If you're talking about Chicago, the chances are good that you think of pizza. New York will argue that theirs is better, but even New Yorkers will give us credit for having a good (but different) pie. That's the thing, Chicago pizza is a style and flair all its own. The rest of the world knows us for our deep dish or stuffed pizza. Those are good, and will make the list. But that's not the only kind of pizza we have in Chicago.
Most Chicagoans will even tell you, stuffed pizza is an occasional thing when you have a taste. Taverne pizza is our usual fare and we're picky about what we like. Chicago tavern pizza is a round pizza cut in squares because we like to be able to eat our food without folding it into origami to get it into our mouths (hello, oversize triangle pizza slices they have everywhere else).
For our list, will give you a few different types of pie. You'll find people who argue about the best around the city but the truth is, a lot of these are very good and uniquely their own. You don't have to have one favorite. Try them all. Try different toppings. Just don't put pineapple on it because ick.
If you're in the city for a short trip, pizza should definitely be on your list of things to eat. . You can give the gift of pizza with a virtual GiftYa card that your friends or family can use to grab the most amazing pizza from any of the places on our list. We'll highlight the differences and even give you some ideas for the best toppings because real pizza aficionados know that the toppings make a big difference.
This one makes the first spot because it's truly aaaaamazing. It's a favorite around the city, even though it's technically located just outside Chicago in Cicero, IL. Freddy's Pizza is a neighborhood staple and you can see why as soon as you enter the tiny little corner deli. It's jam-packed with people whenever they're open. Freddy's has been written up in pretty much every Best Of food list about Chicago. They are truly world-class in a tiny little neighborhood just outside the city.
They've got an awesome menu in general. You can get deli items, homemade Italian Ice, and Homemade Gelato. But the pizza is truly to die for. They have different types but the staple and what they're known for is their Sicilian Bread pizza. It's a traditional recipe for Sicilians but you won't find it on any restaurant menus anywhere else. And even if you did, it won't compare to this one. Make sure you come ready to eat. Most people also order whole pizzas and other assorted items to take home because, seriously, you can't NOT love the food here.
Chicagoans will get poetic about this pizza. They have a lot of fans who swear it's the best deep dish ever made and the fact that it's almost impossible to get a table in this place is a solid testimony to their deliciousness. Pequod's has a unique and savory taste to their deep-dish pie and it really is outstanding. This is the stuffed pizza that Chicago is known for and Pequod's has one of the best examples of it.
This is a high recommendation pie that's an experience all of its own. If you haven't tried it yet, add it to your list.
Benny's is a neighborhood pizza joint in Berwyn, IL. So just about 10 minutes west of Chicago. Totally worth the drive. It's not much to look at if you eat in, but there's a bar next door called Tipsy Tap where you can order your food through the window and eat in. A great old bar with a neighborhood vibe.
The pizza itself is outstanding. They make a few different kinds but the tavern pizza is one of the best you'll ever have. You can also order double dough, for a more hearty pizza or their stuffed. Benny's also makes it to order. If you want to try something really fantastic, order it with Italian Beef and Giardiniera. It might sound like a weird combo if you've never had it but it's phenomenal. And you can't get any more Chicago than that.
Palermo's was originally located on the city's south side. It moved to Oak Lawn a few decades ago, but it maintains the same high quality and great ambiance. This is a nice, Italian restaurant. One you should dress up for. Their classic Sicilian and Italian fine dining is amazing and we'd recommend that any day of the week. But they do also have a phenomenal pizza.
You can order their traditional tavern-style pizza or the stuffed. Their stuffed pizza is filled with cheesy goodness and we recommend sausage or sausage and giardiniera if you're a fan of hot. Try the pizza for sure, but we can't recommend the rest of the menu enough. It's a great place for ambiance, seafood, and all your traditional Sicilian dishes.
Giordano's has locations all around the city and suburbs. So you can always find a location. They do have other dishes, but they are well known for their stuffed pizza. And it's a good offering. Not only that, but they will freeze and ship their deep dish, which makes them a favorite of former Chicagoans who have relocated to areas that aren't as blessed with culinary offerings.
Giordano's has a pretty wide menu. You can get a tavern or stuffed pizza and add appetizers, salads, and desserts to your dinner for the full experience. Prepare to leave uncomfortably full.
This is a classic paper-thin crust tavern-style pizza, the way God and Chicago intended. We said earlier that Chicagoans really only eat stuffed pizza occasionally. This is a great example of the pizza we really like. Vito and Nick's pizza has a unique sauce with a bit of a tanginess to it that people just enjoy. Fresh ingredients and good neighborhood energy all around.
There's a reason Vito and Nick's makes so many best-of lists. If you have tried them, stop in and give them a go.
We can't talk about stuffed pizza in Chicago without talking about Gino's East. The original location is right in the heart of downtown Chicago and native Chicagoans have been flocking there for decades. They have a great ambiance, fun environment, and the pizza is truly a one-of-a-kind Chicago original.
One of the things that makes Gino's East special is the atmosphere. You're encouraged to graffiti the walls and leave your mark on the table. The walls are filled with pictures of all the famous people who've been to the restaurant. Gino's is the spot to go for tourists but it's also completely enjoyed by the locals.
Homerun Inn is a chain restaurant today but it still has some of the best tavern-style pizza you'll ever have. It's a Chicago original. The taste doesn't change from location to location and the taste is truly amazing. They have a unique crust and savory sauce. Made with the best ingredients, you'll always get a perfectly made pizza at Homerun Inn. You can also buy frozen pizzas to make at home, but that's not quite as fun.
The original location is on 31st in Chicago and there are a lot of people who swear the pizza is better there. It's probably just nostalgia but it's worth checking out if you're in the area.
Connie's is a local chain and they serve a great stuffed pizza and a thicker bread pizza. They've been around for decades and the pizza is always good. If you eat in one of their locations, they offer a comfortable dining experience. They have excellent reviews in all of their locations, for service and food. Stop in and try them out. You might make them a regular stop.
This one is located a little outside of the city. Casciani's is currently in Hodgkins, making it a great stop for anyone in the western suburbs. The original location was in Cicero, Illinois. This little place is still family-owned. Currently run by the grandchildren of the original owners.
They offer a fantastic pizza, and you can specify pie cut or tavern-style cut. You can also order Italian beefs, sausage sandwiches, and a variety of their own creations. All the food here is good. You won't be disappointed no matter what you order.