Best Pizza in Chicago

Best Pizza in Chicago

When it comes to pizza, there are few places in the world that can rival the pizza scene in Chicago. The birthplace of deep dish pizza, Chicago has been the site of a fierce pizza war for decades. With so many different pizzerias claiming to have the best pizza in Chicago, it can be hard to know where to start.

In this article, we will uncover the ultimate best pizza in Chicago. We will look at the history of Chicago-style pizza, the criteria for what makes the best pizza, and compare the top contenders for both deep dish and thin crust pizza. We will also highlight some hidden gems and honorable mentions, and provide recommendations on where to find the best pizza in Chicago.

What is Chicago-style pizza?

Chicago-style pizza is a type of pizza that is unique to the city of Chicago. It is characterized by its deep, thick crust and layers of toppings. The pizza is typically made in a deep dish pan, with the toppings arranged in reverse order, with the cheese on the bottom, followed by the toppings, and then the sauce on top.

History of Chicago-style pizza

Some people, including the current proprietors of Pizzeria Uno, claim that Ike Sewell invented deep-dish pizza. Sewell, a Texas-born college football player, came to Chicago in 1934 to work as a sales manager for a liquor company and was the owner of Pizzeria Uno when he passed away in 1990. However, Sewell had no part in the establishment of “The Pizzeria” on 29 East Ohio Street when it opened in December 1943, as he only became a part-owner indirectly afterwards when his wife Florence signed a partnership agreement.

Others still suggest that Rudy Malnati Sr., the longtime manager of Pizzeria Uno and father of Lou Malnati and Rudy Malnati Jr., was the creator of deep-dish pizza. However, multiple sources demonstrate that Rudy Malnati Sr. was the third manager, not the first. Furthermore, it was Lou Malnati who was a bartender at Pizzeria Uno before his father became the manager.

Lastly, some say that Ric Riccardo was the one who made deep-dish pizza. Riccardo, an Italian-American artist who came to Chicago in the late 1920s, later opened a popular restaurant on Rush Street, then opened “The Pizzeria” as the sole owner and partnered with Ike Sewell’s wife Florence until he died in 1954. Sources show that Riccardo and his family lived at an apartment at 29 E. Ohio St. from late 1942 until 1944. It may be that in the late summer/early fall of 1943, Riccardo had the thought to open “The Pizzeria” and also at this time, formulated the preliminary deep-dish recipe.

It is likely that the original dough recipe was altered later on by Uno’s pizza cook Alice Mae Redmond when she was hired in the mid to late 1940s. Additionally, for uncertain reasons, deep-dish pizza likely got thicker in the late 1950s to early 1960s period.

The popularity of deep dish pizza quickly grew, and other pizzerias in Chicago began to create their own versions of the pizza. Today, deep dish pizza is a staple of the Chicago food scene, and there are hundreds of pizzerias in the city that serve their own unique take on the classic dish.

Criteria for the ultimate best pizza in Chicago

When it comes to determining the ultimate best pizza in Chicago, there are a few key criteria that need to be considered. These include the quality of the crust, the toppings, the sauce, and the overall flavor of the pizza. The pizza should also be cooked to perfection, with a crispy crust and melted cheese.

Top contenders for the best deep dish pizza in Chicago

There are many pizzerias in Chicago that claim to have the best deep dish pizza in the city. Some of the top contenders include Pizzeria Uno, Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s, and Gino’s East.

Pizzaria Uno Chicago

Best Pizza In Chicago - Pizzaria Uno

Pizzeria Uno is the birthplace of the deep dish pizza, and their pizza is a classic example of the style.

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria

Best Chicago Pizza - Lou Malnatis Pizzeria

Lou Malnati’s is known for their buttery crust and high-quality ingredients.

Giordano’s Pizza

Best Pizza in Chicago - Giordanos Pizza

Giordano’s is famous for their stuffed pizza.

Gino’s East

Best Pizza in Chicago - Gino's East

Gino’s East is another popular choice, with a deep dish pizza that is both crispy and flavorful.

Comparing the best deep dish pizza in Chicago

To determine the ultimate best deep dish pizza in Chicago, it’s important to compare the top contenders side by side. When comparing Pizzeria Uno, Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s, and Gino’s East, there are several factors to consider.

