Chicago lands the best pizza on the planet



A Chicagoan's favorite pizza place used to be the closest one in the neighborhood but the proliferation of restaurants has expanded the palate and the pies. These days pizzaioli are piling everything from arugula and fried eggs to pears and figs onto their pies insuring one could actually eat pizza a couple times per week and not bore the palate. Pizza is no longer something you settle upon ordering but can get excited about with all of the crusts, toppings, baking methods and pizza parlors calling Chicago home. 

Every tourist knows s/he must try a Chicago style deep dish and a tavern style - a thin crust pie cut into squares with a flavorful sauce and lots of cheese. With 50 locations in the Chicago area, you're never far from some of the best Chicago style deep dish at Lou Malnati's.  It's continued expansion across the city and suburbs has not affected the high quality of each handmade pizza. Armand's has a long familial pizza history in this town, too, so get to Armand's Victory Tap for an excellent rendition of the Chicago tavern style pizza (and fantastic Chicken Vesuvio - another Chicago creation). 

Deep dish pizza has it fans and detractors but the pan style at Burt's Place  changed Anthony Bourdain's mind about Chicago's gift to the culinary world.  Neapolitan, with its charred, bubbly crust is everywhere and don't allow the taste buds to miss a top-notch coal-fired pizza like the one at Slyce and the Roman renditions at Bonci.  You can also sample Chicago's interpretation of Quad Cities, New Haven and Detroit style pizza around town. Abbondanza, indeed.

 

 


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Roots uses a dark-roasted malt that results in a tender, chewy, slightly sweet and complex crust you won't find anywhere outside of the Quad Cities. The dough's malt-heavy "spice jam," spicy red sauce dotted with chili flakes and cayenne pepper...  Read More


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After founder Burt Katz' passing in 2016, the new owners effort to replicate Katz's pizza received the stamp of approval from the family. Burt's Place still turns out impressive deep dish pies, not belly-busting thick but crispy and caramelized...  Read More


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Piece brought New Haven style pizza to Chicago and a happy-go-lucky attitude to the restaurant scene. Piece may have been among the first in town to offer unusual toppings (mashed potatoes, seafood, honey butter fried chicken and broccoli among...  Read More


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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


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


 

Step into 1965 at Vito & Nick's, a South Side institution in the Ashburn district. The specially seasoned sausage, tasty sauce and dough is identical to the stuff used on the thin, crisp pizza in the mid 60's (when this location opened)....  Read More


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You have to admit - she had you at the name. Marie's Pizza & Liquors effortlessly zaps you back to the 1950's with charming waitstaff, jazz trios entertaining, delicious Italian beef and salads plus tavern style pizzas with a cracker...  Read More


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Armand's pizza is sold at three locations in Chicago proper, as well as suburbs like Arlington Heights and Elmhurst. The South Loop's Armand's Victory Tap is the only location that offers the perfectly executed tavern style pizza as well as...  Read More


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Lou Malnati's Pizzeria - Gold Coast
Photo courtesy of Official Facebook


 

Family-led Lou Malnati's Pizzeria has been turning out the definitive Chicago style deep dish pizza since 1971 in Lincolnwood and today there are 50 locations in the Chicago area and two in AZ (Cubs' spring training fans have to eat somewhere)....  Read More


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Pizano's is also a Malnati family joint producing stellar 'za. Rudy, Lou's half brother, was the big cheese at Pizzeria Uno when deep dish was born. Rudy Jr. opened Pizano's in 1991 as an homage to his dad's innovation and stickler for quality....  Read More


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Pizzaiolo Gabriele Bonci chose Chicago as his first pizzeria location outside of Italy and the throngs are loving his Roman-style pizza cut with scissors and sold by weight. Bonci offers only fresh, natural ingredients primarily imported from...  Read More


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Meet Jacky Runice

Born in Bucktown when bulletproof was a home safety choice and not a coffee order, Jacky Runice has been knocking around Chicago as a professional print, online and broadcast journalist and...  More About Jacky

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