In the city that invented deep dish pizza, these are the must-try spots!
Deep dish pizza has been a thing since the 1940s, and whether you like it--or could leave it--it is definitely entrenched in Chicago culture. This culinary wonder attracts both locals and tourists to a variety of pizzerias all over the Chicago-land area-- with its tempting toppings, mountains of cheese, and an incredible amount of crust. These simple ingredients come together to create the perfect slice of authentic deep dish pizza, and the places on this list are the essential places to get your pizza fix!
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Everyone’s got to try deep dish at Pizzeria Uno. Image courtesy of Yelp.
29 E Ohio St.
When you want to try Chicago deep dish pizza, you come to the place where it all started--Pizzeria Uno. Ike Seller believed that if you could combine some amazingly fresh Italian staples--such as sauce, cheese, and dough--you could elevate pizza to a hearty meal. He started his experiment in 1943, and the rest is history.
Patrons flocked to his pizzeria to try the new deep dish, or Chicago style pizza. The flat and crisper crust of other pizza was replaced by a thicker crust and stuffed with your favorite ingredients, such as peppers, sausage, mushrooms, and Italian meats. Do yourself a favor and start by trying the original!
“Tried this place for some deep dish pizza while visiting Chicago and was really happy we came here! Overall a great deep dish experience here.” -Yelp Review
Customer’s always leave satisfied with this deep dish icon. Image courtesy of Lou Malnati’s.
439 N Wells St. and other locations
Lou Malnati opened up his first pizzeria in 1971, and served up some of the best deep dish pizza around. This family is Chicago pizza royalty, and they continue to run the more than 50 Chicagoland locations today. Their recipe for success comes from two very simple mantras, to keep it fresh, and to keep it loyal. They choose only the finest tomatoes to make their famous sauce, which is seasoned with a proprietary amount of ingredients before it can be passed onto production. The family has also been working with the same dairy for over 40 years, which continues to produce some of the best, creamiest mozzarella in the area.
The secret to making the buttery dough just perfect is--of course--a secret, but we’re sure glad that the recipe hasn’t changed over the years! Lou Malnati’s treats their staff and customers like family, and believe that each dining experience is a chance to welcome more friends into the fold.
“Lou Malnati's is one of the most famous places to have Chicago deep dish pizza, with several locations. Lou's was the perfect choice for our first time. Their pizza is fresh and delicious, with big portions at good prices.” -Yelp Review
You better come hungry to this Chicago style pizza place! Image courtesy of Bartoli’s.
1955 W Addison St.
Bartoli’s is quickly becoming Chicago’s favorite spot to grab not only a deep dish pizza, but also to try out the party-cut Chicago style thin crust pizza as well. It probably has something to do with the freshness of the sauce, the way the crust holds everything in, or perhaps it's the wide variety of toppings available to include in your deep dish (or party-cut).
It can be easy to include too much cheese or too much dough when you make a deep dish, but Bartoli’s seems to avoid both of those pitfalls, and instead you have a well designed pizza that is full of all your favorite ingredients. This place is also BYOB, so feel free to bring your favorite wine along and savor the deep dish experience!
“I was really impressed with their pizza sauce. It tastes homemade and as if it was simmering for hours; it offered the perfect balance of sweet and savory.” -Yelp Review
Caramelized crust really enhances the flavor of this pizza. Image courtesy of Pequod’s Pizza.
2207 N Clybourn Ave.
This popular deep dish spot started out in the northern suburbs of Chicago in the 1970s. Looking to do something a little different with the city’s famous deep dish pizza, Pequod’s started to offer a caramelized crust with all their Chicago style pizzas. In order to create this, mozzarella is sprinkled around the dough as it cooks in a cast iron pan--creating the famously delicious crust.
One bite and you’ll be hooked! No matter what toppings you choose to put on your pie, there’s no denying that this pizza will taste like no other you’ve had before. Like all deep dish places, make sure to plan ahead because you will have a wait, as each pizza is made to order!
“ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!! The PERFECT place to bring an out of towner for a Chicago Pizza Experience!Overall this was the best experience we could have asked for and definitely look forward to returning soon!” -Yelp Review
Deep dish fans love how thick this pizza is. Image courtesy of Nancy’s Pizza.
2930 N Broadway St. and other locations
The success of Nancy’s Pizza is the result of hard work, creative ideas, and a little luck! Rocco and Nancy Palese had perfected their pizza making skills in Italy before emigrating to the U.S. to open up a pizza shop. They wanted to offer locals something new to deep dish, which is why they started to offer stuffed deep dish! It really caught on, and Nancy’s Pizza has grown to many stores, and even offers franchise opportunities as well.
The crust of every pizza is a full 2.5 inches high, which is the amount needed to hold in that melted cheese, sauce, and toppings. Locals have many menu favorites but seem to love the Nana’s Special, which is stuffed full of seasoned spinach and mushrooms for a taste you won’t forget!
“Nancy's is great fare when it comes to Chicago style pizza. The atmosphere is that of a mom and pop Italian joint. Definitely a spot to check out if you find yourself nearby!” -Yelp Review
This family-owned restaurant is a favorite in Chicago. Image courtesy of Yelp.
5840 W 63rd St.
This popular pizza shop has been family owned for over 30 years, and has been providing the people of Chicago--as well as visitors--with some amazing deep dish pizza options. Cipriani’s takes pride in offering customers a selection of pizza options, and in addition to their famous deep dish, they also offer thin crust as pizza by the slice as well.
If you have someone in your group that’s not up for deep dish, no worries, because Cipriani’s also has a wide selection of sandwiches, salads, and pasta options as well. This pizza joint is located near the Midway airport, so if you’re just visiting Chicago, make sure you try this place out before you leave!
“Family owned restaurant, conveniently located near Midway. Good taste and texture. Perfectly cooked. Really enjoyed the crust.” -Yelp Review
Pizza and shopping sounds like a great way to spend a Chicago afternoon! Image courtesy of Gino’s East.
162 E Superior St. and other locations
One of the most iconic places in Chicago to enjoy deep dish pizza in all its glory is Gino’s East. But being one of the best means high standards, and Gino’s definitely has some of those! Their sauce is made from tomatoes grown in California, by another family-owned business, and they choose to create their dough fresh everyday, because you just can’t fake freshness.
The sausage that is part of their famous sauce is made locally in Chicago, and is seasoned to perfection to blend perfectly into the sauce. Gino’s also chooses to use cheese that is designed for melting, and just seems to pair perfectly with their dough and sauce. If you’re visiting Chicago, take some off from exploring the city and stop into Gino’s located on the Magnificent Mile--you’ll be glad you did!
“Excellent deep dish, here..! Chicago has many to choose from, and this place is in the top rankings. Very busy place, always a good indication.” -Yelp Review
A staple in Chicago for delicious deep dish pizza. Image courtesy of Giordano’s.
130 E Randolph and other locations
Giordano’s recipe for success goes all the way back to Torino, Italy where stuffed pie was saved for special occasions. When Efren and Joseph Boglio moved to the U.S. from Italy to start their pizza shop, they took this recipe with them, and locals have been enjoying the quality and freshness of these pizzas ever since!
Never deviating from the original sauce, cheese, and dough recipes from Italy, Giordano’s hasnconsistently ranked as one of the best places in Chicago to get deep dish. But why not see for yourself what all the talk is about and try one out for yourself!
“The sauce was on point and you could taste that it was made fresh. Prices were excellent for the quality and amount of food you get in here!” -Yelp Review
Deep dish pizza is something everyone should try--perhaps even on a regular basis! The restaurants on this list make some of the best Chicago pies, so consider checking them out the next time you’re in the mood for deep dish! Did we mention your favorite deep dish pizzeria? Let us know in the comments!