The crust at Pizzeria Uno is thick and buttery, with a crispy exterior and a soft, doughy interior. The toppings are fresh and flavorful, and the sauce is tangy and well-balanced. Lou Malnati’s also has a buttery crust, but it is slightly thinner than Pizzeria Uno’s. The toppings are high-quality and plentiful, and the sauce is a bit sweeter than Pizzeria Uno’s.

Giordano’s stuffed pizza is a unique take on the deep dish pizza, with layers of cheese and toppings stuffed inside the crust. The crust is thick and buttery, with a crispy exterior and a soft, doughy interior. The toppings are fresh and flavorful, and the sauce is well-balanced. Gino’s East also has a thick, crispy crust, with a generous amount of toppings and a tangy sauce.

Top contenders for the best thin crust pizza in Chicago

While deep dish pizza is the most famous style of pizza in Chicago, there are also many pizzerias that serve excellent thin crust pizza. Some of the top contenders for the best thin crust pizza in Chicago include Piece Brewery and Pizzeria, Coalfire Pizza, and Pequod’s Pizza.

Piece Brewery and Pizzeria

Piece Pizzeria and Brewery - Best Pizza in Chicago

Piece Brewery and Pizzeria is known for their New Haven-style pizza, which features a thin, crispy crust and high-quality toppings.

Coalfire Pizza Chicago

Coalfire Chicago Pizza - Best Chicago Pizza

Coalfire Pizza uses a coal-fired oven to create a crispy, charred crust that is both flavorful and light.

Pequod’s Pizza

Pequods Pizza - Best Pizza in Chicago

Pequod’s Pizza is famous for their caramelized crust, which is crispy and chewy at the same time.

Comparing the best thin crust pizza in Chicago

To determine the ultimate best thin crust pizza in Chicago, it’s important to compare the top contenders side by side. When comparing Piece Brewery and Pizzeria, Coalfire Pizza, and Pequod’s Pizza, there are several factors to consider.

Piece Brewery and Pizzeria’s New Haven-style pizza is a standout, with a thin, crispy crust that is both flavorful and light. The toppings are high-quality and fresh, and the sauce is tangy and well-balanced. Coalfire Pizza’s coal-fired oven creates a crispy, charred crust that is both flavorful and light. The toppings are high-quality and well-balanced, and the sauce is tangy and flavorful.

Pequod’s Pizza’s caramelized crust is a unique take on thin crust pizza, with a crispy, chewy texture that is both sweet and savory. The toppings are fresh and plentiful, and the sauce is tangy and well-balanced.

Hidden gems and honorable mentions

While the top contenders for the best pizza in Chicago are well-known, there are also many hidden gems and honorable mentions that are worth checking out. Some of these include Vito and Nick’s, Burt’s Place, and Roots Handmade Pizza.

Vito and Nick’s Pizza

Vito and Nicks - Best Pizza in Chicago

Vito and Nick’s is a classic Chicago pizzeria, known for their thin, crispy crust and high-quality toppings.

Burt’s Place

Burts Place - Best Pizza in Chicago

Burt’s Place is famous for their caramelized crust and high-quality ingredients.

Roots Pizza

Roots Pizza - Best Pizza in Chicago

Roots Handmade Pizza offers a unique take on pizza, with creative toppings and a wood-fired oven.

Where to find the best pizza in Chicago

If you’re looking for the best pizza in Chicago, there are many great options to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for deep dish or thin crust, there are pizzerias all over the city that serve high-quality pizza.

Some of the best places to find deep dish pizza in Chicago include Pizzeria Uno, Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s, and Gino’s East. For thin crust pizza, check out Piece Brewery and Pizzeria, Coalfire Pizza, and Pequod’s Pizza. And if you’re looking for hidden gems, be sure to check out Vito and Nick’s, Burt’s Place, and Roots Handmade Pizza.

Is there a BEST Pizza in Chicago?

In conclusion, the Chicago pizza war is a fierce battle, with many pizzerias vying for the title of best pizza in the city. When it comes to deep dish pizza, Pizzeria Uno, Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s, and Gino’s East are all top contenders, with each pizzeria offering a unique take on the classic dish. For thin crust pizza, Piece Brewery and Pizzeria, Coalfire Pizza, and Pequod’s Pizza are all excellent choices, with each pizzeria offering a different style of pizza.

And while the top contenders are well-known, there are also many hidden gems and honorable mentions that are worth checking out. Whether you’re a local or a visitor to Chicago, be sure to explore the city’s pizza scene and uncover the ultimate best pizza in Chicago for yourself.

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