Chicago may be known as the home of deep dish pizza, but that’s not the only kind of pizza pies you’ll find in this town. Chefs from north to south have added their own special touches to the traditional dish. Whether you prefer wacky toppings, or simply good, fresh ingredients, you’ll find a place to go in the Windy City. Here are just five of the top spots.
Best Chicago-Style Deep Dish: Lou Malnati’s
439 N. Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60610
With a recipe that’s been used for more than four decades, it’s got to be good. Plus, this family-owned chain of restaurants has been named time and time again as the best place for a slice of deep dish whether you’re in Chicago or not. While sausage is one of its most popular toppings, patrons are also a big fan of “The Lou,” which comes with mushrooms, spinach and tomatoes. Don’t forget to mention you want the butter crust!
Best Crust: Pequod’s
2207 N. Clybourn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
Don’t get us wrong. The entire pizza pie here is delicious no matter which way you slice it, but a pizza isn’t complete without a crust. And at this Lincoln Park neighborhood pizzeria, the “caramelized crust” is the perfect way to end (or begin) your Chicago pizza experience. But if you’re looking for something other than deep-dish (pan) pizza, Pequod’s has that too with its thin crust pizza.
Best Neapolitan-Style Pizza: Spacca Napoli
1769 W. Sunnyside Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
Take a trip to Italy by visiting this Lincoln Square pizzeria. Opened in 2006 after many trips to Italy, owner and “Pizzaiuolo” Jonathan Goldsmith’s eatery focuses on “true” Italian pizza: thin-crust pizzas cooked in a wood-fire oven. There’s also a focus on minimal — but fresh — toppings, whether you’re experiencing the salsiccia (San Marzano tomatoes, sausage, basil, fior di latte and pecorino gran cru) or the prosciutto e rucola (provola, prosciutto di parma, parmigano reggiano and arugula), to name just a few.
Best Creative Toppings: Dimo’s
3463 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
Want a taco with that pizza? Or how about you just combine the two delicious foods into one? That’s essentially what you can get at this Wrigleyville late-night hot spot, along with the mac and cheese pizza, chicken n’ waffles, steak nacho, Philly and the list goes on and on. Basically, if it’s a pizza combo you can dream up, chances are Dimo’s has tried it. And don’t forget to try dessert.
Best New-York Style: Santullo’s Eatery
1943 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
For something a little bit more East Coast and basically the exact opposite of deep dish pizza, head to Santullo’s. Not only will you skip the line of Piece Pizza, located just down the street, but you’ll also get an enormous pizza. Sure, it might be thin crust, but what it lacks in thickness you’ll get back in circumference, which clocks in at 20 inches around. The pizza is also available by the slice.
Related: Best Deep-Dish Chicago-Style Pizza
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s scribbling novels, and TV show reviews and recaps. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.