Chicago offers some of the most diverse pizza-eating in the whole country.
Known for more than just their saucy deep-dish, this widespread capital is dotted with pizza restaurants of every variety, including thin-crust pizza, Neapolitan pies and New York-style slices.
This go around, we’re focusing on what makes Chicago legendary when it comes to pizza: deep-dish.
Get to know Chicago’s deep-dish pizza landscape and try your new favorite pies, here.
Deep-Dish Pizza Restaurants
If you want an OG deep-dish, pan-style, you want Pequod’s. These buttery pies are round, nearly-toppled-over fortresses of cheese with the sauce on top and a signature caramelized crust (aka burnt edges of crispy cheese). Legendary pizza awaits you at these old-school digs.
For deep-dish pizza minus the pan, order Lou Malnati’s. In the classic Chicago-style, the sauce is on top with the cheese and toppings underneath, like a little surprise you can’t wait to open. It’s so heavy that you think it can’t possibly hold form but alas, this gooey mess remains sturdy in its buttery flaky crust.
The iconic pies at Burt’s Place are a personal favorite of the late Anthony Bourdain, which is reason alone to visit this suburban gem. If you need further convincing, this deep-dish pizza is similar to the legendary Pequod’s (after all, the owner used to work there), but with a slightly sweeter sauce and delivered in cast-iron pans.
Labriola’s pizza has all of the signatures of the classic deep-dish and for that, we’re grateful. A ring of crispy cheese sits along the edge of this pie with a seemingly impossible amount of toppings held within.
Yes, it’s technically a chain, but it’s a legendary one. This stuffed pizza is the cousin of the deep-dish, differing only in execution. Where an ordinary deep-dish pizza will have a thick crust that’s then layered with cheese, toppings and a light dusting of sauce, Giordano’s adds another layer of dough on top of the cheese to provide reinforcements for the slice. Thick, stretchy strings of cheese await you here.
My Pi is a sleeper-hit when it comes to deep-dish pizza. The fresh-from-the oven pie comes with a very generous amount of cheese, plus a sauce made of gently-crushed tomatoes, all held within an extra crispy crust.
Milly’s Pizza in the Pan.
New deep-dish pizza slingers are hard to come by, especially in Chicago where the rules – and pizza restaurants – are firmly established, but Milly’s Pizza in the Pan is an upstart that packs a mean punch. A ghost-kitchen-turned-restaurant, this pan pizza resembles that of Pequod’s but fancies up the toppings with things like Calabrian chili, Castelveltrano olives and Kumato tomatoes.
George’s Deep Dish.
George’s Deep Dish is a serious competitor in the deep-dish pizza game, largely due to its 48-hour cold-fermented sourdough. The dough is delightfully yeasty with a crispy cornmeal base, so the crust is lighter and feels much more like focaccia than the standard buttery crust. These pies are coveted and served in limited-quantities so be sure to order in advance.
Chicago may be more than just deep-dish, but there’s no denying that this type of pizza reigns supreme in this town.