If someone was visiting Chicago and asked what kind of food they’d have to try, the answer would undoubtedly be pizza. People think that it’s a one dimensional thing, but the deep dish pizza places all have their own unique strengths. On top of that, some places have popped up around town with styles all their own. These pizza parlors will all entice your taste buds in a different way, and there’s no reason not to try them all. – Jeff Pearl
Art of Pizza
3033 N Ashland ave
Chicago, IL 60657
Lots of cheese and delectable crust makes this deep dish pizza special. While some places make you wait 40+ minutes for your pizza, you can get the Art of Pizza by the slice in a matter of minutes. They also take a nice spin on pan pizza if you want to change things up from deep dish.
Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinders
2121 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60614
One of the oldest pizza places in the city, Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder gives you their own take on the calzone. It’s more of a pizza pot pie with some of the most delicious crust, cheese, sauce, and sausage you’ll come across. This is about as unique as pizza gets and about as classic Chicago as it gets.
Multiple locations, for more information check their website
Gino’s East is one of the bigger chains in Chicago, but it’s bringing some of the best, classic deep dish to the scene. The specialty here is the cornbread crust. With locations all over the city you can get a taste most anywhere. Tourists flock here from all over and when you get a taste you won’t be surprised why.
1477 W. Balmoral Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
Great Lakes is all about local, fresh ingredients and lots of care put into each pizza. There’s only about three employees in this tiny restaurant, so you may have to call in your pizza a while in advance. Still, the creative sauces, crispy flatbread style crust, and numerous toppings make this one of the best places in the city.
Lou Malnati’s is a tomato lover’s dream. The buttery crust is literally topped with a sauce littered with crushed tomatoes. If you like sausage then this is your spot. A juicy layer of sausage is as plentiful as the tomatoes. My family’s been going here for years and we’ve yet to have anything less than an excellent pie.
The Original Vito and Nick’s
8433 S Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60652
Thin Crust doesn’t usually make a name for itself in Chicago, but somehow Vito and Nick’s has found a way. Cut into squares, their pizza has even northsiders traveling south for a taste. The big thing here is the variety of specialty pizzas from the breakfast pizza (bacon and eggs) to the Italian beef pizza.
2207 N. Clybourn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
8520 fernald ave
Morton Grove, IL 60053
Burnt crust is the mantra here. It’s become somewhat of a trend that you’ve just got to taste. A whole new flavor profile comes out of the sweet crust and caramelized cheese when it’s cooked at a higher heat. Toppings here are high quality as well - the ground beef is especially appealing. Also, if there’s a Blackhawks game on, this is probably one of the best places to watch.
1927 w. North Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
Piece is quickly making itself into a mainstay in the Chicago pizza scene. The thin crust New Haven style pizza is giving Chicagoans a whole new spin on their staple dish. If you want they’ll let you build your own pizza with any variety of crazy toppings (supposedly the mashed potatoes are a house favorite). They also have their own microbrewery for you to enjoy as you chow down far more than you should.
Jeff Pearl has lived in the Chicagoland area his whole life and is currently a medical student at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Food has always been a passion of Jeff’s. In his free time, Jeff enjoys either cooking for his friends, going out to a new restaurant, or training for his next triathlon. Check out his blog, Jeff Eats Chicago.