just one type of Chicago-style pizza since several types were developed in Chicago, it is best known for its deep-dish pizza which typically has a crust up to three inches tall at the edge, slightly higher than the ingredients, and includes large amounts of cheese and chunky tomato sauce. Pizzeria Uno is said to be the inventor of deep dish pizza and still is considered one of the best places to score a gooey slice.

Deep dish pizza is not to be confused with its stuffed pizza cousin which is even deeper than deep-dish (otherwise, they’re pretty similar). Check out The Art of Pizza and see whether you can tell the difference.

Most pizzerias serve thin-crust pizza and what sets apart one place over another is usually the pizza sauce and pie crust. Chicago has its thin crust devotees, too.

While old school pizza restaurants are becoming few and far between in many parts of the United States, Chicago is lucky in that we have several options to enjoy.

Lincoln Park

There is some debate among diners on whether the pizza here is considered deep dish or pan pizza. Pequod's uses the terms interchangeably but once you get past the debate, few will argue that its caramelized crust is stuff of pizza dreams. Their...  Read More

According to the restaurant owners, Spacca Napoli Pizzeria was inspired by the authentic aroma, taste, and craft of pizza found on the streets and in the pizzerias in Naples. The restaurant is spacious, well-lit, inviting and unpretentious and...  Read More

The Art of Pizza
Photo courtesy of Daniel Zeman/Serious Eats

This tiny strip-mall joint will never win awards for decor or ambience, but, fortunately, its pizza is so amazing that hungry patrons really don't mind. Choose from an irresistible thin crust, cheesy stuffed crust or classic Chicago-style deep...  Read More

The place is called Coalfire Pizza because its super thin crust style pizza is cooked in a brick oven at over 800 degrees. For those who prefer more of a traditional Neapolitan style pizza, Coalfire does the trick. It makes its dough fresh daily...  Read More

The Original Gino's East of Chicago

Chicago-style pizza has won droves of ardent fans, and this restaurant is probably the downfall for most of them. Just try to resist the irresistible, deep-dish Chicago pizza with oozing cheese, rich sauce, and fresh toppings from its crisp,...  Read More

When it comes to gooey cheese, chewy crust, Chicago-style pizza, this is the place. A thick, doughy crust is covered in a rich tomato-based sauce, and finished with the toppings of your choice. A couple of slices will fill you up. The more...  Read More

Be careful as you drive by this Wicker Park pizzeria and brewery because it's likely there are people spilling out into the street since it's usually very packed. Not only can you enjoy award-winning pizzas and home brewed beer but it's a great...  Read More

Outside the city

The city doesn't have a corner on locally grown and hormone free products atop coal-fired pies. When on the North Shore or northwest 'burbs, stop in for a perfectly charred pizza at Slyce. Farmers providing fresh produce are hyper local in...  Read More

Vito & Nick's Pizzaria
Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Vito & Nick's

Vito & Nick's is a South Side institution. For nearly a century, this old school restaurant has specialized in a thin, crispy, cracker-thin crust pizza and seasoned sausage. It's been featured on Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,"...  Read More

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria - River North
Photo courtesy of Official Facebook

This old-school pizza chain knows a thing or two about pies, and locals swear by the place's buttery deep-dish crust. You can keep it simple and order just sausage (either crumbled in the cheese, or served as one big patty within the pizza), or...  Read More


Meet Jamie Bartosch

Jamie Bartosch is a lifelong Chicagoan who thinks her hometown is the greatest city in the world. She is an award-winning newspaper reporter, a freelance travel writer, and the mother of two great kids.