Eat & Drink

Deep Dish Pizza Is The Most Extra Food You Need To Try In The United States

If you’re going to Chicago, you’re going to eat deep dish pizza, right? Right. If you’re not, then stop reading and maybe just cancel your trip, because this amazing culinary creation is something that needs to be eaten to be believed. Is it pizza? Is it a savoury pie? Is it both? Is it neither? There’s only one way to find out.

Here’s a rundown of some of the best Chicago pizza in The Windy City, as well as a primer for pro pizza performance.

The OG deep dish pizza

 

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Pizzeria Uno and Pizzeria Due are touted as the architects of Chicago deep dish pizza. Claiming to have invented the cuisine in 1943, this franchise has exploded with outposts around the world. But these two pioneering locations (Uno on the corner of N. Wabash and Ohio and the nearby Due on the corner of N. Wabash and Ontario) serve drastically different pizza than the chains, so you’d be wise to see firsthand how the first to ever do it do it.

Hop on the L train and take it to Grand/State (red line) and you’ll be just a few minutes’ walk from cheesy, saucy goodness.

The holy trinity of Chicago pizza

 

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The history of Chicago deep pan pizza is murky, with a number of claims to the thrones of best and first. But over the years, three places have risen to the top to form a triumvirate of definitive deep dish destinations: Lou Malnati’s, Gino’s East and Giordano’s. Each has played its part in the delicious history of Chicago pizza (Lou’s father Rudy was involved in the creation of Pizzeria Uno; so was Alice May Redmond, who worked at Uno before helping launch Gino’s; the Giordano’s family recipe harkens back centuries to Torino, Italy). You can’t really go wrong with any of them.

You’d probably get an even split of answers if you asked Chicagoans which of the three they prefer. And all three have locations well within reach of public transport.

Smaller treasures

 

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While those titans of taste have surely earned their reputations with decades of pizza-making mastery, there are a few smaller operations that pump out amazing deep dish pizza on the reg. Pequod’s in Bucktown is a quintessential local favourite – a hole in the wall that serves up pizza and drinks late into the night.

The Art of Pizza in Lakeview has spent time atop venerable best-of lists for its overall brilliance, and the beautiful blend of spices in its sauce has drawn rave reviews from customers and critics alike. You can grab deep dish by the slice here, but more is more when it comes to pizza, right? The Paulina L stop (brown line) will leave you a 10-minute walk away.

Three slices of advice

deep dish pizza Chicago Pequod's

Going in with clear eyes, a full heart and an empty stomach is key when you’re ready to chow down on Chicago deep dish. But here a few other things to keep in mind as you chew through The Windy City.

#1 Stick with a classic

The classic Chicago order will almost always feature substantial chunks of delicious sausage and a whole heap of cheese, topped, of course, with robust tomato sauce.

Many like to add capsicum (green pepper in local lingo) and onion to the mix as well. You do you, but consider using those ingredients as your guide on this spiritual journey of the stomach.

#2 Be patient

Pizza is more or less a religion in Chicago, and it brings hungry practitioners from around the globe as well as from within the city limits. Some spots, especially Uno and Due, will have lengthy wait times.

Deep dish pizza isn’t something you whack in the oven for 12 minutes and devour. It takes time to construct and cook. Allot a good two hours for a proper deep dish deep dive.

#3 Don’t go nuts

Chicago pizza has made a full fool of many. A couple of pieces each will probably do the trick; three if you’ve built up a burning hunger exploring the city by foot. Don’t be afraid to order a small.

Once you’ve had your fill, think about heading to Chicago’s funnest dessert cafe, XO Marshmallow.